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    We continue to track two storms that will lead to impacts here in Connecticut. The first storm arrives on Friday with a second much bigger storm arriving Saturday night and continuing into Sunday. 

    STORM 1 - FRIDAY MORNING

    Snow will begin to overspread late Thursday night and continue into the early morning hours. Most of it will fall as snow however some light mixing will likely occur along the shoreline. 

    This will not result in a lot of snow in fact we are only forecasting a coating to two inches statewide. 

    As we have experienced in the past it's not about the amount of snow it's all about the timing. Unfortunately the snow will be present during the morning commute which could cause some issues on the roads and result in school delays. 

    STORM 2 - SATURDAY NIGHT & SUNDAY

    The second storm will be more powerful and could result in major impacts here in Connecticut. 

    The latest model guidance indicates that snow will develop statewide on Saturday night with a transition to a wintry mix during the overnight hours and eventually over to plain rain for most of the state.

    There is some indication that the majority of the storm will stay wintry for the northern third of Connecticut with a freezing rain accretting on tree limbs and power lines. 

    Let's talk about the two scenarios that are possible.

    Scenario 1

    This storm track would be the coldest scenario with the center of lower pressure tracking along the Connecticut shoreline. This would result in mostly snow for the hills town, snow to and ice in for interior Connecticut, and Snow to Mix to plain rain along the shoreline. Right now it appears this scenario is less likely. 

    Scenario 2

    If the center of low pressure system tracks to the northwest of Connecticut it would result in a mostly ice/rain scenario (a warmer solution). This track would result in snow to a wintry mix to plain rain in the hills with snow quickly transitioning to plain rain along the shoreline. 

    Right now it appears that we will be somewhere in the middle of these two scenarios with rain along the shoreline and a nasty wintry mix for parts of interior Connecticut and especially the northwest corner. 

    One thing we are certain of is a cold blast of air will arrive right after the precipitation ends Sunday night and some very cold temperatures are expected Monday morning. This will cause a flash freeze, any untreated surfaces will become very icy and we expect slick travel Monday morning with temperatures of 0 to 10 degrees. 


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

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    There have been two additional deaths associated with the flu in Connecticut, which makes eight flu-related deaths reported this season.

    A report released today from the state Department of Health says there were two flu-associated deaths during the week that ended on Jan. 12. 

    Seven flu-associated deaths have been associated with influenza A and one with influenza B.

    Five of the deaths this season were people over 65 years old, two have been people between 50 and 64 years old and one was 25 to 49 years of age, according to the Department of Health.

    The Department of Health says flu remains widespread in Connecticut and there have been 1,248 influenza positive laboratory tests since Aug. 26.

    This is the breakdown of where they have been:

    • Hartford County: 381
    • New Haven: 383
    • Fairfield: 183
    • Middlesex: 80
    • New London: 65
    • Litchfield: 45
    • Tolland: 34
    • Windham: 34
    • Forty-three are in unknown counties.

     

     

     


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      Southwest Airlines' yearlong effort to launch affordable flights to Hawaii is stalled. Craft brewers haven't been able to ship their seasonal beers. Hundreds of federal rental assistance contracts with private landlords have expired, putting low-income families and seniors at risk of eviction. Across the country, thousands of unpaid government employees and contractors struggling to make ends meet are turning to food banks for assistance.

      As the partial government shutdown moves through its fourth week with no end in sight, the economic blow is hitting not only federal workers but also business people, households and travelers across the country. And experts warn that if the shutdown drags into February or beyond, as the president has suggested it could, the devastating impact would be widespread. 

      "We'll be in no man's land," Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, told NBC News. 

      Here is how the worsening damage could unfold: 

      Food Insecurity
      The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it can fund the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, through February. The agency announced last week that it would bankroll the $4.8 billion in benefits for 39 million people enrolled in SNAP, but with a catch: States must issue those payments on or before Jan. 20 and families must make those funds — about $250 per household — last through February, whether the government reopens or not. 

      If the shutdown lasts until March, the USDA could be forced to dip into its reserves to help fund the program, and its $3 billion SNAP contingency fund won't cover a full month of benefits.

      "If the shutdown continues and USDA determines it does not have the authority to extend SNAP in March without congressional action, many low-income households would be at risk of serious hunger and hardship," said Dottie Rosenbaum, senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. "Emergency food assistance providers such as food banks and food pantries, as well as other local community service providers, would likely see dramatic increases in demand as families and individuals scrambled to fill the hole in their monthly food budgets."

      It's not just families enrolled in the program that would take a blow. Should SNAP benefits cease, Rosenbaum said the more than 250,000 supermarkets, grocery stores, and other retailers that participate in the program would see a substantial drop in SNAP redemptions, which in many cases constitute a significant share of their sales.

      Eventually, non-food retailers will also feel the pinch. That's because SNAP frees up cash for low-income households to buy other basic essentials like diapers and clothing, boosting economic stimulus.  A 2010 USDA study found that every $1 in SNAP benefits generates $1.79 in economic activity.

      Threats of Eviction
      Since the shutdown began on Dec. 22, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has been unable to renew almost 700 rental assistance contracts, placing low-income seniors and families at risk of eviction, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC).  

      Another 450 Project-Based Rental Assistance contracts are slated to expire over the next two weeks, and an additional 550 won't be renewed should the shutdown continue through February, NLIHC President Diane Yentel said.

      Under the Section 8 housing voucher program, tenants pay 30 percent of their household income for rent and utilities while the federal government makes up the rest of the rent. The average annual income for these households is $13,000.  

      The Washington Post reported HUD sent a letter to landlords earlier this month, instructing property owners to dip into their reserve accounts "to cover funding shortfalls" and keep tenants in their homes. 

      But not all property owners have sufficient savings to dip into and need the rental revenue to pay their mortgages, insurance, property taxes and other operating expenses.

      A landlord in Arkansas came under fire this week over a letter sent to more than 1,200 tenants across her 50 apartment complexes throughout the state. The letter said that because of the government shutdown, tenants had until Jan. 20 to either pay their rents in full or leave.

      "If the people can't pay their rent, I can't pay bills. If I don't get paid, I can't pay my people," Annette Cowen, a property manager in Arkansas, told KFSM-TV.

      Arkansas Online reported that after media attention and calls to lawmakers to intervene, the USDA told Cowen the agency would finance the rental contracts through at least February and maybe longer.

      "People are really scared about what will happen to them," Yentel told NBC in a phone interview.      

      Landlords of America's poorest tenants won't be the only property owners concerned about whether they'll get the next rent payment. The General Services Administration, which leases more than 187 million square feet of space around the country on behalf of federal government agencies, could miss its January rent payments at thousands of properties if the shutdown continues into February. 

      Joe Brennan, managing director of Government Investor Services at JLL, said in a phone interview it is unclear how widespread the ripple effect of a delinquent federal tenant would be. Investors in commercial real estate properties are not just developers, but include pension funds, collateralized debt obligation bonds and capital stocks. 

      "This is uncharted territory," Brennan said. "The government has never missed rent payments before."

      The faith and credit of the U.S. government has historically made the investment low risk with competitive leases. If the once-reliable tenant misses several rent payments over the course of the shutdown, Brennan warned investors may label them "high risk," leading to higher rent prices paid for by American taxpayers.   

      Private landlords leasing space to the government can’t evict their federal tenants over nonpayment. They also can’t fine the government over late payments without approval from their tenant. Their only recourse is fight it out in court, a long and expensive process, Brennan said.

      Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied?
      The government shutdown, meanwhile, is threatening to grind federal court cases to a halt after it runs out of money on Jan. 25. 

      The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, which initially projected that funding would be exhausted by Jan. 18, revised its estimated outlook on Tuesday. The office said in a statement that the additional week of funding was mainly "attributed to aggressive efforts to reduce expenditures."  

      Since the shutdown began, federal courts have continued to operate by using court fee balances and other "no-year" funds. Courts and federal public defender offices have delayed or deferred non-mission critical expenses, such as new hires, non-case related travel, and certain contracts as part of their cost-cutting efforts. Judiciary employees are reporting to work and currently are in full-pay status. 

      But once existing funding runs out the courts will operate on an "essential work" basis. Individual courts are allowed to determine which staffers are deemed necessary. Some courts have already issued orders suspending or postponing civil cases in which the government is a party.

      And while President Donald Trump claims the fight over funding for a wall is necessary to address border security, the shutdown is having an unintended consequence on his efforts to curb illegal immigration.

      Between Dec. 24 and Jan. 11, 42,726 immigration court hearings were canceled due to the shutdown, congesting an already backlogged system, according to a report from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. Another 20,000 scheduled cases will be canceled by the end of this week and as many as 100,000 hearings will be pushed back indefinitely by the end of the month if the shutdown continues.

      Ashley Tabaddor, president of the National Association of Immigration Judges, said in an interview with NPR that she now has around 2,000 immigration cases before her court in Los Angeles. And some judges, according to Tabaddor, have upwards of 4,000. The cases are booked years in advance and rescheduling them will be a logistical nightmare.   

      "We don’t have time to adequately consider the cases that we do have, much less have to spend extra time to think about what we’re going to do with all the cases that have to be rescheduled," she told NPR.

      Safety Risks
      The Food and Drug Administration announced Monday it would resume inspections of some of the riskiest foods such as cheeses, produce and infant formula as early as Tuesday. The routine inspections had been briefly halted as a result of the partial government shutdown.

      FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told NBC News his staff put calls out to furloughed workers to gauge whether they would come back to work despite not getting paychecks. 

      "We got an overwhelming response from our very dedicated and mission-driven field force who are coming back to work unpaid," he said.

      Riskier foods account for about a third of the agency's roughly 8,400 routine inspections each year.

      Meanwhile, applications for new drugs have been halted. The FDA review of a life-saving peanut allergy treatment for children ages 4 to 17 is on hold due to the government shutdown. The California-based biotech company Aimmune Therapeutics said in an SEC regulatory filing that the FDA is unable to begin review of AR101, its experimental treatment for peanut allergies, due to the shutdown. A spokeswoman for the company told NBC that the FDA will initiate review of AR10 once "the lapse in appropriations has ended." 

       

      However, Aimmune could see further delays even after the government has re-opened. Gottlieb warned in a tweet on Jan. 5 that the FDA is running out of user fees, which are paid by the companies and used to fund the regulatory review of drugs. The money was diverted to fund safety inspections during the shutdown.  He wrote on Twitter that review program will run out of money in early February. 

      The shutdown has halted inspection of chemical factories, power plants, oil refineries, water treatment plants, and thousands of other industrial sites for pollution violations, The New York Times reported.

      It has also suspended federal cleanups at Superfund sites around the nation and forced the cancellation of public hearings, deepening the mistrust and resentment of surrounding residents who feel people in power long ago abandoned them to live among the toxic residue of the country's factories and mines.

      Houston, We Have a Problem
      The effects of the shutdown are already rippling through aviation, with unpaid security screeners staying home, air-traffic controllers suing the government and safety inspectors off the job.

      Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screeners who staff security checkpoints and air-traffic controllers are among the "essential" federal employees required to work through the shutdown without pay.

      "I still have a mortgage to pay, I still have financial obligations — students loans — and those don't stop," Gerald Quaye, an air-traffic controller at New York's JFK airport, told NBC New York. "So, to come to work and not get paid and not know when I'm going to get my next paycheck, it's unsettling."   

      It also has security repercussions. Mike Perrone, president of the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists union, said it's hard for TSA and FAA employees to "keep their head in the game" when they're worried about bills not getting paid. 

      Many employees tell local media they can't afford to miss another paycheck. Industry officials worry that if the shutdown lingers and TSA employees quit en masse, with training for new highers on hold, the lack of staffing will lead to longer security lines, closed checkpoints, extended flight delays and even the grounding of flights.

      "TSA only has what it has," said Christopher Bidwell, the vice president for security at the trade group Airports Council International-North America

      Economic Damage Ripples
      On Tuesday, Kevin Hassett, a top economist in the White House, acknowledged that the shutdown was weighing on the economy more than he had previously estimated. Hassett, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said the White House now calculates that annual growth is slowing by about 0.1 percentage point a week.

      Some companies are pointing to specific problems: Delta said Tuesday that the shutdown is costing it $25 million a month in government travel. Its CEO, Edward Bastian, said that with the FAA partially closed, Delta will also likely delay the start date of eight new aircraft.

      Southwest Airlines told eager customers on social media that their long-awaited flights to Hawaii are on hold because they have not been able to complete the FAA’s certification process for extended over-water flights. The Dallas-based carrier had hoped to start selling tickets for service to service to Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport on the Big Island, Lihue Airport on Kauai, Kahului Airport on Maui and Daniel K. Inouye International Airport on Oahu by late 2018, with flights debuting in early 2019, according the AP.

      Bloomberg reports Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Mike Manley told attendees at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit that the new Dodge Ram 3500, which was unveiled Monday, could be delayed reaching the market because of the shutdown. Manley said the company is waiting on an emissions certificate from the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air quality, and cannot sell the truck until that is approved.

      The Securities and Exchange Commission, which oversees public stock offerings, is mostly closed because of the shutdown. As a result, some companies that had been planning initial public offerings in coming months, including Uber and Lyft, are likely facing delays. Marianne Lake, chief financial officer for JPMorgan Chase, said the bank could lose out on fees from IPOs and merger and acquisition deals that would be delayed if other shuttered agencies can't approve them.

      The nation's craft beer taps are also being squeezed. The federal shutdown halted operations at the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which regulates alcohol production and distribution, preventing new breweries from opening and stopping shipments of some suds across state lines.

      Brewers are increasingly nervous that they will lose money if brewery openings and seasonal beers are delayed much longer.

      The end of the shutdown won't bring an immediate end to the delays. The longer the shutdown continues, the bigger the backlog the bureau will have to sort through when work resumes. That means it could still be months before labels and permits are approved.

      "A big part of it will be all the plans that brewers have for 2019 will get thrown out the window," said Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association in Boulder, Colorado.


      The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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

      Several dozen federal employees and supporters demonstrated at the Sacramento International Airport calling for President Donald Trump and Washington lawmakers to end then partial government shutdown, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif.Several dozen federal employees and supporters demonstrated at the Sacramento International Airport calling for President Donald Trump and Washington lawmakers to end then partial government shutdown, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif.

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    • 01/17/19--18:37: Man Shot in Meriden

    • A man in his 20s was shot on Foster Street in Meriden Thursday.

      Police said they received a 911 call reporting shots fired around 6:30 p.m. When officers arrived they found the victim just outside a home. His condition was not immediately clear.

      Sgt. John Mennone said the scene is secure and there is no immediate threat to the general public.

      Police did not offer any information on possible suspects.

      The investigation is ongoing.



      Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

      Meriden police are investigating after a man was shot on Foster Street Thursday.Meriden police are investigating after a man was shot on Foster Street Thursday.

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      There are about 300 people at the Coast Guard Academy working without pay and several hundred more on furlough during the federal government shutdown, and local businesses are seeing the impact.

      “People are tightening up and we’re seeing a decline,” said Peter Farnan, the general manager at Mr. G’s Restaurant.

      A big part of the usual evening rush at the restaurant has been missing for a while now.

      “Takeout, going to lunch, going to happy hour. That’s where they’re first going to cut the cord,” Farnan said.

      In a town where the Coast Guard Academy is a major economic driver, the government shutdown and missing paychecks that have accompanied it are impacting more people than just federal workers.

      The January numbers are down as Coast Guard employees cut back on expenses like eating out.

      “It’s really starting to trickle down and its really starting to hit people’s pockets,” Farnan said. “If this continues like this, it’s not only going to affect us, but other businesses in the area.”

      Across the street at Slice Pizza, the growing concern is much the same.

      “Very quiet. Normally at this time this place would be really packed right now,” Bar manager Heidi Silva said.

      Silva said the usual Thursday night crowd has all but vanished recently. Both Slice and Mr. G’s are offering Coast Guard families a discount, but frustration is mounting.

      “I just want it resolved as quickly as possible. I think it’s ridiculous. And it needs to stop,” Silva said. “They work hard everyday and they need to be paid.”

      New London Mayor Michael Passero said he’s glad to see businesses stepping up to try to help residents while the shutdown continues, but he’s ready for it to end, and has a message for lawmakers in DC.

      “There has to be a compromise. It has to be done now and they have to stop the madness basically,” Passero said. “You can’t be using citizens, government employees, active duty military personnel as pawns in this partisan battle that they’re having.”

      The mayor said he’s hopeful that the City Council will heed Gov. Ned Lamont’s call for towns across the state and delay tax collection for property taxes of federal employees while the shutdown continues.



      Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

      Several New London businesses are offering a break for Coast Guard families affected by the federal government shutdown.Several New London businesses are offering a break for Coast Guard families affected by the federal government shutdown.

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      A Glastonbury woman is frustrated after catching a mail carrier cutting corners.

      Home surveillance video shows a mail carrier stay in the truck when approaching a house, and then tossing a package onto the driveway. The woman who was waiting for that package says this has happened dozens of times.

      “We were particularly interested in having that arrive and of course it was the glass that was being thrown out,” explained Lindsey Almenas.

      Almenas has had growing worries about things being damaged. She says the family installed the surveillance camera about eight months ago and were surprised by what they saw time after time.

      “If the package is a size you can hold within your hand it gets thrown out the window and if it’s a heavier package he’ll get out of the truck and place it,” she said. “It’s super frustrating. I’ve addressed it with the Postal Service before and it continues to happen.”

      NBC Connecticut shared the video with U.S. Postal Service.

      In response, a spokeswoman wrote in part:

      “A mishandled package is unacceptable and does not reflect the careful efforts of the thousands of professional, dedicated carriers in our workforce. We are disappointed to see the actions of our employee.”

      After Almenas posted the video on social media, she was surprised to read others in town write about similar experiences. Now she’s optimistic things will improve.

      “Thanks for addressing it with the right people and I hope I can report back there’s been a change and our packages are being delivered properly,” she said.

      The Postal Service tells us anyone with concerns about their mail delivery should contact their local Post Office.



      Photo Credit: Contributed Photo

      Home surveillance video shows a mail carrier stay in the truck when approaching a house, and then tossing a package onto the driveway.Home surveillance video shows a mail carrier stay in the truck when approaching a house, and then tossing a package onto the driveway.

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      Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday addressed news coverage and criticism regarding his wife’s decision to return to teaching at a Virginia elementary school that explicitly bars LGBTQ employees and students, NBC News reported.

      “My wife and I have been in the public eye for quite a while, we're used to the criticism,” Pence said in an interview with EWTN, a cable network that offers “news from a Catholic perspective." But, he added, “to see major news organizations attacking Christian education is deeply offensive to us.”

      “We have a rich tradition in America of Christian education, and frankly religious education broadly defined,” he continued. “We'll let the other critics roll off our back, but this criticism of Christian education in America should stop.”

      National news outlets, including NBC News, reported Wednesday on the publicly available employment application and parent agreement of Immanuel Christian School in Springfield, Virginia, where Karen Pence is now teaching art twice a week.



      Photo Credit: Eraldo Peres/AP, File

      In this June 26, 2018, file photo, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, left, and his wife Karen Pence wave during their arrival at Brasilia Air Base, in Brasilia, Brazil.In this June 26, 2018, file photo, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, left, and his wife Karen Pence wave during their arrival at Brasilia Air Base, in Brasilia, Brazil.

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      A typo in an email address connected total strangers — and will result in an unlikely guest at a party in Vermont this weekend.

      “I try to be open to things in life,” said Will Novak of Arizona, who was accidentally invited to the bachelor party of a man he never met.

      A typo meant the invitation went to Will instead of to Bill Novak of Brooklyn, because their email addresses — like their names — are just a single letter off from one another.

      “He’s a really nice guy,” Bill Novak said of Will Novak, referring to the email and texting friendship that developed after other party guests sorted out the email confusion.

      The invitation was to a bachelor party for a man named Angelo and will be held this weekend at Vermont’s Okemo Mountain Resort.

      Will Novak responded to the misdirected message, accepting the invitation, because he said he thought Angelo and his friends seemed cool.

      “The fact they wrote back and met me at my level of intensity and enthusiasm and were like, ‘You seem great, you’re hilarious, come on out — let’s have fun,’ was amazing,” Will Novak said.

      “It’s very crazy,” Bill Novak acknowledged, adding that he thinks his group of friends will all get along with the stranger from Arizona, based on the sense of humor and fun Will has demonstrated.

      The director of Okemo’s ski-and-ride school said he will give the Arizonan beginner lessons, hoping to get his skills to the point where he can take an easy run with the whole bachelor party.

      “I’ve never heard of anything even close to something like this,” ski-and-ride instructor Chris Saylor said of the unusual reason the guest is attending the bachelor party. “I think the friendship they’re going to build with people they’ve never met before, just through an errant email — it’s going to be stories for a lifetime!”

      Bill Novak, the intended guest, said he can’t wait to meet the other Novak, and made a T-shirt staking his claim that he’s the “real” Will Novak.

      Will Novak, the one in Arizona, said he is curious if his return trip home Sunday may be delayed by snow this weekend in New England. If it is, no biggie, he said: he’ll just have more time to spend with his new buddies.

      Thursday, Gov. Phil Scott, R-Vermont, tweeted well-wishes to the groom-to-be and the guests at the bachelor party.

      “Please extend my congratulations to Angelo and his bride-to-be on their wedding!” Scott tweeted. “It’s always great when new people visit Vermont. I hope you all have a fun weekend. Be safe and enjoy the snow!”



      Photo Credit: necn

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      The four Americans killed Wednesday in an explosion in Syria were a soldier, a sailor, a civilian member of the Department of Defense and a contractor supporting the department, NBC News reported.

      Three have been publicly identified: Army Chief Warrant Officer Jonathan R. Farmer, 37; Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician Shannon M. Kent, 35, and Scott A. Wirtz. The contractor has not been identified.

      The deaths of two U.S. service members made Wednesday the deadliest day for Americans in Syria.

      ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, claiming it was a suicide bombing, though it did not immediately produce evidence to support the claim. American defense officials said that ISIS has not been present in the city for months and cautioned the group sometimes falsely claims credit for attacks.



      Photo Credit: Military handouts

      Army Chief Warrant Officer Jonathan R. Farmer (left) and Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician Shannon M. Kent were among four Americans killed in an explosion in Syria on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2019.Army Chief Warrant Officer Jonathan R. Farmer (left) and Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician Shannon M. Kent were among four Americans killed in an explosion in Syria on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2019.

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      Hartford police have arrested a man accused of stabbing an acquaintance during an attempted robbery 10 months ago.

      Police took 49-year-old Ralph Jones, of Hartford, into custody on Thursday and he has been charged with first-degree assault, robbery in the first degree and possession of a dangerous weapon in connection with a stabbing on March 8, police said.

      Officers found the victim on Liberty Street while investigating a report of a person in a vehicle who had been stabbed several times in the face and neck and he was transported to St. Francis Hospital and admitted into emergency surgery.

      At the time he was stabilized, the victim could only offer minimal information about the assault and police said they discovered that the

      suspect and victim were neighborhood acquaintances and were driving in the Albany Avenue area when the assailant pulled a knife, demanded money from the victim, tried to rob him and that escalated into a violent assault.

      Police said the assailant fled and evidence was found as police tried to track him.

      Over the 10 months that followed, detectives from the major crimes division worked to identify the suspect, who was only known at the time as “New York.” Then police identified Jones as the suspect and obtained a warrant for him on Jan. 11.

      On Thursday, members of the Hartford Police Fugitive Task Force were able to determine where Jones was and took him into custody. He will be arraigned today.



      Photo Credit: Hartford Police

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      Some snow is falling this morning and there are some school delays and some slick roads are reported.

      We're also tracking a second much bigger storm will arrive Saturday night and continue into Sunday. 

      STORM 1 - FRIDAY MORNING

      There are school delays in Hamden and Stamford because of some snow. Most of what is falingl is snow, but some light mixing will likely occur along the shoreline. 

      There is not a lot of snow, but as we have experienced in the past, it's not about the amount of snow it's all about the timing during the morning commute, which could cause some issues on the roads. 

      STORM 2 - SATURDAY NIGHT & SUNDAY

      The second storm will be more powerful and could result in major impacts here in Connecticut. 

      The latest model guidance indicates that snow will develop statewide on Saturday night with a transition to a wintry mix during the overnight hours and eventually over to plain rain for most of the state.

      There is some indication that the majority of the storm will stay wintry for the northern third of Connecticut with a freezing rain accreting on tree limbs and power lines. 

      Amtrak has already announced service changes ahead of the storm.

      Let's talk about the two scenarios that are possible.

      Scenario 1

      This storm track would be the coldest scenario with the center of lower pressure tracking along the Connecticut shoreline. This would result in mostly snow for the hills town, snow to and ice in for interior Connecticut, and snow to mix to plain rain along the shoreline. Right now it appears this scenario is less likely. 

      Scenario 2

      If the center of a low-pressure system tracks to the northwest of Connecticut it would result in a mostly ice/rain scenario (a warmer solution). This track would result in snow to a wintry mix to plain rain in the hills with snow quickly transitioning to plain rain along the shoreline. 

      Right now it appears we could be dealing with measurable snow for interior CT and especially the northwest hills with icing occurring even down to the shoreline. 

      One thing we are certain of is a cold blast of air will arrive right after the precipitation ends Sunday night and some very cold temperatures are expected Monday morning. This will cause a flash freeze and any untreated surfaces will become very icy and we expect slick travel Monday morning with temperatures of 0 to 10 degrees. 



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

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      Glastonbury police have arrested a man who is accused of writing “KKK” in an elevator at his apartment building, then reporting it to police. 

      Alec Kasson, a 29-year-old resident of The Soap Factory Apartments, has been charged with criminal mischief in the third degree, desecration of property, intimidation due to bias in the third degree, breach of peace in the second degree, and falsely reporting an incident in the second degree.

      Police said he reported that “KKK” was on the walls of an elevator in his condominium complex on Jan, 7. Then, when police interviewed him, Kasson confessed to writing “KKK” in the elevator. 

      According to police, Kasson wrote on the elevator walls after several complaints had been made to police over a week period about swastikas being drawn around the same complex.

      He has not been charged with drawing the swastikas, police said.

      Kasson was released on $10,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in Manchester Superior Court on Jan. 30. 

      Glastonbury Police continue to investigate the vandalism involving swastikas at The Soap Factory.

      Anyone with information is asked to call Officer Kopencey at 860-652-4269. 



      Photo Credit: Glastonbury Police

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      A Guilford couple has been calling for stricter gun legislation after their teenage son died in an accidental shooting and now there is a push for gun storage legislation on the federal level as well.

      Kristin and Mike Song are the parents of Ethan Song, a 15-year-old boy who died in a shooting last January. They, along with U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal will hold a news conference Friday morning to announce a proposal for new legislation.

      The Waterbury State's Attorney's office investigation into Ethan's death determined that the teen accidentally shot himself with a .357 magnum handgun. He and another teen were at a home on Seaside Avenue, with no adults present, at the time of the shooting, according to police.

      The state's attorney report called Ethan’s death a “horrific and preventable tragedy” and found the gun had been stored with other firearms in a cardboard box inside Tupperware in the master bedroom closet.

      While there were gun locks and no signs the firearms were loaded, investigators learned the keys and ammunition were also hidden in the closet.

      The report concluded the storage of the weapons did not break the law and it’s led some to believe the law has a loophole that needs to be closed.

      The family previously proposed “Ethan's Law” on the state level, which would create legislation they said would close a loophole and require all guns to be properly stored as well as amend rules on when a firearm must be secured.

      It would also close a perceived loophole in Connecticut law that prohibited prosecutors from charging the owner of the gun Ethan shot himself with.

      On Friday morning, a news conference is planned to announce federal legislation. Blumenthal's office says the announcement comes the day before what would have been Ethan's 16th birthday.

      After investigating Ethan’s death, Guilford police arrested a juvenile, who was charged with second-degree manslaughter. Police added the juvenile also faces a reckless endangerment charge for an event before Song’s death.

      After the state “Ethan’s Law” proposal was announced, Scott Wilson, president of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, a guns rights group, issued a statement, offering sympathies to the Song family and urging that in addition to securing firearms all parents should make an effort to understand that “firearms can be deadly if handled improperly.”

      “There are tremendous programs out there that teach firearm safety to children of all ages; often at little or no cost. Along with the securing of firearms in a responsible manner, proper firearms education is imperative to the safety of children. Even if parents don’t own firearms themselves, children should still be taught what to do if they encounter a firearm without parental supervision,” Wilson said in a statement previously posted on the CCDL website.

      “We thank Ethan’s father for acknowledging that there may be times that gun owners may also need to gain access to their firearms immediately to stop home invasions or protect loved ones,” Wilson’s statement went on to say.

      Wilson, who said he had been shot decades ago, said his organization partners with an organization to help get gunlocks distributed and he planned to meet with Representative Scanlon.

      The Song family has also started a foundation to honor Ethan.



      Photo Credit: Song Family

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      Ridgefield High School was dismissed Friday morning after a written bomb threat was found inside, according to police. 

      They said staff from the high school immediately contacted Ridgefield Police, who determined there was no threat. 

      Out of an abundance of caution, Ridgefield High School was dismissed at 1045 a.m. and Ridgefield Police and Connecticut State Police continue to investigate, according to Ridgefield Police.



      Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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      Days after an immigration judge denied Layidua Salazar’s petition to remain in the United States in 2015 because she was not living with her spouse, she learned at an annual visit to Planned Parenthood that she was pregnant.

      The possibility that she would not be allowed to stay in the country made her realize "within five minutes" that she couldn’t continue her pregnancy and risk her family being separated at some point, she said.

      "I can’t do both. Can’t be in the middle of deportation proceedings and be pregnant," said Salazar, who is now a storyteller with We Testify, a program of the National Network of Abortion Funds. The organization works to decrease barriers, including financial, to abortion.

      Because she had worked with reproductive justice organizations, she knew that her Planned Parenthood clinic in California's Bay Area did not have to disclose that she was undocumented. She had an abortion two days later. Given all that was going on, she said, her "abortion experience was relatively simple.” But, she and other advocates noted, this is not the case for many undocumented women in the U.S.

      "Reproductive healthcare for immigrant women is very much a patchwork system," Jessica González-Rojas, executive director at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, told NBC. "It often depends on where you live and the access that you have to reach certain communities."

      The undocumented community "has lived in a major state of panic since about 2008," Salazar said.

      After the record number of deportations at the border under President Barack Obama, "I remember when the [Trump] election happened many people in my community saying it can't possibly get worse," Salazar said. "And, low and behold, it actually has. It has gotten horrible." 

      [[502498611, L, 300, 450]]

      Efforts across the country to restrict access to reproductive healthcare and the Trump administration's anti-immigrant policies have converged to impede undocumented women’s reproductive rights including their decision to have a child, and their right not to, legal and other advocates for immigrants as well as several undocumented women who spoke to NBC say. Access to reproductive health care has been limited by a lack of health insurance, legal obstacles, difficulties in traveling and the fear of deportation and the family separation policies under President Donald Trump.  

      'Jane Doe' and a Right to an Abortion
      Since Roe v. Wade was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973, all women have had a constitutional right to an abortion.

      "There's no exception for anyone, including based on their immigration status," Brigitte Amiri, deputy director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, told NBC. 

      But last year, the federal Department of Health and Human Services tried to prevent a 17-year-old unaccompanied Mexican immigrant from ending her pregnancy, by refusing to allow her to leave the detention facility in Brownsville, Texas. They instead brought her to a crisis pregnancy center, a type of non-profit that counsels women against abortions. Such facilities have been accused of disseminating false information. As of March 2017, shelters receiving federal funding cannot take "any action that facilitates" abortion access. 

      "What the Trump administration did to Jane Doe was unprecedented,” said Amiri, a lead lawyer on Jane’s case, who knew of no other case where the government held a woman hostage to prevent her from getting an abortion. “It is so extreme and so egregious and a symptom of a larger problem in the Trump administration and its hostility to access and contraception." 

      [[502498471, L, 300, 450]]

      The Supreme Court vacated a court of appeals decision that had allowed her to get the abortion last June; her case will not be precedent for others. 

      Doe is not the only young undocumented woman to be obstructed from obtaining an abortion; the ACLU has filed a class action lawsuit with other women affected by similar circumstances. 

      Local Laws Impeding Access 
      When a woman from Central America who NBC spoke with became pregnant, in 2016, the steps to getting an abortion in Texas were more difficult than she anticipated. She searched for a clinic where she could receive a free ultrasound. She also ended up at a crisis pregnancy center, where she was told her pregnancy was too far along for an abortion. (It is illegal to get an abortion past 20 weeks in Texas, barring severe health issues or fetal abnormality.)

      But the woman continued her research, and was able to find a clinic in Dallas. That clinic referred her to a sister one in a nearby state. She’d have to fly out a few days later and it would cost her over $10,000. 

      "I’m like, okay, I don’t even have $50," she recalled. In the end, with outside support, she was able to get the abortion in February 2016.

      She feared flying because her student visa is expired but thought getting an abortion was worth the risk.  

      "That’s something that, at least for me, makes me nervous, because, as you can see on the news, they ask for documents," she said. NBC is not identifying her over her concerns.

      Texas, one of the six states that according to Pew Research are home to 58 percent of undocumented immigrants in the U.S., spotlights the difficulties undocumented women face in obtaining reproductive healthcare access. Texas’ reproductive healthcare clinics in particular have been targeted by state policies.

      In 2013, Texas passed House Bill 2, imposing new restrictions on abortion clinics, and banned abortions beyond 20 weeks, forcing many clinics to shut down. The Supreme Court overturned the restrictions three years later as placing an undue burden women seeking abortions, though many clinics struggle to reopen.

      González-Rojas said the cost of transportation, within and outside of Texas, could be a "de facto ban on abortion for women" and a "matter of reproductive justice."

      For instance, in many colonias, unincorporated housing communities composed primarily of Latino immigrants near the Texas border, road infrastructure is "poor" and there is a lack of adequate public transportation.

      Then in May 2017, Texas Senate Bill 4 outlawed sanctuary cities. Also called the "show me your papers law," it requires that local governments comply with federal immigration "detainers."

      The law created a "wave of panic among the Latinx communities in the state of Texas," said Nancy Cárdenas Peña, associate director for State Policy and Advocacy at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIH). She said it also "made conditions a lot harder."

      "We were seeing, even during the implementation and during the passage of SB4, border patrol and ICE … started making their way towards routes that our activists usually took to get to their healthcare appointments," she said.

      The undocumented Texas woman told NBC she wanted to speak out about her experience to show others like her that abortions are possible. She mentioned a woman whom she met at the abortion clinic also from her home country, who was surprised there was funding that could help.

      "You have the opportunity even if you’re not from this country," she said.

      "My Body, My Choice"
      Alejandra Pablos, a reproductive and immigrants rights activist in Arizona, had her fourth abortion in March 2017, at 33. It was her first while she was fighting deportation and came at a time when she wanted to start considering having a baby. She had a "great job," and thought of her strong community.

      "This was what could have been a beautiful moment for me, but I quickly remembered that I am still facing deportation," said Pablos, who spoke with NBC this fall.

      "How am I supposed to take care of another human being?" she asked.

      Pablos was detained by ICE in March. 

      "It is not only my decision anymore," she said. "I don’t have the privilege to say, 'my choice, my body' when my body basically belongs to ICE."

      This December, she appeared in court to apply for political asylum. Her petition was denied and her green card was revoked: The judge has ordered her deportation.

      Pablos grew up in California and her parents had citizenship, but she didn’t petition for her legal permanent residency until she was 16. As a legal resident, in 2011, she was arrested in Arizona for possession of drug paraphernalia and a DUI and detained for two years in Eloy Detention Center, a private prison. Because the arrest came within the first five years of her legal permanent residency, she lost the status.

      A year after she had her abortion, Pablos was detained again, following an arrest at a protest outside the Department of Homeland Security in Virginia, where she was working at the time. She was released—those charges were dropped— but at an ICE check-in soon after, she was taken back to Eloy for two more months. Pablos lost her work permit and her job at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health.

      Just as barriers to accessing care impede undocumented women’s ability to raise children, so can other federal policies.

      The Trump administration's "zero tolerance" position towards immigration on the U.S.-Mexico border led to the widely condemned the family separation policy. Children separated from parents facing prosecution were held in "tender age" detention shelters.

      The program was ended by an executive order in June but in late November, the Texas Tribune reported the number of children held in private shelters had reached a high: 5,620 children as of Nov. 15.

      This is a "major reproductive justice issue," Salazar said.

      The Fear Factor
      The "fear factor," according to González-Rojas, means many undocumented women "are forgoing care completely."

      A study released Nov. 1 from the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health found that 1 in 4 of Latino voters “have a close family member or friend who has put off getting health care because of fear around immigration issues.” One in 5 reported the same about reproductive health care. These numbers are for voters; The numbers are likely higher for undocumented immigrants, González-Rojas said.

      Planned Parenthood NYC’s Promotores de Salud team — certified Spanish language medical interpreters who provide information for sexual and reproductive healthcare to Latinas — has "noticed that fewer community members were making appointments during outreach sessions," Larissa Vasquez, associate director of adult and professional programs at PPNYC, wrote in an email to NBC. The women were distrustful of accessing care in traditional places like clinics and community-based organizations, she added. 

      Through their "Nuestro Texas" report from 2015, a partnership between the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and the Center for Reproductive Justice, González-Rojas "heard stories of women who are afraid to take their children to school, are afraid to leave the house," She cited "constant militarization in that community."

      "We have heard stories of ICE vehicles parked in clinic parking lots, community health centers." González-Rojas said clinic staff told her.

      Salazar, the We Testify storyteller, said she's experienced border patrol presence near Planned Parenthood "regularly," happening around border areas in California.

      "It means that people who are undocumented don’t even want to approach [Planned Parenthood] obviously," she told NBC.

      For many undocumented women, who lack medical insurance—undocumented immigrants cannot access the Affordable Care Act—clinics that offer free or affordable care can be crucial in obtaining healthcare. But organizations meant to uphold their reproductive rights may not always consider their needs.

      In 2017, the Planned Parenthood Great Memphis Region opened 400 feet away from an ICE office. Planned Parenthood told Rewire they were under the impression ICE would move offices. In their statement, PPGMR said: "Our highest priority is our patients, and we will be doing all we can to ensure that they can seek care safely without fear."

      González-Rojas called it a "you are not welcome here" sign for immigrants from around the world.

      Adding to fears is Trump’s proposed "public charge" rule, which would would revise the 1999 green card rules by making it more difficult for immigrants who use public assistance—health insurance, like Medicaid, or food stamps, for instance—to obtain a green card. The rule hasn’t officially taken hold yet but there are reports that it is being quietly enforced already and many undocumented immigrants have already felt the effects.

      González-Rojas said media coverage, especially in Spanish, has caused some undocumented immigrants to already withdraw from care.

      "There’s a real chilling effect that these proposed rules are creating" González-Rojas observes, "and the visible climate of fear."

      This public charge law is being written and sought to be implemented in a way that, Jiménez said, "affects our ability to raise our children, to make decisions about reproduction."

      Looking Forward
      The priorities of the Texas branch of the NLIH are always changing, Cárdenas Peña said. "This administration is definitely trying to exhaust all of the activists by making us be in this fight or flight mode 24/7," she said.

      When ICE detained Eva Chavez, an immigration and reproductive rights activist who worked with NLIH's Texas Latina Advocacy Network last February, the group was met with an increase in demand for their services. Her case is ongoing.

      "I looked at the camera," Cárdenas Peña said, "and told anyone who was watching, “you do not have to do this alone. There is a community behind you and we will be happy to support you. And goddammit, the people listened. My phone started blowing up with calls."

      After her green card was revoked this December, Pablos, the Arizona-based reproductive and immigrants rights activist facing deportation, told The Washington Post, "La Lucha Sigue" of her continuing struggle. She plans to appeal by seeking a governor's pardon.

      "The reason why I’m doing this and I’m not going back in the shadows, and I’m going to fight this deportation is that I want to be able to make that choice, if I want to start a family or not," she said before her trial.



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

      In this Oct. 20, 2017, file photo, activists with Planned Parenthood demonstrate in support of a pregnant 17-year-old being held in a Texas facility for unaccompanied immigrant children to obtain an abortion, outside of the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington.In this Oct. 20, 2017, file photo, activists with Planned Parenthood demonstrate in support of a pregnant 17-year-old being held in a Texas facility for unaccompanied immigrant children to obtain an abortion, outside of the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington.

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      Part of Interstate 395 North is closed in Thompson after a truck hauling beer caught fire.

      CT Travel Smart says I-395 North is closed between exits 50 and 53.

      A post on the Facebook page for Webster Fire/Rescue in Massachusetts says they responded to provide mutual aid and it includes photos.

      [[504546481,C]]

      No additional information was immediately available.

      Check back for updates.



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

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      The governor said he and legislative leaders have reached an agreement that would allow federal workers who are working without pay to receive interest-free loans and a vote on the bill is expected Tuesday.

      Earlier this week, Gov. Ned Lamont said federal employees in Connecticut who are working without pay during the government shutdown are eligible for interest-free loans provided by the banks or credit unions and backed by the state.

      The initial loans would afford impacted employees up to one month’s net pay, capped at $5,000.

      In the event that the shutdown continues, participating banks and the state will work with impacted employees to provide additional funds.

      In addition to creating the loan program, the bill would allow municipalities to defer property tax payments from the federal employees who are impacted and prepares the state’s unemployment insurance system to offer benefits to essential workers “if the requisite changes are made to federal law.”

      On Friday, Lamont’s office said the Democratic and Republican leaders in each of the General Assembly’s four caucuses have reached an agreement to adopt emergency certified legislation and it is being drafted.

      Approximately 1,500 federal employees in Connecticut are impacted by the partial government shutdown.

      The state Department of Labor has already been offering some of them employment benefits, but only furloughed employees who are not allowed to work can file for unemployment, which means those working without pay were considered ineligible for benefits. 

      The shutdown, which is the result of the ongoing fight between President Donald Trump and Democratic lawmakers over funds for a U.S.-Mexico border wall is now in its 28th day.

      This has become the longest shutdown in history and there is no resolution in sight.

      Before this, the longest government shutdown was during the Clinton administration. It lasted 21 days, from Dec. 16, 1995, until Jan. 5, 1996, according to NBC News. 



      Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

      Gov. Ned Lamont announced Tuesday that federal employees in Connecticut working without pay will be eligible for no-interest loans through Webster Bank.Gov. Ned Lamont announced Tuesday that federal employees in Connecticut working without pay will be eligible for no-interest loans through Webster Bank.

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      UConn has moved up the time for the men’s basketball game against Tulane Saturday because of the forecast for a significant winter storm.

      The game will now be at 2 p.m. at Gampel Pavilion. It was originally supposed to start at 7:30 p.m.

      Snow will begin moving into the state between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday and it will fall quickly, then there will be a mix of sleet and freezing rain.

      UConn is reopening residence halls in Storrs and Stamford at 9 a.m. Saturday instead of waiting until Sunday and the school is discouraging students from moving in Sunday because of the forecast.

      A post on the UConn athletics site says admission for UConn students to the game is free and to visit the ticket office Friday until 4:30 p.m. or the Gampel Box Office Saturday starting at 12:30 p.m. 



      Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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      Several coyotes have been spotted in Simsbury with mating season underway and animal control said at least one is blamed for the death of a family’s dog. 

      Breeding season is from January to March and Mark Rudwicz, of Simsbury Police Animal Control, said coyotes are pacing for prey. 

      “Like all of us they’ve got to eat,” he said. “A lot of them wait in the tree lines with the property edge lines and wait for that unfortunately unsuspecting dog or domestic animal.” 

      James Alexander said Addie, his Wheaton Terrier Doodle, does more than her share of alerting him but he had no idea what could be lurking outside of his Neal Drive front door for the next few weeks. 

      “If she starts barking uncontrollably, then I’ll come out and check it out,” Alexander said. 

      Rudwicz is advising all dog owners to keep their dogs on leashes, especially in yards that are not fenced in. 

      “The dog can still run around and get a little exercise, a little freedom, but you ultimately still exercise complete control of the dog if something was to approach,” Rudwicz said. 

      Rudwicz said mating season will last through early March and even a winter storm won’t stop them from searching for food. 



      Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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      New Britain police have arrested two people accused of attacking a Domino’s delivery driver on New Year’s Eve.

      Police said a patrol officer found the bleeding victim in the area of North Street and Erwin Place. The 38-year-old man told police four people attacked him while he was delivering pizza, and stole the food and his cash and cell phone. The victim had serious injuries to his eye and nose.

      Investigators identified 18-year-old Carlos Irving Matias as one of the suspects, and a 17-year-old girl.

      Matias was located in his Springfield, Massachusetts, and returned to Connecticut. On Thursday he was charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree assault, conspiracy to commit assault, larceny, and conspiracy to commit larceny. He was held on a $200,000 bond.

      The juvenile suspect was arrested on January 8 and charged with conspiracy to commit robbery and conspiracy to commit larceny.

      The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information should contact New Britain police at 860-826-3141.



      Photo Credit: New Britain Police Department

      Carlos Irving MatiasCarlos Irving Matias

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      If you have gift cards for Gymboree, Crazy 8 and Janie and Jack, state officials are urging you to use them soon. 

      This comes after Gymboree Group filed bankruptcy petitions and announced its plans to liquidate and close all Gymboree and Crazy 8 stores. 

      Attorney General William Tong and Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle Seagull issued a statement saying that includes nine Gymboree and three Crazy 8 Connecticut locations. 

      The company is trying to sell Janie and Jack outlets, including two Connecticut locations, they said. 

      "As a general rule, it’s always a good idea to use gift cards as soon as you can," Tong said in a statement. "While they may not expire, situations like bankruptcy and abrupt store closings do happen, and there aren't always a lot of options for consumers who have unused gift cards. In this case, consumers do have time to use those gift cards and because the clock is ticking on these store closings, they should do so as soon as they can." 

      They said motions have been filed in the bankruptcy proceedings to continue certain customer programs, including return and exchange programs and gift card programs, through the first 30 days of store closing sales. 

      Gymboree Play and Music educational and developmental play locations are not owned by The Gymboree Group and aren’t affected by the bankruptcy proceedings. 

      If you have questions, call the Attorney General's Consumer Assistance Unit at 860-808-5240 or the Department of Consumer Protection at 860-713-6100. 



      Photo Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

      This June 13, 2017, file photo shows a store by children's clothing retailer Gymboree in New York City.This June 13, 2017, file photo shows a store by children's clothing retailer Gymboree in New York City.

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      A Massachusetts man has been identified as one of the victims who died after an avalanche rushed down a mountainside at a New Mexico ski resort on Thursday.

      The avalanche near the highest peak of Taos Ski Valley happened around 11:30 a.m.

      NBC10 Boston has confirmed Matt Zonghetti, the man who was killed, was a graduate of Mansfield High School.

      Superintendent of Schools Teresa Murphy released a statement following the tragic news:

      "Matt Zonghetti was an outstanding Mansfield High School student-athlete and citizen, We are proud to consider him one of our own. His death is a tragic loss and our school community is heartbroken," read the statement.

      Two other skiers were pulled from the snow after a roughly 20-minute rescue effort, according to a resort spokesman.

      A representative from Taos Ski Valley released a statement saying they were conducting a review of what happened as "a situation like this has never happened".

      "We don't have details to share at this time, but we are committed to doing a diligent and exhaustive review," read the statement. "Our hearts go out to the skiers and their families and friends who were affected by yesterday's accident, as well as to all the volunteers, staff and community members who are mourning with us."



      Photo Credit: Morgan Timms/Taos News via AP

      People search for victims after an avalanche buried multiple people near the highest peak of Taos Ski Valley, one of the biggest resorts in New Mexico, Jan. 17, 2019. The avalanche rushed down the mountainside of the New Mexico ski resort on Thursday, injuring at least a few people who were pulled from the snow after a roughly 20-minute rescue effort, a resort spokesman said.People search for victims after an avalanche buried multiple people near the highest peak of Taos Ski Valley, one of the biggest resorts in New Mexico, Jan. 17, 2019. The avalanche rushed down the mountainside of the New Mexico ski resort on Thursday, injuring at least a few people who were pulled from the snow after a roughly 20-minute rescue effort, a resort spokesman said.

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      Just days into his own term as Connecticut’s 89th Governor, Ned Lamont helped to welcome Ella Briggs to her new position as the state’s kid governor.

      “Don’t think you’re too young to get involved, we really want to hear your point of view,” Lamont said. “Great things happen when you speak out when you’re young.”

      Ella, a student of the Ana Grace Academy of the Arts Elementary Magnet School in Avon, was elected by other fifth-graders across the state, and was sworn in by Secretary of the State Denise Merrill.

      “As you’re new kid governor I will begin important conversations with students and adults all over this great state,” Briggs said.

      Ella’s platform - Pride Hope Love.

      “I will encourage schools and school districts across Connecticut start gay-straight alliance, otherwise known as GSAs safe spaces where members of the LGBTQ community and allies can feel pride in who they are,” said Briggs.

      The kid governor program is run by the Connecticut Democracy Center. In a year where there is a more diverse Congress than ever, Ella said she’s glad to add her voice to that list of leaders.

      “People who don’t know me seem surprised that at such a young age, I’m already very confident with the person that I am, and that I desire to help people,” said Briggs. “What people don’t realize is that all my life I’ve been surrounded by strong female leaders.”

      It’s a list that includes Jahana Hayes, who is now the first African American woman from Connecticut in Congress.

      “I believe in civic education,” said Hayes. “It just makes my heart so proud to see young people getting involved so early.”

      Ella’s one year term starts today and she plans to get right to work.



      Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

      Ella Briggs was sworn in as Connecticut's kid governor at a ceremony Friday.Ella Briggs was sworn in as Connecticut's kid governor at a ceremony Friday.

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      A New Haven high school principal has stepped down the same week surveillance video surfaced of him shoving a student in the hallway.

      The New Haven Independent obtained and first published the video of Morgan Barth from inside the Achievement First Amistad High School on Dixwell Avenue.

      “The conduct shown in the video is unacceptable,” Achievement First Chief External Officer Fatimah Barker said in a statement to NBC Connecticut.

      A spokesperson for the State Department of Education said the Bureau of Investigation had not been notified of any previous misconduct by Barth before the video of this physical altercation became public.

      The video shows Barth shoving a student in the hallway before he is seen getting in the student’s face, blocking him from picking up his backpack.

      The New Haven Independent reports the principal and student had just discussed previous discipline.

      “When this incident happened, we conducted an internal investigation, documented the incident in accordance with state laws, and worked with the student’s family – including sharing the video with them. In addition, Mr. Barth was disciplined and also required to attain additional restraint training,” Barker said in her statement.

      A letter sent this week to students’ families said, “It is clear to Mr. Barth that he could not be the leader the school needs right now given his actions and the feelings of the school community.”

      The school’s communications director Amanda Pinto said members of the executive leadership have already begun meeting individually with parents, teachers and staff as they look to make improvements.

      “It’s clear that there are concerns that need to be addressed, and it is our job to listen,” Pinto said.

      After the 2016-17 school year, the State Department of Education told Amistad it must reduce its suspension rate, which was three times higher than the average for schools in New Haven.

      Off-camera, one mother told NBC Connecticut she is alarmed by the video, calling it a “sad situation.” She said she plans to meet with school leadership.

      Barth had planned to step down at the end of the school year, so a search for a replacement was already underway, Pinto said.

      Achievement First Amistad plans to name an interim principal soon.

      This public charter high school for students from New Haven and Bridgeport is not part of the New Haven Public School system.



      Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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      Gov. Ned Lamont has only been in office for 10 days and he already has the first winter weather event of his term.

      It came much later than former Gov. Dannel Malloy’s. Malloy had two days to prepare following his inauguration.

      “I think we’re ready to go,” Lamont said Friday. “I met with DOT yesterday. Gave them a shout out, you know, let’s get this right."

      Lamont said he’s kept in close contact with Department of Transportation officials, and he held a conference call with leaders from Connecticut’ electric utility companies, United Illuminating and Eversource, Friday afternoon.

      The storm is expected to arrive late Saturday, bringing snow and later turning into sleet and freezing rain by Sunday morning. Even though the brunt of the storm will be over by the afternoon on Sunday, frigid temperatures will lead to icing, threatening power outages in parts of Connecticut.

      Lamont has said that he plans to spend most days of the week in Hartford, while spending weekends in Greenwich. He says he will be in Hartford the entire weekend because of the storm.

      “We’re going to be in the Emergency Operations Center this weekend,” Lamont said.

      Connecticut is a state that has rewarded governors who handle storms well, and punished those who haven’t.

      Malloy was considered trustworthy according to polling when it came to his ability to lead the state during major weather events. Holding utilities accountable for their lackluster response to the October snow storm in 2011 turned into a key moment.

      However, the late former Gov. Tom Meskill did not have the same fortune. During the 1973 ice storm that crippled Connecticut, Meskill was on a ski trip in Vermont with his family.

      That lack of leadership, combined with the Watergate scandal and his identifying as a Republican at the time, led to him not running for reelection.

      Lamont says even though he’s only been on the job for just over a week, he’s prepared for whatever the storm brings.

      “I think the team’s got things well in hand.”



      Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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      Thieves broke into two homes in Marlborough overnight while residents were inside, according to the Marlborough Resident State Trooper’s Office.

      Police said a homeowner on Islieb Road called 911 around 1 a.m. when he heard noises in his home and later found a broken glass door and cash and car keys missing.

      A second homeowner, this time on Sherwood Lane, reported hearing noises in her home around 2 a.m. Later that morning, she realized her purse was missing. Police said it appears the thief got in through an unlocked garage window and slipped into the house through the unlocked garage door.

      Investigators said a vehicle with a loud exhaust may be involved, but had no other details.

      Anyone with home surveillance cameras is asked to keep an eye out. Residents are encouraged to call 911 to report anything suspicious during the night.


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      Franny Soctomah and her granddaughter were excited to go through their first ever fat freezing experience.

      She said she spotted the service that was advertised on Groupon and signed up, but was later disappointed.

      “It’s been most upsetting,” said Franny Soctomah.

      Soctomah claimed she didn’t get the service.

      Last July, Soctomah said she paid $576 for herself and her granddaughter to get two fat freezing sessions.

      “The machine kept shutting off. So, she kept coming back in putting it back on. She couldn’t understand it,” said Soctomah.

      According to Soctomah, the owner told her it was a brand new machine and that they needed to reschedule their appointments.

      “My granddaughter had taken that day off because we had heard sometimes you can have a little discomfort,” said Soctomah.

      Soctomah said the owner threw in a third session for free and they scheduled their second appointment.

      “No one showed up. I was sitting and sitting,” said Soctomah.

      Soctomah explained that she waited for an hour and then called the owner. But told us she had to reschedule the appointment for a third time. Again, Soctomah stressed that no one showed up or called to cancel.

      “No one and I called the owner on several occasions,” she said.

      By now, it was September and Soctomah insisted she couldn’t reach the owner.

      “I thought, uh, oh, we’ve been burned for that kind of money. It was almost $600,” said Soctomah.

      She wanted her money back and reached out to NBC Connecticut Responds to intervene.

      We went to the Farmington business to speak with TCS Beauty Bar’s owner. The property manager of Bridge Healing Arts Center told us they have not heard from the business since last July and said:

      “We have terminated her as a tenant as of last September due to neglect and not being able to follow the high-quality standards the Bridge Healing Arts Center has in place for our practitioners and renters,” said Nadine Baez.

      When we contacted Groupon, a spokesperson told Responds: “This customer has never contacted us to ask for a refund, but we've gone ahead and issued one. Also, we have no future plans to allow this business to advertise their services through our marketing platform.”

      As for Franny Soctomah, she said she’ll do her research the next time before signing up for a coupon. And is very satisfied to get a $576 credit back into her account.

      “I’m thrilled now. Yes, I am. So, I’m very happy,” said Soctomah.

      Groupon makes it clear on its website that the company will work with the customer and the merchant to make a situation right.

      The Department of Consumer Protection says if you’re purchasing a coupon, you should check the terms and conditions, and read reviews before you make a decision on any type of service.



      Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

      Franny Soctomah reached out toe NBC Connecticut Responds for help getting her money back after a merchant failed to deliver the promised fat freezing service.Franny Soctomah reached out toe NBC Connecticut Responds for help getting her money back after a merchant failed to deliver the promised fat freezing service.

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      Amid accusations of anti-Semitism surrounding the leaders of the Women’s March on Washington, many Jewish women will be deciding one thing this weekend: to march or not to march?

      Joan James, of Lincoln City, Oregon, was very supportive until the allegations of anti-Semitism began to surface.

      "The Women’s March is supposed to be an inclusive movement that supports diversity of color and ideas," said James, who is Jewish. "If your leaders are making statements that are less than supportive of a group of people, it tears the movement from the inside."

      James is still conflicted on whether or not she will participate this weekend, when thousands of women are expected to take the streets for the third year in a row. The march was sparked by the election of President Donald Trump by women worried about his agenda and offended by comments he made. Many participants wore distinctive "pink pussy hats" as a symbolic way to show resistance.

      Now some women are aggravated the anti-Semitic allegations are causing a divide within the women’s movement.

      The accusations of anti-Semitism were crystalized in an article written in the Tablet in December. The magazine reported that in an initial planning meeting, Tamika Mallory and Carmen Perez, two of the Women's March Inc. leaders, said that Jewish people had “a special collective responsibility as exploiters of black and brown people." Mallory and other leaders deny the statement.

      In addition, Perez, Mallory, and Linda Sarsour's association with Nation of Islam minister Louis Farrakhan, who has a history of making anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ comments, led to more criticism. The New York Times reported that Mallory and Perez said, “they work in communities where Mr. Farrakhan is respected for his role in rehabilitating incarcerated men. They attended the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March in 2015, which Mr. Farrakhan planned.” 

      In an appearance on ABC's "The View" Mallory said, "What I will say to you is that I don't agree with many of Minister Farrakhan's statements." In a later interview with a radio station called Breakfast Club she condemned anti-Semitism. However she and the other leaders did not denounce Farrakhan's rhetoric.

      Some advocates are conflicted about whether the allegations are serious enough to keep them from participating.

      In response, Women’s March Inc. released a press statement which reads, “It’s become clear, amidst this media storm, that our values and our message have — too often— been lost. That loss caused a lot of harm, and a lot pain. We should have been faster and clearer in helping people understand our values and our commitment to fighting anti-Semitism. We regret that. Every member of our movement matters to us — including our incredible Jewish and LGBTQ members. We are deeply sorry for the harm we have caused, but we see you, we love you, and we are fighting with you.”

      While some advocates are frustrated with the controversay over the anti-Semitic allegations, they also recognize the impact of the Women’s March.

      Aliza Lifshitz, a Jewish Barnard College student and activist, posted on her Facebook page, “If you’re vocally critical of the women’s march but you do nothing to publicly call out or resist the current administration’s policies, it is very safe to assume that you’re using your concerns about anti-Semitism to tear down a movement you didn’t agree with in the first place.”

      "People should acknowledge what they are missing out on when they abandon the women’s march," she said in an interview with NBC.

      Lifshitz believes the march has played a significant role is organizing the women’s resistance movement and that the march itself is symbolic of the desire for change. However, she also said she respects anyone who feels uncomfortable marching because of the controversy.

      The allegations have resulted in stark differences between competing marches and women abandoning the march altogether over confusion about what each organization stands for.

      Women’s March Inc. brought three Jewish women onto their steering committee. Abby Stein, the first openly transgender woman raised in a Hasidic community, is one of the women.

      “The leaders of the Women’s March are not anti-Semitic," she said. "Louis Farrakhan has no impact on the goals of the Women's March. In fact, the Women’s March is the antithesis to everything he preaches."

      Stein said when she was given the opportunity to join the steering committee, she saw it as a way to make sure Jewish women feel included and as a platform to defend the LGBTQ community.

      "The question was not how I could join the Women’s March, but how could I not?" she said. "I can accomplish so much when it comes to eradicating anti-Semitism by working with them."

      Stein told NBC the Women’s March in 2017 focused on resistance, the march in 2018 guided people to the polls, and this year’s march is about a policy agenda.

      “One of the strongest impacts the steering committee has is assisting with the women’s agenda which is a policy agenda that Congress could basically copy and paste and turn it into a bill,” she said.

      The Women's March Inc. has released a policy agenda encompassing many different topics including ending violence against women, advocating for reproductive rights, and fighting for racial injustice.

      Despite efforts to show the march is inclusive and not anti-Semitic, the Democratic National Committee and Democratic Sens. Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand, among others, are no longer sponsoring the Women’s March Inc. event.

      “I think it is unfortunate they are no longer supporting the event," said Rabbi Robin Polosuk of Los Angeles, who wrote an article in the Jewish Journal called, “Why I Will Walk With the Women’s March.” "We have to ask ourselves who benefits if our movement fractures and it is not us. At this point, I still feel really firm that it is the grassroots women who have to define the march and not a couple of personalities at the top."

      “As a Jewish woman, I think it is important that we reclaim this march and that we stand for this as much as any woman. I see us walking in the same direction, where each of us is heard and empowered," she said.

      Many women’s marches planned around the world on Saturday are not associated with Women’s March Inc.

      Women’s March Alliance, for example, is a separate organization that plans the march in New York City.

      Katherine Siemionko, the alliance's founder and president, told NBC, “We are hoping to roll out a new name brand and face this upcoming March to make it clear that we have no association with Women’s March Inc.”

      Siemionko is aware many Jews are contemplating whether or not to march.

      “We are working to make sure everyone feels welcome and we are doing a lot of outreach across the board," she said. We have also been speaking at synagogues and making sure to confirm our commitment to the Jewish communities we have worked with in the past.”

      During a phone call in October, Siemionko asked Sarsour why Women's March Inc. was planning to hold a competing event in New York City on Saturday. She said Sarsour had told her the separate rally was needed to provide a space for women of color.

      Siemionko told NBC many women of color are involved in her organization. She said the volunteer trainings this week averaged 60 percent people of color and the alliance's board has 3 women of color out of 5 members. Siemionko told NBC she thought Sarsour had given her a "lame excuse."

      Women's March Inc. did not make Sarsour available for an interview.

      With all of the controversy, some people are choosing to stay away from any women’s march this year.

      Arielle Kaplan, a 24-year-old Jewish woman from New York City, said “I think it is great that people are going and that Jewish women are trying to make marches that are inclusive for Jews but I am not going because I don't want people to mistake me for supporting Women’s March Inc by going to a women’s march that is unaffiliated.”



      Photo Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

      Attendees hold signs during the Women's March Attendees hold signs during the Women's March "Power to the Polls" voter registration tour launch at Sam Boyd Stadium on Jan. 21, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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      The NBC Connecticut meteorologists continue to track a nasty storm that moves in Saturday night and could make a mess of the second half of the weekend.

      A Winter Storm Watch is in effect for most of the state and a Winter Weather Warning for the western part of the state. 

      The latest model guidance indicates that snow will develop statewide on Saturday night, starting after 6 p.m. in western Connecticut, with a transition to a wintry mix during the overnight hours and eventually over to plain rain for most of the state.

      There is some indication that the majority of the storm will stay wintry for the northern third of Connecticut with a freezing rain accreting on tree limbs and power lines. 

      Amtrak has already announced service changes ahead of the storm.

      Let's talk about the two scenarios that are possible.

      Scenario 1

      This storm track would be the coldest scenario with the center of lower pressure tracking along the Connecticut shoreline. This would result in mostly snow for the hills town, snow to and ice in for interior Connecticut, and snow to mix to plain rain along the shoreline. Right now it appears this scenario is less likely. 

      Scenario 2

      If the center of a low-pressure system tracks to the northwest of Connecticut it would result in a mostly ice/rain scenario (a warmer solution). This track would result in snow to a wintry mix to plain rain in the hills with snow quickly transitioning to plain rain along the shoreline. 

      Right now it appears we could be dealing with measurable snow for interior Connecticut and especially the northwest hills with icing occurring even down to the shoreline. 

      One thing we are certain of is a cold blast of air will arrive right after the precipitation ends Sunday night and some very cold temperatures are expected Monday morning. This will cause a flash freeze and any untreated surfaces will become very icy and we expect slick travel Monday morning with temperatures of 0 to 10 degrees. 



      Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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      A pedestrian has died after being hit by a car in Brooklyn Friday, sources said.

      The crash happened at the Brooklyn Walmart on Route 6.

      Route 6 is closed in the area.

      No other details were immediately available.

      Check back for updates.



      Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut