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- 12/07/18--08:37: _Milford Police Arre...
- 12/07/18--08:44: _Gazette Photog Reme...
- 12/07/18--08:58: _UConn to Retire Num...
- 12/07/18--07:21: _UConn Music Profess...
- 12/07/18--09:56: _Elian González Join...
- 12/07/18--09:49: _New Haven Firefight...
- 12/07/18--11:58: _Borderline Shooting...
- 12/07/18--11:11: _Man, 4 Teens Arrest...
- 12/07/18--12:20: _Hartford Murder Sus...
- 12/07/18--13:57: _Montville Man Says ...
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- 12/07/18--13:14: _Man Stole $8K in Vi...
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- 12/07/18--14:21: _South Windsor Compa...
- 12/07/18--15:37: _Southeastern Connec...
- 12/07/18--15:54: _Blumenthal Challeng...
- 12/07/18--22:28: _NASA Lander Capture...
- 12/08/18--06:07: _Sunny and Very Cold...
- 12/08/18--07:57: _Mother of Hartford ...
- 12/08/18--07:39: _New London Firefigh...
- 12/07/18--08:37: Milford Police Arrest 3 Suspects in Robbery of Bicyclist
- 12/07/18--08:44: Gazette Photog Remembers 'Friend' Killed in Newsroom Attack
- 12/07/18--08:58: UConn to Retire Numbers of Allen and Lobo
- 12/07/18--07:21: UConn Music Professor Nominated for Grammy Award
- 12/07/18--09:56: Elian González Joins Twitter After Cubans Get Full Internet Access
- 12/07/18--09:49: New Haven Firefighter Charged With Assault Over Boots
- 12/07/18--11:58: Borderline Shooting: Sergeant Killed by CHP Officer's Bullet
- 12/07/18--11:11: Man, 4 Teens Arrested After Police Chase on Merritt Parkway
- 12/07/18--12:20: Hartford Murder Suspect Opened Fire at Several People: PD
- 12/07/18--13:57: Montville Man Says Getting A Ticket Refund Added Insult to Injury
- 12/07/18--12:51: Get NBC Connecticut on Roku; Available Now
- 12/07/18--13:14: Man Stole $8K in Vintage Items From Hamden Home: Police
- 12/07/18--14:25: Man Who Drove Into Crowd Convicted of First-Degree Murder
- 12/07/18--14:21: South Windsor Company Proud of Mars Mission Contribution
- 12/07/18--15:37: Southeastern Connecticut Hosts Holiday Events, Festive Spirit
- 12/07/18--15:54: Blumenthal Challenges NFL Over Handling of Assault Allegations
- 12/07/18--22:28: NASA Lander Captures First 'Sounds' of Wind on Mars
- 12/08/18--06:07: Sunny and Very Cold Weekend Ahead
- 12/08/18--07:57: Mother of Hartford Shooting Victim Remembers Her Son
- 12/08/18--07:39: New London Firefighters Help Deliver Baby in Front of Firehouse
Milford police have arrested three people accused of badly injuring a bicyclist in September and stealing $3,000 from him.
Police said the victim was riding his bicycle on the one-way section of Buckingham Avenue near New Haven around 2 a.m. on Sept. 27 when people in a motor vehicle pulled up, knocked him off his bike and stole personal items and $3,000 cash. The victim was seriously injured and was hospitalized.
On Oct. 9, a Milford police officer stopped a vehicle believed to be connected with the robbery and three people were later arrested.
Jacob Marrero, 19, of Bridgeport, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with robbery in the first degree, assault in the first degree, larceny in the second degree and conspiracy to commit robbery in the second degree. He was released on a promise to appear and is expected in court in Milford on Jan. 2.
Carlos Marrero, 25, of Bridgeport, was arrested on Oct. 15 and charged with robbery in the second degree, assault in the second degree, larceny in the second degree, criminal mischief in the third degree and driving the wrong way on a one-way highway. He is due back in court on Dec. 12.
The third person police arrested was a juvenile.
Photo Credit: MIlford Police
As the holidays near, many people decorate their homes with festive trees and ornaments — reminders of the celebrations to come. But for some, these cheerful adornments are reminders of what has been lost.
Joshua McKerrow is a photojournalist for the Capital Gazette newspaper in Maryland. He visited Gov. Larry Hogan’s residence on Thursday to take pictures for the paper of Hogan's holiday decorations. McKerrow said he’s done this “every year, for years” and called it “a very light but very fun story.”
However, McKerrow said his annual assignment was different this time.
“Every year my reporting partner was Wendi Winters,” McKerrow wrote in a series of tweets Thursday that came as a response to President Donald Trump again calling fake news the enemy of the people. “This year, it was Selene. Wendi was murdered in June.”
Winters, a community writer, was one of five people killed when a gunman stormed the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis and opened fired on June 28. Editor and columnist Rob Hiaasen, editor Gerald Fischman, sports writer John McNamara and sales assistant Rebecca Smith also died in the mass shooting, what one reporter described as a “war zone.”
The shooter had an ongoing dispute with the paper after a July 2011 story detailed a criminal harassment case against him. He sued the paper’s writer and publisher for defamation, but the case was thrown out after a judge ruled that the story was based on public record and there was no evidence suggesting it was inaccurate. The publisher later told police that the man began harassing newspaper staff, and he also posted tweets attacking the paper. Police said the gunman sent threatening letters in the days before the shooting as well.
On Thursday, nearly six months after the deadly attack, McKerrow said he took his camera through the rooms of the governor’s brightly lit and colorful home, “focusing on the trees and the ornaments.” But there was something — or someone — missing.
“All I could think about was Wendi,” McKerrow wrote in his Twitter thread. “I felt like she was with me, that she was actually present.”
McKerrow said he could feel Winters in his mind and could “almost hear her voice echoing through the empty rooms.”
“How many cookies are you making this year?” was her favorite question to ask for the holiday report, McKerrow said.
Despite Winters’ noticeable absence for McKerrow, he said he managed to keep himself together for the photoshoot. That is, he said, “till the very end.”
“Interviewed the butler, like I have every year, and when we were done she took me aside and whispered, ‘I really miss Wendi. Next Year I’m going to name a cookie for her,’” McKerrow wrote. “And that was it. The tears started, and I’m standing in the Maryland Governors home weeping to myself about my dead friend, … shot by a man who wanted to kill every journalist he could.”
McKerrow shared his story in a response to a tweet from President Donald Trump the same day. That one-line tweet repeated a phrase the president commonly uses to attack journalists and media organizations: “FAKE NEWS - THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!”
“Wendi was no ones enemy,” McKerrow wrote in a single tweet in his thread.
The day after the shooting, Trump condemned the gunman's actions as "horrific" and said that journalists "should be free from fear of being violently attacked while doing their jobs." However, he continued his attacks on the "fake news" less than a month later.
Hundreds of newsrooms across the country pushed back against Trump in the aftermath of the shooting by publishing a coordinated series of editorials. The pieces argued for a free press and said newspapers are not the enemy.
After crying "on and off" on Thursday, McKerrow said he is "comforted that in a way she's still with me, when I do the work that she loved to do." That work, he said, is "Journalism. Patriotic, truth telling, American."
McKerrow concluded: "We'll keep on doing the work. And if we die for it, someone else will pick up the threads, and report on the holiday decorations at the Governor's house. Its what we do."
Photo Credit: Baltimore Sun Media Group
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A file photo of Wendi Winters
UConn has announced it will retire the numbers of all-time basketball greats Ray Allen and Rebecca Lobo.
Lobo and Allen are both now enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield. The pair are the first two to have their numbers retired by the university, an honor that will be reserved for future UConn basketball alums who are inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, according to a news release from the school.
"Rebecca and Ray are two UConn Basketball icons who were integral to the success and growth of both programs and I am thrilled that we will be able to recognize them in this special way," director of athletics David Benedict said.
Allen's number 34 and Lobo's number 50 will be retired at a ceremony during the first weekend of March, according to UConn. Both numbers will become unavailable for any future players to wear after the ceremony.
Lobo was a part of the 1995 team that went 35-0 and won the program's first of many national championships. She was the unanimous National Player of the Year in 1995, a two-time First Team All-American, and was twice named the Big East Player of the Year.
"I spent four amazing years wearing the #50 on my UConn jersey and am honored and thrilled that it will have a permanent home in the rafters of Gampel Pavilion," Lobo said. "I am forever grateful to Coach Auriemma and CD (Associate Head Coach Chris Dailey) for the impact they had on my life and would like to pass along congratulations to Ray as well."
Lobo finished her college career with 2,133 points, 1,268 rebounds, and 396 blocked shots.
She went on to win a gold medal with the Women's National Basketball Team at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and played in the WNBA for six years.
Allen is one of the most prolific scorers in UConn history. He scored 1,922 points in his career - fifth most at UConn. His 44.8 three-point field goal percentage ranks first at the school.
He is a two-time All-American and was the 1995 USA Basketball Athlete of the Year.
Allen spent 18 years in the NBA and won two NBA Championships. He was an 10-time All-Star and his 2,973 three-pointers are the most in NBA history.
"It's truly a great honor," Allen said. " I know in the history of the program, nobody has had their number retired and to be the first is really unfathomable to me."
Allen thanked UConn and its fans for their support.
"I would also like to congratulate Rebecca and I hope this can set a precedent going forward as a way to honor men and women who have had exceptional careers in college and afterward," he said.
Photo Credit: AP Images
Rebecca Lobo, left; Ray Allen, right.
A professor of music composition at the University of Connecticut has been nominated for a Grammy Award.
Kenneth Fuchs has been nominated for an award for best classical compendium for “Piano Concerto ‘Spiritualist’; Poems of Life, Glacier, Rush,” which was recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra.
The album, which UConn Today reports is Fuchs’ fifth album of original compositions, was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London, where the Beatles recorded albums.
Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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Elian González Brotóns, the man who was once at the center of an international custody battle which involved the U.S. and Cuban governments, has joined Twitter.
González Brotóns posted his first tweet on Thursday, the same day Cuba announced that they would be allowing its citizens full internet access for mobile phones. His Twitter handle, @BrotonElian, appears to pay tribute to his deceased mother, Elizabeth Bronton, who drowned in 2000 while fleeing Cuba with González.
In his tweet, he says he joined Twitter on his 25th birthday. He goes on to thank Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel for wishing him well on his birthday, and will continue to support him. He then says that his goal is to not disappoint “Cubans with dignity.”
On Thursday, President Díaz-Canel wished González Brotóns a happy birthday on Twitter, and referred to him as the son and grandson of “Cubans with dignity,” and all of Cuba. The tweet went on to say that the battle for his freedom, led by Cuban leader Fidel Castro, showed how they can overcome challenges together.
In 2000, González Brotóns was just shy of his sixth birthday when the small boat carrying him, his mother and a dozen others went down near Florida. González Brotóns’s mother was among those who perished. Elian was found floating in an inner tube and rescued by a fisherman who then turned the small boy over to U.S. officials.
González Brotóns would then become the center of a bitter custody battle between his relatives in Miami who wished to keep him in the United States and his father, Juan Miguel González, who wanted him returned to Cuba. The international custody battle became a hot button issue during the 2000 U.S. presidential campaign and a central focus for the U.S. and Cuban governments.
The months-long saga culminated with a dramatic raid on the Miami house, where U.S. federal agents retrieved Gonzalez at gunpoint in the early morning hours and he was flown back to the island in June of 2000, where he rejoined his father.
The iconic photo of that historic moment, taken by Alan Diaz for The Associated Press, won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Photo Credit: AP
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FILE - In this April 4, 2010 file photo, Elian Gonzalez holds a Cuban flag during the Union of Young Communists congress in Havana, Cuba. Gonzalez, the Cuban boy at the center of an international custody battle nearly 20 years ago in April 2000, has joined Twitter after Cuba announced 3G internet access for cell phone users.
A battalion chief with the New Haven Fire Department has been arrested and charged with assault and other charges after an incident about a pair of boots at a uniform supply company in West Haven in October, according to police.
Herschel Wadley, 53, of Milford, was arrested Thursday night and charged with third-degree assault and disorderly conduct.
The arrest warrant application says officers responded to Horwitz Uniforms in West Haven around 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19 to investigate the allegations and met with an employee who was crying.
She told police that Wadley had gone into the store while he was off-duty to buy shirts, pants and boots.
Members of the fire department have clothing allotments and vouchers for Horwitz Uniforms and Wadley was upset when he was told that the boots he wanted to buy were not on the approved vendor list so he told the employee to “fudge” the purchase order to make it look like they were, according to the arrest warrant application.
The employee told police that Wadley started berating her when he was told he could not get the boots and made a comment that he would steal them.
When the employee threatened to tell the store owner that Wadley had said he would steal the boots, he pushed her head and grabbed her by the back of the neck, according to the arrest warrant application.
Other employees told police they heard Wadley raising his voice and berating the employee.
Wadley was placed on paid administrative leave after the department was notified of the incident, according to the arrest warrant application.
When police spoke with Wadley on Nov. 5, he told them he had tried to order boots, but could not because they did not have a steel toe and he was OK with that.
He also claimed his statement about taking the boots was in jest and denied touching the employee, according to court paperwork.
Wadley was released on a promise to appear and is due in Milford Superior Court on Dec. 18.
The Ventura County Sheriff's sergeant who was slain during a gun battle with the Borderline Bar mass shooter was fatally struck by a California Highway Patrol officer's bullet and not the suspect, the department announced Friday.
Sgt. Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran of the department, was struck 5 times by the suspect's gunfire. Although those bullets caused serious injury, they were "potentially survivable," said Christopher Young, chief medical examiner for Ventura County.
The sixth bullet was fired by a CHP officer, according to forensic analysis conducted by the FBI's crime laboratory. That gunshot was targeted toward the suspect, but struck Helus in the chest. The wound proved to be fatal.
"We believe that Sgt. Helus was clearly not the intended target of the CHP officer which further illustrates the extreme situation both men faced," Sheriff Bill Ayub said.
Ayub said that the development "in no way diminishes the heroic actions both men exhibited" at Borderline.
Helus and two California Highway Patrols officers arrived at the Western-style bar on Nov. 7 minutes after the mass shooting was reported.
The suspect Ian David Long attacked the law enforcement officers "almost immediately," Ayub said. Long, a former Marine, fired multiple rounds at the officers in a "brief, but furious gun battle."
Ayub described the scene as "chaotic" and "confusing," adding that the sequence of events are still being analyzed.
"The mere thought of something like this happening is devastating to all of us and underscores the difficult and dangerous circumstances law enforcement faces, often with only mere seconds to react," California Highway Patrol Commissioner Warren Stanley said in a statement.
He added that the department was "profoundly saddened" to learn the new details.
The Borderline Bar shooting ended with 13 people dead, including the gunman. Twenty-two others were injured.
Photo Credit: Santa Barbara County Sheriff
Sergeant Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran, was one of the first responders on scene of the Thousand Oaks bar shooting.
Police have arrested one man and four teens after a chase that ended when the suspects crashed on the Merritt Parkway, according to police.
A resident of Bradley Street in Westport contacted police around 12:45 a.m. Friday about a vehicle driving slowly with the headlights off and people getting in and out of the car, so police started investigating.
Officers saw four people in a black Audi, which was reported stolen from Easton, going north toward Hillspoint Road, and tried to stop it in the area of Cross Highway, but the driver kept going and led police on a chase onto the Merritt Parkway North in the area of exit 42, police said.
The officer held back when the Audi got to a construction zone, but the driver kept going, went in a lane that was closed for construction, hit another vehicle and kept going, according to police.
The officer leading the chase lost sight of the car while stuck in traffic and the chase ended, according to police.
Soon after, Westport police learned that the car crashed in the area of exit 48-49.
Officers from Trumbull, Fairfield and the State Police were at the scene and apprehended all five occupants, then Westport police responded and took them into custody.
Police identified the driver as 20-year-old Andre Davis, of Bridgeport, and he was charged with four counts of risk of injury to child; first-degree larceny, motor vehicle theft; non-assaultive interfering with an officer; second-degree reckless endangerment; conspiracy to commit larceny in the first; reckless driving; disobeying the signal of an officer, elude/attempt escape; and operating a motor vehicle without a license. He was held in lieu of $15,000.
A 14-year-old Bridgeport girl was also arrested and issued a juvenile summons charging her with larceny in the first degree and conspiracy to commit larceny in the first degree.
A 14-year-old Derby boy was found with four key fobs, one of which belonged to the stolen vehicle, and was issued a juvenile summons charging him with larceny in the first degree and conspiracy to commit larceny in the first degree.
The 14-year-old boy’s 13-year-old brother was also issued a juvenile summons charging him larceny in the first degree and conspiracy to commit larceny in the first degree.
A 15-year-old Bridgeport resident was issued a juvenile summons charging him with larceny in the first degree and conspiracy to commit larceny in the first degree.
Photo Credit: Westport Police
The man accused of shooting and killing one 17-year-old boy and injuring another in Hartford Wednesday afternoon opened fire on several people and told police that people who lived in the building robbed him and were threatening him, according to court documents.
Neither of the people injured in the shooting at 898 Park St. in Hartford Wednesday lived in the building, according to police.
Karlonzo Taylor, 17, of Hartford, was shot several times in the chest and died around six hours after the shooting, police said. Another 17-year-old boy was shot in the right arm and right torso.
William Moore, 24, of Bristol, was arrested and charged with murder, assault in the first degree and criminal possession of a firearm after police spoke with witnesses.
One witness reported that around six people, including the two victims, were standing on the third-floor landing of the building when a man known as “Bill” walked up, pointed a gun at everyone and started shooting, according to the arrest warrant application.
Police identified Moore as the suspect and interviewed him at the police station.
During the interview, Moore told police that had been robbed in the area of 898 Park St. over the summer and the people who robbed him continued to threaten him and his family with physical harm.
Moore told police he had knowledge that whoever was responsible for the robbery lived inside the apartment building, so he got a ride there, walked inside, shot the people in the hallway, then fled, according to the arrest warrant application.
Court documents reference a different teen other than the two injured in the shooting was arrested in August, accused of robbing Moore.
Tim Sullivan, Superintendent of Capitol Region Education Council, or CREC, said Taylor was a beloved student
“CREC is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Karlonzo Taylor last evening. Karlonzo was a CREC student since 2013, when he was in sixth grade. During his time at CREC he endeared himself to many staff and students who are devastated by his sudden and tragic death,” Sullivan said in a statement. “The district has organized grief counseling and support for both staff and students. Those services were available as students arrived this morning and will continue as needed.”
Photo Credit: Hartford Police
John Sheldon and his wife of Montville were excited to take their first ever trip to Ireland.
“It was my wife’s dream to go to Ireland,” said John Sheldon.
But that dream was crushed when Sheldon said he injured himself playing indoor soccer.
“I tore my Achilles tendon at the end of May 2017. So, I wasn’t going to be able to travel the entire summer with the injury and recovery and stuff like that,” Sheldon said.
Sheldon said he bought the $1449.84 airline tickets in January 2017 to travel in June of that same year.
“I had surgery on June 7th, a couple weeks later for the stitches to come out. I was in a walking boot six to eight weeks after that,” he said.
Even though the tickets were non-refundable, Aer Lingus gave him an option to reschedule the trip, according to Sheldon.
“I said no, I wouldn’t be able to. I would just like to cancel them outright. They refunded me the airport taxes and such like that,” said Sheldon.
Sheldon said he then filed a claim with his credit card company which offered travel insurance, as part of his benefits. The insurance says it will reimburse Sheldon if he has a loss that prevents him from travelling on or before the departure date and results in a cancellation. But the credit company denied the claim, indicating that Sheldon needed a letter from Aer Lingus verifying his travel credits. Despite contacting Aer Lingus in both January and March, he said he never heard back from the airline.
“And then my wife and I, were like, well, we see you on tv all the time. So maybe, we’re going to reach out to you and ask for some help,” said Sheldon.
NBC Connecticut Responds reached out to both the credit card company and Aer Lingus. A credit card spokesperson told us:
“Our trip cancellation team has been communicating with the customer, and was waiting for more information from him.”
An Aer Lingus spokesperson sent Responds this statement:
“Mr Sheldon had purchased a non-refundable ticket with Aer Lingus and was unable to travel for medical reasons. Aer Lingus Guest Relations had offered to keep his booking open for up to one year allowing him to rebook at a later date, which is outside of the ticket terms and conditions. Mr Sheldon chose to cancel his booking and received a refund of the airport taxes paid. Mr Sheldon then requested a letter confirming his cancelled flights which unfortunately he did not receive due to an administrative error. We sincerely apologize to Mr Sheldon and as a gesture of goodwill will refund the total remaining fare.”
As a result of our involvment, Sheldon received a $1449.84 from the airlines.
“I was thrilled and then I was amazed at how quickly it happened,” said Sheldon. “You guys are great. You guys are wonderful.”
Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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Police have made an arrest in an October burglary at a home in Hamden.
They say Dustin Ruocco, 47, of Milford, broke into a home on Guenevere Court on October 15 by breaking the glass of a rear door.
Ruocco stole about $8,000 worth of "vintage" items from the home, according to police. They did not say what those items included.
Police arrested Ruocco on Thursday. He is charged with first-degree burglary, third-degree larceny, and first-degree criminal mischief. He was held on $10,000 bond and is scheduled to be in court on December 19.
Photo Credit: Hamden Police
An Ohio man who drove into a crowd of counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally in Virginia last year, killing one woman, was found guilty of first-degree murder and all other counts.
James Alex Fields Jr. plowed into a crowd of counterprotesters at a "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville on Aug. 12, 2017, killing Heather Heyer and injuring dozens of others.
No one disputed he was the driver, but prosecutors and defense attorneys disagreed on his intent.
The defense said Fields had urine thrown on him and had witnessed violent clashes between the two sides earlier in the day. When he spotted a large crowd of counterprotesters around two other cars, he thought he would be attacked.
Prosecutors said no one was near Fields' car when he slowly backed up, then sped into the crowd, tossing bodies into the air.
This is a developing story.
Photo Credit: AP
Police tape and flowers mark the spot of a car attack after a Unite the Right rally and violence that killed Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, Virginia.
A South Windsor company helped make NASA’s most recent mission to Mars a success.
When the InSight lander descended to the red planet last month, the parachute on board that helped to slow it from more than 12,000 mph to about 200 mph, was made by Pioneer Aerospace.
Jerry Rowan, Director of Engineering at Pioneer Aerospace, said the moment the InSight lander touched down was a triumph.
“It was tense,” he said. “Everybody was confident, but when it landed it was very exciting.”
The company didn't start out as an aerospace firm.
“The roots go back to the 1930s from the Cheney Silk Mills in Manchester,” Rowan said. “It’s an offshoot of that and over the years it’s evolved into what it is now.”
Engineers came up with the design, manufacturers created it by hand, and then it is put to a series of tests.
“For a mission like this we'll make up to 10 parachutes,” said Rowan.
Only one makes it.
“I think it’s pretty cool,” said Steve Sholtz, Senior Parachute Rigger. “There are only about 5 or 6 people in the whole world that’s ever done this.”
Pioneer Aerospace also makes military parachutes and it is currently working on other missions for NASA and SpaceX.
“I think it what drives most of the people in this company - the pride of accomplishing something like that,” Rowan said.
This is the sixth successful NASA mission landing on Mars with parachutes made by Pioneer Aerospace.
Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
Pioneer Aerospace, of South Windsor, manufactured the parachute used on the InSight lander to slow its descent to Mars in November.
Southeastern Connecticut is going to be shimmering in lights and sprinkling holiday spirit the holiday spirit this weekend.
Thousands of lights brightened Olde Mistick Village Friday night as part of the Festival of Lights.
The walkways were lined with luminaries. Treats, live music and a visit from Santa all helped deliver holiday magic.
“Everybody’s filled with love and happiness,” said Joyce Resnikoff, who co-owns Olde Mistick Village.
In Stonington, wreaths were being mounted to the wall and lights were shining brightly on Christmas trees as part of the Deck the Walls Festival.
“It’s just a great Christmas festival,” said chairwoman Kirby Williams.
The Stonington Garden Club and Stonington Historical Society are hosting the festival through Saturday. Money raised will help preserve public access to the open space by the two museums owned by the Historical Society, Williams said.
Those who attend can participate in a silent auction, buy holiday gifts from local vendors and artisans or bid to purchase donated wreaths.
Katherine Ballard, of Stonington got one with sailboats on it—a Stonington flair.
“It keeps the spirit of the town alive in the winter months,” Ballard said of the festival.
If looking for Christmas spirit, look no further than John Wilson, the owner of Sign Craft in Niantic.
He gave NBC Connecticut a look inside his Christmas float for the 2018 Niantic Light Parade. But its theme was embargoed until Saturday night.
“Hey, let’s build a fort. And you borrowed some wood or whatever. So we just build a fort every year,” Wilson said of the experience. He said his family and team started the float two weeks ago and they will be working up until the parade.
His floats are considered masterpieces by many in town. Wilson said he likes to hold them to a “Rose Bowl” standard.
He’s been participating in the parade every year for 30 years and “Frozen in Niantic,” “Dory – Finding Niantic,” “Peanuts” are among his many themes.
“There was talk at 20 years: 20 and done. And then at 25: maybe we’re done. Thirty years now… we got to keep going,” Wilson said.
Wilson is creating one of 40 floats in the parade, according to the Town of East Lyme Parks & Recreation, that’s organizing the event.
For the 30th year, there’s a firework celebration before the parade sponsored by Dominion starting at 6 p.m.
Photo Credit: NBC CT
Sen. Richard Blumenthal wants the NFL to justify its anti-trust exemption every five years.
Blumenthal sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell with his frustration over how the league has handled allegations of sexual and domestic assault involving its players. He specifically referenced the most recent allegations and police report filed against Kareem Hunt, formerly with the Kansas City Chiefs.
"There is evidence of wrongdoing ignored and even concealed by the NFL about its players and their sometimes vicious assault on women,” Blumenthal said during a press conference at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford on Friday.
Hunt is accused of assault following an altercation at a Cleveland, Ohio hotel in February. A police report was generated, but charges were never filed against the NFL star. A surveillance video of the incident shows Hunt allegedly assaulting a woman near several elevators and kicking her while she was on the ground.
NBC Connecticut reached out to the NFL for comment but they never responded to our requests. A spokesman for the NFL told ESPN last week that the league was aware of the allegations in June but was not able to gain access to a copy of the surveillance video. The NFL says they only saw the video once TMZ Sports published it online last week.
Hunt was subsequently made inactive by the league and later released by the Kansas City Chiefs, officially ending his season.
"It approaches hypocrisy and hubris in a way that really requires some explanation by the NFL,” Blumenthal said.
The senator wants to examine the exemption that allows the league to act without the challenge of competition in the marketplace. Sports leagues are viewed as providing exhibitions, and not traditional businesses, which allow leagues like the NFL and Major League Baseball to operate as near-monopolies. Under Blumenthal’s legislation, the league’s anti-trust exemption would expire every five years and be up for re-authorization by the US Congress.
Mary-Jane Foster, President and CEO of the Interval House, which works towards ending domestic violence, says moves like this by Blumenthal could shift the reaction and treatment of star athletes when they’re accused of domestic or sexual assault.
"We should be talking about arraignment and we should be talking about pleas, and we should be talking about time served, that's when we will hold the NFL and the other major sports major sports organizations accountable,” Foster said. “When we start holding the offenders accountable as human beings and not as the gifted athletes have earned the right to play and not the privilege to beat and abuse women."
Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
Scientists have known for decades how the vast and barren landscapes of Mars look. Now, researchers are getting their first taste of what the Red Planet sounds like, NBC News reports.
NASA’s InSight lander, which touched down on Mars less than two weeks ago, has recorded vibrations — low-pitched, guttural rumblings — caused by wind blowing across the science instruments on the spacecraft’s deck.
“Capturing this audio was an unplanned treat,” Bruce Banerdt, InSight’s principal investigator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said in a written statement.
Unaltered, these vibrations are barely audible, because they were recorded at a frequency of 50 hertz, at the low end of what the human ear can detect, according to Thomas Pike, the lead scientist for InSight’s Short Period Seismometer, one of two instruments that picked up the subtle movements.
Photo Credit: Time Life Pictures/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty
View of rocky surface of Mars from NASA's Viking 2.
NBC Connecticut meteorologists are tracking temperatures that are running more than 10 degrees below average for this weekend.
Despite nearly full sunshine for the weekend, temperatures will be more like January. The average high temperature for this weekend is around 42 degrees.
The cold air will remain in place through the weekend. In fact, temperatures for this upcoming week will remain below the average, which is around 41 degrees.
Temperatures are expected to moderate toward the end of next week into next weekend, just in time for the next storm to arrive. At this point, the next storm looks wet rather than white.
Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
The mother of Karlonzo Taylor, the 17-year-old shot and killed inside a Hartford apartment building on Wednesday, spoke exclusively to NBC Connecticut about her son, and said she wants him remembered as more than just a homicide statistic.
“He was always sharing and giving and helping,” Williams said. Taylor used his natural charm and witty personality to be a positive influence, she said. He volunteered at church and cared for the vegetable garden at Hartford’s Impact Academy, where he was a senior. A lifelong love of animals was likely to give way to a career as a veterinarian, she said.
Instead, his life was tragically cut short. Police said 24 year-old William Moore opened fire inside an apartment building at 898 Park Street in Hartford, killing Taylor and wounding another 17-year-old that were gathered there, along with about four others.
Moore told police he was receiving threats from people living at the building after he was robbed there last August, according to court documents. Hartford police made an arrest in connection with the robbery.
After his arraignment Friday morning at Hartford Superior Court, Moore’s mother Tenesha Lee said her son had been battling paranoid schizophrenia. She did not believe Taylor had any involvement in the incident where her son robbed.
“He’s always had issues… and I have been trying to get him help for a long time,” Lee said.
Taylor’s family and friends are now trying to make sense of a senseless shooting. “I don’t think anyone could tell me anything to ease my pain,” Williams said.
They gathered at a relative’s Bloomfield home on Friday night to celebrate Taylor’s life with laughter, food, and drinks. Williams said she is taking some time to grieve, but plans to honor her son’s memory by working to end violence in Hartford.
“Too many young kids are losing their lives over foolishness. Over just plain stupidity,” she said.
Photo Credit: Family Photo
A crew of New London firefighters helped deliver a baby on Friday night, right in front of their firehouse.
The battalion chief said the crew had just come back from a call shortly before 9 p.m. when a man pulled up in front of the firehouse and got the crew's attention.
The man told the firefighters that his wife was having a baby and his daughter was in the back seat.
With help from the crew, a baby boy was delivered in the car in front of the firehouse.
Officials said both mom and baby are doing well.
Photo Credit: New London Fire Dept.
(From left to right) LT Hynek, FF Fuller, FF Nott, FF Malinowsky and FF Gentile helped deliver a baby on Friday night.