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    President Donald Trump exposed the faces of members of U.S. Navy SEAL Team 5 during his surprise trip to Iraq, and one expert said it could possibly put them in danger, NBC News reported

    During his post-Christmas visit to troops in Iraq, his first trip to a combat zone since he was sworn in last year, the president and First Lady Melania Trump entered the dining hall Wednesday at the Al-Asad base west of Baghdad to greet about 100 troops.

    U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Kyu Lee told Trump he is the chaplain for SEAL Team 5. Lee later said Trump told him, "Hey, in that case, let’s take a picture."

    Retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Malcolm Nance is an intelligence consultant for U.S. special operations forces who said by email that the presence of SEAL Team 5 members should not have been revealed.

    "The fact is they are a special operations force in a combat zone with a combat role," said Nance, who has also served as a counter-terrorism analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. "The reason their identities are protected is in case of capture."

    The Office of the Secretary of Defense said in a statement no rules were violated by the ensuing phoyos and video. 



    Photo Credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

    U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump greet members of the U.S. military during an unannounced trip to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq on December 26, 2018.U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump greet members of the U.S. military during an unannounced trip to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq on December 26, 2018.

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    An East Hampton mother is pleading for the driver who she said ran her daughter off the road, causing serious injury, to come forward.

    Judy Barney Costen told NBC Connecticut she received the dreaded call that her 19-year-old daughter was hurt on Wednesday morning.

    “I hope that nobody has to go through that. Time stood still and I know that sounds so stupid because people say that but it was…it was if I was in a dream.”

    According to Connecticut State Police, the teen was driving in the left lane on Interstate 91 south in Middletown when a silver truck merged from the center lane into the left lane. Sarah Barney described the moments leading up to the accident.

    “I started beeping at him the closer and closer he got and he just didn’t go back into the right lane, so I didn’t know what else to do, so I kept moving more to the left and I hit the rumble strips on the side of the road, and I lost control and I flipped down into the grass.”

    “There’s absolutely no way that he or she didn’t see what had happened,” said Barney Costen.

    The Jeep rolled several times ending up on its roof. Barney, who is a dance teacher and an acrobat, was badly hurt. Her mother said her future as a dancer is questionable at this point.

    “She’ll probably never do that again. Both of her legs are broken down near the ankles. One ankle is shattered.”

    In an email to NBC Connecticut, State Police said given the truck did not hit Barney’s car this is not considered a hit-and-run, however, they would like to find the driver for their account. Meanwhile, Barney Costen said she is grateful to the good Samaritans who rushed to her daughter’s side.

    “I thank God that she’s alive, and I thank God that those people that were there to be with her and take care of her when I couldn’t be.”

    Anyone who may have witnessed the accident is asked to contact State Police at 860-534-1000.



    Photo Credit: Contributed Photo

    Sarah Barney, 19, is recovering after a serious crash on I-91 in Middletown. She says she was run off the road by a truck that kept driving after she crashed.Sarah Barney, 19, is recovering after a serious crash on I-91 in Middletown. She says she was run off the road by a truck that kept driving after she crashed.

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    This year brought wildfires from California to Sweden that were notable not just for their size but proximity to cities and death toll, experts told NBC News.

    The so-called Camp Fire in November was California's most destructive on record, killing nearly 90 people. While there were U.S. fewer fires in 2018 compared to the annual average over the last 10 years, a far greater area was destroyed than normal, according to Carrie Bilbao, a spokeswoman for the National Interagency Fire Center.

    She and Omar Baddour, chief of climate data for the World Meteorological Organization, said fires are increasingly cropping up in the traditional off-season, giving firefighters little reprieve.

    "Our fire seasons are becoming fire years," Bilbao said.



    Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, File

    This Nov. 8, 2018, file photo shows a home burn as the so-called Camp Fire moved through the area of Paradise, California.This Nov. 8, 2018, file photo shows a home burn as the so-called Camp Fire moved through the area of Paradise, California.

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    Guilford police are looking for help identifying a man seen at the scene of one of two burglaries over the past two days.

    The burglaries, one was unsuccessful, happened on Thursday and Friday in the areas of Durham Road, Stepstone Hill Road, and Little Meadow Road, according to police.

    Police want to identify a man captured by a surveillance camera at one of the locations. They said the man may be driving a white Chevy Monte Carlo with an unknown license plate.

    Anyone who recognizes the man is asked to call Guilford police at 203-453-8061 or the anonymous tip line at 203-453-8240.



    Photo Credit: Guilford Police

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    At least one person was seriously injured in a crash in Bristol late Thursday night.

    Two cars collided at the intersection of Middle Street and Redstone Hill Road just after 11 p.m., according to police.

    There was a total of three people in the vehicles. One person suffered serious injuries, police said.

    An accident reconstruction team responded to the scene to investigate.

    Anyone with information on the crash is asked to call Officer Lance Podlesney at 860-584-3303.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    State lawmakers are eyeing some measures, including levying a tax, to curb teen vaping, which the surgeon general has deemed an epidemic.

    According to the surgeon general, vaping among high school students has climbed 75 percent in the last year and 50 percent among middle schoolers.

    “My fear is that we are going to have a new generation of kids who are addicted to nicotine,” West Hartford Democrat Rep. Derek Slap said.

    Slap is among the legislators determined to pass a law, which may include a state tax on e-cigarettes similar to the one on traditional cigarettes and regulating internet sales.

    “Other states have matched the cigarette tax with the vaping tax, so essentially they have increased the cost. That serves as a deterrent, especially for younger folks.”

    The owner of Vapor 9 in Newington said she is concerned that levying a tax could drive business over state lines or online.

    “It’s just gonna be easier for the teenagers to get it online because they’re not checking,” Christine Mazzotta of Vapor 9 explained. “They can use someone else’s name. Anyone can go online. It’s one click on Amazon and boom, you got it.”

    Lawmakers are also proposing banning flavors, many of which come in a variety of nicotine levels.

    “Attacking flavors really isn’t the issue,” Mazzotta said. “Attacking the source of where the youth are acquiring these products is the main issue here.”

    A public hearing on the various proposals is scheduled for January 8 in West Hartford.


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    A 3-year-old girl was injured Wednesday after she rode off on a three-wheel motorcycle unattended and was ejected from the bike before it crashed in NE Miami-Dade, police said.

    The crash happened at around 5:30 p.m. near a Westar gas station on 16300 NE 6th Avenue, according to Miami-Dade police.

    Surveillance video obtained by NBC 6 shows the motorcycle speeding westbound on NE 6th Avenue. The girl is ejected from the bike and falls to the ground. Her father, who was also on the motorcycle, falls off and runs after her.

    According to MDPD spokesman Lee Cowart, the father came home that evening with food for this family. While inside the house, he and other people heard the motorcycle running and ran outside.

    Cowart said the father saw his daughter on the three-wheel motorcycle, driving westbound from the house. He ran after her and caught up with her while she crossed 6th Avenue – from there, the two fell off the bike.

    Family members spoke to NBC 6 in support of the father. They said he visits his daughter on a daily basis. She routinely follows him outside to his bike and begs him to stay.

    The father was hospitalized with minor injuries, and the girl was airlifted to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital with a traumatic head injury, Cowart said. She is expected to recover.

    The 35-year-old father's identity has not been released. Police said he is not facing charges at this time, but an investigation is ongoing.

    The Florida Department of Children and Families is investigating the incident. The agency said this is the first time the father is involved in a child protective investigation.



    Photo Credit: Courtesy Video

    Surveillance video shows a 3-year-old being ejected off a motorcycle before it crashed in NE Miami-Dade on Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018.Surveillance video shows a 3-year-old being ejected off a motorcycle before it crashed in NE Miami-Dade on Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018.

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    Members of the U.S. Coast Guard are working without pay during the government shutdown, and the Coast Guard Academy in New London will remain open.

    NBC News reports about 42,000 members of the Coast Guard remain on duty, but they’ll likely miss next week’s scheduled paycheck.

    The Coast Guard is part of the Department of Homeland Security, rather than the Department of Defense, which is still being funded.

    The Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound in Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island has 478 active duty members and 13 civilian employees.

    Most of the civilian workforce has been furloughed without pay.

    “The Coast Guard will continue activities authorized by law that provide for national security, or that protect life and property. The Coast Guard may stop or curtail some specific mission activities that do not fall into those categories. Activities like the issuance or renewals of merchant documentation and licensing, fisheries enforcement patrols, and routine maintenance to aids to navigation are also delayed and/or curtailed, as are some administrative functions, training, and maintenance activities to our surface and aviation fleets,” wrote Petty Officer Michael White, a spokesperson for the First Coast Guard District.

    White also explained that the Coast Guard Academy in New London will remain open.

    “Unlike other armed forces, the Coast Guard Academy is the primary officer accession program for the Coast Guard, and any delays in the curriculum have major impacts on officer assignments and continuity of Coast Guard operations,” he wrote in an email to NBC Connecticut.


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    Branford police have arrested a man accused of fleeing the scene of an accident that left a bicyclist seriously injured in November.

    Police arrested 34-year-old Stephen Irish, of North Haven, Friday.

    Investigators allege that Irish was the driver of a white Ford pickup that struck a woman who was riding her bicycle on East Main Street on Nov. 4. The woman was seriously injured in the crash.

    Irish is charged with evading responsibility with physical injury, tampering with physical evidence, and attempting to make payment with a revoked payment card. He was held on a $75,000 bond.



    Photo Credit: Branford Police Department

    Stephen IrishStephen Irish

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    Going into the midterm elections, few candidates made the warming planet a keystone of their campaigns despite devastating fires and storms that scientists say have been worsened by carbon pollution. Climate change has typically been low on voters’ lists of priorities.

    But as a new Congress comes into power in January, that indifference could be changing. Surveys conducted for the midterms found that between 7 and 9 percent of the electorate named climate change or the environment as the top issue facing the country. Typically, the number lags around 2 percent, environmentalists say.

    “That’s a green wave,” said Nathaniel Stinnett, the founder of the Environmental Voter Project, a three-year-old organization that is dedicated to getting environmentalists to vote.

    Americans continue to voice more concern about health care, immigration, the economy and jobs, and depending on the poll, gun policy or federal taxes and spending. But with a record 113 million people voting in this year’s elections where Democrats retook control of the House, that could mean that up to 9 million named the environment their primary concern.

    “That’s an enormously powerful constituency and I think you’re going to see more and more politicians trying to appeal to these environmental voters, especially among those running in the [2020] Democratic presidential primary,” Stinnett said.

    The surveys -- one around Election Day called AP VoteCast and two conducted for NPR and PBS NewsHour by the Marist Poll, in October and after the election -- are just one indication that climate change is taking on urgency with voters, particularly young voters. Also pointing to the increased seriousness with which the issue is being treated: differences between millennials and older Americans, demands from newly elected politicians and worry about the damage that climate change is already doing to communities from Miami to Los Angeles.

    A confluence of factors is driving the new attention to the devastation threatening the environment. Repeated natural disasters have brought havoc to parts of the United States, from deadly fires in California to destructive hurricanes sweeping over Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas and the Carolinas. Warnings about the world’s need to curb the use of fossil fuels come as younger people more convinced of the scientific consensus on climate change become old enough to vote. Going into the New Year, there will be more pressure on Congress to tackle the greenhouse gases that are raising temperatures.

    Here’s a breakdown of the polls. AP VoteCast found that more of the electorate, 26 percent, choose health care as the number one issue facing the country than any other issue while 7 percent picked the environment. The Marist Poll in October recorded 7 percent of registered voters choosing climate change as the most important factor in deciding their vote and earlier this month, 9 percent saying that it should be Congress' top priority. Economy and jobs was the most important for the most voters, with 20 percent in October and 17 percent this month.

    Stinnett said that how much change was occuring would become clearer as more data becomes available about voters and the midterm elections.

    Youth Demand Action on the Environment
    Young people are particularly engaged in confronting climate change, a crisis that has gathered momentum throughout their lives and which threatens to leave the Earth a much less hospitable place in the coming years.  

    A pre-election survey from Tufts University that focused on young people and politics found that 59 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds support or are an active part of the environmental movement, up from 42 percent in 2016. Numbers were even higher among Democrats, and particularly those who said they were likely to vote, according to the September poll by the university’s CIRCLE, or The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement. 

    The poll’s director, Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, said political engagement was more common among young people now than two years ago, with triple the number saying they attend marches and demonstrations — up from 5 percent to 15 percent. Part of the change can be traced to the activism of students from Parkland, Florida, which encouraged other young people to be a part of political causes, including the environmental movement, she said.

    “It wasn’t drowned out by gun violence, for example, which is a big player this year, but just as many people if not more young people said, ’It’s a really important issue that I’m actively engaged in,’” she said.

    The Sunrise Movement is a corps of young people working to make climate change an urgent priority across the country. As they prepared to launch, a core challenge was how to make climate change an urgent priority in the United States. They helped Democrats to take the House and now are determined to keep the issue at the top of lawmakers’ agendas. In November, 150 members of the Sunrise Movement and Justice Democrats held a sit-in at House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office on Capitol Hill to demand action on climate change. They were joined by newly elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who has been pushing for a Green New Deal to promote green energy and jobs and cut carbon emissions.

    "She was elected as part of the movement, she intends to govern as part of the movement," Corbin Trent, a spokesman for Ocasio-Cortez, said at the time. ”She thinks there is no other priority that we should be focused on and supports the Sunrise Movement’s call for Democrats to create a plan to transition the economy to a zero carbon economy so we have that ready to go when we take back the presidency in 2020."

    The activists were criticized for targeting Democrats, who support taking on climate change, but they say they know that if they do not push Democrats they will not get the action they need.

    “We targeted the Democrats because we believe in them,” said a spokesman for the group, Stephen O’Hanlon. “We don’t think we’re going to get anywhere by calling on Donald Trump to stand up to fossil fuel lobbyists.”

    They believe that as young people they have leverage over Democrats because it was young people turning out in record numbers that helped Democrats win the House majority. If Democrats are to win the presidency and the Senate in 2020, they will need young people again to turn out in record numbers, O’Hanlon said.

    “So many politicians and especially establishment politicians think about the range of political options as what’s currently politically possible and oftentimes with climate and a lot of other issues too that’s just radically from what we need to give our generation a livable future,” he said. ”And we made the choice when we launched to push for solutions that are actually in line with what we need.”

    Generational Divide in GOP
    Republicans have been the most resistant to believing that climate change presents a critical danger. A Pew Research Center poll done before the midterms found that 72 percent of registered voters supporting Democrats thought climate change was a “very big” problem compared to only 11 percent of those backing Republicans.

    But other Pew surveys found wide differences within the GOP. About a third of Republican millennials say the Earth is warming because of human activity, double the share of Baby Boomers and older, according to a May survey. Forty-five percent of millennials say they are seeing some effects of global climate change in their communities, compared with a third of older Republicans. But they also are in agreement with older party members that policies aimed at reducing climate change effects would make no difference.

    Sara Blazevic, a co-founder and managing director of the Sunrise Movement, said the organization was made up of young people angry and frustrated after having watched a lifetime of political inaction, of witnessing hurricanes and other disasters getting worse but the environmental movement stagnating.

    “Looking at some of the data a few years back we called this the urgency gap,” she said. “Because there actually are a super majority of Americans who understand that climate change is happening, is real, believe that it’s happening already because they can see with their own eyes and want something to be done about it.”

    Other Pew research ranks the public’s policy priorities for the president and Congress. Protecting the environment has risen from 44 percent in January 2010 to 62 percent at the beginning of this year. Dealing with climate change similarly rose from 28 percent to 46 percent.

    In December, nearly 200 countries met in Poland for the U.N.’s 24th annual climate change conference and agreed to rules for curbing greenhouse emissions, but delayed a decision on creating a market in carbon credits. The meeting follows a series of reports, among them the National Climate Assessment and one from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, warning of irreversible environmental damage absent quick action to rein in carbon emissions.

    Environment Gains Prominence in the Midterms
    During the midterm elections, ads highlighting global warming began appearing in races across the country, a phenomenon that was new. The League of Conservation Voters through its Victory Fund was among environmental groups that spent heavily to elect “green” candidates, in its case $80 million. Pete Maysmith, its senior vice president of campaigns, said that the more environmental issues were localized, the more voters responded.

    “So we’re talking about environmental issues that are directly impacting people’s lives, and doing that in the context of the election,” he said. “It motivates them and it impacts their vote choice.”

    In southern New Jersey, the organization matched environmental concerns with what it knew would be the top issue of the elections, health care, then targeted what it viewed as an important bloc of swing voters, suburban women. In a tight race, Democrat Andy Kim, a former national security aide in the Obama administration, defeated two-term Republican Rep. Tom MacArthur, who had tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

    “When you pair the issue of pollution, whether it’s water or air pollution — so you’re talking about healthy drinking water, you’re talking about concerns around asthma and other illnesses, other disease — and then link that into the health care debate, that again is a very powerful motivator,” he said.

    The League of Conservation Voters’ Victory Fund and the Environmental Defense Fund Action connected “the health impact of MacArthur’s record of gutting environmental protections and allowing more toxic pollution into our air to his efforts to eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions,” according to post-election analysis.

    In another race in California, the League teamed up with Michael Bloomberg’s Independence USA PAC to defeat 30-year congressman, Dana Rohrabacher. One ad juxtaposed Rohrabacher’s statement that “global warming is a fraud” with black smoke and wildfires in the background. Democrat Harley Rouda, who called out Republican leaders for denying the threat of man-made climate change, ousted Rohrabacher

    Maysmith’s colleague, Tiernan Sittenfeld, the senior vice president of government affairs, said of the 62 new members of the House of Representatives, 55 of them have committed to trying to bring about 100 percent clean energy by 2050. She said the organization was looking at opportunities for a “green” infrastructure package from the Democrat-dominated House and oversight as the Trump administration tries to roll back public health and environmental protections.

    “It’s especially exciting because there are so many of these new members for whom the environment and addressing the climate crisis is really an enormous priority and central to who they are and in many case part of why they decided to run,” she said.

    The AP VoteCast survey replaced exit polling that The Associated Press had participated in with the television networks. It was conducted for the AP and Fox News by the non-partisan research organization NORC at the University of Chicago. The AP VoteCast also found that significant numbers were concerned about the effects of climate: 70 percent of all voters were very or somewhat concerned versus 29 percent who were not too or not at all concerned. Democrats were more worried than Republicans.

    This year’s exit polling, which NBC and other networks continued separately, did not ask voters across the country to rate the environment among their top issues, but it did ask voters in Florida about climate change as it had done in 2016 and in both years, 66 percent said climate change was a serious problem.

    Over the last decade, the environment has historically ranked low among voters’ priorities. Polling that the Environmental Voter Project did of likely voters in the 2016 presidential election found that only 2 percent listed the environment as their top priority, with another 2 percent setting it as their second highest priority.

    'Politicians Go Where the Votes Are'
    “This is why it’s so hard to get politicians to lead on climate and lead on environmental issues,” Stinnett said. “Because politicians go where the votes are, that’s what they do. Politicians are in the business of winning elections and if voters don’t deeply care about a set of issues, it’s really hard to get politicians to care about those issues.”

    The Environmental Voter Project targets environmentalists who don’t vote or who seldom vote to convince them to change their behavior. It focuses on the 18- to 24-year-olds and to a lesser extent 25- to 29-year-olds who are disproportionately likely to care deeply about environmental issues. Blacks and Hispanics and those who make less than $50,000 a year — and who have a higher chance of being victims of environmental racism — are also in their sights.

    Stinnett estimates that the non-profit has turned more than 100,000 non-voting environmentalists into consistent voters since it started. It began in Massachusetts, in 2017 moved into Georgia, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Pennsylvania and expects to expand further into about 20 states where it has identified large populations of non voting environmentalists. It does not spend money on changing minds, just getting people to the polls.

    “Politicians care about winning elections and so they’re going to follow the voters,” Stinnett said. “I think this change will happen very quickly once environmentalists start voting. I just can’t tell you when that number in the electorate will get big enough that it forces change. But it’s getting bigger, it’s definitely getting bigger.”

    “This electorate might not force change as quickly as we want it to, but something’s happening, something is absolutely happening and politicians are beginning to pay attention,” Stinnett said.


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    Member of the Sunrise Movement protest for action on climate change in Washington.Member of the Sunrise Movement protest for action on climate change in Washington.

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    Police say a man used what was possibly a flare gun to rob a bank in Glastonbury on Friday morning.

    Officers responded to the United Bank at 2670 Main Street around 11:15 a.m. for a report of a bank robbery in progress.

    The man entered the bank and displayed an orange-colored firearm, possibly a flare gun, according to police.

    He took off before police arrived. A police K-9 from Manchester was brought in to try and track the suspect, but with no luck.

    Glastonbury police said it doesn't appear that the robbery is related to a bank robbery in Wethersfield on Thursday, but they are reaching out to Wethersfield police to ask to see the surveillance footage from that robbery to compare.

    Anyone who recognizes the suspect is asked to call Glastonbury police at 860-633-8301.



    Photo Credit: Glastonbury Police

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    SWAT team negotiators are on scene after an armed suspect allegedly fired shots behind a store at the Connecticut Commons in Plainville Friday.

    Plainville police confirmed they responded to a report of two shots fired behind the Lowes store at the Connecticut Commons. When officers responded they found a male suspect armed with what appears to be a semi-automatic handgun behind Dick’s Sporting Goods.

    Police originally said the suspect was inside Dick's but later clarified that the suspect is outside the store. The area has been evacuated and the suspect is contained, according to police.

    No injuries have been reported. The SWAT team is currently trying to negotiate with the suspect, who is not responding to commands, police said.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Police officers were in a standoff with an armed suspect at the Dick's Sporting Goods at the Connecticut Commons in Plainville Friday.Police officers were in a standoff with an armed suspect at the Dick's Sporting Goods at the Connecticut Commons in Plainville Friday.

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    The jackpot for Friday's Mega Millions drawing has reached $370 million after no tickets matched all six numbers in Tuesday night's lottery.

    Mega Millions said Friday night's jackpot is the largest prize ever offered on the last draw day of any year since the game began in 2002.  

    With no winners on the Christmas Day drawing, the jackpot climbed to an estimated $370 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 $223.2 million.

    This year produced a major milestone for Mega Millions, as the game crossed the billion dollar threshold for the first time in 2018 with a record $1.537 billion jackpot on Oct. 23. Just one winning ticket was sold in South Carolina for that drawing; the ticket-holder has not yet come forward.

    Four other jackpots have been won in 2018: $451 million on Jan. 5 (Florida), $533 million on March 30 (New Jersey), $142 million on May 4 (Ohio) and $543 million on July 24 (California).

    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 Friday, Dec. 28, at 11 p.m. ET.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Mega MillionsMega Millions

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    Lesley Turner turned to NBC Connecticut Responds about what happened during her annual furnace and AC unit inspection.

    In October, Turner said an Aiello service technician came to her home to do an inspection on the furnace and AC unit. She said she’s been an Aiello customer since 2016.

    “It was the same tech that was here the year before to do a checkup. So, I felt fine with him and I didn’t have any complaints or issues,” said Turner.

    During the inspection process, the technician told Turner that her unit was releasing high carbon monoxide levels. He was able to adjust the gas pressures to get the CO readings down from over 1500 PPM at no additional charge.

    “He explained to me that anything over 100 was unsafe to run,” Turner.

    The technician then discussed repair options and replacing Turner’s furnace and AC unit because he told her the current one is 20 years old and beyond the 15-year life expectancy.

    Turner said the service tech shut off the gas, disconnected the furnace and red tagged the unit, as required by the Public Utility Regulatory Authority when high CO levels are detected in the home. And Turner said, she was told by the technician, “this is not safe to run, you need to have it replaced.”

    Turner said she agreed to have an Aiello sales representative come to her home that night, and the representative quoted her a new $10,000 furnace and AC unit.

    “With winter coming, you don’t want to be without a furnace,” said Turner.

    Turner wanted a second opinion and contacted Connecticut Natural Gas to check her unit and the carbon monoxide levels. She said CNG’s inspection showed that the CO levels were acceptable. However, the CNG technician did recommend a carbon monoxide detector in the space.

    “He did a couple of readings with CO2. He said there’s nothing wrong,” said Turner.

    Turner said she called Aiello and the company agreed to cancel her service agreement. During the conversation, she expressed her dissatisfaction with the situation and wanted to speak with a manager. She was told her complaint was forwarded to a department supervisor.

    When she didn’t hear back from Aiello, Turner reached out to NBC Connecticut Responds.

    Responds contacted Aiello and the company told us they discovered that Turner’s message was sent to the email of an HVAC manager who had been terminated saying:

    “Aiello immediately responded to NBC and the customer.”

    The company said they tried multiple times to reach Ms. Turner by phone and email, and left her messages. When they finally did, the general manager said in part:

    “…a resolution was made within the 15 minute conversation.”

    The company also told Responds:

    “Aiello strives for 5 star service and can only achieve this when there is an open line of communication between the customer and the company.”

    Turner said the company refunded her $480 for the one year service contract.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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  • 12/28/18--16:33: Top Photo Galleries of 2018



  • Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    After powerful storms ripped through on May 15, viewers flooded us with photos from across the state showing the damage. After powerful storms ripped through on May 15, viewers flooded us with photos from across the state showing the damage.

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    A local Connecticut police department tried using a hidden camera to catch a thief, but criticism over where they put it led to an independent investigation and changes in how they treat their own female officers.

    The investigation report, obtained by NBC Connecticut Investigates, still pointed out several problems.

    This past August an officer at the Wethersfield Police Department believed someone had gone through belongings in her gym bag in the women’s locker room.

    While the department immediately launched an investigation, it’s how it was done that caused concerns.

    A report by the Marcum Advisory Group, a national firm that conducts independent investigations of law enforcement agencies, says Wethersfield Police put a small surveillance camera inside the women’s locker room to try to catch a custodian suspected of going through an officer’s bag and leaving her underwear outside a zippered pocket.

    Police never got any evidence from what the Marcum Advisory Group called an “…aggressive investigative measure…”, but its use in a locker room, while allowed by law for the purpose of a criminal investigation, angered female officers.

    Wethersfield Police Chief James Cetran told NBC Connecticut Investigates, “there’s a lot of things that we learned from this.”

    He says the female officers were told in advance that detectives would use a camera in the locker room, but not the precise times.

    The bigger issue, according to the Marcum Advisory Group, was that the female officer who was the victim and made the original complaint, on several occasions, on her own, placed the camera in the women’s locker room and recorded.

    “There’s been times when we’ve actually had victims do certain things for us, in the real world. We’ve wired up victims to talk to people, and get information,” Cetran explained. But as far as having a crime victim set up a surveillance camera for detectives Cetran said, “That was not authorized, that’s all I can say about it.”

    One of the department’s female officers was concerned the hidden locker room camera might have recorded her showering.

    The Marcum Advisory Group concluded though that that was unlikely.

    The custodian accused of going through the officer’s belongings was fired and arrested. He did not admit to rummaging through her gym bag, but did confess he stole toilet paper and a pair of sunglasses from the women’s locker room.

    None of the female officers wanted to comment to NBC Connecticut Investigates. The police union president did not respond to multiple messages we left on his work phone.

    The interim town manager tells NBC Connecticut Investigates the department now has card key access only to the women’s locker room, and procedures will be put in place to better control how the police department’s surveillance equipment is used. The department will also start initiatives in the near future to have better communication with its female officers.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    Farmington police are investigating a bank robbery at a People’s United Bank Friday, and investigators believe it may be connected to other robberies.

    Police said they responded to a reported bank robbery at the People’s United Bank inside Stop & Shop on Farmington Avenue just before 6:30 p.m. The male suspect gave the teller a note implying he had a gun and demanded money.

    Investigators said the suspect may also be involved in similar robberies in Waterbury, Bristol, Bridgeport and other towns.

    Anyone who recognizes the suspect should contact Farmington Police Detective Blumetti at 860-675-2462 or the Farmington Police Department’s anonymous tip line at 860-675-2483.



    Photo Credit: Farmington Police Department

    Farmington police say the man pictured above robbed the People's United Bank inside the Unionville Stop & Shop Friday.Farmington police say the man pictured above robbed the People's United Bank inside the Unionville Stop & Shop Friday.

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    A terminally ill boy whose Yemeni mother fought to visit him after being barred from entering the U.S. by the Trump administration's travel ban has died in hospital in California, NBC News reported

    Abdullah Hassan, 2, had suffered from a genetic brain condition and died at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said in a statement released Friday.

    “We are heartbroken. We had to say goodbye to our baby, the light of our lives,” Abdullah’s father, Ali Hassan, said in the statement.

    Hassan — who is a U.S. citizen and has family in Stockton, California — brought his son to the U.S. for treatment a few months ago, CAIR said. But Abdullah’s mother, Shaima Swileh, is a Yemeni national and was barred from entering the country under the Trump administration's travel ban against people from mostly-Muslim-majority countries.

    CAIR launched a campaign to publicize the family’s plight earlier this month and on Dec. 18 the State Department granted Swileh a waiver to visit her dying son. The 21-year-old mother arrived in San Francisco on Dec. 19.



    Photo Credit: Jeff Chiu/AP

    Shaima Swileh, center, stands with her husband Ali Hassan, second from left, after Swileh arrived at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018. Swileh is the Yemeni mother who won her fight for a waiver from the Trump administration's travel ban that would allow her to go to California to see her dying 2-year-old son.Shaima Swileh, center, stands with her husband Ali Hassan, second from left, after Swileh arrived at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018. Swileh is the Yemeni mother who won her fight for a waiver from the Trump administration's travel ban that would allow her to go to California to see her dying 2-year-old son.

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    Police have identified the New Britain man who was arrested after a police standoff in Plainville on Friday.

    Plainville Police said they received a call on their routine phone line from a man reporting that another man was firing a gun at the back door of the Lowe's Store at the Connecticut Commons Plaza on New Britain Avenue.

    When officers arrived, they said they found a man holding a gun behind Dick's Sporting Goods near the loading docks.

    The man, later identified as 44-year-old Eduardo Rivera, of New Britain, was detained in the area and surrounding businesses were evacuated.

    Officers conducted negotiation efforts with the man, who police said initially did not comply with orders to drop his gun.

    Members of the Central Regional ERT Team, the West Hartford ERT team, along with officers from New Britain Police Department, Bristol Police Department and the State Attorney's Office responded to assist.

    Shortly after 5 p.m., police said they were able to take the Rivera into custody, using non-lethal force. Rivera was taken to New Britain Hospital to be treated for non life-threatening injuries.

    Investigators later learned the gun Rivera had was an unloaded, plastic BB gun.

    There were no injuries to any law enforcement personnel or civilians in the area.

    Rivera is facing charges including falsely reporting an incident, interfering with an officer, breach of peace, reckless endangerment and carrying a dangerous weapon. He is being held on $100,000 bond.

    The incident remains under investigation.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Police officers were in a standoff with an armed suspect at the Dick's Sporting Goods at the Connecticut Commons in Plainville Friday.Police officers were in a standoff with an armed suspect at the Dick's Sporting Goods at the Connecticut Commons in Plainville Friday.

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    Temperatures began during the final weekend of 2018 in the 50s, but a cold front will bring colder temperatures as soon as Saturday evening.

    NBC Connecticut meteorologists expect a windy day with falling temperatures into Saturday evening.

    By Sunday, expect highs only in the 20s in the hills and low to mid 30s elsewhere. The cold air will not last long.

    The next storm will bring rising temperatures on New Year’s Eve, along with rain.

    The timing of the next storm looks to bring rain during the late afternoon and evening across the state.

    The storm that brings rain to the state will move out in time for New Year’s Day.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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