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    A court declined to approve an arrest warrant for a man accused of shouting expletives at Danbury high school students in what the mayor described as verbal harassment, and getting into a fight with students in the school parking lot in January, police said.

    According to police, on Jan. 20 a man, who has not been publicly identified, came to Danbury High School to pick up a relative from school. Video of the incident shows the man holding a Trump sign and waving it around while shouting at students. Police said the man appeared to be intoxicated at the time.

    Several people believed to be students began arguing with the man over the sign. When the man went back toward his car, the teens approached him started a physical fight, according to police.

    Police said the man did not press charges against the teens.

    At the time of the incident police did not have video evidence of the situation, but video later surfaced on Twitter that shows the man shouting "You’ll be out of the country you [expletive] illegal," at students.

    Based on the man’s actions and apparent public intoxication, officers applied for an arrest warrant but it was not approved by the court. The case is now closed, police said.

    Though no criminal charges will be filed, Mayor Mark Boughton said that the principal has banned that individual from the school property.

    Police stressed that school officials cooperated with them during this investigation and that both police and school officials will continue to work together “to ensure the safety and security of the students at Danbury High and all schools throughout the city."



    Photo Credit: Hugo

    Danbury officials have closed the investigation into an incident where video appears to show a man holding a Trump sign verbally harassing students coming out of Danbury High School.Danbury officials have closed the investigation into an incident where video appears to show a man holding a Trump sign verbally harassing students coming out of Danbury High School.

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    Frightening images out of California amid the Oroville Dam crisis has Connecticut officials reassuring the public that our dam system is in good condition and that the state is at low-risk for that type of scenario.

    Nearly 200,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes after the Oroville Dam approached capacity and the spillway designed to deal with that developed a 200-foot sinkhole. Now, to prevent an even bigger catastrophe, officials are releasing water at a rate of nearly 750,000 gallons a second, which is more water than an Olympic size swimming pool.

    Those people have now been allowed back to their homes, but have been warned they could be evacuated again.

    According to Jennifer Perry, from Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, "Connecticut has nothing of that scale. We're talking about orders of magnitude smaller than what's out there."

    "We believe our dams are in good condition. We know what the condition of those dams are. We are able to direct where the resources need to go in order to keep those dams in good condition," she added.

    There are 4,500 dams in Connecticut, all regulated by the state. But following state legislation in 2013, all of those dams are now required to be inspected on a regular schedule and assessed a hazard level.

    "About 550 of them are considered to be a higher significant hazard, which means if the dam were to fail, then there is a potential for loss of life downstream," Perry said.

    That's concerning to those who live and work downstream in areas throughout the state, like near the Rainbow Dam in Windsor.

    "It's concerning because it really can affect us downstream here. It's a lot of water that can be released all at once if there is any kind of catastrophic failure," said Donald Trinks, owner of Bart's Drive In in Windsor.

    While Perry said the state isn’t in danger of an Oroville situation, we could be in jeopardy if Connecticut doesn’t keep up with our dam infrastructure.

    "Knowing that there is an enormous need for an investment in our own infrastructure to keep people safe, yeah it can make it tough to sleep sometimes," she said.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    The West Thompson Dam in Thompson, Conn.The West Thompson Dam in Thompson, Conn.

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    This is the 25th anniversary of Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Ledyard and there are two free concerts tonight to celebrate the milestone.

    Kesha is performing a free show at the Grand Theater at 7:30 p.m. today and fans can start lining up at noon at the Premier Ballroom pre-function area, where wristbands will be given out.

    Guests can begin to line up for the show at 5:30 p.m., one hour before doors open. The shows are general admission and seating is on a first come first serve basis.

    Smokey Robinson has a free concert at the Fox Theatre at 7:30 p.m.

    If you want to go, line up at noon at the Fox Theater box office for wristbands. Guests can begin to line up for the show at 5:30 p.m., one hour before doors open. The shows are general admission and seating is on a first come first serve basis.

    Foxwoods is celebrating the anniversary all year long. See the other anniversary specials.


    File photoFile photo

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    Police are asking for help to find a Willimantic woman who has been missing since Sunday night.

    A Silver Alert has been issued for 45-year-old Maria Bustamante-Fernandez. Police said she was last seen around 7:30 p.m. Sunday and might be driving a 2004 Honda Accord with Connecticut license plates 688-TKW.

    Police said they have no leads on where she is and they are asking anyone with information to call your local police department or the state police as soon as possible.



    Photo Credit: Willimantic Police

    Maria Bustamante-Fernandez has been missing since Sunday.Maria Bustamante-Fernandez has been missing since Sunday.

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    A Senate committee hearing on a serious topic took a lighthearted turn when Ashton Kutcher blew a kiss at Sen. John McCain . 

    In the hearing, Kutcher testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on ending modern slavery and human trafficking.

    The actor may not have expected a wry comment from Sen. John McCain, a committee member and Kutcher fan, one day after Valentine's Day.

    “Ashton, you were better looking in the movies,” Sen. McCain said while thanking him for his testimony.

    Kutcher blew him a kiss as the room laughed.

    Kutcher was testifying not as an actor, but as the co-founder of Thorn, an organization that uses technology to fight against the sexual exploitation of children. Thorn builds tools that help find child abuse victims and make digital platforms safer.

    “For years now, Thorn has been committed to building tech tools to combat child sexual exploitation and facilitating collaborations across tech industry to disrupt these crimes,” Kutcher said in a statement. "We have no intention of stopping until we win this battle."

    The End Modern Slavery is an initiative led by Sen. Bob Corker that aims to end slavery and human trafficking worldwide.



    Photo Credit: AP
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    John McCain and Ashton KutcherJohn McCain and Ashton Kutcher

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    The Southern Poverty Law Center reported an increase in U.S. hate groups in 2016—the second year in a row the number has risen.

    The total number of organizations considered hate groups by the SPLC rose from 892 in 2015 to 917 in 2016. 

    The number of anti-Muslim hate groups saw the greatest rise, ticking up to 101 from 34 in 2015, according to the annual census of hate groups by the SPLC.

    President Donald Trump's election and rhetoric during the campaign is, in part, responsible for this rise of anti-Muslim hate groups, according to the report. 

    "The increase in anti-Muslim hate was fueled by Trump’s incendiary rhetoric, including his campaign pledge to bar Muslims from entering the United States, as well as anger over terrorist attacks such as the June massacre of 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando," the SPLC wrote. 

    Asked about a rise of anti-semitism and racism in the U.S. at a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump did not offer specifics about how he'll work to curtail it. 

    Instead, he pointed out that he has Jewish relatives, including his daughter, and said, "we're going to have peace in this country."

    His response drew criticism from the Anti-Defamation League, who tweeted it's "troubling that @POTUS failed to condemn real issue of anti-Semitism in US today." 

    Mark Potok, an editor of the report called 2016, "an unprecedented year for hate."

    “The country saw a resurgence of white nationalism that imperils the racial progress we’ve made, along with the rise of a president whose policies reflect the values of white nationalists," Potok said in a statement. 

    The report also notes that an increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes coincided with the increase of these hate groups. 

    The SPLC pointed to the latest FBI statistics, gathered in 2015, that showed hate crimes against Muslims increased by 67 percent. 



    Photo Credit: AP

    File Photo—In this April 23, 2016 photo, a man walks during a protest at Stone Mountain Park, in Stone Mountain, Ga.File Photo—In this April 23, 2016 photo, a man walks during a protest at Stone Mountain Park, in Stone Mountain, Ga.

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    Thirty-year-old domestic abuse allegations could come back to haunt the already rocky confirmation process for President Donald Trump’s Labor Secretary pick Andrew Puzder, NBC News reported.

    Puzder’s ex-wife Lisa Fierstein appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s show in March of 1990 for a segment about "High Class Battered Women," in which she describes abuse by Puzder while disguised under the name "Ann." Now Winfrey, a Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama supporter, has shared the tape, and other episodes dedicated to discussion of domestic violence, with the Senate Health, Education, labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.

    Fierstein filed a court petition in 1988 alleging abuse by Puzder, but it was dismissed. She has since retracted her allegations, and told the HELP committee that she regrets appearing on the show.



    Photo Credit: Getty

    Oprah Winfrey has submitted a tape of Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder's ex-wife describing abuse by Puzder on Winfrey's show. The tape has the potential to shake up Puzder's already rocky hearing process.Oprah Winfrey has submitted a tape of Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder's ex-wife describing abuse by Puzder on Winfrey's show. The tape has the potential to shake up Puzder's already rocky hearing process.

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    In an effort to calm nerves at health insurance companies threatening to pull out of the market, the Trump Administration issued its first Obamacare regulation Wednesday, NBC News reported.

    The proposed rule would shorten the Affordable Care Act’s enrollment period. It would also force people to go through greater efforts to prove their eligibility for change outside of the open enrollment period.

    Insurance companies have been complaining that they’re worried by Republican indecision on moving forward with the ACA. But Dr. Patrick Conway, acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services which administers the ACA says the proposed regulation will bring “stability” to healthcare exchanges.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The Trump Administration introduced its first Obamacare regulation Wednesday in an effort to calm nerves at health insurance companies.The Trump Administration introduced its first Obamacare regulation Wednesday in an effort to calm nerves at health insurance companies.

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    An American bulldog bit a 5-year-old child and a teacher at a Hamden school on Wednesday morning.

    Police said a 46-year-old Hamden man was bringing his child to Helen Street School around 8:30 a.m. and the 7 month-old dog jumped out of the vehicle, went into the school and bit a 5-year-old student in the leg.

    Police said a teacher who tried to get control of the dog was also bitten and sustained an injury to her finger.

    Another teacher was able to get the dog away from the child and the 5-year-old was transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital.

    Police said the animal control division brought the dog to the North Haven Animal Shelter for an off-property quarantine, which state law requires for 14 days.

    The Animal Control Division is investigating and anyone with information is asked to call Animal Control Officer Christopher Smith at (203) 230-4080.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    It appears that another Chick-fil-A restaurant is coming to Connecticut. The fast-food chain leased the site of the former Ruby Tuesday restaurant on the Berlin Turnpike in Newington, according to the minutes from the Newington Economic Development Commission meeting in January.

    The record from the meeting says there has been no announcement about when it will open or if the company will seek approval for a drive-through.

    NBC Connecticut reached out to media relations department of Chick-fll-A, but there was no response as of Wednesday afternoon.

    There are currently seven Chick-fil-A restaurants in Connecticut.

    • Brookfield: 156 Federal Road: (203) 775-7976
    • Danbury: Danbury Fair Mall: (203) 796-1037
    • Enfield: 25 Hazard Ave.: (860) 253-0469
    • Mohegan Sun Resort: (570) 591-1910
    • North Haven: 560 Universal Dr. North: (203) 234-0300
    • Wallingford: 1098 N Colony Road: (203) 265-4747
    • West Hartford: 509 New Park Ave.: (860) 461-1691


    Photo Credit: Chick-fil-A Del Sur/Facebook

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    Embattled fast food executive Andrew Puzder is expected to withdraw his nomination for labor secretary, a senior Trump administration official told NBC News. 

    A senior GOP source on Capitol Hill also told NBC News of the Puzder nomination: "It's dead."  

    Puzder, the chief executive of CKE Restaurants, which runs Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. fast food chains, had been under fire on several fronts: opposing a minimum wage increase, hiring an undocumented immigrant to work as his housekeeper and making such sexist statements as “I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis,” which he told Entrepreneur magazine in reference to his company’s TV ads. 

    Most recently, talk show host Oprah Winfrey shared with the Senate a tape of a 1980 segment in which Puzder’s former wife Lisa Fierstein alleged he had abused her. She also sought a protective order against Puzder, saying he had physically assaulted her. Fierstein later retracted her allegations and Puzder has denied them.

    Puzder’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions was delayed four times because he had failed to fill out necessary ethics and financial forms. He had been scheduled to appear on Thursday.



    Photo Credit: AP

    FILE - In this Nov. 19, 2016 file photo, President-elect Donald Trump walks Labor Secretary-designate Andy Puzder from Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse in Bedminster, New Jersey.FILE - In this Nov. 19, 2016 file photo, President-elect Donald Trump walks Labor Secretary-designate Andy Puzder from Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse in Bedminster, New Jersey.

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    A Rocky Hill mother have been arrested as part of an ongoing investigation after her toddler was brought to the hospital with serious burns earlier this month.

    On Feb. 4, a two-year-old was brought to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center with serious burns, originally reported to as being caused by an electrical fire at an apartment on Cold Springs Road. According to police, during the investigation, detectives learned statements and evidence taken from witnesses, the apartment and the hospital were inconsistent.

    At that time, Michael Shamel Davis, 26, an acquaintance of the child’s mother, was arrested. He is accused of setting the fire, reckless endangerment and lying to investigators.

    On Wednesday police arrested the child’s mother, Shamique Martin, 26, of Rocky Hill. She is charged with falsely reporting an incident, false statement, risk of injury to a minor and cruelty to persons.

    Police said that Martin is a licensed practical nurse and would have been aware of the severity of the child’s injury when the fire occurred. Investigators allege that despite her medical knowledge, Martin did not get her child help in a timely manner and lied to medical personnel and police detectives, putting the child in more danger.

    Martin was held on a $50,000 bond and scheduled to appear in court on Thursday. 

    The child remains hospitalized, police said.



    Photo Credit: Rocky Hill Police Department

    Shamique MartinShamique Martin

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    The U.S. Navy is actively monitoring a Russian spy ship that has been operating in international waters along the East Coast of the United States, according to a senior United States official, and Connecticut lawmakers are responding to reports from several news outlets that the ship is “loitering” in the waters off the coast of Connecticut, near the submarine base.

    The senior U.S. official said the Navy is monitoring the ship on its radar systems. NBC Connecticut has not independently confirmed the reports of the ship being off the shores of Connecticut.

    A U.S. defense official told The Associated Press that a Russian intelligence-collection ship has been operating off the East Coast, in international waters.

    If the ship is in international waters, it is legal for them to be there. 

    Gov. Dannel Malloy said "the fact that we know that it's there is probably a good thing and I suspect that we have some of our ships in delicate places as well."

    "I think it’s getting a lot of coverage because of the President’s changed policy towards Russia, which is very different than has been sustained by other administrations. It’s not that we shouldn’t be talking to the Russians, but we shouldn’t necessarily be embracing everything they are doing. And quite frankly, now that we understand that they have recently been active in our own elections, we should be wary of that. But that there are spy ships in the world – we shouldn’t be surprised,” Malloy said.

    The reports that the ship is near the submarine base in Groton also brought a response from many Connecticut congressional representatives, who by and large called the action aggressive and concerning.

    NBC Connecticut reached out to officials at the base, who said they don’t have a comment and referred inquiries to the U.S. Department of Defense. Officials from the DOD have not yet responded.

    The White House didn't respond to a request for comment.

    Groton is home the the Naval sub base, as well as Electric Boat, which designs and builds submarines.

    “I think that clearly they like to track submarines. We know that they do," Malloy said about the ship's proximity to Groton. "This is not something that is brand new. It’s getting a lot of coverage because, again, I think of other Russian stories related to the Trump administration. They seek to understand how we have the best submarines in the world. And they’re made here.”

    U.S. Senator Chris Murphy’s office said that this is not “unprecedented,” but the senator is concerned this is “part of a pattern of continued Russian ‘boldness.’”

    “Russia is acting like it has a permission slip to expand influence, test limits of reach,” Murphy tweeted. “Questions are obvious: does it, and if so, why?”

    "While this is not wholly unprecedented, it’s part of a series of aggressive actions by Russia that threaten U.S. national security and the security of our allies," Murphy said in a statement. "Just yesterday, news broke that Russia violated an Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Coupled with escalating fighting in eastern Ukraine and Russian jets buzzing a U.S. Navy destroyer in the Black Sea, Putin clearly thinks the Trump administration has given him a permission slip to flex his muscles. President Trump and his administration must end their silence and immediately respond to these threats to our national security.”

    U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal said in a statement that the presence of the spy ship "has to be regarded very seriously because Russia is an increasingly aggressive adversary."

    "It reflects a clear need to harden our defenses against electronic surveillance and cyber espionage. I am personally monitoring this situation and remain in close contact with both the Department of Defense and the U.S. Coast Guard," Blumenthal said in the statement. "The return of a Russian vessel is particularly concerning in the context of escalating Russian aggression - within days of the Russian's buzzing a U.S. Navy ship in the Black Sea, as well as deploying a cruise missile in violation of our arms control treaty - which only underscores the need for an independent investigation into possible collusion between the Trump administration and Russian agents."

    U.S. Rep. Jim Himes issued a statement saying residents should know that the presence of the ship does not present "a direct threat to our physical safety."

    "Its appearance is troubling, however, viewed in conjunction with the ongoing stories of Russian ties and interference in the Trump Administration and the recent deployment of a Russian cruise missile in apparent violation of international agreements," Himes said in a statement. "In my opinion, Russia is making a show of strength and pushing established boundaries and norms to gauge the reaction of a new administration in disarray.”

    U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro tweeted that “Russia is flexing its muscles.”

    U.S. Rep. John Larson responded to the reports with a tweet as well.

    "This is a stark reminder of why we need a full account of Russia's influence in the White House & meddling in our election," Larson tweeted.

    U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney also responded to the reports in a statement.

    “A Russian spy ship patrolling 30 miles from the Groton SUBASE underscores that the threats posed by a resurgent Russia are real,” Courtney wrote. “This unacceptable, aggressive action, combined with the buzzing of US Navy ships in the Red Sea yesterday are clearly testing the resolve of a new administration. While I have total confidence in our Navy’s vigilant, responsible readiness, the White House needs to move past their seeming infatuation with Putin and treat him like the serious threat to global peace and security that he has been for the last five years.”

    Courtney also made a speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives about this ship.

    U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty also responded with a statement.

    “Russia’s escalating aggression is a serious national security threat," Esty wrote. "Yet again, the Kremlin is testing the resolve of the Trump administration. It is long past time for the White House to stop making excuses for Vladimir Putin and respond to his acts of thuggery with the toughness our security demands.”

    Check back for updates on this developing story.



    Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    HAVANA, CUBA - JANUARY 20: The Viktor Leonov CCB-175, a Russian Navy intelligence warship, is docked to a pier in Old Havana January 20, 2015 in Havana, Cuba. The ship sailed into the Havana harbor early Tuesday morning on the eve of the start of historic talks between the United States and Cuba aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations.HAVANA, CUBA - JANUARY 20: The Viktor Leonov CCB-175, a Russian Navy intelligence warship, is docked to a pier in Old Havana January 20, 2015 in Havana, Cuba. The ship sailed into the Havana harbor early Tuesday morning on the eve of the start of historic talks between the United States and Cuba aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations.

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    The Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said it has lost its full national accreditation.

    Officials from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said the National Association of Medical Examiners notified the local office that it has been downgraded to provisional status and has until September 2017 to show sufficient progress to correct deficiencies related to inadequate staffing and inadequate refrigerated body storage space.

    The office said it is working with state officials to fix staffing and they have filled some vacant positions.

    They are also working with state agencies on facility issues and work on a new refrigerated storage space will be put out to bid in March.

    "The only anticipated remaining hurdle that will prevent the OCME from regaining full accredittaion is the need for two additional medical examiners," a statement from the OCME says.

    In November 2016, the officials from the medical examiner's office said they were in danger of losing accreditation because of budget cuts and staffing levels. 

    The significance of the National Association of Medical Examiners accreditation is that it means an office performs sound and timely death investigations, according to the statement released on Tuesday.

    "This instills confidence in the police departments, attorneys, and the families that are served.  Loss of accreditation means that an office cannot meet the minimal standards of practice for death investigation.  Mistakes by a medical examiner put people’s lives at risk, can result in the innocent imprisoned, and cost millions of dollars in civil claims," a statement of OCME says. 

    Last year, Chief Medical Examiner James Gill received a letter saying that an increased workload and the number of autopsies each pathologist was performing would result in a “Phase II” deficiency, which would lead to the department losing full accreditation. 

    “The OCME faces many challenges related to inadequate funding and insufficient staffing. Most notably, there are insufficient numbers of forensic pathologists, medicolegal death investigators, and clerical personnel for the volume of cases in Connecticut,” Barbara Wolf, chair of the inspection committee for the National Association of Medical Examiners, wrote in the letter last year. 

    The OCME is scheduled to testify at the legislature’s Joint Committee on Appropriation’s hearing on February 23, 2017.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    File photoFile photo

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    Temperatures were mild today with many locations rising into the middle 40s.

    Temperatures will be more seasonable tomorrow and Friday with high temperatures only reaching middle 30s.

    [[413872803, C]]

    The forecast for President's Day Weekend is looking very pleasant. Partly sunny skies on Saturday with high temperatures in the middle 40s.

    Temperatures rise to near 50 degrees by Sunday with partly cloudy skies. 

    The beautiful weather continues right into President's Day with mostly sunny skies and high temperatures in the middle 40s.

    [[413872623, C]]

    The weather over the next several days will be tranquil with no big storms in the forecast. 


    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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    A man police said stole almost $200 worth of beer from a Newington market, then dragged a police officer with his car has been arrested.

    Joshua Coonradt, 37, is in custody and is accused of assault on a police officer, reckless endangerment, larceny, reckless driving, among other charges, Newington Police said. 

    Police said they responded to the Best Market at 175 Lowrey Place in Newington just after 2 p.m. Saturday to investigate the report of a shoplifting in progress and an employee said a man and a woman left the store with $190 worth of beer without paying for it. 

    As the officer tried to stop Coonradt when he drove away just over the Wethersfield town line on Wells Road, he reached for a gun on the dashboard and a struggle ensued, police said. 

    Coonradt allegedly then sped down Wells Road, dragging the officer alongside the car for around 150 yards until the officer was able to get free, police said. The officer sustained minor injuries. 

    Police have recovered the Honda Coonradt was driving and was able to locate him on Elliot Street in Hartford on Wednesday.  

    Coonradt's bond was set at $150,000. 



    Photo Credit: Newington Police

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    Thirty-year-old domestic abuse allegations may have come back to haunt the already rocky confirmation process of President Donald Trump’s Labor Secretary pick Andrew Puzder, NBC News reported.

    Puzder withdrew his name from consideration for the Cabinet position on Wednesday. 

    His ex-wife Lisa Fierstein appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s show in March of 1990 for a segment about "High Class Battered Women," in which she describes abuse by Puzder while disguised under the name "Ann." Winfrey, a Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama supporter, shared the tape, and other episodes dedicated to discussion of domestic violence, with the Senate Health, Education, labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.

    Fierstein filed a court petition in 1988 alleging abuse by Puzder, but it was dismissed. She has since retracted her allegations, and told the HELP committee that she regrets appearing on the show.



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

    Oprah Winfrey submitted a tape of former Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder's ex-wife describing abuse by Puzder on Winfrey's show. Puzder withdrew his name from consideration for the Cabinet position on Wednesday.Oprah Winfrey submitted a tape of former Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder's ex-wife describing abuse by Puzder on Winfrey's show. Puzder withdrew his name from consideration for the Cabinet position on Wednesday.

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    A judge denied motion to dismiss Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez Wednesday in the case against him in which he shot and killed a black man during a July traffic stop should be dismissed or proceed to trial.

    Lawyers for the Minnesota officer argued at a hearing that the case should be dismissed because their client saw a gun and perceived a threat to his life. They said Yanez responded accordingly when he shot Philando Castile.

    "Under the circumstances here, he had no choice. He had to shoot," said defense attorney Paul Engh.

    But prosecutors argued the case should proceed because the defense raised several issues that prosecutors dispute — including whether or not Yanez saw Castile's gun — and that those issues should be decided by a jury. 

    Castile was killed July 6 after he was pulled over in the St. Paul suburb of Falcon Heights. The shooting's gruesome aftermath was streamed live on Facebook by his girlfriend, who was in the car along with her young daughter. Prosecutors said the 32-year-old elementary school cafeteria worker told Yanez he was armed and then was shot seven times. Authorities later discovered Castile had a permit to carry a weapon. 

    Yanez, who is Latino, is charged with manslaughter and other offenses. He has not entered a plea, but his attorneys have indicated he will plead not guilty.

    During Wednesday's hearing, Engh told Leary that Castile was impaired by marijuana and had no right to be carrying a gun or driving while under the influence.

    Prosecutor Jeff Paulsen argued that the issue of whether or not Castile was impaired should be decided by a jury. He also said that while the defense claims Castile was reaching for his gun, prosecutors claim he was reaching for his wallet to get his license, which Yanez had requested.



    Photo Credit: Courtesy of Castile Family

    Philando CastilePhilando Castile

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    Two suspects crashed into a tree after allegedly robbing a bank in North Canaan, police said. 

    North Canaan police responded to a robbery at the bank on Main Street in Falls Village at 2:52 p.m., state troopers said. 

    Troop B officers attempted to stop the suspect vehicle speeding off on Route 44 moments later. Police were able to locate the suspects after the driver lost control and struck a tree off the roadway, troopers said. 

    A man and woman were transported to the hospital for minor injuries and subsequently taken into custody. 

    The investigation is on-going. 


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    Bottle of alcohol were found in a postal worker's vehicle in Vernon on Tuesday, police said. 

    Vernon Police were called about a postal employee delivering mail in the Olsen Drive/Valerie Drive neighborhood who appeared to be drunk at 1 p.m.

    When police located the driver, Shawn DuPerry, 55, he was given a sobriety test but "did not perform to standard", Vernon Police said. 

    DuPerry was placed under arrest and bottles of alcohol were found in the postal vehicle. Postal supervisors came to pick the truck up, police said. 

    The USPS employee was charged with a DUI and was released on a $1,000 non-surety bond. He will appear in court on Feb. 27. 



    Photo Credit: Vernon Police

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