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    Firefighters are responding to a report of a transformer explosion near a school in Norwich.

    The Twitter account for Taftville Fire Department says they are responding to a transformer explosion with a brush fire near the Moriarty Magnet School and power is out in the area. The school is not impacted because it has its own generator. 

    Fire officials urge people to use caution in the area.

    The website for Norwich Public Utilities says there is a power outage in the Canterbury Turnpike area.

    No additional information was immediately available.

    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    It’s been an overall pretty rough year for the United States, if 2018’s top Google searches are any indication.

    The county’s top searches this year covered everything from destructive hurricanes to celebrity deaths to mass shootings. Many of this year’s most googled topics in the U.S. were also reflected in the year’s most searched topics globally

    Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain made the top 10 most searched topics. Spade was the original creator of the handbag line by the same name, and Bourdain was the host of CNN’s award-winning show “Parts Unknown.” Both reportedly died by suicide.

    Rapper Mac Miller and singer Demi Lovato were also frequently searched about this year. Miller reportedly died from a drug overdose in September. Lovato’s struggles with drug addiction also made headlines when she was hospitalized following an apparent overdose in August.

    People connected to the #MeToo movement, a campaign started on social media fighting for justice for sexual assault survivors, also made the list .

    Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court’s newest addition, faced a contentious nomination battle that captivated the nation after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford accused him of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school. Kavanaugh denied the allegations. He was sworn in as the 114th justice of U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 6.

    Former NBC “Today” show host Matt Lauer made 2017’s top Google searches list after he was accused of and fired for sexually harassing female colleagues.

    Just as with last year’s top Google searches, another mass shooting made the list. Twelve people were killed in a bar in Thousand Oaks, California, in November after a former Marine Corps veteran opened fire on them. Many of the victims were in their early 20s.

    In October 2017, 58 people were killed and hundred more injured when a gunman shot into a crowd of 22,000 concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. The Las Vegas Shooting was one of the most googled news events in 2017.

    In 2016, the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando left 49 people dead and dozens injured, with the majority of the victims and survivors being members of the LGBTQ community. The Orlando shooting made the most searched news events list in 2016.

    But not all the searches were depressing.

    The World Cup was this year’s most searched topic.

    The Marvel Studios film “Black Panther” was the sixth most searched topic this year. The super hero flick and its notably diverse cast made history when the movie became the first Marvel film to receive a Golden Globe nomination.

    Duchess of Sussex and former “Suits” actress Meghan Markle made the list for the most searched people of 2018. Markle also made the list last year. Her royal wedding also made the most searched news list. Markle captured American and U.K. hearts alike as the world followed her engagement to the Britain's Prince Harry.

    Arguably, the real winner for 2018’s top Google searches was the Mega Millions jackpot lottery results, which had much of the country hoping they’d wake up with $1.6 billion in their pocket. It was the first time in Mega Millions history and the second time in U.S. lottery history that the possible winnings reached 10 figures.

    Hopefully next year’s top Google searches will be richer than this year’s.

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

    File - The World Cup, Meghan Markle and “Black Panther” topped Google’s 2018 global search trends while Hurricane Florence and Mega Millions lottery results rose to the top of searches in the U.S.File - The World Cup, Meghan Markle and “Black Panther” topped Google’s 2018 global search trends while Hurricane Florence and Mega Millions lottery results rose to the top of searches in the U.S.

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    Warning: Video may be disturbing to some viewers.

    Crews tried to rescue three deer that fell through ice on a Massachusetts reservoir on Wednesday, according to police.

    Authorities received calls of deer in Cambridge Reservoir in Waltham sometime around 11 a.m.

    NBC10 Boston's Sky Ranger helicopter was over the scene, where three deer struggled in the water to get on frozen parts of the reservoir.

    However, despite the efforts of Waltham fire crews, the deer were unable to make it back to shore and a decision was made to let nature take its course.

    A rescuer also fell into the water after ice broke beneath him, but another rescuer was able to pull him back to shore. The rescuer who fell through the ice is expected to be OK.

    Photo Credit: Mark Garfinkel/NBC10 Boston

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    Dozens of people fulfilled their longtime dream of becoming American citizens during a ceremony at Goodwin College in East Hartford Wednesday. 

    Thirty people representing 22 countries took the oath of citizenship as families and friends stood by in support. 

    Among the countries represented at the ceremony were the Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, China and Ecuador. 

    Ruramai Mbabali, who is originally from Zimbabwe and has been in the United States since she was 19, said the greatest privilege of gaining her citizenship is gaining a say in American democracy. 

    “Voting. It’s really exciting that I’ll get to be a part of that, especially after being here for so long and not having that opportunity. It’s going to be such a big thing for my family,” she said. 

    “I didn’t know it was going to be this huge celebration about it. I thought it was going to be something small. It was good. I felt special” said Anny Botelho, a new citizen who emigrated from Brazil. 

    The ceremony was delayed by a week. It had been postponed from Dec. 5, which was observed as a national day of mourning following the death of President George H.W. Bush. 

    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    Shops, colleges and bars top the list of places people have taken Uber in the Hartford area this year. 

    Uber released the following list of the 10 most requested places in Hartford this year:

    1. Walmart
    2. University of Hartford
    3. Westfarms
    4. Bartaco
    5. The Shoppes at Buckland Hills
    6. The Russian Lady
    7. Hartford Hospital
    8. Trinity College
    9. Aetna
    10. McLadden's West Hartford

    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    The J.M. Smucker Company is voluntarily recalling specific lots of 9Lives Protein Plus wet canned cat food due to possible low levels of thiamine, an essential vitamin for cats, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

    The FDA said no illnesses related to this issue have been reported and the products are being recalled "out of an abundance of caution." 

    The products impacted by the recall are as follows:


    • 9Lives Protein Plus with Tuna and Chicken, 4-pack cans (5.5 oz. each can), UPC: 7910021549, Best if Used by Date: Mar. 27, 2020 - Nov. 14 2020)
    • 9Lives Protein Plus with Tuna and Liver 4-pack cans (5.5 oz. each can), UPC: 7910021748, Best if Used by Date: Apr. 17, 2020 - Sept. 14, 2020)

    The FDA said the products were sold to a variety of retailers nationwide.

    No other 9Lives or J.M. Smucker Company products are impacted by this recall, the agency said.

    Cats fed diets low in thiamine, also known as Vitamin B1, over the course of several weeks may be at risk for developing a thiamine deficiency, according to the FDA.

    The agency said symptoms include decreased appetite, salivation, vomiting, failure to grow and weight loss. In advanced cases of thiamine deficiency, neurological signs can develop, including ventroflexion of the neck (bending towards the floor), mental dullness, blindness, wobbly walking, circling, falling, seizures and sudden death.

    If your cat is displaying any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately. Thiamine deficiency is typically reversible if treated promptly.

    Pet owners should stop feeding the recalled products to their cats and throw it out, the FDA said.  Customers who would like a refund or coupon for a replacement product should contact the company by filling out this form or calling 1-888-569-6828, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m ET and 6:00 p.m ET.

    Photo Credit: FDA

    9Lives Protein Plus with Tuna and Chicken is one of two products recalled by J. M. Smucker Company.9Lives Protein Plus with Tuna and Chicken is one of two products recalled by J. M. Smucker Company.

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    The company that publishes the National Enquirer admitted that it paid $150,000 in hush money to silence alleged mistresses of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump prior to the 2016 election, prosecutors said Wednesday. 

    The publisher, American Media Inc., will avoid prosecution by stipulating that it worked with Trump's campaign to buy the silence of women — who have identified themselves as adult film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal — ahead of the vote two years ago, prosecutors said. 

    The agreement between prosecutors and AMI was signed and dated Sept. 21, NBC News reported. A representative for AMI and the company's CEO, David Pecker, a long-time ally of Trump's, declined comment on Wednesday.

    The announcement comes the same day Trump's former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for lying to investigators about the hush-money operation.

    Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File

    This July 12, 2017, file photo shows the cover of an issue of the National Enquirer featuring President Donald Trump at a store in New York.This July 12, 2017, file photo shows the cover of an issue of the National Enquirer featuring President Donald Trump at a store in New York.

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    Thanks to generous donations, the holidays for kids at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital will be a little brighter.

    Brookfield police officers unloaded boxes and boxes filled with gifts for children Wednesday.

    “Everything came together. They were supportive of us. We just love to do this,” said Officer Joseph Kyek.

    “With having children, you know, and children sick, being able to give them toys or whatever to help out and make it a better season for the holiday,” said Captain Peter Frengs, whose own children helped collect the toys. “Anything we can do to help.”

    The department collected at least 1,000 toys during their annual Stuff a Cruiser event.

    “Businesses came, donated money, people came by and stopped by, saying what’s going on here. We have our truck set up, lights are going—there’s a big Santa Claus,” explained Officer Mitchell Heller.

    All the toys go to patients at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital. Right before Christmas they’ll let the parents of patients come in and “shop” for a toy for their child.

    “This will help our child life specialist to help kids be kids even when they’re sick or injured or here in the hospital,” said Marianne Hatfield, vice president of nursing at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital.

    Hatfield said that happiness is healing, especially during the holidays.

    “It’s a reminder, it just bring some normalcy back to childhood,” she said.

    There are so many toys from this donation Hatfield says it will help children throughout the year.

    “This is actually amazing donation, by amazing group of people who also help people,” she said. “We’re very grateful to the Brookfield police department.”

    “It touches my heart. It’s going to be a great blessing to all these kids,” Officer Heller added.

    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    The Brookfield Police Department collected thousands of toys for patients at Yale New Haven Children's Hospital at their annual Stuff a Cruiser event.The Brookfield Police Department collected thousands of toys for patients at Yale New Haven Children's Hospital at their annual Stuff a Cruiser event.

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    Community leaders in New Haven held a news conference on Wednesday demanding Yale University update the city regarding a commitment it made in 2015 to hire 1,000 new New Haven residents, 500 of them from identified neighborhoods in need.

    “This particular press conference is to let the community know that the fight is continuing and to give them an update and to give them a hope that we are not going to let up and that we are fighting for our community, especially our low-income communities,” Pastor Kelcy Steele of Varick Memorial AME Zion Church said.

    Steele has been serving New Haven’s Dixwell community for years. He said the neighborhood has one of the highest rates of unemployment in the city, something he is fighting to improve.

    “Low-income does not mean low intelligence,” Steele explained. “We have people in our communities that are qualified. We have people in our communities that are capable, and we just need to give them a fair chance.”

    Three years ago, Yale University committed to hiring 1,000 New Haven residents by April of 2019 for a variety of jobs, including administration, hospitality and research. Community leaders want to know if Yale is on track to fulfill that promise, calling on the city’s Board of Alders to hold a public hearing.

    “We want Yale to be successful,” Democratic state Rep. Toni Walker explained. “We’re not trying to stop Yale from being successful, but we want to be a partner in that process to make sure that they’re in compliance with what they agreed to.”

    Yale told NBC Connecticut it is partnering with community non-profits on the hiring initiative. It did not elaborate on how many new residents have been hired since the commitment was announced in 2015.

    In a statement, university officials said: “Yale is committed to reaching its goal of hiring new haven residents, and is working diligently with New Haven Works on the hiring initiative. Yale already employs 6,000 New Haven residents from all over the city.”

    New Haven residents who are interested in joining New Haven Works can visit for more information.

    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    Connecticut’s program that provides money to candidates running for state offices from the legislature all the way up to governor saw a record year.

    A total of 335 candidates received grants from the Citizens Election Program (CEP) worth a combined $26.5 million, according to the State Elections Enforcement Commission.

    “I think it was a tremendous year for the Citizens Election Program,” said Michael Brandi, executive director of the agency.

    CEP is considered a model around the country, and it’s benefitted both Republicans and Democrats over the years. From 2010 to 2016, Republicans gained 41 seats in the General Assembly, but then saw major losses in statewide elections last month.

    This year, many of the Democrats who received public financing were successful in their bids for office. Gov. Dannel Malloy used the program for both of his general election victories before deciding not to run for a third term.

    Brandi says the program allows candidates to avoid the process of spending weeks and months raising money.

    “Candidates can get out there and actually get out there and actually meet their constituents and address the real issues in their districts.”

    However, two candidates that didn’t participate in the program were the two major candidates running for governor, Democrat and Governor-elect Ned Lamont, and Republican Bob Stefanowski.

    “It’s unfortunate that we didn’t have the candidates at the top of the ticket participate,” Brandi said.

    Lamont, a wealthy businessman, funded his own campaign, and his Democratic primary opponent Joe Ganim, Bridgeport’s mayor, was disqualified from participating in the CEP due to his criminal past.

    The Republican primary is where public financing was a larger issue.

    Three candidates, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, Tim Herbst, and Steve Obsitnik used the program, while Stefanowski and David Stemerman either used their own fortunes or raised money.

    “Too late and too little money,” said Boughton during an interview Wednesday.

    Boughton was the endorsed candidate for the GOP, but didn’t receive his $1.35 million CEP grant until July, about six weeks before the August primary. By that time both Stemerman and Stefanowski had been on the air for months. In the case of Stefanowski, he had been paying for TV ads since the fall of 2017.

    “I think the program is well intentioned but there are things that have to be done,” Boughton said.

    He added, “The objective of this program, even in the primary, is to level the playing field. And when you have David Stemerman spending $5- $6 million on a primary, Bob Stefanowski spending $3 to $4 million in a primary. Myself, and Tim Herbst and Steve Obsitnik spending $1.3 million. It’s not a level playing field.”

    Democrats in the General Assembly say there have been no discussions toward adjusting the program in any way.

    Boughton suggested releasing some funds to candidates earlier if they have qualified, and even moving the qualifying deadlines to earlier in the year to allow for earlier campaigning.

    In the case of the governor’s race, candidates had to raise $250,000 in small amounts, not to exceed $100 in individual contributions in order to qualify for up to nearly $8 million in public funds.

    Brandi says some changes could be made if they come up during the legislative session, which starts in January, but says the schedule and deadlines are aligned with the primary calendar as well as state conventions.

    “It’s really difficult to back up those deadlines because there are pieces of the program to show public support before we can give the grant money out and that’s, when you start talking about a year prior to the conventions,” Brandi said. “I’m not sure how that would work. Everything can be discussed.”

    Even though the GOP and Democratic nominees self-funded their campaigns, past election results, Brandi says, shows that when candidates face each other and one is using the program and the other isn’t, public financing has often prevailed.

    “Look, a self-funder can always run and can always spend an inordinate amount of money. We saw Linda McMahon. We’ve seen others throw tens of millions of dollars into candidate committees and still not be successful.”

    Boughton says eliminating the CEP is also not a viable solution, because the program has proven valuable down the ballot.

    “Mend it, don’t end it,” Boughton said.

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    West Hartford Police have arrested a woman after a confrontation at a middle school basketball game on Sunday night.

    Police said an eighth grade travel basketball team from West Hartford was playing a travel team from East Hartford at Hall High School when the game referee made a foul call.

    Officers said the call made some spectators belligerent towards the referee. A female spectator recorded the confrontation with her cell phone after the game was called, once spectators started leaving.

    According to police, another female spectator, later identified as 20-year-old Marcelie Ramos, of Hartford, was walking by and became agitated about the filming. Ramos reportedly walked up to the woman and forcefully swung at and swatted the cell phone with her hands.

    No injuries were reported.

    Ramos is facing breach of peace charges and was released on a $2,500 bond. She was in court on Wednesday.

    Police said while they were investigating this incident, the referee reported that a male spectator had verbally threatened him about a call he made during the game. The referee said the man then followed him across the court and tried to physically assault him.

    That incident is still under investigation.

    Photo Credit: West Hartford Police

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    A retired Hartford police officer is making sure every officer is honored for their sacrifices, even years after their death.

    Hartford Police didn’t start to award the Police Cross, recognition of officers severely wounded in the line of duty, until 1974, but retired Sgt. Thomas Elwood works to track down deserving officers and their families to make sure everyone gets the recognition they deserve.

    Floyd Hartfield was a dedicated Hartford Police Officer for 32 years.

    "He took it to heart, and he had great passion for that job," said his son, Floyd Hartfield Jr.

    In 1959, he was shot in the line of duty.

    "My mother wanted him to stop being a cop and he just said no way he was in his blood," said Larry Hartfield.

    Hartfield returned to work but died in 2003.

    On Wednesday his two sons were at Hartford Police Headquarters to accept the Police Cross Award on his behalf.

    "It’s truly an honor to be recognized," Larry Hartfield said. "Even though he’s gone, I am just touched."

    "It’s to be presented to police officers who are severely wounded in the line of duty whether they survive or not," Elwood said. "This is like a Christmas present it’s the greatest thing in the world. I’m glad to see there right now all of the officers do this metal, who wanted it, have gotten it."

    Hartfield was one of five officers honored at the ceremony Wednesday.

    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    The Hartford Police Department awards the Police Cross to officers seriously injured in the line of duty.The Hartford Police Department awards the Police Cross to officers seriously injured in the line of duty.

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    The state comptroller’s office has launched a website with information on pensions for retired state employees.

    The site, OpenPension, will be updated each pay cycle with information on the average pension earnings, pension recipients as well as how many retirees live in each state, according to Comptroller Kevin Lembo’s office. 

    See the site here. 

    The site lists the average pension earnings as $38,212.

    The top five states for retired Connecticut state employees to live in include Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, North Carolina and South Carolina.

    “OpenPension is an important addition to the OpenConnecticut portal that builds on my commitment to make Connecticut’s government the most open and transparent in the nation,” Lembo said in a statement. “As Connecticut faces persistent immediate and long-term financial challenges, OpenConnecticut will continue to expand and serve as a source for policy makers and the public so that we can have informed debates in finding solutions.” 

    “OpenConnecticut will never be complete – it will always remain a work in progress as we continue to find new ways to expand access to government data,” the statement from Lembo says. “I look forward to continue growing this site and other initiatives that bring Connecticut residents closer to government.” 

    Photo Credit:

    Connecticut may not be able to rely on a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow to boost revenue, but on St. Patrick's Day one idea is up for public debate before the state's Public Safety Committee in Hartford -- opening three smaller casinos in the state.Connecticut may not be able to rely on a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow to boost revenue, but on St. Patrick's Day one idea is up for public debate before the state's Public Safety Committee in Hartford -- opening three smaller casinos in the state.

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    Residents on Allen Street in New Britain were told to stay inside their homes Wednesday afternoon while police responded to a suspect barricaded inside a building.

    New Britain and Plainville officers responded to the 400-block of Allen Street to find the suspect, who has an active arrest warrant out of Plainville. He is accused of making threatening statements to a Plainville business.

    New Britain police said the suspect was apprehended without a problem and he was transferred into Plainville police custody. The suspect has not been publicly identified.

    Neighbors were asked to stay inside their homes while the situation unfolded.

    No other information was immediately available.

    Check back for updates.

    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    New Britain police say a suspect barricaded himself inside a building on Allen Street Wednesday.New Britain police say a suspect barricaded himself inside a building on Allen Street Wednesday.

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    The NBC Connecticut meteorologists are tracking snow showers Thursday that could lead to some accumulation in parts of western Connecticut.

    A northerly wind is bringing in colder air. Temperatures Wednesday night will drop to around the teens inland and low 20s along the shoreline.

    Thursday will see temperatures around 30 inland and 35 along the shore, with little sun and scattered snow showers.

    Most towns will only see a few scattered flakes, but western Connecticut could see a coating to accumulations about an inch. This will be a light snow, but it could cause some slick spots on the road.

    Get the latest forecast anytime here.

    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.

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    33-year-old Emanuel Fluter appeared in court Wednesday to face murder charges after allegedly slashing his three-year-old niece's throat over the weekend, killing her. Josephine Bulubenchi, the victim, was asleep at the time of the attack. A plea of not guilty was entered on Fluter's behalf.

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    A man accused of murdering his girlfriend at a motel in East Lyme faced a judge and the victim’s family Wednesday.

    Avery Hallbrooks is accused of killing his girlfriend and mother of his child Corina Zukowski at the Starlight Inn on Flanders Road Monday night. Police said Zukowski was stabbed multiple times, in the neck, hands and chest.

    As Hallbrooks faced a judge, you could hear sobs coming from Zukowski’s friends and family, who came as a large group. One person yelled “burn in hell” during Hallbrooks’ appearance.

    "She was a beautiful young lady that tried to leave him and he took her from us,” said Phil Rodriguez, Zukowski’s stepfather.

    Rodriguez broke down in the courtroom Wednesday. He told NBC Connecticut his stepdaughter dated Zukowski for about two years. The couple had a son together and Zukowski also had two other boys.

    "She did notify us that she was ready to come back home. That she wanted to start fresh and move on and be with her boys and he took that all away from her," Rodriguez said.

    Rodriguez said Zukowski was staying at the motel to save money for a place of her own. He was trying to help her start a career in law enforcement.

    Her friends said she gave a lot in her relationship with Hallbrooks.

    "Everything he had was because of her like clothes, a place to be, food," said Jocelynn Tamer.

    Tamer said she was communicating with Zukowski, who she calls a sister, the night of the murder.

    "She told me they were arguing,” Tamer said.

    According to an arrest report, Hallbrooks called 911 the night of the murder and initially told police he believed a former boyfriend “did something to her.” Hallbrooks said he was trying to get into the motel room when a man ran out of the room and attempted to stab him. 

    Investigators spoke to a witness who told officers the victim said she and Hallbrooks were fighting Monday, and that she threw all of his belongings out of the room.

    "At one point, the victim told Witness #1 that, if the accused came back to the hotel, she would be ready for him with a butcher knife that she was keeping on her bedside table," the court papers read.

    Hallbrooks' story changed, according to court documents, when he was further questioned. The arrest report states that Hallbrooks told police he and Zukowski were fighting over his drug and alcohol use. He said he left the room for a while, and when he came back, Zukowski blocked the entrance and swung a knife at him. Hallbrooks claimed that after a struggle on the bed, he loosened his grip on her and the knife went into the victim's neck. He also said "he could not stop the victim from stabbing herself at least four more times."

    The court documents say Hallbrooks told police he washed off the knife and threw it in the woods. There Connecticut State Police found a pillowcase with bloody clothing that smelled like bleach. Hallbrooks told officers they belonged to him. He also said as soon as Zukowski fell to the floor, "he used the knife to cut her one time in the neck."

    Hallbrooks is being held on a $2 million bond.

    Zukowski’s stepfather said her loved ones planned to hold a domestic violence victims vigil in her memory at the Civic Triangle Duck Pond in Waterford.

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    Barbara McLean-Pellitier needed a car and set out to buy a 2006 White Toyota Camry on Craigslist in September.

    “It was for sale for $1,000 which I thought was an incredible price,” said McLean-Pellitier.

    The Windsor resident now regrets her decision after finding out that the supposed seller took her for a ride.

    “I feel like a fool because I didn’t know what was going on,” said McLean-Pellitier.

    McLean-Pellitier said she contacted the seller, who listed Manchester as their address, via email. She says she only communicated with the supposed seller via email.

    “One thing that the seller told me was that the car belonged to her son who was 26 years old who recently died,” said McLean-Pellitier.

    McLean-Pellitier asked to see the vehicle and to take it for a drive. But said the seller told her that the car would only be available for purchase on eBay and directed McLean-Pellitier to a site that appeared to be eBay.

    Turns out, it was actually a fake website designed to look like the popular shopping site, according to eBay.

    “She told me that it would be safer that way,” said McLean-Pellitier. “She also told me that the car was stored in Kentucky.”

    McLean-Pellitier told NBC Connecticut Responds that the seller sent her an email which instructed her to buy $1,500 worth of eBay gift cards. The seller told her to email them the numbers on the back of the cards along with a photo of each one.

    She said she received a payment confirmation via email from what she thought was the eBay website. But it wasn’t. It was a fake site. Barbara says the seller stopped responding her emails after confirming the payment had been received.

    “It just goes to show you, you have to be more than careful,” said McLean-Pellitier.

    She said she filed police reports in both Connecticut and Kentucky. Authorities told her that the person listing the car didn’t exist in either state.

    “There wasn’t much that they could do for me because everything was done through cash,” said McLean-Pellitier.

    An eBay spokesperson told Responds:

    “This transaction appears to be a scam as it did not take place on eBay. Unfortunately, scam artists will list items for sale on fake landing pages, Craigslist or other non-eBay trading sites, and promise eBay’s protection as a means of completing the scam. Criminals often exploit well-known, trusted brand names like eBay to attract consumers and then lure them onto fake websites and into fraudulent transactions. We always encourage all our shoppers to be cautious when they aren’t purchasing directly through the eBay website. We provide tips for safe shopping and warning signs to look out for scams on the eBay Security Center page.”

    McLean-Pellitier said she didn’t file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau of Connecticut. But we asked the agency’s spokesman, Luke Frey, about the dangers of buying high-end items through email and online websites.

    “All of these transactions are sort of at your own risk,” said Frey.

    Frey pointed out that it’s best to do business face-to-face because those online pictures may not be legitimate.

    “That’s usually a red flag that those images have been re-created or used to fraudulently sell that same item,” said Frey.

    And Frey advises that customers look for company reviews and recommendations before surfing the web for purchases.

    “A lot of scammers want you to purchase something quickly or create a story about how they have to sell a car quickly and they just need that money,” said Frey.

    As for Barbara McLean-Pellitier, she just needed a car, and hopes her story will help others.

    “I thought, maybe, I could save someone else, even if it’s only one person,” added McLean-Pellitier.

    Our multiple attempts to reach Craigslist for comment about this situation went unanswered.

    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    When Barbara McLean-Pellitier needed a car, she decided to try shopping online.When Barbara McLean-Pellitier needed a car, she decided to try shopping online.

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    Three people missing in an inactive coal mine in West Virginia were found alive Wednesday after being reported missing four days ago, authorities said.

    The three had been trapped in the Rock House Powellton mine in Clear Creek, NBC News reports

    "Efforts are underway now to bring the individuals to the surface, where they will be transported for medical treatment," said Samantha Smith, a spokeswoman for the West Virginia Department of Commerce.

    The discovery was made on the fourth day of the search. One of four people who initially went into the mine and managed to get out late Monday told authorities the rest were alive and provided information on their location, state officials said.

    Photo Credit: yo_co -

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    Hartford police have arrested a man accused of attacking a woman with a brick.

    Police arrested 24-year-old Dashawn Dwyer Wednesday.

    Dwyer is accused of attacking a woman on October 26 at Sergeant Street. The victim was found with a head injury and was taken to Saint Francis Hospital where she was admitted to Intensive Care after the attack. She has been recovering from severe injuries.

    Dwyer was charged with first-degree assault in that case. He also had three unrelated arrest warrants. He was held on bond.

    Photo Credit: Hartford Police Department

    Dashawn DwyerDashawn Dwyer

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