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    Gov. Dannel Malloy made a couple announcements today on the future of the high-speed New Haven-Hartford-Springfield commuter rail line, which is under construction.

    One was that a service provider has been selected and it’s a joint venture of TransitAmerica Services and Alternate Concepts. The other is that the service launch date is now in May 2018.

    The Joint Venture of TransitAmerica Services and Alternate Concepts (TASI/ACI) has entered into a $45 million contract with the state Department of Transportation for five years, plus approximately 10 months of preliminary mobilization work that is required to prepare for the launch of the service.

    TASI/ACI will be responsible for operating trains, maintaining stations and parking facilities, and performing various customer service functions.

    There will be 17 round-trip trains between New Haven and Hartford each weekday, with 12 of them continuing to Springfield. On weekends, 13 round-trip trains will operate between New Haven and Hartford, with nine continuing onto Springfield.

    Amtrak will remain responsible for maintenance of the railroad infrastructure, including track signals, train dispatching and right-of-way security, according to state officials.

    Officials said Amtrak’s existing service will not be altered by Hartford Line service and CTrail trains will operate together with Amtrak trains on the rail line to provide seamless Hartford Line service.

    The existing stations are New Haven Union Station, New Haven State Street Station, Wallingford, Meriden, Berlin, Hartford, Windsor, Windsor Locks and Springfield. Future stations will be in North Haven, Newington, West Hartford and Enfield.



    Photo Credit: NBC Washington

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    North Stone Street in Suffield is closed after branches came down and brought power lines with them. 

    North Stone Street is closed north of Oak Street.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Norwich fire officials believe a fire at an apartment building early Monday morning was caused by arson and police are looking for a suspect.

    Fire crews responded around 5:35 a.m. to a multi-family home on 7 Third Street for a fire on the first floor.

    The building had smoke detectors and all the occupants escaped unharmed.

    No one was hurt, but the fire caused moderate damage to the building. Two adults and six children were displaced as a result.

    The Norwich Fire Marshal’s Office has ruled the fire incendiary.

    Anyone with information on this fire is asked to contact the Norwich Police Department Fire Investigation Team at 860-886-5561 ext. 6, the Norwich Police Department’s Anonymous Tip Line at 860-886-5561 ext. 4, or the Connecticut Arson Hot Line at 800-84ARSON/800-842-7766.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    A Hartford firefighter’s home was damaged by fire early Monday morning.

    Fire broke out at the two-story home at White Street and Grandview Terrace around 3:30 a.m. and smoke detectors woke 33-year-old Jamaal Gibson, his girlfriend, their daughter and Gibson’s uncle. They were able to escape and no injuries are reported. 

    Deputy Fire Chief William Kerr said the heaviest fire was on the porch and it spread to the second floor. 

    Gibson, who has been with the fire department for six years, said he was told the fire is believed to have started outside the residence. 

    The state fire marshal’s office is investigating the cause of the fire.




    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Norwich police are investigating a fire at a building on South Second Avenue earlier this month as arson.

    On July 3 around 5:25 a.m., fire crews responded to 3-7 South Second Avenue for a reported fire. When crews arrived they found heavy fire within the commercial structure, which also contained two apartments.

    All the residents escaped unharmed and no injuries were reported.

    Fire investigators have determined the fire was incendiary.

    Police said they are looking into whether there is any connection to another arson case at an apartment building on Third Street Monday morning, but as of this writing no clear connection had been established.

    Anyone with information on this fire is asked to contact the Norwich Police Department Fire Investigation Team at 860-886-5561 ext. 6, the Norwich Police Department’s Anonymous Tip Line at 860-886-5561 ext. 4, or the Connecticut Arson Hot Line at 800-84ARSON/800-842-7766.



    Photo Credit: Norwich Police Department

    Norwich police are investigating a fire at a building on South Second Avenue earlier this month as arson.Norwich police are investigating a fire at a building on South Second Avenue earlier this month as arson.

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  • 07/24/17--13:25: Warmer Weather by Midweek

  • The weather has been cool and dreary to start the week but changes are coming by Wednesday.

    Temperatures Monday afternoon ranged from the upper 50s to middle 60s which is 20 to 30 degrees below normal. 

    Expect a cool night ahead with temperatures falling into the low to middle 50s for inland areas of the state and near 60 along the shoreline. 

    Temperatures on Tuesday will be a few degrees warmer with high temperatures forecasted to reach the upper 60s to near 70. 

    More summer-like weather moves in by Wednesday with mostly sunny skies and temperatures forecasted in the upper 70s to low 80s. 

    Take a look at the temperature trend over the next seven days.


    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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    Vernon police are investigating reports of shots fired in the area of Ward Street and Prospect Street Monday afternoon.

    Police said they received a report of gunshots in the area around 12:50 p.m. No injuries were reported, but officers did find evidence of gunfire in the area.

    Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Detective DiVenere at 860-872-9126 ext. 3765.



    Photo Credit: Vernon Police

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    Watertown police have arrested a man accused of stealing around $23,000-worth of jewelry from a store in August 2016.

    Police said that on August 10, 2016, someone smashed the front door of David Jewelers on Straits Turnpike around 3 a.m. on Wednesday, then smashed several display cases. Valuable jewelry was stolen, along with sample jewelry, which is not made of precious metal or real stones.

    On Monday Carloto, who was already incarcerated in the Connecticut Department of Correction, was charged with first-degree larceny, third-degree burglary, second-degree criminal mischief and second-degree criminal trespass in connection with the incident.

    Police said physical evidence, including DNA, was recovered at the scene and led them to Carloto. The accused has a history of burglary and larceny arrests, police said.

    He was issued a $35,000 bond.



    Photo Credit: Watertown Police Department

    Steven CarlotoSteven Carloto

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    A Connecticut mother who has taken refuge in a church to avoid deportation is one of a dozen immigrants staying in houses of worship nationwide under a sanctuary movement invigorated by President Trump’s positions on undocumented immigration.

    The case of Nury Chavarria, which has received national attention, comes after the Trump administration expanded the categories of people to be deported and specified that no one was protected.

    Chavarria refused to leave for Guatemala last week as ordered by U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement, instead fleeing to Iglesia De Dios Pentecostal in New Haven. The 43-year-old single mother of four, who entered the United States illegally in 1993, said she did not want to be separated from her children.

    Her oldest, her 21-year-old son, has cerebral palsy, according to the Hartford Courant. Her youngest, 9-year-old Hayley, issued a public plea on behalf of her mother. 

    While Chavarria remains in the church, it is unlikely that ICE agents will move to detain her. The agency typically avoids making arrests at what it calls sensitive locations, including houses of worship, schools and hospitals and doctors' offices, though exceptions can be made. ICE also tries to steer clear of religious and civil ceremonies such as funerals and weddings.

    The agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the status of the policy -- though according to its website, it remains in effect.

    Kica Matos, the director of immigrant rights and racial justice for the Center for Community Change, who is representing Chavarria, said she expected ICE to fully honor its policy and not try to deport Chavarria while she remains inside the church.

    The Church World Service, a coalition of Christian denominations that has assisted refugees for 70 years, said it knows of no instances in which ICE agents entered a congregation. There have been cases of ICE agents waiting across the street, it said, and of arrests taking place near a church and school.

    In Fairfax, Virginia, in February, ICE agents detained men who had just left a church shelter, where they had gone to stay warm. ICE told Time magazine that the location was a coincidence and that it was not targeting churches. In Los Angeles in March, a father who had been ordered deported, Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez, was taken into custody blocks from his 12-year-old daughter’s school, where he had dropped her off. Another daughter was in the car with him.

    The sanctuary movement began in the 1980s under President Reagan and was revived under President Obama.

    “It’s grown a lot, and after the election is when we saw just a bigger spike,” said Myrna Orozco Gallos, an associate with The Church World Service’s Immigration and Refugee Program. 

    The number of congregations offering to provide sanctuary has jumped from 400 to 800 since Trump took office. Although raids took place during the Obama administration too, ICE's detentions have gotten new attention because of Trump's stance on undocumented immigrants. The organization has kept track of 29 public cases in the last three years, she said.

    Chavarria, a housekeeper who has no criminal record and pays taxes, applied for asylum when she arrived but was denied. She was granted repeated stays of her order of deportation to allow her to raise her American-born children -- until June, when an ICE official told her she had to depart by Thursday.

    “I told him, 'I’m not a criminal,'” she said last week. “I’m a mother of four children. They are citizens, USA. I want to stay here to help them and keep my family together.”

    Chavarria’s supporters are hoping to win her another reprieve.

    Among the dozen people who have sought refuge is Ismael Delgado, who has been staying at a church in Phoenix, Arizona, since October 2015, according to the United Church of Christ. Delgado, who ran a restaurant, has lived in the United States for 20 years and has two children.

    Another undocumented immigrant, Jose Juan Federico Moreno, took shelter in a church on the South Side of Chicago more than a year ago rather than return to Mexico. Moreno, who worked for a furniture moving company, was targetted after getting a DUI in 2009.

    Others will stay only a few months.

    There have been successes among the movement. Two immigrants, Jeanette Vizguerra and Arturo Garcia from Denver, both received two-year reprieves in May. Vizguerra, who is from Mexico and who has lived in the United States for 20 years, left a Baptist church in Denver after she got a stay until 2019. Garcia, who is also from Mexico, had lived in the basement of a Unitarian church in 2014 and 2015 but emerged when he was told his case was not a priority, according to the Denver Post. Garcia, who owned a floor tile-laying business with his brother, was arrested in April 2016 and later was granted a stay, the newspaper reported.

    The Church World Service is holding a meeting in Texas on July 28 and July 29 at the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Its goal is to provide training and to develop a framework for the sanctuary movement.



    Here are the other undocumented immigrants living in houses of worship across the country, according to published reports and the Church World Service:

    Rosa Sabido, a Mexican national, has taken refuge in a church in Mancos, Colorado. She had lived in the United States for 30 years on visitor visas or through stays of deportation but faced immediate deportation in May. Residents have volunteered to stay overnight at the church to make sure she was not alone. Her lawyer told the Los Angeles Times she had no criminal record and had worked as a church secretary and tax preparer at H&R Block. Sabido applied for permanent residency in 2001, a case that is pending, according to the Los Angeles Times.

    Juana Ortega, an undocumented grandmother from Guatemala, took sanctuary at a church in Greensboro, North Carolina, in May. She came to the United States in 1993, seeking asylum, and when her attempts failed got repeated stays on her removal order, according to CNN. At her first check-in with ICE under Trump’s administration she was told she had until the end of May to leave. Ortega is married to an American citizen; her youngest child is a teen-ager, CNN reported.

    Minerva Garcia is a mother from Mexico who has worked temporary jobs, has no criminal record and has paid taxes for 17 years, according to the Winston-Salem Journal. She also sought refuge at a church in Greensboro, North Carolina, when she was facing deportation at the end of June. Garcia came to the United States looking for better care for her oldest son, who is blind and who was 5 at the time.

    In Philadelphia, Javier Flores, the father of three U.S.-born children, moved into a church in November, according to Philly.com. He entered the country illegally in 1997 and has been deported multiple times. He re-entered, also illegally, to be with his wife and children. He applied for a special visa available to undocumented immigrants who assist authorities in the prosecution of a crime in which they were injured. Flores was attacked with box cutters in an apparent failed robbery.

    A Reno, Nevada, church gave sanctuary to David Chavez-Macias in April. Chavez-Macias, who has lived in Reno for 29 years, had a work permit that was revoked because of a traffic ticket — he turned left on a red light. He has Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder that weakens his heart, and he relies on treatment in the United States, according to NBC affiliate KRNV.

    Emma Membreno-Sorto, a Honduran immigrant who has been ordered deported, took shelter at a church in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in March. Membreno-Sorto applied for political asylum when she arrived from Honduras about 25 years ago, but did not receive notice of a court date, according to the Albuquerque Journal. She moved from Atlanta to Colorado to New Mexico and learned of the deportation order when she was taken into custody at her home in 2011. She has only one traffic ticket and no criminal history, the newspaper reported. Her husband is a U.S. citizen.

    Sixto Paz, a homeowner and the father of three U.S. citizens, moved into a church in Phoenix, Arizona, in May 2016. He started working in the United States through a government amnesty program in the 1980s, but an immigration court in Phoenix denied his petition to stay in the country, according KPHO. He had been working as a roofer.

    Lorenzo Solorzano Morales has been staying at the Faith, Life and Hope and St. Peter the Apostle Mission in Chicago with his wife and 7-year-old daughter since October. He faces deportation for an arrest on a domestic battery charge in November 2011, according to the Chicago Tribune. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge, accused of pulling a woman’s hair during an argument, the newspaper reported. A landscaper, he has lived in the United States for 30 years.

    A woman who has remained anonymous sought refuge at a church in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in May. She told the Boston Globe that a man took her against her will from her hometown in Ecuador to the United States. She was arrested crossing the border in 2012 and was detained in Arizona for about a year because she could not pay $7,500 in bail; eventually she was released and went to the Boston area. She got a job as a cook, had two children with a partner but lost her asylum case and an appeal, according to the Boston Globe.

    Correction: an earlier photo caption identified Nury Chavarria as Nury Charvarria.



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

    Nury Chavarria has been in the U.S. for 24 years and is seeking refuge in a church after ICE issued a deportation order for her.Nury Chavarria has been in the U.S. for 24 years and is seeking refuge in a church after ICE issued a deportation order for her.

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    President Donald Trump on Monday, in delivering remarks about health care, said Obamacare has caused "nothing but pain."

    He concluded that Obamacare has “broken our healthcare system, it’s broken, it’s collapsing, it’s gone."

    Despite the president's claims about Obamacare, there’s little evidence of an imminent failure.

    The Congressional Budget Office has indicated Obamacare exchanges are stabilizing, although it suggested some sparsely populated areas may struggle to find insurers.



    Photo Credit: AP

    President Donald Trump speaks during an event about healthcare in the Blue Room of the White House, Monday, July 24, 2017, in Washington.President Donald Trump speaks during an event about healthcare in the Blue Room of the White House, Monday, July 24, 2017, in Washington.

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    A Connecticut couple is fighting to stay together after hearing one of them is going to be deported.

    Joel Colindres came to the U.S. from Guatemala 13 years ago. And seven years ago, he married Connecticut native Samantha.

    Since then, the two have been fighting for the necessary documents for Joel to stay in the U.S.A.

    "Let's do it the right way, you've been paying into money for social security, you're not going to be having retirement," said Samantha Colindres.

    Colindres said problem is, back in 2004, when he was 20 years old and living in Texas, he missed an immigration court date.

    "There's a deportation order on him because he missed a court hearing," said Samantha, "They had his address completely wrong, his first name was spelled with a k, his last name was wrong, he never even received the order to go the court."

    Because of the order, Colindres said he cannot apply for citizenship. Instead, he has been granted several Stay of Deportation or "stays,"

    which is an Immigration and Customs Enforcement-approved order allowing him to remain in the country for one year. Last Thursday, the couple received the results from their most recent "stay" application.

    "Denied, your stay has been denied, and you have thirty days to leave the country. I broke down in tears, how can you do this!?" said Samantha.

    It's news the couple has not been able to share yet with their six-year-old son, and two-year-old daughter.

    "How do you tell them? Hey, I'm sorry I got to leave. I don't know when I am going to see you again," said Joel Colindres.

    ICE tells NBC Connecticut they are not going to take Colindres into custody at this time. Instead, they placed him on a GPS monitoring program. ICE also said "he was instructed to report back to ICE with an itinerary as proof he intends to comply with his removal order."

    Until the time comes, the couple is working with attorney's to clear up the court date issue, and keep her family together in the country they say they love.

    "We have to prepare for the worst, but no matter what, I am always going to love this country," said Colindres.

    The couple plans to hold a rally Thursday on the 300th block of Main Street in West Hartford.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Joel Colindres came to the U.S. from Guatemala 13 years ago and married Connecticut native Samantha seven years ago. Since then, the two have been fighting for the necessary documents for Joel to stay in the U.S.A.Joel Colindres came to the U.S. from Guatemala 13 years ago and married Connecticut native Samantha seven years ago. Since then, the two have been fighting for the necessary documents for Joel to stay in the U.S.A.

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    Hundreds of thousands of dollars are being paid to dozens of state hospital employees, while they remain on administrative leave during an investigation.

    The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters wanted to know how this happened.

    The investigation centers around allegations of patient abuse at the Whiting Forensic Division, a state psychiatric hospital. It’s a story the Troubleshooters broke earlier this year.

    Twenty-nine employees are on administrative leave in connection with an investigation into alleged abuse and failure to report it.

    Some have been out as long as 14 weeks so far while receiving full-time pay. That totals $400,000, and counting, according to information provided to the Troubleshooters in response to a Freedom of Information request.

    State regulations say employees only get administrative leave pay for 15 days. Yet the agency overseeing Whiting tells the Troubleshooters the union contract that covers most of these employees “allows for extensions of administrative leave due to extenuating circumstances.”

    And these employees may be on leave quite a while longer. First, a state police investigation must wrap up. Then the agency in charge of Whiting conducts its own investigation. When that ends, decisions on continuing administrative leave pay are made.

    At the same time, state tax dollars are paying for replacements to work for many of the 29 employees now out on administrative leave.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    An immigration lawyer in New London said there’s a culture of fear amongst people who are undocumented but trying to become lawful American residents or American citizens.

    “I think there’s been a lot of word on the street about round-ups by ICE so people are starting to think, ‘maybe I need to prepare for myself,’” said attorney Marcy Levine.

    Levine said under Donald Trump’s administration, she’s been getting flooded with calls from both undocumented and documented immigrants concerned about deportation. They’ve been making plans for guardianship for their children and finding a power of attorney for their belongings.

    “People who are undocumented are not safe. Even if they’re not out committing crimes. A lot of us believe that people who had pending criminal cases or violent criminal histories would be the ones targeted for removal,” Levine said.

    She referenced Nury Chavarria’s case. A Norwalk mom of four who’s lived in the United State for 24 years. Chavarria is now seeking refuge at a New Haven church, refusing deportation. 

    There’s uncertainty about the future of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Levine added. And to have a case heard before a judge could take years.

    “I wanted a changed life. And over there, I (didn’t) have milk to give to my children. I needed to take a chance for them,” said Lizbeth Polo-Smith, who left her young children in Peru in 2002 and came to America.

    Polo-Smith wanted to be able to afford meals, diapers and create a better life for her children. But she was in the U.S. for 14 years before being able to get her green card.

    Polo-Smith was able to lawfully bring two of her children to American when they were eight and six years old since their father was an American citizen.

    “We’re not criminals. We’re working in (American) houses, we’re working in their yards, we’re working in their restaurants. We’re working – We’re not criminals,” she said.

    At Centro de la Comunidad at 109 Blinman Street in New London, Levine and Polo-Smith are hosting a forum and discussing legal options for non-citizens. It starts at 7 p.m. Monday, and there’s another discussion on July 29 at 10 a.m.

    People who attend are asked to donate a pack of diapers for families in need.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Lizbeth Polo-Smith left her young children in Peru in 2002 and came to America. It took 14 years before she was able to get her green card.Lizbeth Polo-Smith left her young children in Peru in 2002 and came to America. It took 14 years before she was able to get her green card.

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    A Silver Alert has been issued for an 8-day-old baby and her mother.

    Meriden police are trying to locate 8-day-old Esperanza Lopez and her mother, 23-year-old Ashley Correra-Graham.

    The pair was reported missing Monday.

    Correra-Graham is described as 5-foot-5, around 140 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. She has a tattoo on her right side of her upper chest.

    Anyone with information on either Lopez or Correra-Graham’s whereabouts is asked to contact Meriden police at 203-238-1911.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

    Ashley Correra-Graham and Esperanza Lopez.Ashley Correra-Graham and Esperanza Lopez.

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    West Hartford police have revoked Los Imperios' entertainment license following a series of violations and a suspension.

    The restaurant's entertainment license was suspended from July 18 after various disturbances and complaints about the business on Farmington Avenue.

    In a letter dated Monday, West Hartford Police Chief Tracey Gove notified the restaurant's owner that the entertainment license will be revoked once the suspension period ends on August 2.


    West Hartford first suspended the restaurant's entertainment license following a hearing about the restaurant's disturbance violations on July 17.

    The suspension of the restaurant's entertainment license includes putting an end to the music but still allowing alcohol.

    The town adopted an ordinance last October which requires businesses to turn off the music at least a half hour before they close.

    But police found that a DJ at the restaurant played music past the allowable time for the entertainment ordinance.

    Additionally, police said there have been fights and disturbances at the location multiple times.

    In the letter, Gove wrote that the restaurant offered DJ entertainment despite the suspension and previous warnings and that the department received a noise complaint from neighbors as recently as July 20.

    The business has the right to a hearing, which the police department has set for August 8.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    Shelton police have arrested a man accused of assaulting two juvenile relatives by grabbing them by the neck.

    Robert Hoha Jr., 39, of Shelton, was charged with risk of injury to a minor, strangulation, assault, and disorderly conduct.

    Police said the investigation started when the victims told their mother that Hoha, their uncle, had grabbed each of them by the neck while they were visiting with their father for a weekend.

    After interviewing several family members, police obtained an arrest warrant for Hoha. He was placed on a $100,000 bond.



    Photo Credit: Shelton Police Department

    Robert Hoha,Jr.Robert Hoha,Jr.

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    Members of the clergy came together in New Haven Monday to voice concerns over recent gun violence in the city.

    New Haven police have released the shooting crime statistics for the year so far, and compared to recent years, homicides, non-fatal shootings and shots fired cases are actually down. But members of the community are concerned about recent shootings, including the killing of a 14-year-old boy, which have leaders looking for solutions.

    “We are encouraging the community to come forth and help us put these people behind bars that have killed innocent children,” said Pastor Charles H. Brewer III of the Trinity Temple Church of God In Christ.

    Brewer announced a coalition of Young spiritual leaders who are coming together to try to tackle recent violence in communities like theirs by engaging those who are most at risk.

    This comes in response to the shooting of a 14-year-old boy near Bassett and Newhall Streets on July 16. Police said the victim, who later died at the hospital, was targeted by the shooter.

    On July 22, a 13-year-old boy was shot in the leg near Shelton Avenue and Ivy Street. And a day later, a 21-year-old man was shot in the face near East Street.

    In a statement about the violence, New Haven Police Chief Anthony Campbell wrote:

    "This is a situation which cannot and will not be tolerated. This is the time where both the New Haven Police Department and the community can utilize the relationships which have been built over the years to ensure that this type of behavior stops immediately!"

    The chief also said that there is no place in the city for people who don’t value the safety of the community and the sanctity of life, and called for anyone with information on the recent violence to come forward. Tips can be made anonymously.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Members of the clergy came together in New Haven Monday to voice concerns over recent gun violence in the city.Members of the clergy came together in New Haven Monday to voice concerns over recent gun violence in the city.

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    A federal judge in Detroit Monday halted the deportation of more than 1,400 Iraqi nationals, NBC News reported.

    The Iraqis, many of whom are part of their home country's Christian minority, could face "grave harm and possible death" if sent back to Iraq, U.S. District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith ruled, granting a request for preliminary injunction.

    Goldsmith said the government's position to deport them is "inconsistent" with the Constitution.

    The government targeted the Iraqis, who have criminal convictions or overstayed their visas, over long-standing deportation orders. More than half had been in the United States for more than a decade because Iraq refused to issue travel documents, the ruling says.



    Photo Credit: Carlos Osorio/AP, File

    This June 21, 2017, file photo shows Iraqis and supporters rallying outside the Theodore Levin United States Courthouse in Detroit. A federal judge in Detroit on Monday blocked the deportation of more than 1,400 Iraqi nationals.This June 21, 2017, file photo shows Iraqis and supporters rallying outside the Theodore Levin United States Courthouse in Detroit. A federal judge in Detroit on Monday blocked the deportation of more than 1,400 Iraqi nationals.

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    President Donald Trump's appearance at a national Boy Scout event hit a nerve with many former scouts after his speech turned political. The organization responded to the backlash by stressing its non-partisan roots.

    At the Boys Scouts of America's National Jamboree in West Virginia on Monday, the president brought up issues such as health care, "fake media," and "the swamp" in Washington.

    Many in the crowd of 40,000 scouts, leaders and volunteers booed when Trump asked whether former President Barack Obama had come to a Jamboree. Video clips also showed them jeering Hillary Clinton after Trump said that his election opponent "didn't work hard" in Michigan. The scouts also chanted "we love Trump." 

    Former scouts took to social media to express opposition to the politicized speech.

    The Boy Scouts of America's Facebook page was inundated with comments about Trump, including many posts unrelated to the Jamboree.

    User Beth Mitchell Huntsberry commented, "The BSA should immediately lose their tax exempt status. I will no longer be associated with the organization. My time and money will go elsewhere."

    "No, I am the proud mother of a former scout who was sheltered from that pack of lies speech at the Jamboree. Done with scouts after you felt the need to have my kid listen to a liar stroke his ego on our time," said Jude Nevans Cleaver, another Facebook commenter.

    Some drew comparisons between the president's speech in front of the Boy Scouts and his campaign-style rallies. 

    National Scout Jamborees are typically held every four years and Trump is the eighth president to attend, The Associated Press reported. Obama addressed a 100th anniversary event in 2010 by video. 

    Pete Souza, a White House photographer for Obama during his presidency, posted an Instagram photo following Trump's speech showing his former boss meeting a cub scout. 

    In a statement in response to the backlash, the Boy Scouts of America noted that the organization is non-partisan. They said that inviting the sitting president to the National Jamboree is a "long-standing tradition."

    "The Boy Scouts of America is wholly non-partisan and does not promote any one position, product, service, political candidate or philosophy. The invitation for the sitting U.S. President to visit the National Jamboree is a long-standing tradition and is in no way an endorsement of any political party or specific policies."

    The statement added that the "sitting U.S. President serves as the BSA's honorary president. It is our long-standing custom to invite the U.S. President to the National Jamboree."

    The White House has not responded to a request for comment.



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

    President Donald Trump, front left, gestures with former boys scouts, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, left, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, center, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, right, at the 2017 National Boy Scout Jamboree at the Summit in Glen Jean, W. Va., Monday, July 24, 2017.President Donald Trump, front left, gestures with former boys scouts, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, left, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, center, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, right, at the 2017 National Boy Scout Jamboree at the Summit in Glen Jean, W. Va., Monday, July 24, 2017.

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    A fire heavily damaged a pizza shop in Southington early Tuesday morning.

    A passerby noticed smoke coming from Townline Pizza at 1660 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike around midnight, according to fire officials.

    Firefighters found heavy fire in the kitchen area and smoke pouring from the ceiling and into other businesses in the complex.

    There were no sprinklers in the pizza shop, but water from a burst hot water tank actually helped control the fire, according to fire officials.

    Townline Pizza will remain closed, but the other businesses in the complex should be able to reopen, fire officials said.

    The cause of the fire is under investigation.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    A fire heavily damaged Townline Pizza in Southington early Tuesday morning.A fire heavily damaged Townline Pizza in Southington early Tuesday morning.

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