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    A man was killed in a one-vehicle crash in Chaplin on Wednesday.

    Rodney Abelin, 53, of Chaplin, was driving along Chewink Road around 3:40 p.m. on Wednesday when he lost control of his SUV and slammed into a tree, according to state police.

    They are investigating the crash.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Some Instagram users found themselves swiping through their timelines left to right on Thursday, rather than vertically, prompting widespread outrage and the social media company to roll back the update, NBC News reported.

    Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri explained what happened on Twitter: "That was supposed to be a very small test that went broad by accident. Should be fixed now. If you're still seeing it simply restart the app. Happy holidays!"

    The Facebook-owned app's test focused on user interaction with its feed, switching from its traditional up-down swipe to a left-right version. 

    The update seemed to upset many people, based on the reactions on social media, but many users said their feeds soon went back to normal. 

    An Instagram spokesperson later described the situation as a bug and wrote by email: “Due to a bug, some users saw a change to the way their feed appears today. We quickly fixed the issue and feed is back to normal. We apologize for any confusion.”


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

    An accidental test layout published to Instagram's mobile app on Dec. 27, 2018, had unhappy users flooding Twitter and Facebook to complain about the An accidental test layout published to Instagram's mobile app on Dec. 27, 2018, had unhappy users flooding Twitter and Facebook to complain about the "Story" styled posts.

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    Michelle Obama is the most admired woman by Americans in 2018, bumping Hillary Clinton out of the top spot for the first time in 17 years, according to a recent Gallup poll.

    Obama finished first by a significant margin this year, Gallup said on its website Thursday. The former first lady received 15 percent of responses, with Oprah Winfrey in second with 5 percent. Clinton came in third place with 4 percent of responses, tying with current first lady Melania Trump.

    Former Secretary of State Clinton, a former first lady as well, claimed the title of the most admired woman 22 times, more than any other woman. Obama came in second to her three times.

    Queen Elizabeth II finished among the top 10 women for the 50th time.

    Meanwhile, Michelle Obama's husband, former President Barack Obama, is the man Americans most admired in 2018, receiving 19 percent of the responses. He has claimed the title 11 times in a row.

    President Donald Trump ranked second behind Barack Obama, receiving 13 percent of the responses. George W. Bush followed with 2 percent, with Vice President Mike Pence, Pope Francis, Elon Musk, the Dalai Lama and former President Bill Clinton also making the list.

    Gallup conducted its annual survey Dec. 3 to 12 and asked Americans in an open-ended question to name any living man and woman they most admire. The survey was first conducted in 1946.



    Photo Credit: Yui Mok/PA via AP, File

    This Dec. 3, 2018, file photo shows Michelle Obama in London.This Dec. 3, 2018, file photo shows Michelle Obama in London.

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    President Donald Trump falsely told American troops in Iraq that he gave them a 10 percent raise, and was also wrong in calling the raise their first pay hike in a decade, NBC News reported.

    In fact, troops will receive a 2.6 percent hike in 2019, up from a 2.4 percent raise in 2018. American troops have received a pay hike every year for decades, though 2019's raise is the largest in nine years.

    Here's what Trump said on Wednesday: "They said, 'You know, we could make it smaller. We could make it three percent. We could make it two percent. We could make it four percent.' I said, 'No. Make it 10 percent. Make it more than 10 percent.' Because it's been a long time. It's been more than 10 years. That's a long time. And, you know, you really put yourselves out there, and you put your lives out there. So congratulations." 



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

    President Donald Trump speaks at a hanger rally at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018.President Donald Trump speaks at a hanger rally at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018.

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    A Pennsylvania national guardsman faces attempted homicide charges after prosecutors say he fired at SWAT officers during a Christmas night standoff at his Chester County home.

    Nathaniel Lewis, 34, surrendered to police Wednesday morning after a crisis negotiator sang Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" — made famous by Bing Crosby in the film of the same name — to him over the phone, the county district attorney's office said.

    Lewis was taken into custody nine hours after he locked himself inside his East Vincent Township home. Prosecutors said officers responded to the house along Aftons Circle at 9 p.m. on Christmas after his estranged wife called for help. The couple have been going through a separation.

    The wife told police that Lewis' sister-in-law went to the home to check on him but had trouble getting in. She eventually forced her way inside and found Lewis wielding a rifle. He fired four shots at the woman as she fled, police said. She was not hurt.

    The Chester County Regional Emergency Response Team, a SWAT team, was called in after officers arrived. At some point during the standoff, prosecutors said Lewis fired upon police from his home. Bullets hit an armored truck with officers in and around it, along with a neighboring home and car.

    A SWAT sniper returned fire. No one was hit in either case. A second SWAT team, the West Chester Emergency Response Team, was deployed to assist after the gunfire erupted.

    Tom Hogan, the district attorney, also came to the scene and said he handed out Christmas cookies to the officers at the scene.

    Lewis eventually surrendered at 7 a.m. Wednesday following the over-the-phone Christmas serenade. He was taken to Paoli Hospital for treatment of a minor head wound. A breathalyzer also detected alcohol in his system, police said.

    Investigators found a rifle, spent shell casings and two firearm magazines in a second-floor bedroom, police said.

    "This being SWAT, they ate the cookies, made fun of each other, and went home to their families, quietly satisfied with a job well done," Hogan said in a post to Facebook.

    Lewis is charged with several counts of attempted homicide, aggravated assault and weapons violations.

    "This defendant is lucky he did not kill a police officer," Hogan said in a news release on Thursday. "The SWAT team members deserve the highest praise for their courage and dedication. While the rest of the world was going to bed after a long Christmas day, our officers were laying their lives on the line for hours in the bitter cold."

    Lewis remains in the Chester County Prison after being unable to post bail. It's not clear if he's retained an attorney. His status in the National Guard was not immediately known.



    Photo Credit: Chester County District Attorney's Office
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    Nathaniel Lewis, 34Nathaniel Lewis, 34

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    A New Haven Public Works employee is under arrest, accused of pistol-whipping a co-worker on Wednesday.

    Police responded to a home on Middletown Avenue around 10:15 a.m. Wednesday for an assault.

    They said 51-year-old Henry Bell confronted his co-worker with a handgun and began hitting the victim in the head with the weapon.

    Police said both Bell and the victim were off-duty at the time of the incident and both had finished their shifts earlier.

    During the incident, the gun discharged, according to police.

    Bell then took off in a vehicle, police said.

    The victim suffered minor injuries to his face and was taken to the hospital to be treated.

    Officers arrested Bell on Thursday morning.



    Photo Credit: New Haven Police

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    A black hotel guest says he was "racially profiled" at a Hilton Hotel in Oregon and asked to leave the property by police for trespassing.

    Jermaine Massey described his experience with a hotel staffer named Earl on Instagram and Facebook. He says the trouble began as he spoke to his mother on his phone in the hotel lobby and hotel staff called the police on him. Massey wrote, "the exact reason is still unclear to me."

    Massey posted a second post and series of videos that appear to show a portion of his encounter with police at the hotel.

    In the video, an officer is heard saying, "Earl is in control of the property… If he says you gotta leave, you gotta leave."

    Portland Police Bureau spokesman Sgt. Chris Burley confirmed an officer arrived at the DoubleTree Lloyd Center in Portland after hotel employees contacted police regarding trespassing. 

    Burley said that the man gathered his items and left. Before he left, police offered assistance to a new hotel, which he declined. 

    Social media reaction posts began surfacing with the hashtag #HotelEarl. Over the past year, hashtags have emerged following other reported incidents of black people being racially profiled, such as #LivingWhileBlack, #BBQBecky, #CornerstoreCaroline, #PermitPatty and #PoolPassPete. Videos have documented black people harassed as they golf, eat, nap and swim. 

    "It is never ok to discriminate against guests for the color of their skin and to prejudge them based on your own bias against that race," Massey wrote on Instagram following the ordeal.

    DoubleTree by Hilton Portland General Manager Paul Peralta released this statement to KGW-TV, Portland's NBC affiliate:

    "Safety and security of our guests and associates is our top priority at the Doubletree by Hilton Portland. This unfortunate incident is likely the result of a misunderstanding between our hotel and guest. We are sorry that this matter ended the way it did. We are place of public accommodation and do not discriminate against any individuals or groups. We have reached out to the guest in order to resolve this matter. I look forward to speaking with Mr. Massey today and resolving this issue directly with him."

    Massey could not immediately be reached for comment. 



    Photo Credit: Jason DeCrow/AP Images for DoubleTree by Hilton

    DoubleTree by Hilton's logo as seen in this May 26, 2011, file photo.DoubleTree by Hilton's logo as seen in this May 26, 2011, file photo.

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    The 18-year-old man charged with the murder of a 12-year-old Bridgeport boy faced a judge Thursday morning and according to newly obtained court documents, the suspect confessed to police.

    Tajay Chambers, 18, was arrested earlier this week and charged with murder in the death of Clinton Howell.

    Howell was shot to death outside his Bridgeport home on Dec. 18.

    Three other juveniles have been arrested in connection to the shooting death of the seventh-grader on December 18.

    At the request of the state’s attorney, Judge Tracy Lee Dayton agreed to set Chambers’ bond at $1 million dollars, saying “the charges are as serious as they get.”

    Family and friends of Howell filled the courtroom during the arraignment.

    “I know it could have easily been a cold case and that would have made the mourning a lot harder cause I know there a lot of families out here that have loved ones murdered that hasn’t been solved to this day,” Howell’s older brother Gamel Dawkins said outside court. “So it definitely helps a whole lot, it doesn’t bring my brother back.”

     

    Chambers is charged with murder with special circumstances, murder, use of a firearm during the commission of a felony, illegal carrying or possession of a pistol or revolver without a permit, three counts of risk of injury to a child, first-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree larceny.

    “I know the court system is going to do everything they can, but you know he’s still young, so I know he’s going to have a life to live after he serves his time, so most important thing is just getting help,” Dawkins said of Chambers.

    Bridgeport police said Chambers was in a stolen newer dark gray Ford Escape with three juveniles, ages 12, 14 and 16, on the night of December 18.

    According to court documents, Chambers told detectives one of the youths handed him a 9 mm handgun and he confessed to pulling the trigger.

    “Chambers stated that he extended his hand out the rear passenger window and fired twice at W#1 who was now standing with a group of males while the car was still in motion,” the affidavit said. W#1 is identified in the affidavit as “witness 1” who is Howell’s cousin. Police have said they believe Howell was not the intended target of the shooting.

    Chambers and the three other arrested juveniles told detectives they went to Willow Street after Howell’s cousin them a Snapchat video showing the street sign. Chambers told police “they understood this to be a dare or challenge” from the cousin who police said is part of gang known as the “BG’s” or “Blitz Gang.”

    On the way back from the corner store with Howell, police said the cousin spotted the SUV and fired a pellet gun. The vehicle made a U-turn and that’s when the affidavit said Chambers shot the real gun, striking Howell in front of his home.

    According to the affidavit, “Chambers stated “I didn’t know that he was 12 years old” referring to the victim.”

    Howell, who was a student at the Bridge Academy in Bridgeport, died a short time later at the hospital.

    In court, the judge said Chambers is not a United States’ citizen and that ICE has placed a hold on him. He is from Jamaica and has lived with family in Bridgeport for less than two years.

    NBC Connecticut reached out to ICE for more information about Chambers’ immigration status, but an email response said no one is able to respond to the request because of the Federal government shutdown.

    The 16-year-old, 14-year-old and 12-year-olds arrested in this care are facing charges including conspiracy to commit murder. The 12 and 14 year olds’ cases are being processed in juvenile court.

    The 16-year-old had his arraignment Wednesday and according to the affidavit he spit in a police officer’s face when he was arrested.

    “There is an allegation by the state that this has to do with gang involvement, can’t comment on whether or not that does exist but that is part of the state’s allegation,” said Frank Riccio Jr., the defense attorney for the 14-year-old.

    Chambers and the 16-year-old are also charged with second-degree assault stemming from an Oct. 8th fight at Bridgeport’s Central High School, police said. The affidavit said the 16-year-old had already been wearing a monitoring bracelet and violated his probation curfew the night of Howell’s murder.

    Both Chambers and the 16-year-old are due back in court for the homicide case on January 8. The judge has moved their cases to Superior Court Part A on Main Street.



    Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police

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    Wethersfield police are searching for two suspects accused of robbing a local bank at gunpoint Thursday morning.

    Police said employees at the People’s United Bank at 486 Silas Deane Highway reported an armed robbery just after 10 a.m. Employees told police that two suspects, a man and a woman, came into the bank with handguns and ordered everyone to sit on the floor. The male suspect reportedly threatened to hurt employees as he forced two of them to gather cash. The suspects fled north on the Silas Deane Highway in a mid-sized burgundy/red colored vehicle.

    No one was hurt.

    The male suspect was described as 6-foot with a thin build and brown hair, wearing a hooded sweatshirt or jacket with sunglasses. The female suspect was described as 5-foot-3 and was wearing mid-back length dark-colored wig, sunglasses, and a long tan jacket.

    Anyone with information on this case should contact the Wethersfield Police Department at 860-721-2901.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Wethersfield police say the People's United Bank at 486 Silas Deane Highway was robbed at gunpoint Thursday morning.Wethersfield police say the People's United Bank at 486 Silas Deane Highway was robbed at gunpoint Thursday morning.

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    State police arrested a Willimantic father Thursday, accused of threatening to harm a DCF worker and a Superior Court judge.

    On Wednesday, troopers were made aware of a video on Facebook posted by 41-year-old Fernando Irizzary, in which he allegedly made the threats.

    According to the arrest warrant, Irizzary posted the video and Christmas and said his children were kidnapped by the Department of Children and Families in May. He referred to his kids as his offspring and his property, police said.

    Irizzary specifically named a DCF worker and a judge and said "Justice will be served either legally or that sometimes people don't understand why people pull the trigger," according to the arrest warrant.

    In the video, Irizzary said he is a "Hardcore Second Amendment guy" and that he has a lot of anger inside him, the warrant states. He went on to say that he wants to handle things legitimately, but he is nervous about how much damage he could do and that he is scared of himself."

    At one point, Irizzary mentioned coming after the DCF worker's property, according to the warrant. The employee told police that after seeing Irizzary refer to his own children as property, that she took the statement to mean he would be coming after her son, the warrant states.

    Irizzary was charged with one count of inciting injury to person or property, three counts of second-degree harassment, and three counts of second-degree breach of peace. He was held on $100,000 bond and was scheduled to be in Danielson Superior Court on Thursday.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

    Fernando Irizzary, 41, of Willimantic is accused of posting a threatening video on Facebook regarding a DCF worker and a Superior Court judge.Fernando Irizzary, 41, of Willimantic is accused of posting a threatening video on Facebook regarding a DCF worker and a Superior Court judge.

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    Our First Alert Weather team issued a First Alert for a brief period of icing Friday morning across northern Connecticut.

    The largest impact will be from 4 to 8 a.m. when freezing drizzle and freezing rain are possible creating slippery conditions during the morning commute.

    Winter Weather Advisories have been posted for northern CT ahead of Friday morning.

    Most of Connecticut will experience primarily rain however some cities and towns in northern CT will likely experience a brief period of freezing drizzle. 

    After 8 a.m., the precipiation is expected to transition over to plain rain.

    Warmer air will filter into the state through the morning with afternoon high temperatures expected in the low to middle 50s.

    Moderate to heavy rain will occur through the afternoon hours. Rainfall totals of 0.5 to 1 inch are expected. 


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    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Powerful storms, which included tornadoes, caused devastation in Connecticut on May 15. Two people were killed and hundreds left with serious damage to their property. Take a look back at some of the photos.Powerful storms, which included tornadoes, caused devastation in Connecticut on May 15. Two people were killed and hundreds left with serious damage to their property. Take a look back at some of the photos.

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    Sargon Isaac looks at his family with tears in his eyes during Christmas dinner when he thinks of what it took to get to this moment. At 68, the unmarried San Jose man recently discovered he's a father and grandfather.

    In the 1970s, Isaac was a touring musician in England. He says he opened for Glen Campbell, Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck. He wasn’t married and admits he had a series of short-term relationships.

    He moved to San Jose in 1982, and last July, his cousin called him out of the blue to say she recently did an Ancestry DNA kit to learn more about her heritage. Those tests can also reveal biological relatives who’ve submitted DNA into the company database.

    She told Isaac she receiving a message from a girl alleging to be her third cousin whose been looking for her biological father all her life.

    "The only thing she knows about him is that he played the guitar," Isaac recalled his cousin telling him. "And I said 'So why are you calling me?' And [my cousin] says 'I think it's you.' And I go, 'Why would that be? A lot of people play guitar.'"

    "She said, 'But she was born in Nottingham.'"

    Isaac said he spent some time performing in Nottingham, and his parents owned a hotel there. He agreed to connect with the woman on Facebook. He says the woman looked just like his mother.

    “I went online and looked and was shaking," Isaac said. "I've always told everybody in the last 10 years that I really regret not having kids.”

    A DNA test confirmed Kelly Wilson was the long lost 40-year-old daughter he never knew he had. Isaac flew to England in July to meet her.

    This week, Wilson and her three children flew to the Bay Area to spend Christmas with her dad for the first time.

    “Incredible isn't it? I'm so blessed. I've been so welcomed,” Wilson said.

    Wilson is also into music. She teaches music, arts and theater at a high school outside of Nottingham. She doesn't blame anyone for what happened in the past, saying her mom never talked about the brief relationship she had with Isaac.

    “It’s God's plan. God's timing. It's really great now. If we live regretting and resentful over what could have been, then I think you end up quite bitter,” Wilson said.

    On Christmas night, Isaac would host dinner with his new family, smiling and tearing up as he sang with his three new grandchildren.

    Wilson gave him a framed craft she recently made.

    “It’s an altered family tree,” she said.

    It’s the connection Isaac always wanted but never knew he had.

    “I have a lot to be thankful for,” Isaac said. “This is my best Christmas ever."

    This is Wilson's first trip to the United States. She expects to make many more trips in the future to see her father.



    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

    Father-daughter Sargon Isaac and Kelly Wilson enjoy their first Christmas together 41 years after Wilson was born. (Dec. 25, 2018)Father-daughter Sargon Isaac and Kelly Wilson enjoy their first Christmas together 41 years after Wilson was born. (Dec. 25, 2018)

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    A picture is worth a thousand words, so what does that make the value of a video? We're looking back at 2018 to see what captured your attention this year.

     

     

     

     

     



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    Hartford police are investigating a double shooting in the city’s North End Thursday.

    Police confirmed one victim was critically injured in a shooting near Garden and Pliny Street.

    More information was not immediately available.

    This is a developing story. Check back for updates.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Hartford police on the scene of a double shooting at Garden and Pliny Streets that left one person critically injured.Hartford police on the scene of a double shooting at Garden and Pliny Streets that left one person critically injured.

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    Health officials are investigating a possible food-borne illness outbreak that may be tied to a Danbury restaurant.

    Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton confirms that Barbarie’s Black Angus Grill voluntarily closed while the Danbury Health Department investigates a possible outbreak.

    Danbury Director of Health Lisa Morrissey confirms the department is investigating several food poisoning complaints and that some reported that they ate at Black Angus. They received the first complaint Wednesday.

    At this stage of the investigation, it is not clear if the restaurant is linked to any illness and the health department has not ruled out other causes.

    Morrissey said the restaurant's previous reviews were excellent. Black Angus was last inspected by the Danbury Health Department on Aug. 15 and passed with a score of a 91, according to city health department records.  

    Restaurant management issued the following statement to NBC Connecticut:

    "The Barbarie name has been a part of Danbury for over 60 years. Our main priority is the safety and health of our patrons. We are currently working alongside the health department to get to the bottom of this. At this time, we do not have any further information."

    No other details were immediately available.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Barbarie’s Black Angus Grill has voluntarily closed while the Danbury Health Department investigates a possible food poisoning outbreak.Barbarie’s Black Angus Grill has voluntarily closed while the Danbury Health Department investigates a possible food poisoning outbreak.

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    Non-profit organizations and private companies are working to provide financial assistance to roughly 800,000 people who won't receive regularly scheduled paychecks as Congress failed to vote on a resolution to the partial government shutdown during a session Thursday, NBC News reported.

    The U.S. Office of Personnel Management, an agency which handles human resources for the government's civilian workforce, advised thousands of employees who won't be paid during government shutdown to reach out to creditors in order to work out alternative payment schedules.

    The OPM released sample letters Thursday on Twitter to show shutdown workers how to ask for help from mortgage companies and landlords.



    Photo Credit: Elaine Thompson/AP

    The tiny Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in Seattle's historic Pioneer Square neighborhood is posted with a closed sign as part of the federal government shutdown Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. The shutdown started Saturday when funding lapsed for nine Cabinet-level departments and dozens of agencies.The tiny Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in Seattle's historic Pioneer Square neighborhood is posted with a closed sign as part of the federal government shutdown Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. The shutdown started Saturday when funding lapsed for nine Cabinet-level departments and dozens of agencies.

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    Music students at Fitch High School in Groton are ringing in the New Year with a big honor—they were invited overseas to participate in London’s New Year’s Day Parade and Festival.

    Thursday close to 100 band, orchestra and choir students boarded planes for London.

    “I’ve been practicing since summer. Nonstop. Just nonstop practicing. But it’s all going to be worth it in the end,” said junior Ben Traverso. He plays trumpet in the band.

    The Fitch Falcon Marching Band was a specially selected American band to play in the parade for a street audience organizers estimate tops 500,000 and a TV audience that last year reached more than 300 million people.

    “It’s a huge honor. Some of the kids have never been overseas before so it’ll be a first experience for a lot of them. I don’t think it’s even hit them ‘til they arrive,” said Director of Bands Andrew Lefebvre.

    Lefebvre has led his students to compete in National Championships. The band has taken the top spot in their class several times in USBands National and New England States Championships.

    Band members practiced three hours after school twice a week, every week, and all day Saturday since August, Lefebvre said. A few band graduates from last year are also coming on the trip.

    “Super excited! It’s a big honor to be able to go over there and be invited so we’re thrilled,” said junior Abby Rogers who plays alto saxophone with the band.

    The orchestra and choir will be holding balloons in the parade, Lefebvre said.

    The three groups are performing in a concert series at St. John’s Square. The choir is also singing in the London International Choral Festival.

    Choral and Orchestra Director John Frascarelli said the students will get to experience England. They’ll see the main sights, including Big Ben and the Tower of London, and will also explore Greenwich and Windsor.

    “You try to broaden their experience,” Frascarelli said. “It’s not just about the classroom. It’s about so much more than that. So we hope they give great performances, we hope that they love the history of London, we hope that they meet people and have a great time.”

    “I can’t describe it. It’s just amazing. I’m very grateful and happy that we get to go,” said sophomore cellist Janell Payumo.

    It’s the first time some parents are separating from their children for this long.

    “I’m being brave for the camera, but I’ll probably get a little weepy afterwards,” said dad Steve Servidio.

    Mom Christy Rose opted to chaperone. She’ll be there to see her daughter’s choir solo. It’s the first time out of the country for both of them.

    “I don’t think we slept much last night. We’re very excited! Thank goodness the flight’s overnight,” Rose said.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Fitch High School students heading to London to perform in the city's New Year’s Day Parade and Festival.Fitch High School students heading to London to perform in the city's New Year’s Day Parade and Festival.

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    An Arlington newborn baby boy is breaking records and melting hearts.

    Ali James Medlock was born on Dec. 12 at Arlington Memorial Hospital.

    At 21.5 inches long, Baby Ali weighed 14 pounds, 13 ounces.

    Ali’s parents, Jennifer and Eric Medlock, are both music teachers in the Arlington Independent School District. Jennifer says the hospital told them their son was a record breaker for Arlington Memorial and the biggest baby their doctor delivered in his 30-plus-year career.

    Baby Ali had to remain in the NICU for a week due to his size — his blood sugar and platelets were too low — according to his mother. He also experienced rapid breathing.

    Fortunately, Baby Ali has improved since his stay in the hospital.

    Ali James has a big sister named Annabelle, who weighed 9 pounds, 10 ounces when she was born, according to mom.



    Photo Credit: Family Photos

    At 21.5 inches long and 14 pounds,13 ounces, Ali James Medlock was born on Dec. 12 at Arlington Memorial Hospital. (Published Dec. 27, 2018)At 21.5 inches long and 14 pounds,13 ounces, Ali James Medlock was born on Dec. 12 at Arlington Memorial Hospital. (Published Dec. 27, 2018)

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    A transformer fire in Queens sent an eerie blue light flooding the nighttime sky Thursday night as electricity flickered in homes and an airport was plunged into darkness. 

    Con Edison says a brief electrical fire involving transformers broke out at the substation on 20th Avenue and 32nd Street in Astoria, causing a transmission dip in the area. 

    The fire lit the sky so brightly that it briefly appeared to be daytime in neighborhoods like Astoria and Woodside, residents reported. Smoke arose from the source of the blue light, visible from as far as Manhattan. 

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    Con Edison is investigating the cause of the transformer fire. Utility spokesman Bob McGee says no one was hurt. 

    "It did create a spectacular effect on the sky, and certainly caused a lot of concern," he told News 4, calling it an "abnormal event." 

    Though small, the fire had a large impact citywide. LaGuardia Airport went dark, Rikers Island jail is on backup generators, and the 7 subway line was seeing major delays in both directions, according to Con Edison.

    NYPD officials on scene said it appeared to simply be equipment malfunction, and there was no sign of any sort of nefarious interference. There was no visible damage inside the Con Edison plant. 

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    Meanwhile, people flooded the streets in Queens and swarmed social media to try to figure out the source of the mysterious blue-green glow in the sky.  

    "I was thinking this is the end of the world, like something's gonna happen," said Tarek Kherifi in Astoria. 

    "The electricity went off, that was obvious. But the light in the sky, that was very intense," said Berklis Kanaris. "The combination made me wonder what it was."

    One boy told News 4 he thought it was an UFO. 

    People in Queens reported the electricity briefly flickering off in their homes, and LaGuardia Airport saw a total blackout at one point. A News 4 staffer picking up his daughter in Terminal A said the lights started to flicker, then turned off completely while the emergency lights stayed on. 

    The FAA initially instituted a ground stop at LaGuardia but power had been largely restored by 11 p.m. and the airport was resuming normal operations. Travelers were still asked to check with their carriers for updated flight information.

    Firefighters responding to the Con Ed fire saw it in the sky before they got there, radio transmissions on Broadcastify show. 

    "There's a high-voltage emergency going on the ConEd plant, heading that way now," one firefighter said. "Can we have a representative from Con Ed meet us out on 20th Avenue? It just seems like whatever it was just shut down. We'll meet them at the main gate." 

    "Yeah, whatever was arcing the skyline, it turned off, it seems like," he continued. "Just advise Battalion 49, we have a visible fire in the ConEd plant. We're going to enter off of 31st Street." 

    A pilot near JFK Airport also described the stunning scene when the transformer exploded, dispatch recordings receal. 

    "Eleven o'clock, it looks like a massive fire," he's heard saying in a dispatch with the JFK tower. 

    "JetBlue 1186, you see that light out there? You know what that is?" one voice is heard in the tower transmissions. 

    "Yes sir, and no, we do not, not at all, sorry," another voice responds. "We see colors like that off the clouds."

    In another tower transmission, a voice is heard saying, "Delta 1197 Heavy, let me know if you're able to see what that light is out there."

    The Delta pilot said, "It's on the ground lighting up the sky."

    The tower responded, "You don't know what it is?" 

    "Negative," the pilot said. "Blue-green color, does not look like typical flames." 

    Gov. Cuomo said state police and the Public Service Commission were ready to support local authorities in the investigation. 

    It was the second major incident involving Con Edison in the last six months. In July, a steam pipe explosion spewed asbestos-laden vapor into the air in the Flatiron District, driving hundreds of people from their homes and businesses.

    [[500802761, C]]


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