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    An unknown number of civilians, including children, were killed during a U.S. military operation targeting al Qaeda militants this week, NBC News reported. One Navy SEAL also died during the operation in Yemen.

    The Defense Department identified the Navy SEAL as Chief Petty Officer William "Ryan" Owens.

    Nawar al-Awlaki, the daughter of an American-born al Qaeda leader, Anwar al-Awlaki, was among those killed.

    Her father, an American citizen, was killed in a drone strike in 2011. The military said in a statement that it is still trying to determine the number of civilian casualties during the "ferocious" gunfight. Fourteen militants were also killed.



    Photo Credit: AP

    Marine One, with President Donald Trump aboard, lands at Dover Air Force Base, Del. Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. Trump traveled to Dover AFB to meet with family members Chief of Special Warfare Operator William Marine One, with President Donald Trump aboard, lands at Dover Air Force Base, Del. Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. Trump traveled to Dover AFB to meet with family members Chief of Special Warfare Operator William "Ryan" Owens, 36, of Peoria, Ill, the U.S. service member who was killed in a raid in Yemen, and whose remains where returned today. Owens is the first-know combat death of a member of the U.S. military under Trump's administration. Civilians, including children, also died during the operation.

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    A car ended up on the train tracks near Forbes Place in East Haven early Thursday morning, halting train service. 

    The driver was not injured and police said it appears the person just went off the road. 

    Trains were stopped but were expected to resume moving through when emergency crews towed the car off inspected the tracks.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    The groundhogs have spoken -- well not really -- and there is some dissention in the rodent community on whether we'll have an early spring of six more weeks of winter.

    If you cannot wait for spring, you might choose to believe Chuckles, the official state groundhog, who is predicting an early spring. 

    Chuckles made her prediction this morning at Lutz Children's Museum in Manchester, carrying on the annual tradition.

    However, Punxsutawney Phil, predicted six more weeks of winter after seeing his shadow at dawn Thursday. So did Cider the groundhog during a visit to the Children's Museum in West Hartford.

    While the groundhogs are furry and adorable, you can get weather all the time from the NBC Connecticut weather team, on air, online and on our apps



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Identity fraud hit 15.4 million Americans last year, a record, NBC News reported. The number is up 16 percent from 2015, according to a study from Javelin Strategy and Research.

    About $16 billion were swiped this year, in which chip-based cards were rolled out, and two million more people were victimized, according to the study.

    Those chip-based cards are nearly impossible to counterfeit, which led fraud experts to expect an increase in the use of stolen credit card numbers online or on the phone. The study found that that type of fraud jumped 40 percent, while point-of sale fraud was essentially unchanged.

    "Criminals are getting much better at committing fraud online," said Al Pascual, research director and head of fraud and security at Javelin Strategy & Research. "Their skill sets are improving and the tools that they're using are much more sophisticated."



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Identity fraud hit record highs last year, with 15.4 million affected.Identity fraud hit record highs last year, with 15.4 million affected.

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    Police are investigating and armed robbery at a sushi restaurant in East Windsor.

    The burglar happened around 11 p.m. Monday at the Mei Tzu Restaurant at 4 Prospect Hill Road, according to police.

    They said the burglar pried open the cash register and stole a small amount of cash from it.

    Surveillance video shows a person is a white hooded sweatshirt and sweatpants or a one piece white protective suit, a black mask, gloves and is carrying a shoulder bag.

    Anyone with information should call Officer Khoudyakov at 860-292-8240 ext. 5205.


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    A Middletown couple has been arrested after police said they found thousands of dollars worth of heroin, as well as other drugs, in an apartment across the street from an elementary school.

    Detectives searched the apartment at 54 Grove St. at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday where 27-year-old Juan Pagan-Rivera, his 26-year-old girlfriend. Lourdes Torriera, and a 3-year-old child live.

    The arraignment report says police found the equivalent of between 545 and 763 bags of heroin, as well as morphine sulfate and Oxycodone.

    Police said the house is right across the street from Macdonough Elementary School.

    Pagan-Rivera and Torreira were charged with several drug violations and risk of injury to a child.

    Bond for Pagan-Rivera was set at $250,000, while bond for Torriera was set at $150,000.

    It's not clear if they have attorneys.



    Photo Credit: Middletown Police

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    Scattered snow showers and flurries will continue throughout the day with temperatures rising to near 40 degrees statewide.

    A brief cool down moves in for Friday and the weekend. We're forecasting high temperatures in the upper 20s and low 30s for Friday and Saturday; overnight lows will be in the low to middle teens.

    Check out these afternoon temperatures for the northeast. 

    If you have plans for Super Bowl you should expect temperatures in the upper 20s Sunday evening with flurries and scattered light snow showers.

    The next weather disturbance that could cause some issues moves in on Tuesday. Right now we expect a mixture of snow, sleet, and freezing rain transitioning over to plain rain. 


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

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  • 02/02/17--13:02: muslim ban tweet


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    A project students at a Milford technical school have been working on will be going to space. Their project is for NASA and will be used at the International Space Station. 

    "It's a once in a lifetime chance," Loriea Crudup, a senior at Platt Tech, said. 

    The school this year joined NASA's High Schools United with NASA to Create Hardware project, or "HUNCH," for short and Crudup is one of 92 students in Platt Technical High’s precision machining manufacturing program.  

    "We give school drawings and materials and they fabricate parts, and family and consumer science," HUNCH Founder Stacey Hale said. 

    The mission for the Platt team was to manufacture front panels for an aluminum locker that will soon be used at the International Space Station for storage. 

    Crudup and her classmates worked for months on the project, which had no space for errors. 

    "The drawings require that these be within five-thousandths of an inch which is,” Hale said. “A hair is three-thousandth of an inch, so you don't get to be off more than a hair." 

    When finished, team members found just enough room to sign their names. 

    "What we’ve seen in these students is a growth in confidence," Hale said. 

    But, as NASA knows, some of the biggest accomplishments start with one small step. 

    "I guess in the future when I have kids, I can tell them my signature is up in space," Crudup said. 

    Hale said the locker will need to be tested before heading to space. If it clears, it will join the ISS by the end of the year. 



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    President Donald Trump's most popular tweet since he was sworn in is strikingly conciliatory, for someone whose style on Twitter can be so confrontational.

    That style shone through the Sunday after his inauguration, when he needled the Women's March on Washington for being too late to affect the election. But that tweet got about half as much engagement as another one posted later that day, which recognized the rights of all people to protest peacefully.

    "Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. Even if I don't always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views," @realDonaldTrump wrote.

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    The tweet garnered over 480,000 likes and retweets combined — the tweet he's gotten the most engagement on since taking office as the 45th U.S. president, either on @realDonaldTrump or the presidential account, @POTUS.

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    Trump's Twitter activity was a hallmark of Trump's campaign for president, and he's used it for years, racking up more than 34,000 tweets since joining the service in March 2009.

    In the 13 days of his presidency, Trump has tweeted 121 times. 

    In his second most-engaging tweet, judged by combined likes and retweets, Trump shared a video of his first dance at an inaugural ball with first lady Melania Trump, saying, "THANK YOU for another wonderful evening in Washington, D.C. TOGETHER, we will MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN," followed by an American flag emoji."

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    The tweet that got the least engagement during his presidency was a link to a Facebook post with a statement on U.S. Mexico relations, earning just over 3,000 retweets and about 12,500 likes.

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    The @POTUS account has 14.8 million followers and Trump's personal account has 23.3 million followers, a number that's steadily grown since he was elected president. That makes him one of the most followed people on the social media service — though former President Barack Obama has just under 84 million followers. 

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    While his Twitter following may be growing, Trump's social media habits have received plenty of criticism, too.

    In his first speech as Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer said "America cannot afford a Twitter presidency" because of the "real work" that needs to be done.

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    The Associated Press reported last week that all of Trump's tweets are considered presidential records, and would be preserved. Most of his tweets since taking office have come through his personal Twitter account.

    Unlike his predecessor, Trump has been prone to jump online to tweet about hotly debated policies and orders. Some of those tweets have done very well. 

    The fourth-ranked tweet argued that it's not important whether his executive order keeping people from seven Muslim-majority from traveling to the U.S. should be called a ban, getting 56,699 retweets and 229,601 likes as of midday Thursday. More than 200,000 people liked a tweet saying he will "send in the Feds" to Chicago if it "doesn't fix the horrible 'carnage' going on" — the seventh-most engagement among his presidential tweets.

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

    In this Jan. 28, 2017, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Since taking office, Trump has tweeted more than 100 times, with a tweet about the Women's March on Washington being his most popular.In this Jan. 28, 2017, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Since taking office, Trump has tweeted more than 100 times, with a tweet about the Women's March on Washington being his most popular.

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    A skimmer was found at a Sunoco in West Hartford.

    Police said a card skimmer, which steals credit card information from patrons, was found in one of the machines at the Sunoco at 956 New Britain Ave.

    The employees at the gas station said the gas pump's card reader stopped working three days ago. Customers told the employees that their cards would decline when they inserted them into the machine.

    Gas station put up a sign on the pump instructing people to come pay inside before a technician came out on Thursday to fix the machine.

    When the technician opened the machine, they found the skimmer inside the pump, employees told NBC Connecticut. 

    Employees suspect that the skimmer was inserted sometime overnight when the gas station is closed. 

    No skimmers were found in any of the other pumps. 



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    A Sharon man is accused of possessing child pornography images on his computer, police said.

    Connecticut State Police Troop B said they assisted probation officers investigation suspicious images found on Donald Simmons computer while he was on probation.

    An investigation confirmed the 58-year-old had 116 still images of child pornography on his computer.

    Simmons, located on Sharon Valley Road in Sharon, was charged with second-degree child pornography possession and his bond was set at $5,000. 



    Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

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    Travis Kalanick is leaving President Donald Trump's advisory council, sources told CNBC.

    The Uber CEO had faced criticism from Silicon Valley insiders for working with the Trump administration, as well as what some saw as a tepid response to the White House's recent travel ban.

    The ride-sharing company has been buffeted all week by boycott campaigns that began when people perceived it as trying to break a taxi strike at New York's JFK Airport. The strike was inspired by Trump's executive order temporarily suspending the country's refugee program.



    Photo Credit: Getty

    File image of Travis Kalanick.File image of Travis Kalanick.

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    One person was arrested on Thursday for allegedly shooting a 25-year-old man in East Hartford over the weekend, police said. 

    Alphonso Clarke, 26, of Hartford, was charged with attempted murder, assault, criminal use of a firearm, reckless endangerment, unlawful discharge and breach of peace. 

    The victim, identified as Greg Beaufort of East Hartford, was shot outside of a convenience store on Main Street in East Hartford after accidentally bumping into the shooter inside the store, according to the victim's cousin. 

    Police said the shooting took place just after 2:30 a.m. Saturday outside of Krauszer’s Food Store and the victim was rushed to Hartford Hospital.

    Beaufort underwent surgery and remains hospitalized, East Hartford police said. 

    NBC Connecticut spoke to the Beaufort's cousin, who said the victim accidentally bumped into the suspect inside the store and the suspect became angry and told Beaufort to go outside, then opened fire, shooting Beaufort four times.

    Police said that no store employees were involved with the incident and the investigation is ongoing.

    Clarke's bond was set at $1,000,000 and he is expected to appear in court on Feb. 3. 



    Photo Credit: East Hartford Police

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    Lowe's said it will be hiring hundreds of seasonal employees in Connecticut.

    A spokeswoman for the company said Lowe's plans on hiring 45,000 seasonal workers across the nation, including 400 in Connecticut-- approximately 332 in the New Haven and Hartford area. 

    Seasonal employees include cashiers, lawn and garden associates, stockers and assemblers of outdoor products. Lowe's is alos hiring loaders to help pick up at local locations, a trend that accounts for 60 percent of its online orders. 

    Anyone interested in a seasonal position can apply here



    Photo Credit: AP

    FILE - In this June 29, 2016, file photo, customers walk toward a Lowe's store in Hialeah, Fla. Lowe's reports financial results Wednesday, Nov. 16. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)FILE - In this June 29, 2016, file photo, customers walk toward a Lowe's store in Hialeah, Fla. Lowe's reports financial results Wednesday, Nov. 16. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)

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    Rooftop cocktail bars are always popular in the summer. But in the winter, Boston's frigid temperatures can make them an awfully tough sell.

    But it looks like The Envoy Hotel may have figured out a solution.

    Starting on Feb. 9, the Igloos on Lookout Rooftop & Bar opens at The Envoy, which is located in the Seaport District.

    According to the bar's Facebook page, the "igloos" are heated and lit, making it easy to brave the stubbornly cold temperatures or even a snowstorm. They're open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays only, on a first-come, first-serve basis, from 4 to 10 p.m.

    "We wanted ways to utilize the rooftop and draw some attention to the hotel," said Rob Saunders, general manager of The Envoy's Outlook Kitchen and Lookout Rooftop & Bar. "We're giving people an opportunity to be outside and drinking in the wintertime, and to do it in a kind of cool way. We're definitely excited."

    Photos posted on the bar's Facebook page show glowing, electric-blue spheres, with chairs and a small table inside.

    Saunders said there are six igloos altogether. Each one seats eight to 10 people comfortably. The bar is located inside the hotel, so when you want a drink, you just flip a switch and a red lightbulb lights up to alert the cocktail server.

    He said the concept is a relatively new one, but there is an outdoor rooftop bar called 230 Fifth in New York City that uses them.

    Right now, the Lookout offers only drinks, but customers can also get food downstairs at the Outlook Kitchen.

    So far, people seem pretty enthusiastic about the idea of a year-round rooftop in Boston.

    "This is an awesome concept," Janet Fesik said on Facebook.

    "Let's goooooo," said Joe DiBella.

    "Some clients want to buy out all six igloos," said Joe Mellia, The Envoy Hotel's general manager. "It's definitely gaining a lot of traction."



    Photo Credit: Facebook/Outlook & Lookout at The Envoy Hotel
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    After months at sea, the crew members of the USS California are back home in the arms of their loved ones.

    Damon Pratt is welcoming his son, Josh, home. Josh is fifth generation military.

    Pratt said it's a whole other experience being the parent at home.

    "I just find it's much harder when you're the family member sitting home not knowing what's going on," he said.

    Josh Pratt tells NBC Connecticut he's just proud to keep family tradition alive.

    "It feels good that I continue on another generation of being in the military and serving our country."

    The USS California traveled about 30,000 nautical miles. It's mission supported national security interests and maritime security operations, making stops at ports in Haakonsvern, Norway; Faslane, Scotland; and Rota, Spain.

    "I can't explain to you how great it feels to see everyone again," said Lt. Nicholas Garcia, who was on the USS California.

    The sub base was filled with hugs, kisses and tears.

    Melissa Brown's husband, Jeremy, hasn't see their baby since he was born.

    "He cannot wait. He cannot wait to see how big he's grown," Brown said.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    Civic and faith leaders piled into city hall in New London to strengthen their commitment to immigrants and refugees Thursday.

    It was one of hundreds of stands taken against President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration.

    Some of the people in the room had a political message. Others, not in the position to take a side, reaffirmed they will not discriminate based on race nor religion.

    "Respectfully sir, you are wrong," said Anthony Nolan, New London City Council President. He directed his comments toward Trump.

    Words, spoken and written, pierced through the lobby as community leaders and faith leaders reaffirmed their commitment to refugees and immigration in the wake of the controversial actions by the president.

    "These challenging times call for a basic recommitment to the basic human rights," said Katherine Bergeron, Connecticut College's president.

    "(We're) committed to protecting the rights of everyone, regardless of status," said Acting New London Police Chief Peter Reichard.

    "Our diversity is our strength. Welcoming refugees just builds a strong met community here," said New London Mayor Michael Passero.

    For decades the city has welcomed refugees into the community, he said, calling the gathering and opportunity publicly announce they're still welcome.

    Recent events hit close to the heart of Sara Ofner-Seals, who helped resettle a Syrian refugee family in Norwich.

    "It's who we are as Americans to welcome those who are seeking a better life, who are seeking freedom and refuge," she said.

    Some even showed up to support Trump.

    Joann Barrowman of East Lyme called herself the "silent majority" and thanked the President for working to make the country safer.

    "I do believe that we should be more careful with our vetting. I am not against immigration. I am not against refugees entering the country," said Barrowman, who donned a 'Make America Great Again' cap.

    The chairwoman of the Republican Town Committee of New London, Shannon Brenek, said the city should be focusing on the people already here first, like those in the blighted Crystal Avenue High-rises.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    The governor is trying a new approach to his budget strategy in 2017.

    Instead of keeping the entire document and plans a secret, he's decided to provide bits and pieces early, as he send up test balloons for response.

    The proposal rolled out Thursday pleased Hartford's mayor, but could make the leaders in other communities uneasy.

    Governor Dannel Malloy wants to see more accountability for the money sent to cities and towns each year that totals more than $5 billion. To achieve that accountability, he wants to establish a Municipal Accountability Review Board.

    “What I envision in the future is a Connecticut that is more cognizant of the restraints that we have put on these communities and what I think we should stop doing is making it harder for them to be successful rather than make it easier for them to be successful," Malloy said during a press conference in Waterbury City Hall.

    The governor picked Waterbury because the city emerged from a version of state oversight in 2006, after it failed to even make payroll before oversight was established in 2001.

    Waterbury Mayor Neil O'Leary helped run the Waterbury Police Department back then, and said state oversight helped the city to emerge stronger.

    “I think it’s a great idea personally and I was a bit nervous about oversight but I can tell you firsthand, we lived through those years of oversight and the city has survived many fiscal crisises because of the oversight board,” O'Leary said. "“Waterbury is a survivor in 2017 because of the great work of the oversight board."

    The proposal from the the governor would provide four tiers of oversight, with the fourth seeing the highest levels of scrutiny. Despite Hartford's fiscal struggles, the city is facing a $50 million deficit in 2018, he says no single city would instantly be classified as a "Tier 4" city.

    "I think the discussion is highlighted by the plight of Hartford but it isn’t about the plight of Hartford.”

    The board, the governor suggests, would be able to provide funds for deficit mitigation, help refinance debt, and would analyze all city expenditures.

    Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin praised the idea, saying in a statement, saying, "Citizens deserve to know that taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely and responsibly, and Hartford's books are open."

    Last year, Mayor Bronin proposed a state oversight panel that would be specifically tasked with helping the capital city meander tough times, and it was met with fierce opposition from some lawmakers, but especially from organized labor.

    Labor unions that represented city workers, firefighters, and police were concerned that such a deal could see cuts to benefits.

    Malloy said his proposal he hopes doesn't stir up the same kind of controversy, but added that if a city is in dire fiscal condition, then the state needs to have a mechanism to look at all expenses, even those that were reached through collective bargaining.

    “Under the severest of circumstances at the very least we should be opining on that issue if not otherwise taking action.”



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    Connecticut lawmakers will hear open arguments for and against state level expansions on women's health insurance coverage. 

    Lawmakers approved public hearings to be held later in the legislative session.

    One of the bills that was approved would mandate that contraceptive coverage be part of insurance plans, the way it's currently covered under the Affordable Care Act.

    Sen. Mae Flexer said the state would have to step in to cover such treatments if the ACA, also known as Obamacare, is repealed.

    “I think it’s critical that Connecticut stand up and fill whatever gaps may be available and healthcare coverage for Connecticut residents if the Affordable Care Act goes away," she said.

    Peter Wolfgang, the Family Institute of Connecticut Action, says the state must make sure any health insurance coverage requirements would abide by settled law that came out of the Supreme Court. Specifically, Wolfgang says contraception should not be covered by religions groups if they oppose such treatments.

    Wolfgang said, "Our concern is that people of faith not be forced against their will to provide things that are to be coerced by the government to provide things that are against their faith.”

    A less controversial topic for the Family Institute would be mandated coverage for nursing mothers, things like breast pumps. Such pumps are currently guaranteed to be covered under the Affordable Care Act. Before it became law, there were no such guarantees for all insurance plans.

    “We want to provide good options for women, ones that will actually help them instead of put them in a precarious position and that’s one that we can probably get behind," Wolfgang said.

    Amy Farotti, from North Branford, had one breast bump not covered by insurance for one of her children, but her second child she did have coverage for.

    The first pump cost her well over a hundred dollars, but the second pump, she said made her life much easier.

    “I got the best breast pump out there, it was a lot smaller than the one I previously had. I was able to bring it back and forth to work much easier because of the size and it was one financial burden I didn’t have to worry about.”

    Farotti says she hopes the state takes steps to mandate that all women who want to provide breastmilk for their children, can do so without an onerous financial burden.

    “It should be a priority in Connecticut to make sure that this is covered for every mom.”



    Photo Credit: Getty Images/OJO Images RF

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