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    The night before Jahana Hayes makes history when she’s sworn in as the newest representative of Connecticut’s Fifth District, there are high hopes for her in Waterbury.

    Even though she’s going to the Capitol at a time of great political division, some experts say that could spell opportunity.

    Hayes’ campaign strategy of a more representative government helped win her a seat representing Connecticut in the 116th Congress. Along with the history-making victory that sent her to Washington as part of a history-making freshman class. She’s moving the district office from New Britain to downtown Waterbury. And some believe she can really make a difference.

    “She’s a strong person and she pushes… you can tell. And I know she’s going to do good. She’s going to do great,” said Alma Roman.

    Voters hope Hayes can work on issues like jobs, opportunity and development once she’s sworn in Thursday.

    She’s entering a government in shutdown in a fiercely divided Washington, but residents say they hope she’ll be able to work past politics and remember their issues.

    “Lot of faith in her, a lot of confidence in her. And I think if somebody comes to her and they have a problem I think she’ll bend over backwards to do something about it,” Francisco Gonzalez said.

    Exactly what kind of lawmaker the former National Teacher of the Year, who’s never previously held political office, will be remains to be seen, but Quinnipiac University political science Professor Scott McLean says the timing could benefit Hayes to establish herself as a bridge builder.

    “My reading of her is she isn’t there to shake things up and create conflict. She’s there to deal with conflict and I think that’s what she ran on. As someone who can go in there with a different perspective. Try to clean house. Try to make peace and come at governing from a different direction,” McLean said.

    Hayes says moving the office to Waterbury makes it more centrally located to serve all residents of the Fifth. In her hometown, now the seat of her district lots of people are rooting for her.

    Residents of the Fifth Congressional District will be able to take their concerns directly to their new representative beginning next week, when her district office in Waterbury opens with a ribbon cutting Monday.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    Start the new year on a lifesaving note by donating blood at the NBC Connecticut/Telemundo Connecticut Blood Drive on Thursday, January 3, at the American Red Cross in Farmington.

    The American Red Cross will hold the blood drive from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 209 Farmington Avenue in Farmington.

    All presenting donors will get a $5 gift card to Dunkin' Donuts (by email) and a free long-sleeved Red Cross t-shirt while supplies last.

    You can save as many as three lives with a single blood donation.

    While walk-ins are welcome, appointments are strongly encouraged.

    Go to the Red Cross website here and use sponsor code NBCCT to schedule an appointment. Speed up the donation process by completing “Rapid Pass” on the day of your donation. Answering several questions will save you time at the blood drive. You can do that on the Red Cross website as well. Just click on “Start Rapid Pass” under the Donate Blood tab.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    A decorated Navy SEAL will face court-martial for charges including premeditated murder in the death of a young ISIS fighter in Iraq, NBC 7 has confirmed. 

    Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher faced an Article 32 hearing in November at Naval Base San Diego. During the hearing, U.S. Navy prosecutors accused Gallagher of premeditated murder for the stabbing death of an injured ISIS fighter who they estimate was about 15 years old. The stabbing happened in Mosul, Iraq, in May 2017.

    Gallagher is also charged with aggravated assault for shooting Iraqi civilians.

    Special Operations Chief Gallagher has denied the charges. He will be arraigned at Naval Base San Diego on Friday.

    Rear Adm. Yancy Lindsey, commander of Navy Region Southwest, reviewed evidence presented at the hearing and determined Gallagher should face court-martial, according to a U.S. Navy spokesperson. 

    NBC 7 was the only broadcast news station at the Article 32 hearing at Naval Base San Diego.

    Special Operations Chief Gallagher has been held in the Miramar Brig since Sept. 11 when he was arrested at the Camp Pendleton Intrepid Spirit Center. 

    The Navy outlined its evidence, including cellphone photos that show Gallagher holding up the head of the deceased fighter during a reenlistment ceremony.

    That evidence is considered privileged and was not shown in court because it could be used as propaganda by enemies of U.S. troops.

    The government also said it had a video of the Iraqi fighter before he was killed.

    Prosecutors also presented evidence that they say shows that Chief Gallagher tried to bribe fellow SEALs not to talk about the incident to NCIS investigators.

    Gallagher's private defense attorney, Phil Stackhouse, questioned conflicts in dates and testimony in court and asked if investigators were able to determine if the ISIS fighter could have died from injuries suffered in an airstrike.

    Stackhouse told NBC 7 in an exclusive interview that he's confident his client will be acquitted.

    "What we've asked for and what we're going to continue to ask for is that Eddie is judged by a jury of his peers so that there are special operators, both officers and enlisted sailors that are on this court-martial panel that's going to hear the evidence because of the unique nature of allegations arising in a combat zone," Stackhouse said.

    The defense says Gallagher was turned in by his subordinates because he was too tough on them.

    Naval Special Warfare Group One reviewed the evidence presented at the hearing according to the Navy and requested the charges be reviewed by RADM Lindsay, who then referred most of the charges to the court.

    The Navy SEALs Fund Brotherhood Beyond Battlefield has launched a fundraising campaign for Gallagher who served eight tours of duty with six as an elite special forces operator.

    Gallagher has served 19 years in the U.S. Navy and more than 14 years as a Navy SEAL, his attorney said.

    In 2017, Gallagher was ranked as the top SEAL chief and his platoon was ranked as the top SEAL platoon, the website said.

    If convicted on the most serious charge, Gallagher could face life in prison.


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    Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi isn't ruling out President Donald Trump being indicted in office, telling the "Today" show in an exclusive interview she considers it "an open discussion."

    While standing Justice Department guidelines advise against indicting a sitting president, Pelosi told Savannah Guthrie that it's possible special counsel Robert Mueller could still seek one.

    "I think that is an open discussion in terms of the law," she said ahead of reclaiming the House speaker's gavel Thursday, becoming the first lawmaker to do so in recent history.

    Democrats have discussed whether to impeach Trump, and Pelosi didn't rule it out, saying it shouldn't be done — or avoided — "for a political reason."



    Photo Credit: "Today"
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    As the new year begins, the United States Postal Service is telling customers about changes in 2019 that could impact their mail. 

    Starting Jan. 27, Forever stamp prices will increase from 50 cents each to 55 cents each. The 10 percent increase is the biggest in USPS history. 

    The price hike is to offset losses from 2018. The post office had its worst year yet, resulting in about $4 billion in operating losses. USPS said in November that  sales from shipping and packages had soared 10 percent but rising pay and benefits and higher transportation costs led to the overall decline in revenue, Reuters reported

    Postal employees said it is important to keep the stamp price increase in mind if you plan to print shipping labels at home. 

    "If you come to the post office, we'll weigh it and put the correct postage on," said Eva Jackson, spokesperson for the USPS San Diego District. "If you're at home, that could create a problem if you don't have enough postage on there." 

    Locals say they will be supporting USPS in a personal effort to keep the federal agency afloat. 

    "Keep using the post office, that's my tip," said Kristen Winter as she was mailing letters at the Carmel Mountain Postal Store on Rancho Carmel Drive. 

    USPS said that it had expected 16 billion letters, gifts and packages to be sent out between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve. The estimate for 2017 was 15 billion. 

    The service has been taking steps to compete with major online retailers like Amazon. During the busy winter months, some local post offices set up a drive through the holidays so that customers did not have to leave their cars to mail letters and packages. 

    The Forever stamp price increase was approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission. 


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    Police are investigating after an anti-Semitic symbol was found on the door of an apartment in Glastonbury. 

    Police said a swastika was carved into the door of an apartment at The Soap Factory Apartments on Williams Street East. 

    It was found on Dec. 29 and police have not identified any suspects.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    An employee of a Macy’s warehouse in South Windsor is accused of stealing almost $3,000 worth of watches from the company and has been arrested.

    Police started investigating in June when managers at the Macy’s warehouse on Governors Highway suspected an employee of taking $2900 worth of watches. 

    They said video documented suspicious activity and 28-year-old Manuel Medrano, of Meriden, later admitted to taking the items and later surrendered the stolen items to officers. 

    The arrest warrant was served on Wednesday and Medrano has been charged with larceny in the third degree. 

    He was later released on a written promise to appear and is due at Manchester Superior Court on Jan. 17.



    Photo Credit: South Windsor

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    Drug maker Aurobindo Pharma USA is voluntarily recalling 80 lots of its blood pressure medication valsartan over concerns that tablets could be contaminated with a cancer-causing agent.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported that traces of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a "probable human carcinogen," was found in several lots of Amlodipine Valsartan Tablets USP, Valsartan HCTZ Tablets, USP and Valsartan Tablets USP.

    The recalled medications were distributed nationwide. The New Jersey-based company has not received any reports of adverse effects related to the drugs as of Dec. 31, 2018, when the recall was announced, the FDA said.

    A full list of the recalled products is available here. Products can be identified by checking the product name, manufacturer details, and batch or lot number on the bottles. Expiration dates range from May 2019 to March 2021.

    Valsartan tablets are used to control high blood pressure and for treatment of heart failure. The FDA says patients who are prescribed Amlodipine Valsartan Tablets USP, Valsartan HCTZ Tablets, USP and Valsartan Tablets USP should continue taking their medication, “as the risk of harm to the patient’s health may be higher if the treatment is stopped immediately without any alternative treatment.”

    If a patient's medicine is included in the recall, they should contact their health care professional to discuss alternative treatment options before returning their medication.

    Consumers can contact the company at 1-866-850-2876 or pvg@aurobindousa.com.

    Aurobino’s recall follows a number of others in the last year. In November, Teva Pharmaceuticals voluntarily recalled two of its drugs over the same concerns. In August, the FDA announced an expanded recall of medications that contained the active ingredient valsartan over concerns that it could be contaminated with the cancer-causing agent.

    The agency encourages patients and health care professionals to report any adverse reaction to the FDA’s MedWatch program.



    Photo Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

    File photo of a doctor reading a blood pressure gauge during an examination of a patient.File photo of a doctor reading a blood pressure gauge during an examination of a patient.

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    Police officers responded to reports that a woman was screaming for help as a man chased her in Hartford Wednesday afternoon and they have arrested a man accused of trying to kidnap the victim. 

    Police said officers responded to Franklin Avenue at 4:21 p.m., found a vehicle believed to be connected to the incident and detained the people in it. 

    Then police found video showing a man chasing the victim as she ran and forcing her into a vehicle, a news release from police says.

    Marco Davila, 31, of Stafford Springs, has been charged with criminal attempt at kidnapping in the second degree, threatening in the second degree, unlawful restraint in the second degree, breach of peace in the second degree, criminal violation of a protection order.

    Editor's Note: Police originally identified the suspect as David Davila, then later said his name is Marco Davila.



    Photo Credit: Hartford Police

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    A "small display wall" somehow injured an associate in Bloomingdale's flagship Manhattan location Thursday, prompting a flurry of emergency response, according to a company statement and fire officials. 

    The visual merchandising association was working in the department store's 815,000-square-foot store on Third Avenue near 59th Street and Lexington when he was hurt around 10 a.m., a Bloomingdale's spokesperson said.

    "He is alert and has been taken to the hospital for treatment," the spokesperson said.

    It wasn't immediately clear which floor the associate had been working on, nor was the nature of the accident clear. Fire officials said the initial call was for a wall collapse in the store's basement. But the Daily News reports it was the associate who fell into the display wall, not vice versa. The nature of the injury to the associate wasn't clear from Bloomingdale's statement.

    Chopper 4 over the scene showed two ambulances and a fire truck at one point; at least one person appeared to be taken away in an emergency vehicle.

    The Department of Buildings says it was not called to the scene.



    Photo Credit: News 4

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    Online child predator-shaming group POPSquad has recorded more than 130 stings and claims to have been involved in 14 arrests, which NBC News has verified, though not all were charged with crimes related to videos of the encounters.

    It's one of dozens of such groups that have sprung up online, especially in the last year, mining similar territory to the NBC News "Dateline" show "To Catch a Predator," according to an NBC News review of the groups on Facebook.

    "In this field, sex crimes, no one can hold a candle to me. And that's a problem," said Shane Erdmann, also known as "Incognito," who founded POPSquad in Connecticut two years ago.

    The groups' stings sometimes end with a potential child predator in police custody. But many law enforcement officers consider them dangerous vigilantes.

    In one case from October, a 20-year-old gay man from Torrington, Connecticut, went home after being confronted by Erdman at a sting and hanged himself. Erdmann declined to comment on video of the encounter, posted to Facebook and later removed, and threatened to sue NBC News when asked follow-up questions.

    SUICIDE PREVENTION HELP: If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting 'Home' to 741741.



    Photo Credit: Ron Antonelli / for NBC News

    Shane Erdmann, who uses the alias Shane Erdmann, who uses the alias "Incognito," in his office in Bristol, Connecticut.

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    Jahana Hayes will make history when she’s sworn in as the newest representative of Connecticut’s Fifth District and there is excitement in her hometown of Waterbury.


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    "Snowflakes," "phone zombies," "binge gamers" and "me me me millennials" are the focus of the British army's latest recruitment campaign, NBC News reported

    Posters and billboards reminiscent of the famous World War I "Your Country Needs You" ads have been given a 21st-century twist, sending the message: "The army spots potential. Even if others don't."

    The U.K. has struggled to maintain its target of 82,000 troops in recent years due to a declining number of recruits. The new ads appear to attempt to engage millennials by connecting the stereotype of the screen-addicted generation with desirable skills. "Phone zombies" are wanted for their focus and "binge gamers" for their drive.

    "We are trying to show that we are unlocking potential — potential that many elements of society may not see in young people, but we do," Col. Ben Wilde, head of recruiting for the British Army, told journalists at a press briefing on the initiative Thursday.



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

    This composite photo shows three of the British army's new recruitment ads targeting millennials.This composite photo shows three of the British army's new recruitment ads targeting millennials.

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    State police have identified the man killed in a police-involved shooting in Danbury Saturday night as 45-year-old Paul Arbitelle.  

    Danbury police officers responded to Memorial Drive around 9:30 p.m. to investigate a report of a suspicious male and found a man with a knife outside the property, according to state police. 

    After a brief confrontation, one officer used a stun gun but it did not work and another Danbury police officer fired several rounds from his duty pistol, hitting the man at least once, according to state police. 

    A female relative of Arbitelle who lives in the building suffered a gunshot wound as a result of the discharge of the officer's weapon, state police said. 

    Both people were transported to Danbury Hospital, where Arbitelle was pronounced dead, police said. 

    Police said Arbitelle’s last known address was on Coal Pit Road in Danbury. 

    The female who was shot was listed in critical but in stable condition, state police said. 

    At the request of the Danbury State’s Attorney’s Office the Connecticut State Police Western District Major Crime is investigating. 



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    Greenwich police have arrested two people accused of stealing thousands of dollars’ worth of purses from Saks Fifth Avenue in Greenwich.

    Police said several people stole three handbags, which together were worth $7,000, from the Saks Fifth Avenue on Greenwich Avenue on July 31 and they identified 18-year-old Yelco Guzman Fernandez, of New York, and 34-year-old Mariel Natalie Miranda Guerro, also of New York, as being responsible.

    Both suspects were being held at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in Eagleville, Pennsylvania, on unrelated charges and they were extradited to Connecticut on Wednesday, according to Greenwich police.

    Fernandez and Guerro were charged with organized retail theft, conspiracy to commit larceny in the third degree and third-degree larceny. Bond was set at $50,000 for both of them and they are due in court on Jan. 16.



    Photo Credit: Greenwich Police

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    Police have arrested a Milford police officer in connection with a fatal crash in Hamden in July. 

    Kristin Wilczynski, 50, of North Haven, was trying to cross Dixwell Avenue, near Old Dixwell Avenue, when she was struck by a motor vehicle on July 20 and died soon after she was transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital, according to police.  

    Police said Courtney Bothwell, 28, of North Haven, was driving the car that hit Wilczynski. 

    On Wednesday, police arrested Bothwell, who has been charged with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle, failure to exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian and distracted driving/not cell. 

    Milford police said Bothwell is a Milford police officer.

    She was released on a written promise to appear and is scheduled to appear in Meriden Superior Court on Jan 14.



    Photo Credit: Hamden Police

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    State officials are warning business owners to be on alert for a reporting scam that claims to be an official notice from the state.

    In a joint release, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill and Attorney General George Jepsen warned of a mailing sent by “Workplace Compliance Services” that claims to be an official “Annual Report Instruction Form” that requests payment, citing Connecticut law.

    Officials say this is a scam, and that there is no need for businesses to file a form from Workplace Compliance Services or to pay any fee. The scam may look official and references Connecticut state law.

    "This scam targets small businesses and, unfortunately, resurfaces every few years in an attempt to cheat hardworking business owners," said Attorney General George Jepsen in the release. "Scams like this one try to appear legitimate, but business owners shouldn't fall for it. Tell your employees to be on the lookout, and whenever in doubt about a suspicious mailing, call the Secretary of State or my office to verify legitimacy before sending any payment."

    Businesses in the state are only required to file Annual Reports with the Secretary of the State’s office which can be done online at ct.gov/annualreport.

    Any businesses who receive the bogus mailing should file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut Secretary of the State/Office of the Attorney General

    This is a sample of a mailing containing an “Annual Report Instruction Form” that claims to be part of official reporting for the state. State officials warn that this is a scam trying to elicit an unnecessary payment from businesses.This is a sample of a mailing containing an “Annual Report Instruction Form” that claims to be part of official reporting for the state. State officials warn that this is a scam trying to elicit an unnecessary payment from businesses.

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    A familiar face will be in the dugout at Dunkin' Donuts Park during the 2019 Hartford Yard Goats season.  The team announced Thursday Warren Schaeffer will return as manager.  Schaeffer now becomes the first ever manager to return for consecutive seasons in Hartford.

    “We are ecstatic to have Warren and Lee back in Hartford for another season and welcome Steve to our staff,” Yard Goats President Tim Restall said. “Warren and Lee were a pleasure to work with last season and we look forward to having them as part of our wonderful community again in 2019.”

    The Yard Goats finished the 2018 season with a record of 65-72, 12.5 games behind the first place Trenton Thunder.  But during the season, six Yard Goats players were named to the Eastern League All-Star team with multiple players growing within in the Colorado Rockies' organization.

    Schaeffer, 33, managed the Low-A Asheville Tourists from 2015-2017. In 2016, the Tourists went 40-29 in the second half and reached the South Atlantic League Championship Series. The former infielder was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 38th round of the 2007 MLB draft from Virginia Tech University.

    Schaeffer is originally from Vandergrift, Penn. and played six seasons (461 games) in the Rockies minor league system reaching Triple-A Colorado Springs in 2011.

    Lee Stevens will return as hitting coach and be joined on Schaeffer's staff by Steve Merriman who will be the team's pitching coach.

    Hartford Yard Goats Managers

     

    • 2016 Darin Everson
    • 2017 Jerry Weinstein
    • 2018 Warren Schaeffer
    • 2019 Warren Schaeffer
    NBC Connecticut and Telemundo Connecticut are proud to be the official media partner of the Hartford Yard Goats.


    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    A resolution to reinstate the Meriden Police Department’s Neighborhood Initiative Unit is moving forward and will go before city council next week.

    The city’s finance committee narrowly passed the proposal on Wednesday night in a 3-2 vote to reinstate five police officers to the NI after the city eliminated it several months ago as a money-saving measure.

    “They’ve got a tremendous task and responsibility ahead of them on how to best spend the taxpayer money, and this became a casualty at some point,” Sgt. Christopher Fry of the Meriden Police Department explained.

    “As being taxpayers, we certainly appreciate that, but, unfortunately, it was the neighborhoods that suffered from this,” Holly Wills, president of the Council of Neighborhoods, said.

    While councilors have questioned the need for the unit and noted that overall crime is down, police said there has been an uptick in violence in certain areas and neighborhoods have pushed back.

    “People had a perception that they’re not safe, and that’s not good for Meriden because we want to build Meriden,” Steven Cardillo, president of the North End Meriden Neighborhood Association, said. “We want people coming to Meriden and we want businesses to come here, and if they don’t feel safe, we can’t grow.”

    If passed, the resolution would allocate $200,000 of the more than $400,000 that was cut from the police department to cover overtime costs. In a statement to NBC Connecticut, Mayor Kevin Scarpati, who is in favor of bringing back the unit, said:

    "The safety of our community needs to remain a priority. While our stats will show an overall decrease in crime rates year over year, the public needs to feel safe. Programs such as our Neighborhood Initiative Unit, provide this type of security for residents living in areas that have been exposed to targeted criminal activity. The perception of safety not only impacts residents within these neighborhoods, but also our schools, business community, property values and overall quality of life as a City. These Neighborhood Initiative positions need to be reinstated and the City Council must work collaboratively with our Police Department moving forward to ensure the safety of our neighborhoods are not compromised."

    City council is expected to vote on the measure on Monday.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Police have arrested a former Seymour High School football player who is accused of assaulting a teammate in the locker room in 2015.

    Police said they launched an investigation in May 2018 about the incident after the state Department of Children and Families notified them about allegations that one male student had assaulted another in August 2015, according to a news release from police.

    Police investigated and said they learned that the incident happened once and was not part of a hazing ritual.

    The former student turned himself in at the Seymour police department on Dec. 17 after learning there was a warrant for his arrest.

    Police said he is legal age now, but has been charged as a juvenile.

    He has been charged with sexual assault in the third degree, assault in the third degree, risk of injury to a minor and reckless endangerment in the second degree.

    No additional information was released on the allegations.

    The person who was charged was released on a promise to appear and is scheduled to appear in juvenile court on Friday.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Seymour High School was locked down Wednesday afternoon.Seymour High School was locked down Wednesday afternoon.

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