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Governor Says More Budget Cuts Are Needed


Gov. Dannel Malloy said millions of dollars in additional budget cuts will be necessary and he is calling on legislators from both parties to come together to address the shortfall.

The Office of Police and Management is estimating a $121 million deficit, even after the $103 million in cuts already made, Malloy said during a news conference on Monday morning. 

He is calling for bipartisan budget meetings on the state budget to talk about the short-term budget shortfal, and to improve the state's fiscal outlook in the long term.

"No one wants to be in this position. It is our responsibility to maintain a balanced budget," Malloy said.  "We can't be driven by every interest group that has a lobbyist in Hartford."

He plans to lay out his plans next week to deal with the deficit and said new taxes are off the tables.

“Democrats in the General Assembly were preparing to offer a $100 million plan of broad cuts that would have restored funding for our community hospitals and programs in the Department of Disability Services and Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services rather than targeting programs that many Connecticut families rely on every day," Sen. President Martin Looney said in a statement. “In light of this latest projection, we are now facing a problem more than twice that size. I commend the Governor for listening to the concerns of legislative leaders.

"Everything is on the table, by and large," the governor said.

Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) and House Republican Leader Themis Klarides (R-Derby) issued a statement today about the governor's call for bipartisan budget talks and said the state "has a long way to go to fix the financial mess Democrats single handedly created in our state."

"As Republicans have constantly shown over the past year, we stand ready and willing to work collaboratively with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to do what is best for the people of Connecticut. But lawmakers should not be forced to negotiate in the margins of a budget that is entirely void of sound fiscal policies," their statement says.

Sources: Biden to Announce Decision Within 48 Hours


Vice President Joe Biden is expected to decide whether to enter the 2016 presidential race within the next 48 hours or sooner, two sources told NBC News Monday.

Biden has been considering a run for months and has blown past several self-imposed deadlines. His public schedule on Monday offered little indication of his decision. He traveled from his home in Delaware to Washington where he will address a climate change summit Monday afternoon.

In a signal that he is considering running, Biden spoke with International Association of Fire Fighters President Harold Schaitberger on Friday. 

Meanwhile, Sen. Dick Durbin said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Monday he's not sure Joe Biden could win the Democratic presidential nomination if he enters the race now.

Asked whether Biden could win the nomination by jumping in now, Durbin said he was "not sure ... I would say at this point he has not had the starting structure" that Clinton has.

Photo Credit: AP
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Russian Airstrikes Bringing Destruction to Syria, Residents Say


Russian airstrikes are doing little to help ordinary Syrians, residents of the war-torn country's northwest told NBC News.

Locals say they have grown used to seeing "a swarm" of up to six planes carrying out as many as 10 strikes per day in western Idlib province since Moscow started bombing earlier this month, emergency response volunteer Mohammed Khdeir said.

The 23-year-old, who lives in Jisr al Shughour, said rescue operations were being carried out every day in the area.

"Airstrikes are daily whether it's Syrian or Russian," Khdeir said. "Russian strikes are also more powerful, and their area of destruction is bigger compared to the Syrian air force."

Photo Credit: File--AP

Law Enforcement Killings Nearly Double in 2014: FBI


The number of on-duty U.S. law enforcement officers killed as a result of criminal acts nearly doubled in 2014 after a historically low number the year before, NBC News reported.

Fifty-one law enforcement officers were killed "as a result of felonious acts" in 2014, according to statistics released Monday by the FBI. In 2013, 27 officers were killed due to an act of violence, previoiusly released statistics showed. But on average, 56 officers are killed each year, according to the most recent five-year average compiled in 2010,according to the FBI.

Officer killings were thrust into the spotlight beginning in 2014 as tensions between citizens and police flared in places like Ferguson, Missouri, Cleveland and New York. The number of officers killed on the job in 2015 won't be released by the FBI until next year.

California, New York, and Texas saw the most officers killed in 2014, with five each. And the month of May and Saturdays proved to be especially deadly for officers, according to the FBI.

Photo Credit: File--AP

2 Flown to Hospital After Carbon Monoxide Poisoning


Lifestar has transported two people suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning from Rockville Hospital to another hospital.

No additional information was immediately available.

A family of seven was transported to a local hospital after a carbon monoxide leak from the furnace in Vernon on Monday morning. In that incident, officials said the family members were taken to the hospital as a precaution and there did not appear to be serious injuries. 

It’s not clear if this is the same incident or another one.

Warm-Up, A Few Shower Chances Ahead


A large area of high pressure, dry air and calm winds resulted in the coldest morning of the season so far, as temperatures plunged into the teens and twenties across the state this morning.

Sunshine will dominate today and high temperatures will be close to 50-degrees.

There's more clouds mixed in tomorrow, especially of the middle- and high-level variety. Temperatures will rise into the lower-60s, so it will be about 10-degrees warmer than today.

The only chance for showers over the next 7-days comes from a series of moisture-starved cold fronts.

The first is a backdoor cold front Wednesday, which stalls in central New England. A sprinkle can't be ruled out, especially on the northern border in town like Somers and Enfield. Temperatures will be in the lower- and middle-60s.

Another cold front approaches from the west on Thursday and it will bring the greatest chance for showers of the week. Still, not much rain is expected. Clouds will blend with sun as temperatures reach their highest point of the week in the upper-60s inland.

Mostly sunny weather returns Friday but it will be noticeably cooler. Hill towns will be in the middle 50s while other areas rise into the upper-50s.

The weekend looks mainly dry at this point, though a third cold front likely moves through on Sunday. A few showers are possible. Weekend high temperatures will be seasonable, close to 60-degrees.

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Alabama University Killer Apologizes for the First Time


An Alabama professor who pleaded guilty to killing three colleagues and wounding three others has apologized for the first time, NBC News reported.

Amy Bishop, a biology professor, shot up a faculty meeting in 2010 at the University of Alabama-Huntsville.

In a court filing obtained by NBC station WAFF of Huntsville and The Huntsville Times, Bishop included a handwritten note calling the shootings a “terrible crime” and said she was sorry for the victims and their families.

Biology professors Maria Ragland Davis and Adriel Johnson and department Chairman Gopi K. Podila were killed. Two other professors and a staff assistant were wounded.

Photo Credit: Alabama Department of Corrections

Mistrial Declared on Teen's Murder Charge in Shooting Death Case: Clerk's Office


A mistrial has been declared on murder and assault charges in the case of a 19-year-old accused of killing another New Haven teen last year, but he was found guilty of a weapons charge, according to the New Haven Superior Court clerk's office.

Jeffrey Covington was charged April 16, 2014 with murder, first-degree assault and discharging a firearm and carrying a pistol without a permit in the shooting death of Taijhon Washington, 17, of New Haven. Washington was shot and killed near an elementary school in the area of Butler and Lilac streets. The shooting also critically injured his 16-year-old half-brother.

Both teens were found lying on the sidewalk near Lincoln Bassett Elementary School.

Covington, who had pleaded not guilty of the charges, was convicted for carrying a pistol without a permit on Monday. A mistrial was declared for the murder and assault involving the discharge of a firearm charges.

The cause of Taijhon Washington's death was determined to be gunshots to the chest, according to the affidavit.

As police investigated, they received a tip about Covington bragging about being responsible for the homicide, according to the affidavit. The documents also say there had been a history of issues because the suspect and his friends and the victims.

According to one statement police received, Covington said one of the victims had snitched on him. 

Police arrested Covington and picked him up on an outstanding probation violation warrant.

When Covington initially spoke with police, he denied any involvement in the shootings or being near the scene at all. 

He said he learned about the shooting after watching the news, but admitted to having a problem with one of his family members, according to court documents.

Covington is being held in custody on a $2 million bond. The date of his sentencing was not immediately available.

Better Business Bureau Launches Scam Tracker


Scams are happening every day and, oftentimes, right in your neighborhood. And the Better Business Bureau has a way of tracking them.

“A dozen of them call and call every single day saying we want your money we want your money,” said Melissa Bruni, of Rocky Hill.

“There are certain voices now that I recognize but I hang up,” said Mary Brown, of West Hartford.

Whether it happened to you or someone you know, you’ve been warned about ongoing scams. Many people like Mary Brown report the information to police.

“I know they knew what was going on because they had plenty of calls so what they did with that I don’t know,” said Brown.

Now that information can be reported and tracked by the Better Business Bureau. They just launched the Scam Tracker on their website and already more than 4,000 incidents have been reported nationwide.

“It also allows you to drill down and find out what are the most prevalent scams and they’re rated in order so you can know what to expect,” said Howard Schwartz with the BBB.

The tracking map even shows you which scams are happening in your neighborhood giving the victim complete anonymity so they can detail exactly what happened.

“The hope is this will aid to track down the scammers,” said Schwartz.

Tracking the trends is what will help them do just that. If you’ve been the victim of a scam or have experienced an attempted scamming, report the information on the BBB’s website, via the Scam Tracker. The BBB says they should be adding the Scam Tracker to the mobile app soon.

West Hartford Plans to Build Hundreds of New Apartments


The town of West Hartford has plans to build hundreds of new apartments in the area and builders have plans for another 800 apartments, but have not yet been approved.

A building that used to be a nursing home plans to be opening in the Spring of 2016 with 64 units on 2432 Albany Avenue.

“Ten units on North Main Street across from Big Y on Bishops Corner, 13 units of condominiums on the corner of Bishop and Farmington Avenue,” Said Mark McGovern, director of Community Services in West Hartford.

Eighteen apartments have just been completed on 24 North Main St. in the West Hartford Center. Residents have started moving in.

Another 150 apartments are under construction on 243 Steel St. at the former Mercyknoll Convent with some of them ready for move in summer 2016.

The biggest projects is the 310 apartments located on the corner of Park Road and Prospect Avenue, although apartments haven’t been approved by the town council yet.

So why the boom in building apartments?

“Clearly the economy is better but West Hartford is attractive for investment. It’s a great place to live whether you’re a young professional or as a middle age or older resident,” said McGovern.

Laurie Lichter grew up in West Hartford. She believes more housing is needed.

“There’s so much to do in West Hartford I think that’s why the influx of all the apartments. Because people want to come here,” said Lichter.

Tennessee County Votes Down Proposal to Raise Confederate Flag


A Tennessee county voted 20-1 against raising the Confederate flag above the county’s courthouse, NBC station WBIR reported.

The Greene County courthouse houses a Civil War monument.

The proposal to fly the flag was sponsored by Commissioner James Randolph, who claimed the flag is part of Tennessee history and is an important part of Greene County’s past.

But historians disagree, saying the county was a bastion of pro-Union support during the Civil War.

Protestors Surround LA Mayor's Car


Black Lives Matter protesters surrounded Mayor Eric Garcetti’s car following a town hall meeting in a South LA church that ended with the mayor getting shouted out of the building Monday night.

"If you are interested in having a civil conversation, we are going to ask you to remain here, if not, I am going to ask you to leave," Reverend Kelvin Sauls of the Holman United Methodist Church said to the crowd amid the chanting.

"Black lives, they matter here!" rumbled throughout the church before Garcetti was escorted by LAPD for his own safety. 

Garcetti initially came to answer questions from citizens regarding economic opportunity and community safety before protestors began chanting.

But the event quickly turned to chaos as Black Lives Matter protesters rushed the podium.

As Garcetti attempted to leave with a heavy LAPD presence, protesters blocked his car.

One person ran across the hood of the mayor's car. 

The protesters continued to shout: "No justice, no peace. No racist police!"

Black Lives Matter protesters said they wanted meaningful dialogue with the mayor.

"The Black community has something to say to the mayor we want him to hear, as well as us engaging in his responses," Malina Abdullah, Black Lives Matter said.

Garcetti's office issued a statement following the incident, saying: 

"Tonight, we had hundreds of South LA residents attend a community meeting - leaders, business owners, mothers and children, who took time out of their evening to discuss the critical issues that matter most to all of us. I am disappointed that our conversation was cut short when there is so much work for us to do together to make our neighborhoods stronger and safer. I believe in our City and my commitment to our shared concerns continues, stronger than ever."

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

Thieves Target High-End Dealerships on Connecticut Shoreline


Thieves with some high-end taste have been stealing some high-priced auto parts in the middle of the night. Expensive wheels have been disappearing from car dealerships on the Shoreline.

“They jacked up the car. They took four rims and tires and they took off, said Lt. James Perez of the Fairfield Police Department.

Investigators said car dealerships along Commerce Drive in Fairfield are getting hit again and again by some fast-acting suspects who use their own hydraulic jack to lift up expensive vehicles in order to snatch the cars' top-of-the-line tires and rims.

“They become really good at being able to remove a tire and a wheel in really seconds," said Lt. Perez.

These extra-speedy wheel thefts are happening overnight at a number of dealers. Audi got hit. Most recently it was Infiniti. Police said the tires taken are valued at up to $1,000 dollars each. The rims, they said, are worth up to $5,000 apiece.

“When we leave at night, we try to leave the place safe but you never know what's going to happen next," said Mauricio Sanchez, a manager at Mercedes-Benz of Fairfield, which is also on Commerce Drive. “They're going to get caught sooner or later and I hope it's soon," he said.

Fairfield police are adding patrols in the area. At this point, they have not identified where the wheels are ending up. No witnesses have come forward and so far the dealerships' surveillance cameras have not lead to any solid clues.

“When it starts to become a pattern, which is what we are starting to see, then it becomes concerning," said Lt. Perez.

Attorney Pleads Guilty to Embezzling $1.8 Million From Woman’s Estate


A Woodbury attorney pleaded guilty to federal charges of stealing more than $1.8 million from the estate of an Oxford woman who died in 2010.

When Miriam S. Strong died on July 2, 2010, her will left money, property and other items to several individuals, along with the Town of Oxford, the State of Connecticut and several religious and other charitable entities, including the creation of a scholarship fund for college-bound Oxford residents, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Peter M. Clark, 57, of Woodbury, was co-executor of the Strong’s estate, but he was removed in March after $1.8 million the estate bequeathed to the town was reported missing.

He had drafted the will and federal officials said they determined that he took at least $1.8 million from it for his own use.

Clark was arrested at his home on May 21, 2015 and was charged with one count of mail fraud.

He was released after posting a $500,000 bond co-signed by family members, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Town officials met with state police in March after the funds were reported missing.

"This theft is significant to the town as we were named as beneficiaries of the residual estate," Oxford First Selectman George R. Temple, said in a statement in March. "The money was earmarked by the will for use in the construction of a library, a scholarship fund for Oxford High School and the purchase of open space."

At the time, Clark was removed as the executor of the estate.

"I knew Miriam Strong. She was a very energetic focused individual who gave freely of her time," Temple said. "She loved Oxford as evidenced by her very generous bequest to the town. It is infuriating that her good intentions would be defeated by individual greed. We are all too familiar with the anger associated with being a victim of a crime as our former tax collector is serving time in Niantic Prison as a result of her embezzlement of public funds."

Clark is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 13, 2016. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $3.6 million. He has also agreed to pay $1,828,986.87 in restitution, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Police Seek Hartford Car Burglars


Burglars cruised through a neighborhood in the west end of Hartford and rifled through cars early Monday morning, residents say.

Now police and the neighborhood are on the lookout for the thieves caught on camera.

Kristina Newman-Scott showed NBC Connecticut video she says captured the moment two thieves ran off with her valuables.

The video shows two people peering into her neighbor's cars, her Apple laptop and case with one person, a bag of important documents in the hand of another.

"I never ever leave any valuables in my car honestly. If you find a dollar in my car you're lucky, that's how good I am," she said.

But on Sunday night, she was so exhausted, she decided just this once to leave her laptop and bag in the car and left the door unlocked. On Monday morning, she realized her mistake.

"I felt really angry, I felt hurt," Newman-Scott said.

She immediately called police and began seawrching for surveillance video of the thieves. She posted it all on Facebook, hoping someone would recognize the two. The response on Facebook was that others noticed someone had rummaged through their cars too.

"I'm sure I'm not the first victim and I won't be the last, so I hope they catch them," Newman-Scott said.

She said she feels violated by the crime, but said it's the irreplaceable memories inside the laptop that's left her heartbroken.

"I have video of my grandmother who passed many years ago that I don't think I'll find. That's gone," Newman-Scott said. "Those memories, those photographs, just like that, gone."

While she said she's learned her lesson, her fingers are crossed these memories aren't gone forever.

"My hope is that they give me my stuff back in an ideal scenario, they'll be back on my doorstep," Newman-Scott said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Victory for Pot Clubs


A federal judge on Monday found the federal government has no ability to block the operation of a pot club as long as the operator complies with state law.

Lynette Shaw opened the first licensed medical marijuana dispensary in the San Francisco area, which also was the first in the nation. Shaw's dispensary operated in Fairfax until 2011 when feds shut it down.

Since her Marin County dispensary was shut down, Shaw has been in and out of court more than 100 times trying to fight the decision. Monday's landmark decision ended the battle.

Congress decided last December to stop funding federal prosecutions of medical marijuana operations that were abiding by state laws.

U.S. Judge Charles Breyer found the decision held sway over the Department of Justice, which meant the federal injunction against Shaw and her dispensary was unenforceable.

Shaw's attorney, Greg Anton, said Breyer's decision is a tipping point.

"The law is clear there will be no funds expended for interfering with California state medical marijuana laws," Anton said.

Calls and e-mails to the U.S Attorney's Office seeking comment were not returned Monday. Lawyers with the U.S. Attorney's Office have 30 days to appeal Breyer's ruling.

Shaw said she would like to reopen her medical pot dispensary in Fairfax and has started a GoFundMe account to help raise the money.

Photo Credit: NBC 7

Top U.S. Military Officer Dunford Arrives for Talks in Iraq


The top U.S. military officer landed in Iraq Tuesday to get an update on the battle against ISIS militants, the Associated Press reported.

Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was making his first trip to the warzone since taking the top post on Oct. 1.

Dunford said he sees no prospect for Russia to expand its airstrike campaign in the country, according to the Associated Press.

Dunford told reporters requests for Russian airstrikes from the Iraqi government are no longer in play.

Photo Credit: AP

Oscar Pistorius' Family 'Happy' at Prison Release


Oscar Pistorius’ family is “happy” the athlete is home, but say his sentence isn't over, a family spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

Pistorius was released into house arrest on Monday. He served less than a year in prison for fatally shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.

"The family will support Oscar as he serves the rest of his sentence," family spokeswoman Anneliese Burgess told reporters. She said his relatives were "happy Oscar is home but they want to make the point that Oscar's sentence continues."

Pistorius will serve the remainder of his four year sentence at his uncle's home.

A representative of Steenkamp's family said Pistorius' fate mattered little to them, because the slain model was never coming back.

Photo Credit: AP

Aer Lingus May Offer Transatlantic Flights From Bradley Airport: Report


Aer Lingus may soon offer transatlantic flights out of Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, according to www.independent.ie.

The Irish newspaper reported that the Ireland-based airline will start service to Dublin on Wednesday.

While the governor's office has not confirmed whether this is the case, Devon Puglia, a spokesperson for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, said, "We have fought aggressively to add a transatlantic flight to Bradley airport. It's our hope that will be a reality."

Neither Bradley nor Aer Lingus have responded to requests for comment.

Photo Credit: Paul Faith/Getty

Democrats Divided on Whether Biden Should Run


There are more Democrats that say they don’t want to see Joe Biden run in the 2016 presidential race, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows.

The poll, released Tuesday, shows 38 percent of Democratic primary voters say they prefer Biden stay out of the race, compared to 30 percent who want to see him run.

In the latest survey, Biden received 15 percent of the support, while Sanders got 29 percent. Hillary Clinton took the lead, garnering 49 percent of Democratic primary voters when Biden was included.

Photo Credit: AP
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