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    With a winter storm barreling down on North Texas, officials canceled two major events scheduled for this weekend: The MetroPCS Dallas Marathon and the Children's Medical Center holiday parade.

    After meeting with the City of Dallas, Dallas Police Department and Office of Special Events, marathon officials decided Friday to cancel the event.

    "Safety of our participants, as well as our volunteers and spectators, is our primary concern on MetroPCS Dallas Marathon race weekend," according to a news release Friday afternoon. "We regret that the race will not go on as planned, but are confident this decision is in the best interest of our runners, volunteers, spectators and the general public."

    The MetroPCS Dallas Marathon Health & Fitness Expo for Friday and Saturday was also canceled, along with some other events.

    Children’s Medical Center, which was going to host its holiday parade on Saturday, canceled the annual event on Thursday. It's the first time the parade has been canceled in 26 years.

    Runners Were Prepared for Cold Conditions

    Before the marathon was canceled, runners were buying layers of clothing to wear in the race, including hats and gloves, according to David Douglas, a manager at RunOn! Dallas, a retail running store.

    “We haven't really been able to acclimate that much to cold weather yet. It’s always nice when you have a chance to do some runs in some cold, but we really haven't had that yet,” Douglas said.

    Douglas had competed in the Dallas marathon 14 times and planned to run again Sunday -- using a trash bag to stay warm.

    “It’s one of the greatest things that you can put over you. Keep your body warm,” Douglas said.

    Stacy Yervasi, who ran in this year’s Boston Marathon and finished 30 minutes before the deadly bombings, also wanted to run regardless of the weather.

    “I feel very strongly about running my hometown race coming off of Boston,” Yervasi said.

    Now, she won't get the chance.


    Runners Crossed Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge for the first time in race historyRunners Crossed Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge for the first time in race history

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    Two teens are facing charges after police say they threatened and tried to rob a man in Bridgeport, then fired shots as the victim ran away.

    According to police, 19-year-old Andy Marte and 18-year-old Kierra Milton, both of Bridgeport, confronted the victim on the 800 block of Queen Street just before 1 a.m. Dec. 6. The victim, a 38-year-old man, told police one of the suspects, Marte, had a gun and threatened to shoot him.

    Police said the victim then wrestled with the suspects, one of whom starting hitting him, then managed to escape and ran off. Marte allegedly fired shots in the victim’s direction, but no one was harmed.

    A witness' description of the suspects’ car led police to a home on Alexander Drive, where the car was parked. Police said Marte, Martin and a third person were inside the car and another person was in the home, moving about in what appeared to be an attempt to hide evidence.

    Police said the responding officers found clothes in the home that were linked to the robbery attempt.

    Marte and Milton were apprehended and arrested. The other two people were not charged.

    Marte is charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery, criminal attempt at first-degree assault, illegal discharge of a firearm, tampering with evidence, threatening and interfering with police. He’s being held on a $100,000 bond.

    Milton is charged with conspiracy to commit robbery and third-degree assault and was held on a $50,000 bond.



    Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police Department

    Kierra Milton, 18 (left), and Andy Marte, 19 (right), are charged in the attempted armed robbery of a man in Bridgeport.Kierra Milton, 18 (left), and Andy Marte, 19 (right), are charged in the attempted armed robbery of a man in Bridgeport.

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    Fifteen people were hurt after a woman plowed her car into a crowded Trader Joe's on Long Island, authorities said.

    The car slammed into the Trader Joe's on Long Beach Road in Nassau County Friday, pinning a man as it scattered broken glass, groceries and cash registers.

    "When the car came through, it was just like shattering glass, and the next thing we knew the registers were like dominoes and went down, 1-2-3," said Elizabeth Donnelly.

    Two people were seriously hurt; the rest had minor injuries. A rescue worker on scene said people had broken bones, bruises and head injuries. Some were knocked out.

    Officials said it appeared the driver just lost control, but they were still investigating.

    A total of 12 people were taken to the hospital.


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  • 12/06/13--13:24: Powerful Mandela Tributes

  • U2 frontman Bono remembers Nelson Mandela the way many others did: an anti-apartheid, anti-poverty leader who became South Africa's first democratically elected President.

    But some of the most intriguing insights in Bono's Time.com tribute to Mandela had nothing to do with him as a leader, but rather what he was like as a person.

    "He had humor and humility in his bearing," Bono wrote. "And he was smarter and funnier than the parade of world leaders who flocked to see him."

    Mandela's death on Thursday has prompted an outpouring of reactions from world leaders, celebrities and other prominent figures and some of the most heartfelt tributes emerging in the wake of his passing are offering unique perspective into the former South African president's electrifying life.

    Mandela damaged his tear ducts while working in the limestone mines, which left him unable to cry, Bono wrote. "For all this man’s farsightedness and vision, he could not produce tears in a moment of self-doubt or grief." Mandela had surgery in 1994 to fix his eye, according to Bono.

    Here are six other powerful tributes:

    Actor Morgan Freeman touched on Mandela's "wisdom, patience and compassion" in a tribute that was also published Thursday on Time.com. Freeman said he shared a 20-year friendship with Mandela.

    "I got to walk with him, talk with him, hold his hand and get to know one of the greatest men who ever lived," Freeman wrote.

    Freeman went on to play Mandela in "Invcitus," the 2009 film inspired by rugby player Francois Pienaar, who led the South African national rugby team to the win the World Cup in 1995. Rugby was a symbol of racist white rule for many black people in South Africa, but Mandela saw sports as unifier for his "Rainbow Nation."

    Freeman said Mandela's reaction to the movie was "consistent with the true content of his character."

    "His only comment after we first screened the movie for him was a humble, 'Now perhaps people will remember me.'" Freeman wrote.

    Pienaar, the rugby player portrayed by Matt Damon in the film, recounted his first meeting with Mandela in an interview published on Friday by the Global Post. He said that what he heard first was Mandela's "booming voice," but what he remembers most was the president's "sense of warmth."

    "I felt safe," Peinaar said. "I felt like I was in the presence of a very, very wise person."

    President Barack Obama also understood the effect Mandela had on people. He said in a speech on Thursday that he drew inspiration from Mandela's work to affect change through politics. But it was Mandela's human side, the president said, that made him effective.

    "The fact that he did it all with grace and good humor, and an ability to acknowledge his own imperfections, only makes the man that much more remarkable," Obama said. "As he once said, 'I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.'"

    Oprah Winfrey, meanwhile, planned to re-air on OWN Sunday an interview she conducted with Mandela in 2000.

    Spending time with him was like "sitting with grace and majesty," Winfrey said in a statement on her website. But Mandela, "always loved to tell a good joke."

    New York Times journalist Suzanne Daley, the paper's Johannesburg bureau chief from 1995 to 1999,  remembered Mandela as "quite a dandy" who fussed over his appearance and enjoyed flirting with women.

    "He always managed to talk to the women wherever he went," Daley wrote in the Times. "Young or old. He would literally get a sparkle in his eyes when there was a pretty girl around. Even when he didn’t seem to be looking, he took notice. He liked to tease."

    Next week's cover of the "New Yorker" magazine will hone in on a different side of Mandela, that of a freedom fighter. It will feature a drawing of a young Mandela with his fist raised. Artist Kadir Nelson said he wanted to make a "simple and bold statement about Mandela and his life as a freedom fighter."

    "The raised fist and the simple, stark palette reminded me of posters and anti-apartheid imagery of the nineteen-eighties," Nelson said. "This painting is a tribute to the struggle for freedom from all forms of discrimination, and Nelson’s very prominent role as a leader in the anti-apartheid movement.”



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Nelson Mandela died Thursday at the age of 95, South African President Jacob Zuma announced.Nelson Mandela died Thursday at the age of 95, South African President Jacob Zuma announced.

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  • 12/06/13--14:25: Giants-Chargers Preview

  • The Giants haven’t defeated the Chargers since Sept. 27, 1998. If that makes you feel old, it’s not going to help when we mention the Giants’ starting quarterback was Danny Kanell, and the Chargers’ starter was Ryan Leaf.

    The Giants started fast, scoring the game’s first 21 points in a 34-16 victory. Kanell was serviceable, throwing for 208 yards and a touchdown.

    Leaf? In his second-ever regular-season home start, the Giants intercepted him four times, with safety Percy Ellsworth hauling in a pair of picks. After Ellsworth took back the second interception for a touchdown, the Chargers pulled Leaf in favor of Craig Whelihan.

    In the end, Leaf’s San Diego career didn’t go as hoped. However, the Chargers eventually did find a long-term answer at quarterback.

    His name his Philip Rivers. And banking on him to throw four interceptions in San Diego’s latest meeting with the Giants probably isn’t wise.

    Here is our preview of Sunday’s Giants-Chargers matchup:

    Reasons why the Giants can win Sunday

    The Giants should be able to establish the run and the pass against San Diego. The Chargers’ defense struggles in multiple areas. If the Giants’ offense executes, it could have one of its better games of the season Sunday.

    Eli Manning passed with precision in Sunday’s win at Washington. Manning’s accuracy has been lacking at times this season, but he was on-point last Sunday, completing a season-high 78.6 percent of this throws. When Manning is throwing strikes, this can be a dangerous offense, given the Giants’ willingness to stretch the field in the passing game.

    The Giants’ defense is capable to standing toe-to-toe with the Chargers’ potent offense. The Giants have allowed two offensive TDs or less in seven consecutive games. The defense’s sustained run of strong play has helped Big Blue back to respectability.

    The Giants have cut down on the turnovers. New York has committed just one turnover in each of the last three games. For a team that had committed 28 turnovers in its first nine games, a turnover per contest is progress.

    The Chargers’ recent form is somewhat shaky. Losses in 4-of-5 games have left San Diego (5-7) a game behind in the AFC wildcard race. In that same span, the Giants are 3-1.

    Reasons why the Giants could run into trouble at San Diego

    As 5-7 teams go, the Chargers are fairly formidable. Five of San Diego’s seven defeats are by seven points or less.

    While Manning has largely struggled, Rivers has played a Pro Bowl level this season.
    Rivers, who’s closing in on 4,000 yards passing, has completed 70 percent of his throws. Given how the quarterbacks have performed this season, the Chargers could have a clear edge at this position on Sunday.

    The Chargers have a deep, talented pass catching corps. Five Chargers have more than 30 catches, with tight end Antonio Gates, running back Danny Woodhead and wideout Keenan Allen the top three pass catchers. Second-year tight end Ladarius Green (22.1 yards per catch) has had a bigger role recently, too. Can the Giants match up with all of these targets?

    The Giants have had their problems against the AFC West this season. The Broncos and Chiefs handled the Giants without much trouble, and the Raiders played Big Blue to within four points in November. Also, note that the Chargers have beaten three teams (Dallas, Philadelphia, Kansas City) that have handed the Giants four of their seven losses.

    The Giants started slow before rallying to beat Washington on Sunday. Big Blue can’t spot San Diego 14 points like it did Washington. The Chargers are a significantly better team than the Redskins.  

    Prediction

    This looks like a coin flip. The Chargers have the advantage on offense, while the Giants are superior on defense. In the end, we see Big Blue holding up just enough defensively and keeping their playoff hopes alive. The Giants’ comeback win at Washington last week was a reminder of their resilience, and they don’t look ready to exit stage left just yet.

    Predicted score: Giants 24, Chargers 23. 



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Antrel Rolle and the Giants secondary face a tough challenge as Chargers QB Phillip Rivers has a many targets to choose from.Antrel Rolle and the Giants secondary face a tough challenge as Chargers QB Phillip Rivers has a many targets to choose from.

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    Cheryl Footit, of Wallingford, went to the Access Health Connecticut store in New Haven to figure out what the best insurance plan would be for her and her daughter.

    She said she attended informational meetings and logged onto the website, but still had questions about the different plans.

    “They don't really bring up doctors that I use. And another thing is, my daughter is in college out of state, so I wanted to come down and speak with someone face-to-face,” said Footit.

    Tom Hudson from Hamden came to sign up, as well.

    “I got the letter that my insurance is being discontinued, so I went ahead, I need to do something, so I came down here,” said Hudson.

    Access Health Connecticut says in the past three days it's signed up more people than it has in the past few weeks, and it expects the surge of enrollments to continue till the new December 23 deadline. Right now, there are more than 35,000 people signed up of the more than 300,000 uninsured in the state.

    “I really think that we're going to make good progress this year,” said Kevin Counihan, who is the CEO of Access Health CT.

    Even more progress will be made with a brand new store in New Haven. On Friday, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro and State Senator Chris Murphy attended the grand opening and touted the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. However, the problems with signing up on the federal level has had an effect on the people signing up in Connecticut.

    “We get confused phone calls every day. Gee, I understand your site just reopened, or are all the bugs worked out? Connecticut has been the only state whose state-exchange site has never been down,” said Counihan.

    Connecticut, unlike many other states, has not had problems with signing people up. Access Health CT hopes to continue that for the rest of the year and beyond.


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    Bay Area officials are working to get the homeless into shelters after four people died this week in Santa Clara County due to hypothermia-related causes, the medical examiner’s office confirmed Friday.

    Three of the deaths occurred at various homeless encampments in San Jose, according to officials, and a fourth victim was found dead in Saratoga inside an open garage.

    The first hypothermia-related death happened on Nov. 28, according to Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Lt. David Lera. The other victims died during the “extreme weather” that has moved through the region since late Wednesday, he said.

    None of the names of the deceased have been released, though Lt. Lera did say all the victims were men in their 40s or 50s.

    The county plans a limited activation of its emergency operation center, Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said at a Friday press conference. Cody said she’s trying to organize the county’s resources to better serve the community, especially between now and Tuesday, when more cold is expected.

    “We want to try to get folks who don’t have a home into shelter, particularly this weekend,” Dr. Cody said.

    The county is working to provide ponchos, blankets, socks and other cold-weather gear to homeless individuals who won’t accept shelter so they can “shelter themselves,” Dr. Cody said.

    There are more than 7,600 homeless people in Santa Clara County, according to a recent nationwide census.

    Freeze warnings expired Friday morning, but a winter weather advisory remains up through the weekend.

    Overnight temperatures in most of Santa Clara County dipped below freezing for around 10 hours starting after 9 p.m. Thursday.

    Temperatures were expected to stay above freezing Friday night into Saturday, except for in the hills, but precipitation could cause problems for those without any shelter. Below freezing temps are expected to return Saturday night.

    MORE: San Jose Homeless Camp Gets Eviction Notice

    On Monday, non-profit group EHC LifeBuilders started offering 275 shelter beds for the homeless during the cold weather season in Santa Clara County, which has one the fourth highest homeless population in the country, a spokeswoman said.

    EHC LifeBuilders, based in San Jose, launched its annual Cold Weather Shelter Program with 50 beds in San Jose, 125 in Sunnyvale and 100 in Gilroy, according to Jenny Niklaus, the organization's chief executive.

    "We only have about 1,000 beds on any given night in this whole community. There are 7,000 people outside," Nicklaus said. "So even if every bed was full, or above capacity, we're still gonna have people outside in this dangerous weather."

    Friday night, they added 50 more beds to their homeless shelter in San Jose to accommodate more people during the cold snap. The EHC shelters in Gilroy and Sunnyvale also planned to add beds.

    Earlier in the day, workers from a number of organizations sent teams out to homeless encampments in the San Jose area and handed out 1,000 blankets.

    The shelter is also extending its hours. Saturday morning, instead of asking clients to leave at 6 a.m., they'll be asking them to leave at 8 a.m., when it's a little bit warmer.



    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

    A homeless encampment in San Jose, Calif., is seen in this file image.A homeless encampment in San Jose, Calif., is seen in this file image.

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    Two people are in the hospital following a two-car crash on the South Windsor/Vernon town line.

    The cars collided Friday evening on Kelly Road. Emergency officials said both drivers had to be extricated and were transported to Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford for treatment.

    Fire officials said they believe the injuries to be non-life threatening.

    Police directed traffic around the crash site but did not shut down the road.

    Check back for updates.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Police are responding to a multi-car crash on the South Windsor/Vernon town line.Police are responding to a multi-car crash on the South Windsor/Vernon town line.

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    As the one year anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings draws near, Gov. Dannel Malloy is reflecting on that day and the lessons learned.

    Malloy was thrust into the role of consoler-in-chief that tragic day and said he's been permanently impacted by the events of that day.
     
    "There has not been a day this year that I haven't thought about Newtown and what transpired on Dec. 14," said Malloy said in an interview with NBC Connecticut. "What has continued to cause me great concern is how the families of the victims are doing, how the town itself is doing."
     
    Malloy said it's hard for him to answer when asked how the tragedy has changed him personally.
     
    "If you're talking about on the governmental side, there's nothing that quite compares to ultimately learning in the course of the day that you've lost 26 of your citizens," said Malloy.
     
    Despite the difficulties of that day, Malloy said that the state has learned a lot.
     
    "If there is anything to be learned out of this – and there are lots of things to be learned – but perhaps the most important thing is that guns and mental illness do not mix well," he said.
     
    In the spring, the governor signed sweeping gun control reforms into law.
     
    Since the release of the prosecutor's report on the shootings, Malloy said more can be done, especially when it comes to the issue of mental health.
     
    "One of the things we know a lot about mental illness is that the earlier the intervention, the more intense that experience of intervention, the better the results are likely to be," said Malloy.
     
    He said since Dec. 14, 2012, first responders around the state are even more prepared.
     
    "We are learning lots every day and the technology is getting better and hopefully we will avoid some of these – and it did at UNH, by the way," Malloy said, referencing the campus-wide emergency and lockdown that was prompted by a student with a gun.
     
    Newtown plans to mark the tragedy's one-year anniversary with silent reflection, and Malloy says the healing process will be ongoing.
     
    "The loss of a child, spouse, a loved one, that's not necessarily something that you recover from," he said. "It's a strong and resilient community."
     
    The governor is encouraging people to volunteer and commit acts of kindness in honor of the anniversary.

     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Two Loudoun County women are out of the hospital after a collision with a deer Thursday.

    But there's a very unusual twist: one of the women was jogging when the deer hit her. A Loudoun County's Sheriff's Department spokesman says the accident happened around 6 p.m. on southbound Clairborne Parkway near the ramp to the Dulles Greenway.

    A 71-year-old woman was driving an SUV when a deer stepped into the roadway and hit the front passenger side of her car.

    The impact sent the deer airborne, and it hit a 27-year-old female jogger who was running on a path.

    Both women were taken to the Lansdowne Campus of Inova Loudoun Hospital for treatment. Both were released from the hospital Friday. 

    Andrew Disilvestre, whose home backs up to the path, noticed what he thought looked like a single car accident on his way home Thursday night.

    Then, Friday morning, something else caught his eye out his back window.

    "I noticed some big vultures flying around and noticed a dead deer," said Disilvestre.

    News4 told him that the deer had hit a jogger before it fell to the ground.

    "It's certainly an anomaly... that's a surprise, " said Disilvestre. "I might look out for deer next time I'm jogging."

    Other residents were equally stunned to hear about the deer flying into the jogger.

    "That' pretty amazing," said Michael Valmont as he worked out at gym near the accident scene. "I don't know what the statistics are for that but it's pretty low."
     


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    A post office clerk in Avon has been charged with secretly using a cellphone to record a co-worker.

    Craig D'Angelo, 42, of Torrington, was arrested this morning and charged with voyeurism.

    Avon police said a U.S. Postal Service agent contacted them on Oct. 22 about a complaint regarding possible voyeurism inside the post office.

    Avon police said they searched D'Angelo's cellphone and personal computer and did not find evidence of any other victims.

    D'Angelo was released on $2,500 bond and is due back in court on Dec. 18.

    It was not immediately clear whether D'Angelo has an attorney and a phone number listed for him was not answered, according to the Associated Press.

       

     



    Photo Credit: Avon Police

    Craig DAngelo has been arrested on a voyeurism charge.Craig DAngelo has been arrested on a voyeurism charge.

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  • 12/06/13--13:32: New Rules for Metro-North

  • The federal government has issued an emergency order requiring Metro-North to install two crew members at the controls of trains in areas with significant speed restrictions, following a deadly crash on a curve where the limit was 30 mph.

    The order from the Department of Transportation comes five days after a train broke apart on a sharp curve in the Bronx, sending cars sliding toward the Harlem River. Four people were killed, dozens were injured and the train was later found to have been going 82 mph.

    The DOT said its emergency order "will help ensure that other Metro-North trains travel at appropriate, safe speeds."

    It requires the agency to immediately place two crew members at the controls of trains traveling through areas where the speed limit changes by 20 mph or more.

    Meanwhile, Metro-North must provide the DOT's Federal Railroad Administration with a list of those areas, and must make improvements to its signal systems to better warn engineers of approaching speed limit changes.

    Metro-North must have a plan for making those improvements by Dec. 31, the DOT said.

    The MTA said in a statement that it is working with the federal government to review policies and procedures and added "we will of course comply with whatever requirements the FRA directs us to follow."

    The lawyer for the engineer in Sunday's crash has said he experienced a hypnotic-like "daze" before realizing something was wrong and hitting the brakes.

    The NTSB has not ruled on a cause for the speeding train, and has not commented on the engineer's condition just before the derailment.

     

     



    Photo Credit: AP

    Cars from a Metro-North passenger train are scattered after the train derailed in the Bronx neighborhood of New York, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013. The Fire Department of New York says there are Cars from a Metro-North passenger train are scattered after the train derailed in the Bronx neighborhood of New York, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013. The Fire Department of New York says there are "multiple injuries" in the train derailment, and 130 firefighters are on the scene. Metropolitan Transportation Authority police say the train derailed near the Spuyten Duyvil station. (AP Photo/Edwin Valero)

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    A 74-unit affordable housing complex for veterans and their families opened its doors in Newington today, and new residents say they've already made this place their home.

    Victory Gardens was built on land leased from the Veterans Administration in Newington by a private developer, the Women's Institute for Human and Economic Development.

    Construction began in September and the ribbon cutting took place today.

    Vietnam veteran Angel Lara and his wife Edna moved into Victory Gardens on Thursday night and are already settling in.

    "We're happy," said Angel Lara. "It's a quiet place with security. It's a nice place to be."

    Veterans started moving into new homes with rents below market rate in May.  Some depend on support from the nearby VA hospital.

    Margaret Guillory-Allen, the woman who admitted them in compliance with the many regulations, described the new residents as "every day Joe and Jane Doe, people who come from a dismal past to their new beginnings."

    She added, "Victory Gardens is their way of heading to self-sufficiency."

    The VA regional director, Gerald Culliton, said another project, Veterans Landing, is in the works, with a groundbreaking perhaps a year away.

    Construction on Victory Gardens began last September.


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    After 20 years in office, New Haven Mayor John DeStefano will be passing the torch to a new leader to usher in a new chapter in the city.

    “I think that it’s been an extraordinary 20 years," DeStefano said. "I didn’t know it was going to be 20 years when I had the opportunity to do it. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have done it."

    DeStefano said he's grateful for the accomplishments he's made while in office. He’s grown economic development, helped to combat crime and rebuilt the city’s school system, which he says is his proudest achievement.

    “School change, to me, is focusing on the professionalism of the teacher core, supporting kids, accountability measures, how we measure our schools, how we turn around our schools,” said DeStefano.

    He's also taken on controversial issues like immigration by issuing Elm City resident ID cards to people living in New Haven who are not U.S. citizens.

    “A whole group of New Haven residents felt they were being acknowledged and validated for what they are,” said DeStefano.

    DeStefano also says there are things he could have done better – he still grapples with the issue of violence in the city and sometimes wishes he had pushed a little harder on property tax reform.

    “I remember bad days, too. I remember the days when two of our police cars ran into each other at Chapel and East streets. One of our officers was killed; one of our officers remains in a coma. I remember Feb. 1994, Danielle Taft, when she was shot by a bullet and killed on Orchard Street. I’ll never forget her funeral,” he said.

    But overall, he's thankful that he had the opportunity to leave his mark on the city where he grew up, and he's ready to hand over his responsibilities to mayor-elect Toni Harp.

    “I’m particularly, and acutely aware, that after 20 years, however prideful I may be of things that went well, that it’s time for a new set of eyes to look at things,” said DeStefano.

    Harp will be sworn into office Jan. 1, 2014 and said she respects and appreciates everything DeStefano has done for the city.

    “He’s got a lot to be very proud of, and I’m really grateful to be inheriting that,” said Harp.

    She said DeStefano was a great administrator and a visionary who made positive changes in the city, such as community policing and school system improvement.

    Harp pledges to pick up where DeStefano leaves off.

    “A lot of what’s been done really needs to be spread out and deepened in many respects,” said Harp.

    She said she already has ideas about what she’d like to accomplish in economic development.

    “I think one of the things we’ve done really well is to do develop downtown, so now I’m going to focus on the neighborhoods and try to bring in community development on our arterial roads that are like Dixwell Avenue, like Whalley Avenue,” said Harp.

    The rest she’ll be taking step by step beginning next year.

    “We’re going to be very transparent as an administration. We’re going to be engaging the people in this town to help define where we go and to help get us there,” said Harp.


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    In a court battle between insurance giant UnitedHealthcare and the 2,200 physicians the company planned to drop from its Medicare network, a judge has ruled in the doctors’ favor to block the terminations.

    Doctors represented by the Fairfield County Medical Association and Hartford County Medical Association filed a federal lawsuit last month requesting an injunction that would prevent more than 2,000 physicians from being dropped.

    The terminations were set to take effect Feb. 1, 2014 and would drop 2,200 physicians from the company’s Medicare Advantage program serving senior citizens. In-network physicians are available to patients at a much lower cost than out-of-network providers.

    A federal judge granted the injunction in a preliminary ruling made Dec. 3, but representatives of UnitedHealthcare said the company plans to appeal the decision.

    “We respectfully disagree with the court's preliminary ruling and intend to appeal immediately. We believe the court’s ruling will create unnecessary and harmful confusion and disruption to Medicare beneficiaries in Connecticut. We continue to have a broad network of doctors that is designed to encourage higher quality, affordable health care coverage. We know that these changes can be concerning for some doctors and customers, and supporting our customers is our highest priority. UnitedHealthcare will continue to stay focused on the people we serve,” the company said in a statement on Friday.

    U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal supported the judge’s decision and urged UnitedHealthcare to stand down.

    “UnitedHealth Group is threatening to deprive vulnerable elderly patients of health care from their doctors of choice who have served them over the years. The insurer should take the court's signal and end its shortsighted and improper efforts, which have caused unnecessary distress to seniors in Connecticut,” Blumenthal said in a statement.

    Meanwhile, physicians are celebrating the victory but say they understand the battle has not yet been won.

    “Both the Fairfield and Hartford County Medical Associations took this bold step for our patients and for our member physicians. We won’t let UnitedHealthcare get away with interfering with the doctor-patient relationship. While this is one huge step in the right direction, the journey is far from over,” said Dr. Robin Oshman, President of the Fairfield County Medical Association, in a statement on Friday.



    Photo Credit: Flickr/Maryland GovPics

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    After a quick introduction, FBI Director James Comey, a Connecticut native, wasted no time getting to the heart of the issues he's facing just three months into the job.

    “The thing I'm worrying about most these days is actually something I didn't expect to worry about that much, and that's the budget,” said Comey.

    He said that if the federal budget woes continue, he'll be forced to eliminate 3500 positions and furlough local offices like the one in New Haven. That means local authorities may not have their federal counterparts alongside them, fighting what Comey says is a huge problem in three major cities in this state: an uptick in violent crime.

    “It's something that we at the FBI, and especially our state and local partners, are working hard on. It's the reason we just created another violent crime task force here in Connecticut to try and do something to save those lives,” said Comey.

    New Haven Police Chief Dean Esserman said he too worries about what the federal budget means for those task forces, but also said Comey's actions have already spoke about his commitment to Connecticut.

    “This past week, an FBI agent was full-time assigned to the New Haven Shooting Task Force. We've never had an FBI agent in our shooting task force before. I think his actions speak for themselves,” said Esserman.

    Director Comey also spoke about the recent close calls in Connecticut with potential gunmen on college campuses. He said law enforcement responded appropriately.

    Comey encourages residents to continue to following the "See Something, Say Something" campaign and report suspicious activity to police.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    The New London mayor has terminated a police officer accused of leaking confidential information about an alleged sexual assault.

    According to the mayor’s office, Officer David McElroy of the New London Police Department “violated department policies” by releasing that information to members of the media without permission from the department.

    In order to determine who may have been responsible, officials interviewed every member of the department, conducted a forensic investigation and performed handwriting analyses. No officers admitted to disclosing the information, but the mayor’s office says McElroy’s handwriting matched a sample from the leaked document.

    The mayor’s office says McElroy was given a second chance to admit his involvement but again denied any wrongdoing. He was then terminated by Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio at the recommendation of the New London police chief.

    “This is a sad day for the New London Police Department because, while the City must hold Officer McElroy responsible for his conduct, this incident clouds the fact that the vast and overwhelming majority of our police officers do an honorable job serving our community and upholding the privilege of being called a New London Police officer,” said Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio in a statement.

    According to the mayor’s office, the police union believes McElroy was targeted because of his involvement in the union.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    A New London police officer accused of leaking information without permission from the department has been terminated, according to the mayor's office.A New London police officer accused of leaking information without permission from the department has been terminated, according to the mayor's office.

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    A former Long Beach police officer and a relative have been arrested in connection with a conspiracy to obstruct justice and aiding a criminal street gang, the city’s police chief said on Friday.

    Yvonne Robinson, 42, a 13-year member of the police force, was taken into custody Thursday. Also arrested was 24-year-old Prentice Jones.

    Speaking briefly during a Friday afternoon press conference, Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell hung his head as he explained.

    "Yesterday we celebrated the graduation of 40 new recruits,” he said. “But today it's our duty to announce the arrest of one of our own ... We will not tolerate the actions that dishonor the badge that all of use wear so proudly."

    Robinson is accused of providing information to Jones, a known gang member and the brother of Robinson's brother-in-law, McDonnell said.

    The case stems from a 2012 gang investigation in which Long Beach police arrested 16 members of the "Baby Insane Crip" gang for a variety of criminal charges, including murder.

    During the investigation, detectives learned that someone in the gang was being provided details of the murder case to aid the suspects involved in that case, McDonnell said.

    Robinson was using her position as a detective to review police reports and provide information to Jones, McDonnell said. After Jones received the information, she passed it along to the leaders of that gang.

    Robinson was fired from her job in March, a year after receiving high regard from fellow officers.

    Robinson received a community-service award from the Southern California Chapter of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and was featured in news articles about in online.

    More Southern California Stories:


    Yvonne RobinsonYvonne Robinson

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  • 12/07/13--01:48: Fatal Shooting in Waterbury

  • Police are investigating after a 31-year-old man was shot to death in Waterbury Friday night.

    Police rushed to the area of 9 Kenyon St. just before 10 p.m. There they found a man suffering from a single gun shot wound to the head.

    The victim was taken to St. Mary's  Hospital by ambulance where he was pronounced dead. The identity of the victim is being withheld at this time.

    Detectives spent most of the evening canvassing the neighborhood, interviewing residents and looking for witnesses.

    Part of the street remains closed while police investigate.

    Anyone with any information is asked to call police at 203-574-6911.

     



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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  • 12/06/13--20:16: In Memoriam: Nelson Mandela

  • Take a look at the most notable deaths of 2013.

    Photo Credit: Toronto Star via Getty Images

    Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s iconic former president whose lifelong struggle against apartheid helped break the country’s system of racial discrimination, died Thursday at the age of 95. South African President Jacob Zuma announced the anti-apartheid crusader's death at a somber press conference Thursday.Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s iconic former president whose lifelong struggle against apartheid helped break the country’s system of racial discrimination, died Thursday at the age of 95. South African President Jacob Zuma announced the anti-apartheid crusader's death at a somber press conference Thursday.

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