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    The officer in charge of Internal Affairs for the Hartford Police Department is now the center of an investigation into his own actions, following allegations the high-ranking officer allowed his signature to be copied onto training reports.

    Hartford Police Chief David Rosado confirmed Assistant Chief Jason Thody is the subject of an internal affairs investigation following his testimony at an October arbitration hearing for a terminated officer. NBC Connecticut exclusively obtained documents from the hearing including a transcript, training report, and Thody’s time cards. Attorney Marshall Segar, who questioned Thody for the Hartford Police Union, confirmed the documents.

    Thody was called to testify that he delivered fair and impartial policing training to former H.P.D. officer Robert Lanza, who was fired this January after he was arrested by Plainville police for a DUI. The case against Lanza was later dismissed after he completed an alcohol education program, according to the Hartford Police Union.

    In the hearing, under cross-examination, Thody was presented time cards showing he was at an out-of-state training conference on the date he supposedly signed off on Lanza’s training report.

    Later, the transcript shows Thody said he was no longer sure he personally trained Lanza, and he testified that it was standard practice for his signature to be photocopied onto as many as 150 training forms.

    “All of these are photocopied. I don’t sign personally,” he said according to the transcript.

    The executive director of the state’s Police Officers Standards and Training Council confirmed to NBC Connecticut that training instructors are required to sign each training form individually, and only for classes they have taught.

    The internal affairs investigation into Thody is being led by department’s other assistant chief, Rafael Medina, according to Chief Rosado. Thody continues to perform his regular duties which include overseeing the Internal Affairs division as well as training for the entire police department, he said.

    Hartford Police Union President John Szewczyk said his members expect command staff to be held to the same standard as rank and file officers.

    “We feel this is a violation of trust against the membership and a violation of the public’s trust as well,” Szewczyk said.

    Chief Rosado declined an on camera interview and sent NBC Connecticut a statement reading, “As with any complaint we receive, it is being investigated and it would be inappropriate to comment before that investigation is complete. I respect our union and I am happy to continue discussing any concerns they have directly with them.”

    Thody was a captain when the training form in question appears to have been signed in 2016. He retired from the force earlier this year and was almost immediately re-hired by Chief Rosado as an assistant chief. He collects his Hartford police pension of more than $113,000 a year on top of his salary.


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    The storm that brought high winds, record warmth and excessive rain continues to move away for an improving Saturday.

    NBC Connecticut meteorologists said that the weekend will be turning cooler and calmer with temperatures more seasonable into the 30s and low 40s.

    A weak area of low pressure is expected to glide by on Sunday night into Monday morning. Light snow and rain showers are likely to overspread the state after midnight. There will likely be some rain showers mixed in at the immediate shoreline. Enough wet snow showers may coat the roads (and perhaps up to 1” of accumulation) away from the shoreline by Monday morning.

    The snow isn’t expected to last through the Christmas holiday. Highs on Monday will be close to 40 degrees and will melt most of what falls. Christmas Day is looking sunny and seasonable with highs in the 30s.

    Get the latest forecast anytime here.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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    A Florida high school student-turned-activist who survived one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history is headed to Harvard.

    David Hogg, who took a year off after graduating Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in June 2018, said on Twitter Saturday that he'll "be attending Harvard in the fall with a planned major in Political Science."

    Since the Feb. 14 massacre at Stoneman Douglas that left 14 students and three faculty members dead, Hogg has been one of the most visible activists in the gun control movement and the March for Our Lives campaign launched by him and other classmates.

    Hogg and other survivors have been vocal advocates for gun reform, making countless media appearances and grilling lawmakers during town halls. Their efforts sparked massive walkouts and peaceful protests at schools across the country and also drew international attention. Hogg and other students were in South Africa in November and were awarded the International Children's Peace Prize for their work with March for Our Lives.

    The group organized a demonstration in Washington in March, with hundreds of thousands of people filling the streets of the nation's capital. Satellite demonstrations were also held across the country on the same day.

    March for Our Lives then hit the road over the summer, visiting 80 communities in 24 states to help register young voters and spread its message against gun violence.

    Hogg has made several visits to Massachusetts as part of his efforts. In August, he attended the kick-off for the March for Our Lives 50 Miles More walk against gun violence. In September, Hogg, along with other youth activists, made an appearance at Harvard to talk about engaging young voters. Hogg also returned to Boston in October for a public discussion about civic activism and gun control at the Boston Public Library.

    Hogg co-authored a book, "#NeverAgain: A New Generation Draws the Line," with his younger sister Lauren. The book offers an inside look at the early days of the grassroots effort that made Hogg and other Parkland shooting survivors household names. Hogg writes that the March for Our Lives group came "together to try to heal the world and found out that was the best way to heal."



    Photo Credit: Getty Images, File

    WORCESTER, MA - AUGUST 23: David Hogg, Parkland shooting survivor and activist givess an interview before the kick off of the 50 Miles More walk against gun violence which will end with a protest at Smith and Wesson Firearms factory on August 23, 2018 in Worcester, Massachusetts. 50 Miles More was organized to engage young people in the effort to bring about gun reform legislation. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)WORCESTER, MA - AUGUST 23: David Hogg, Parkland shooting survivor and activist givess an interview before the kick off of the 50 Miles More walk against gun violence which will end with a protest at Smith and Wesson Firearms factory on August 23, 2018 in Worcester, Massachusetts. 50 Miles More was organized to engage young people in the effort to bring about gun reform legislation. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

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    Shelton Police have arrested a man who is accused of stabbing another man during a dispute at a bar on Friday night.

    An officer working a private duty detail at Center Street Social on Center Street arrested 60-year-old Stephen Staffy, of Shelton around 10:45 p.m.

    Investigators learned that Staffy and a 22-year-old man had a verbal altercation at the bar.

    During the altercation, Staffy pulled out a knife, put it up to the man's neck and stabbed him, according to police.

    Employees at the bar detained Staffy and then police arrested him.

    The 22-year-old male victim was transported to St. Vincent's Hospital, where he was treated for non life-threatening injuries, police said.

    Staffy is facing charges including assault, carrying a dangerous weapon, reckless endangerment, threatening and breach of peace. His bond is $250,000.



    Photo Credit: Shelton Police

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    If you love the anxiety of a shopping deadline, there are just three frantic days left until Christmas, and Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets is one of several shopping destinations that opened its doors early on Saturday for the last minute rush.

    “I love it,” Sabrina Thompson of Middletown said. “Yeah, before the crowds come in and I have ideas of what I want to get, so I’m just going to go on a mission.”

    “We just decided first thing in the morning you can get everything done,” Madeline Smith, also from Middletown said. “No problems.”

    According to the National Retail Federation, about 130 million people will be out on Saturday shopping, almost as many shoppers as all of Black Friday weekend. People said they usually don’t wait until this long to finish their shopping.

    “I like to shop earlier, but between work and everything, it caught up to me,” Thompson said.

    “Crowds kind of a get a little crazy and it’s just quick to get in and get out and do your things and get home because that’s what Christmas is all about, being home with your family,” Heather Hitchman said.

    Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets will be open on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Christmas Eve from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    The Niantic Fire Chief has resigned amid questions over unaccounted for town funds, according to East Lyme First Selectman Mark Nickerson.

    Chief Steve Wargo submitted his resignation mid-week, Nickerson said. The town has since pulled records and paperwork that will be handed over to East Lyme Police with the intent to launch an investigation.

    Nickerson said representatives from Niantic Fire Department Incorporated notified him of possible discrepancies with time cards and payroll, which Wargo oversees.

    The Niantic Fire Department is made up of full-time, part-time and volunteer positions. The chief is not a paid position, Nickerson said, but Wargo was paid for being a part-time firefighter.

    Wargo is barred from any fire shifts pending the investigation.

    Since the resignation, Nickerson said the town has already changed how time cards are reported for the department, implementing a back-up system that requires multiple signatures and verification.

    John Dwire will take over as acting chief.

    Wargo is also a lieutenant with the New London Fire Department and is not responsible for payroll there.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images/Glowimages RF

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    Connecticut State Police have identified the man who was killed in a crash in Essex on Saturday afternoon.

    Police were called to Gates Road in Essex around 3:45 p.m. after getting a report of a one-car crash.

    When officers arrived, they found a vehicle off the road on a residential lot, where it had hit a tree.

    The driver of the vehicle, later identified by police as 58-year-old William Demars, of Essex, was pronounced dead at the Shoreline Clinic.

    Anyone with information about the crash is asked to contact Troop F in Westbrook at (860) 399-2100. The crash remains under investigation.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    A tsunami that devastated the area around Indonesia's Sunda Strait, leaving at least 222 dead and hundreds more injured, struck fast and without warning on Saturday, NBC News reported.

    While most tsunamis have seismic precursors that allow for some form of warning, an unfortunate chain of factors led to Saturday's catastrophic impact, experts say.

    The tsunami, which happened between Java and Sumatra islands, was caused by the Anak Krakatau, an active volcano that has been erupting since June.

    Two theories have emerged about what caused the eruption: Either an underwater landslide or a spewing of molten lava caused the displacement. Experts say it is more likely that the wave was triggered by a landslide.



    Photo Credit: AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim

    Villagers stand near a car damaged by a tsunami in Carita, Indonesia, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. The tsunami occurred after the eruption of a volcano around Indonesia's Sunda Strait during a busy holiday weekend, sending water crashing ashore and sweeping away hotels, hundreds of houses and people attending a beach concert.Villagers stand near a car damaged by a tsunami in Carita, Indonesia, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. The tsunami occurred after the eruption of a volcano around Indonesia's Sunda Strait during a busy holiday weekend, sending water crashing ashore and sweeping away hotels, hundreds of houses and people attending a beach concert.

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    A Manchester man who is accused of violently sexually assaulting a woman turned himself in to police on Thursday.

    Officers said 31-year-old Bristen Gilmore, of Manchester, turned himself in on an active arrest warrant in relation to a sexual assault that happened on December 7, 2018. 

    Police said a 41-year-old woman from Manchester reported the incident to Manchester Police on December 8, the day after she said the assault happened.

    According to police, the woman described a violent assault that happened after she allowed Gilmore into her home to use the bathroom. She told police that Gilmore, who was naked, came up behind her, pulled her pants down and forced himself on her as she tried to fight him off.

    Gilmore has been charged with sexual assault and was held on a court set bond of $450,000. He is scheduled to appear in court on January 24.



    Photo Credit: Manchester Police

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    The Carolina Hurricanes will wear Hartford Whalers throwback uniforms during a game in North Carolina on Sunday night.

    Back in September, the team announced on social media that they would wear Hartford Whalers throwback uniforms twice this season, including on Sunday night and then again on March 5 in Boston.

    The Whalers played in Hartford until 1992 before moving to Raleigh and becoming the Hurricanes.

    The Whalers uniforms the Hurricanes showed off on social media represent replicas of the road outfits the team wore during much of its time in Hartford.

    "We're proud of the history and traditions that we've built in 21 years in North Carolina. But we've never thrown away the records established during this franchise's 18 NHL seasons in Connecticut," said Hurricanes President and General Manager Don Waddell. "This is a chance to celebrate our team's heritage and the players and coaches who laid the groundwork for this franchise."

    The uniforms are made by Adidas.


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    Crews responded to two structure fires within hours of each other in Hartford on Sunday afternoon.

    Firefighters were dispatched to 146 Lawrence Street around 12:48 p.m. after getting a report of a working basement fire.

    Crews knocked down the fire and no injuries were reported, fire officials said.

    A few hours later, firefighers were called to another structure fire.

    Officials said heavy fire was reported at 2335 Main Street.

    Firefighters are currently working to knock down the fire.

    The cause of each fire is under investigation.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    Police have released the name of the woman who was killed in an apartment fire in Groton last week.

    Firefighters were called to the Branford Manor complex on Branford Avenue in the city of Groton around 9 p.m. on Wednesday and found heavy fire coming from an apartment.

    According to police, 31-year-old Ana Beroa was found dead inside of a second-story bedroom. They said she was alone in the apartment at the time.

    Beroa's ex-boyfriend told NBC Connecticut that he dated her for about six years. She had two children, one with him.

    He said Beroa's older daughter called him Wednesday night asking him for help. When he arrived, he said his ex was throwing glass and threw a Christmas tree outside.

    Torres said he was able to get the two girls to safety, but when he turned around the apartment was on fire.

    According to Torres, he and other neighbors tried to help Beroa, but the doors were locked and the flames were too intense.

    Firefighters said they also could not immediately get upstairs to look for Beroa because of the flames.

    The fire chief does not suspect foul play.

    The cause of the fire is under investigation.


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    The North American Aerospace Defense Command is tracking Santa Claus as he makes his Christmas Eve journey across the globe.

     Click here to watch Santa's progress. 

    The NORAD Santa Tracker, which went live just after midnight on Christmas Eve, uses satellite systems, high-powered radars and jet fighters, to follow Saint Nick as he makes his Yuletide journey around the world.

    Just after 8 a.m. ET, Santa was seen delivering gifts across Papua New Guinea. Before that, Mr. Claus had been spotted over New Zealand around 6 a.m. ET. His next stop on the worldwide trip is Syndey, Australia. 

    Historically, he visits the South Pacific first before heading to New Zealand and Australia. He then treks to Asia, across to Africa and on to Western Europe, Canada, the United States, Mexico and Central and South America.

    “Keep in mind, Santa’s route can be affected by weather, so it’s really unpredictable,” NORAD writes. “NORAD coordinates with Santa’s Elf Launch Staff to confirm his launch time, but from that point on, Santa calls the shots. We just track him!”

    In addition to watching Santa's progress on the tracker, which went live just after midnight on Christmas Eve, users can find out Santa's current location by dialing 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) or by emailing noradtrackssanta@outlook.com.

    Now in its 63rd year, the Santa tracker became a Christmas Eve tradition after a mistaken phone call to the Continental Air Defense Command in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1955. CONAD, as it was known, had the serious job of monitoring a far-flung radar network for any sign of a nuclear attack on the United States.

    When Col. Harry Shoup picked up the phone that day, he found himself talking not to a military general, but to a child who wanted to speak to Santa Claus. A Colorado Springs newspaper had run an ad inviting kids to call Santa but mistakenly listed the hotline number.

    Shoup figured out what had happened and played along. The tradition has since mushroomed into an elaborate operation that attracts tens of thousands of calls every year.

    For the 1,500 civilian and military volunteers who will answer the phones for kids calling 1-877-HI-NORAD, it infuses the holiday with childlike wonder.

    "They're all really sweet, small voices," said Madison Hill, a volunteer who helped answer the phones in two previous years.

    "I had a little girl tell me good night instead of goodbye," she said. "It's really sweet."

    The North American Aerospace Defense Command — a joint U.S.-Canadian operation based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, that protects the skies over both countries — has taken over the Santa tracker since the tradition started. The military command center embraced and expanded the Santa-tracking mission and has been rewarded with a bounty of goodwill and good publicity.

    Last year, NORAD Tracks Santa drew 126,000 phone calls, 18 million website hits, 1.8 million followers on Facebook and 179,000 more on Twitter.

    Santa and his sleigh will have a hard time staying under the radar thanks to the site, which is accessible in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian Japanese, Portuguese, and Chinese.



    Photo Credit: NORAD

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    One person has died after a wrong-way crash on Route 2 in Glastonbury on Monday morning.

    According to the Connecticut Department of Transportation, the crash happened around 4:30 a.m. and has closed Route 2 eastbound between exits 8 and 9. 

    Police said a car was traveling the wrong way, driving westbound in the eastbound lanes, when it collided with a tractor-trailer truck. 

    A trooper at Troop H said one person involved in the crash has died. Officials have not released the person's identity.

    The State Police reconstruction team has been called to the crash. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has also been called to clean up a fuel spill. 

    Officers said the left two lanes are closed and the right lane is open using the breakdown shoulder, but police believe there may be periods of full lane closures.

    There is no estimate for when the highway will fully reopen.



    Photo Credit: NBC

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    A decades-long tradition of giving back will continue in Middletown where a group of church volunteers spent their Christmas Eve prepping a Christmas dinner for a few hundred people in need.

    “We serve turkey and ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, mixed vegetables, cranberry sauce, gravy and then a ton of desserts,” organizer Julie Hurlburt said.

    The First Church of Christ on Court Street has been serving a Christmas feast seemingly effortlessly for 30 years and on Tuesday it will open its doors yet again for its annual Christmas day community dinner from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

    “For about 15 years, it has been a true community Christmas day dinner,” Hurlburt said. “The soup kitchen is closed tomorrow, but they support us totally.”

    As does Alanna Goldberg who has been volunteering with her children since they were two and six, now 11 and 15.

    “We’re Jewish so we don’t celebrate Christmas and we were looking for something to do where our kids could kind of give back in the season.”

    Year-to-year, the Goldbergs join dozens of volunteers who are preparing three to four hundred meals, between the sit-down dinner, a local shelter and meals that will be delivered to homes.

    “I have a lot of volunteers who just come,” Hurlburt explained. “I’ve got them trained that they don’t all call me. They just show up and it just happens. It’s sort of that leap of faith for me.”

    “They’re giving of themselves and what they get donated and what they produce for everyone in this community,” Goldberg said. “It’s really remarkable.”



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    Police have arrested a man who was wanted for a shooting in New Haven and who is accused of starting a pursuit through multiple towns after an armed robbery in Milford on Saturday night.

    Officers from New Haven responded around 8 p.m. on Saturday to assist West Haven Police in pursuit of a vehicle and suspect wanted for an armed robbery in Milford.

    Police said the pursuit continued through New Haven and ended in the Newhallville neighborhood with a crash involving the suspect, later identified as 46-year-old Darryl Huckabee, and a West Haven Police vehicle. Officers later found a gun in Huckabee's vehicle.

    He was taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries from the accident.

    A female and her child, who were passengers in the vehicle, were also taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

    New Haven Police and Milford Police are investigating the incidents in their towns.

    After the crash, Huckabee was taken into custody for a shooting warrant out of New Haven from earlier in the week.

    Police said they were called to Bassett Street on Wednesday around 1:40 a.m. after getting a report of a person shot.

    When officers arrived, a gunshot victim was found and transported to the hospital.

    Officers believe the shooting stemmed from a dispute between two men about a woman. The investigation led police to obtain an arrest warrant for Huckabee.

    For the shooting investigation, Huckabee is facing charges including assault, criminal possession of a firearm and carrying a pistol without a permit.



    Photo Credit: New Haven Police

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    A program giving free meals to kids on winter break in Hartford begins on Monday.

    It's called the Winter Break Meal Program and it's happening in three locations in the city: Parker Memorial Center, Arroyo Recreation Center and Metzner Recreation Center.

    This is the first year the city will be providing the free meals to school-aged children, aged 18 and under, recognizing that this is a difficult time of the year for many families. No sign-up or reservations are required.

    Lunch and dinner will be served every day through the 31st with the exception of Christmas on a first come, first served basis. Lunch begins at 1 p.m. and dinner begins at 6 p.m.

    City officials said they are partnering with the non-profit "Our Piece of the Pie" to provide the meals, which was made possible by a generous donation by the CEO of United Technologies.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    The largest Mega Millions jackpot ever offered on Christmas Day will be on tap for Tuesday night's drawing.

    With no winners in Friday's drawing, the jackpot climbed to an estimated $321 million. The jackpot refers to the annuity option, in which payments are made over 29 years. Most winners opt for the cash option, which would be $193.7 million.

    Lottery officials said since the game began in 2002, drawings have landed on Dec. 25 just four times, the last time being in 2015. And while a Christmas Day drawing has not yet produced a jackpot winner, seven Mega Millions jackpots have been won in the drawings held days before and after Christmas, including the third largest jackpot in the history of the game – $648 million – on December 17, 2013.

    The chance of matching all six numbers and winning the top prize is 1 in 302.5 million.

    Mega Millions is played in 44 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The next drawing will be held Tuesday, Dec. 25, at 11 p.m. ET.

    The last jackpot was won on Oct. 23, when a single ticket in South Carolina matched all six numbers. That winner has not yet come forward. 



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Mega MillionsMega Millions

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    Shoppers are still scrambling on Christmas Eve to finish their last minute gift and grocery store shopping.

    A lot of people tried to get out early Monday morning to check off their Christmas list.

    “I have to get presents for my mom, my dad and my brother in law. So I have a few more things to do. But then we’re done,” said Katie Kelly of West Hartford.

    A lot of people said they didn’t necessarily plan on shopping this late, life just got in the way.

    “I probably had about six or seven [people] because you know, with work and everything it’s hard to get out for the holidays,” said Rebecca Bialkowski of Newington.

    The plan for many on Monday was getting out early so they could get home to finish cooking and preparing to host family Monday night.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    NBC Connecticut meteorologists expect a few slippery spots Monday evening as colder air works into the state.

    Monday’s snow showers will not amount to much. Mostly under 1” of snow fell in many towns, but much of this will melt during the day with temperatures that will rise into the upper 30s to around 40.

    As colder air moves in Monday night, a snow shower is possible. As temperatures drop Monday evening, there could be one or two icy spots, mainly in the hills.

    Christmas Day looks sunny and seasonably chilly with highs in the 30s. Expect a great travel day for the holiday and that will continue into Wednesday and Thursday.

    [[503446161,c]]

    Our next storm looks to bring us another round of rain and wind on Friday.

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    Get the latest forecast anytime here.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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