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Backlash Over Glastonbury Chamber Calendar's Cover Photo


The Glostonbury Chamber of Commerce recieved harsh criticism over its annual calendar for the cover photo that shows a young boy with not wearing a shirt or pants.

The chamber president said after backlash over the cover picture a second printing will include a new picture.

The calendar is a fundraiser for the chamber and features men from various local businesses baring almost everything and in various strategically placed poses.

The revealing image, which is sponsored by Coldwell Banker, features four realtors who appear to be wearing almost nothing with real estate signs covering their mid-sections.

In the middle of the line of men is a boy covering himself with a sign that reads “SOLD” across his waist.

“I wouldn’t want my daughter, who is seven years old, to be in anything of this nature,” said Robert Rodriguez of East Hartford.

The Family Institute of Connecticut in a post on its website blasts the chamber for placing the “nearly-naked boy in an even mildly suggestive setting such as in a calendar of nearly nude men.”

The chamber president said no one in the review process saw the photo that way and would not have printed it if they had.

The president calls this situation “extremely unfortunate” and the boy’s family is upset by how the image is being interpreted.

“I think with things like that you really have to be careful,” said Tiwanna Lewis of East Hartford.

The chamber has been selling the calendars for a couple years as a fundraiser. It said the calendar, which is selling quickly, is supposed to be all in good fun.

June 2016 features Adam Clemens from Century 21 – Clemens & Sons Realty.

“It’s a joke. You have to take it kind of light-heartedly,” said Clemens.

The chamber wants to make it clear it doesn’t believe it’s done anything wrong – but the second printing with the new picture will respect anyone that’s offended.

We also reached out to Coldwell Banker and the cover photographer but have not yet heard back.

Infant TB Scare in Calif. Hospital


A South Bay hospital says hundreds of newborn babies might have been exposed to tuberculosis after an employee who worked in the infant care center tested positive.

Santa Clara Valley Medical Center employees spent much of the day Friday calling and sending out hundreds of letters to patients, advising them they may have been exposed to TB.

Hospital officials are also saying, as a precaution, babies who were in the hospital's Mother & Infant Care Center between mid-August and mid-November of this year will need antibiotics.

Dr. Stephen Harris told NBC Bay Area an employee who worked in the infant care unit tested positive for the bacteria that attacks the lungs.

"She was not even coughing," Harris said. "It was unlikely she was highly contagious."

Eight-hundred people, including 350 newborns, might have been exposed to the employee, who is now on leave, according to the hospital.

Adults can be tested for TB, but babies can't.

"With babies, we need to be more cautious because the disease is more serious," Harris said.

To prevent infection, Harris is recommending all 350 newborns be treated with antibiotics for the next six months, as a precaution.

"Because the babies have an immature immune system, the bacteria can get into their bloodstream. From the bloodstream it can go everywhere in the body, including the brain," Harris said.

At this point, no positive TB tests have been linked to the employee, and hospital staff says they are taking every precaution.

"We've decided to do chest x-rays and treatment for these babies to protect them from potentially getting tuberculosis," Harris said.

It's not clear why the employee was allowed to work with TB. The hospital requires all employees get tested. According to the hospital, the infected employee was tested in September and the results came back negative.

Anyone who thinks they were exposed should contact the hospital at (408) 885-3444 to set up an appointment. Harris said hospital staff will be talking with each parent about the need to treat their infant with the daily antibiotic isoniazid for six to nine months to prevent infection.

"That's a big deal," Harris said. "That is not something to be taken lightly."

The antibiotic kills tuberculosis and can prevent the infant from becoming ill, hospital officials said. Harris said isoniazid is effective at preventing tuberculosis from setting up shop in both infants and adults.

Only active tuberculosis can be spread, Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said. Inactive or latent tuberculosis can reside in the body for a period of time and then become active again, health officials said.

In 2013, the county health department reported the number of tuberculosis cases in Santa Clara County was among the most in the country.

Bay City News contributed information to this report.

Photo Credit: Getty/file

Photo of Military Dog Goes Viral


A Fort Hood soldier and his military working dog are recovering after they were injured by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.

Photos of the two in recovery have been shared tens of thousands of times on Facebook.

Spc. Andrew Brown and Rocky were injured earlier this week, according to the 89th Military Police Brigade.

One photo of Rocky showed a Purple Heart medal pinned to his collar while he recovers, and Brown is now with his family at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

An updated post Friday said, "They are both very thankful for your thoughts and prayers and are in the process of heading back home."

Read more on the soldiers' stories at the 89th Military Police Brigade Facebook page.

Photo Credit: 89th Military Police Brigade/Facebook
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SoCal Mosque Fire 'Intentional Act'


Authorities believe a fire that burned a mosque in a desert city east of Los Angeles on Friday afternoon was an intentional act.

The fire was reported just after noon at the Islamic Society of the Coachella Valley at 84650 Avenue 49.

Deputy Armando Munoz, of the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, confirmed that authorities believe someone intentionally set the fire.

The flames were contained to the front lobby of the 1,800-square-foot building, but there was smoke damage throughout the structure, officials said. Video showed damage to the building's entrance.

A man who was inside the building with at least three others said he heard an explosion before the fire.

"It was big flames for just a couple seconds, but not a short circuit, accidental like that," he said.

No injuries were reported. A bomb squad was called in to investigate, as well as the FBI.

The mosque is located about 75 miles from the site of the mass shooting in San Bernardino. Witnesses feared the fire may somehow be in retaliation for the massacre carried out by husband and wife Islamic extremists.

"If in fact as it appears to be potential act against this church for reasons of religion, I would think that is terrorism, and terrorism is terrorism no matter whether it's like what we saw in San Bernardino or someone who reacts, they're both terrorists," Riverside County Supervisor Jon Benoit said.

Witnesses said that investigators at the scene told them the fire was intentionally set. Mohammed Aowishah, who attends the mosque, said several people were inside the building at the time.

"We feel bad," said Mohammed Aowishah, who attends the mosque. "We didn't do anything. We are innocent people."

NBC4 has reached out to the Council on American-Islamic Relations for comment on the fire.

In November 2014, six rounds were fired at the mosque -- three struck a car in front of the building, two hit the building and one struck a fence. No injuries were reported.

The mosque has been at the Coachella Valley location for more than 15 years.

Photo Credit: KMIR

Lockdown at Fitch High School in Groton Lifted


A misunderstanding may have led to a lockdown at Robert E. Fitch High School in Groton on Friday morning. 

A student brought a concern to school administrators Friday morning and administrators called police, according to Groton Police Chief Thomas Davoren.

Superintendent of Schools Michael Graner initially said someone reported a rumor that a person had a gun at the school, but later said the report was a "complete misunderstanding."

Officers arrived and searched the school, room by room, but deteremined there was no ongoing threat to the school.  They did learn some information that officers planned to investigate, Davoren said.  He did not elaborate on what information they had learned.

The lockdown was lifted just before noon and students were allowed to return to class.

The school is located at 101 Groton Long Point Road.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Report of Gun in Hartford Suspected to Be Swatting Incident


Dozens of people were evacuated from the CT Nonprofits Center at 75 Charter Oak Avenue in a busy section of Hartford and a nearby school was in lockdown after a suspected swatting call reporting that a disgruntled employee who was recently let go entered the building with a gun, police said.

Officers surrounded the building after receiving that call and searched it, room by room, until they were certain there was no threat.

Betsy Crum, of the Women's Institute, was alone in her suite when police came in around 11:15 a.m. and told her to stay in her office with the door locked and keep away from the door as much as possible, she said.

Around 10 minutes later, the officer returned and told Crum to grab whatever she could in a minute to two and go with him, she said. Then, an officer with a rifle escorted staff out of the building.

Crum said between 50 and 60 people are at the building on most days, but a training was underway on the first floor on Friday morning, and people in the training were originally told to hide under tables.

"So they were all huddled under their tables for around 10 minutes until they were then immediately evacuated too," she said.

No gunshots were ever fired, no one was injured and the surveillance video did not indicate anything suspicious, according to police. 

As police investigated, the nearby Betances Early Reading Lab was placed on "yellow lock down" until the situation cleared around 12:45 p.m.

The employees of the nonprofits center who were evacuated have been allowed back inside.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Suspect in Killing of Mississippi Cops Found Dead in Cell


A man charged in the fatal shooting of two police officers during a traffic stop in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, was pronounced dead Friday night after officers found him unresponsive in his cell.
Marvin Banks, was in an isolation cell when officers found him, the Forrest County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. EMTs tried performing CPR before Banks was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead at 7:40 p.m. local time (8:40 p.m. ET), the sheriff's office said.
No cause of death has been announced. An autopsy will be conducted by the State Medical Examiner.
Banks was one of four suspects arrested in the May 9 shooting that killed Hattiesburg Police Officers Benjamin J. Deen, 34, and Liquori Tate, 25, who had pulled over a car driven by Banks for speeding, according to police.

Photo Credit: AP

Saudi Prince Calls Trump a Disgrace; Trump Responds


Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said on Twitter that Donald Trump was a disgrace to the United States following the candidate's call for a ban on Muslims entering the country.
“You are a disgrace not only to the GOP but to all America. Withdraw from the U.S. presidential race as you will never win," Prince Alwaleed tweeted
Trump replied to the tweet hours later: "Dopey Prince @Alwaleed_Talal wants to control our U.S. politicians with daddy’s money. Can’t do it when I get elected. #Trump2016."
Prince Alwaleed, a nephew of Saudi Arabia's King Salman, has holdings in a number of international companies, including Twitter and Citigroup.

Photo Credit: AP

2 Arrested in Geneva on Suspicion of Making Explosives


Two men of Syrian origin were arrested in Geneva Friday on suspicion of making explosives and having links to extremist groups, Switzerland's attorney general's office announced Saturday, NBC News reported.

Prosecutors said that a criminal proceeding has been opened against the pair for the manufacturing, concealing and transporting of explosives and toxic gases, as well as on suspicion of violating a federal law prohibiting "groups like al Qaeda, [ISIS] and similar organizations."

The news of the arrest came two days after police in the city said they were looking for several suspects "on the basis of a terrorist threat."

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Vigils for 2 Homicide Victims Call for End to Violence in Hartford


The killing needs to stop. That's the message from people in Hartford this morning, as they get set to remember two more lives lost to violence.

Hartford's 29th and 30th homicides happened just days apart. On Saturday, vigils will be held for both victims.

At noon, Mothers United Against Violence will hold a vigil at Albany Avenue and Baltimore Street, the site where police say 45-year-old Joseph Lindsey was stabbed to death.

Then at 3 p.m., a vigil will be held at Barbour and Judson streets for 26-year-old Richard Holloway, who was shot. Organizers expect a large turnout because Holloway was deployed three times as a member of the military.

Police arrested 25-year-old Jesse Culbreath for Holloway's murder.

They're still looking for the person who stabbed Lindsey.

At a vigil held at city hall on Wednesday, families of Hartford's other homicide victims joined local religious and political leaders calling for an end to all the violence.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

He Sees You When You're Drinking: SantaCon Booze Ban on Trains


While many Santa-clad celebrators will drink in the holiday season at New York City bars for the annual SantaCon pub crawl, people will not be able to do that on the train ride to and from the city Saturday and part of Sunday.

The ban on Metro-North trains and at the stations began at 5 a.m. Saturday and will last until noon Sunday, Dec. 13 "to maintain orderly travel and safe station and terminal operations" during SantaCon. While alcohol is usually allowed on the trains, Metro-North is imposing the temporary ban "for the safety of customers and train crews," according to a news release.

The alcohol ban on Long Island Rail Road trains and at stations began at 11 p.m. Friday, coinciding with the railway's usual alcohol ban between midnight and 5 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and runs through Sunday at noon.

While SantaCon has drawn some opposition from neighborhoods in the Big Apple, event organized are working to improve the reputation of the festive pub crawl and have hired a civil rights lawyer to ensure they are permitted in bars provided they abide by the laws, NBC New York reported.

MTA police officers at Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station in New York City and train stations on the route will be enforcing the liquor restriction, according to a news release. They will confiscate any alcohol people are carrying.

Anyone who violates the ban risks being escorted off the trains and out of the stations and being issued a summons carrying a fine or imprisonment, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

More information is available on MTA's website.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

GameStop Thief Hid iPad Air in Pants: Newington Police


Newington police are looking for a man who stole an iPad Air from GameStop in Newington on Friday afternoon.

A man came into the GameStop at 2997 Berlin Turnpike in Newington on Friday at about 2:41 p.m. and then left with an iPad air concealed in his pants, police said. The device had store logos on it and it wasn't for sale.

Surveillance footage of the suspect shows a man with a scruffy beard who is wearing a black knit hat, black coat and tan pants, police said. He is believed to be about 35 years old.

Police ask anyone with information to call Officer Petoskey at 860-594-6224.

Photo Credit: Newington Police Department

10,000 Kids Stopped at U.S.-Mexico Border in 2 Months


While the world has been focused on Europe's migrant crisis, apprehensions of unaccompanied minors along America's own border have exploded: More than 10,000 undocumented children have been stopped in just the last two months, according to U.S. Border and Customs Protection.

The 10,588 apprehensions are a 106 percent increase over the same period from last year when President Obama referred to the problem as an "urgent humanitarian situation." Between Oct. 1 through Nov. 30 in 2014, 5,129 kids were picked up.

Apprehensions of family units — legal guardians with children under 18 — have proliferated too, with 12,505 detentions in those two months, representing a 173 percent increase from last year's 4,577 seizures in the same time frame. 

Photo Credit: AP

Sleeping Giant Reaches Full Capacity on Unseasonably Warm Day


Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden has reached full parking lot capacity on Saturday in the unseasonably warm weather.

The parking lot was filled by 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection tweeted. It's closed to further vehicles.

American Idol Winner, Trinity Grad to Perform in All-Star Christmas Show


Two performers with Connecticut ties who have grown in popularity and reputation in the music industry over the past year are returning to the Nutmeg state to ring in the holidays with other all-star musicians.

American Idol winner Nick Fradiani, a Guilford native, is back home to open the All-Star Christmas concert hosted by 96.5 TIC at the Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford. He'll go on at 6:30 p.m., followed by Charlie Puth at 7:05 p.m. and Nate Ruess at 7:50 p.m.

"Back in CT! Just a few hours till the 96.5 TIC All-Star Christmas at the Oakdale Theatre! Playing a bunch of songs off the upcoming album," Fradiani posted on his Facebook page.

Then, Trinity College graduate Rachel Platten, most known for her song, "Fight Song," will take to the stage at 8:40 p.m., followed by The Band Perry at 9:30 p.m. Platten has a new album called "Wildfire" that's available for pre-order.

"Two shows tonight. One in Poughkeepsie and one in CT. WOOHOO. I have a holiday sweater on and I'm ready to rock," Platten tweeted, including festive holiday emojis.

Rob Thomas closes the show at 10:30 p.m.

Doors open for the concert at 5:30 p.m.

Photo Credit: Jessie Sawyer/NBCConnecticut.com

Diver Scour SoCal Lake for Evidence


A search for a computer hard drive and anything else linked to the husband-and-wife shooters who killed 14 people in the Southern California attack stretched into the weekend, as specialized divers with the FBI looked through a San Bernardino lake for abandoned evidence.

Investigators have said the killers tried to cover their tracks by destroying emails, cellphones and other items at their home in Redlands. They were tipped that the small lake in a park about 3 miles from where the shootings took place might hold the hard drive, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation but not authorized to speak publicly about the case.

On Saturday, they searched the lake for a third day while funerals continued for those who were the slain.

Divers could be seen recovering at least two possible pieces of evidence on Friday during the second day of searches in the lake. The FBI declined to comment on what was found, but Thursday had indicated it was acting on leads that the identified killers, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, had gone to the area of Seccombe Park some time before they were killed in a shootout with law enforcement.  

Investigators have been seeking the digital trail of communications and planning for the attack.
The FBI has said it is apparent efforts were made to hide or destroy digital evidence, including two cellphones found earlier in a dumpster near the townhouse Farook and Malik rented in Redlands. One recovered computer was missing its hard drive — that is believed to be one of the significant items investigators have been seeking.
From a distance, one of the items recovered from the lake appeared to be of a size consistent with a hard drive. The items were kept immersed and packed for followup investigation.
A pressing question for investigators is whether there were additional conspirators, and whether planning for other attacks may have been underway, said Brian Levin, a criminologist attorney, former New York Police officer, and now Director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University San Bernardino.
Levin said the very fact the hard drive was removed indicates it likely has sensitive information the shooters did not want law enforcement to discover.
"There might be evidence of who they were speaking to," said Levin.  "It might be crucial to determine if there are active plots going on now."
Divers have not finished their search, and will continue Saturday, said the FBI's Laura Eimiller.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Alex Vasquez/KNBC-TV

Man Shot in Leg in New Britain


New Britain police are investigating after a man with a gunshot wound arrived at the Hospital of Central Connecticut in the city.

Officers responded to the New Britain campus of the hospital at 1:50 a.m. on Saturday. A male patient, who lives outside of New Britain, was suffering from a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to the leg. Friends of his dropped him off at the hospital.

Police are investigating the circumstances of how he was shot.

The New Britain Police Department asks anyone with information to call police at 860-826-3000 or call in an anonymous tip to 860-826-3199. You can also submit tips through the police department's website at www.newbritainpolice.org.

Families Surprised With Layaways Paid Away for the Holidays


The rouse started with a call to customers on Friday.

“'Just a layaway event' that’s how we phrased it,” Burlington Coat Factory Operations and Customer Service Manager PJ Seguljic said.

Customers who lined up at the East Hartford store Saturday morning, eager to take home merchandise they've been paying off in installments, arrived to much more than a "layaway event."

“Your layaways have been paid away,” Seguljic announced to the group.

Virginia Green, of Bristol, was reduced to tears. After paying for her granddaughter’s college, she wasn’t sure she’d be able to get her layaway paid off in time for Christmas.

“I’ve just been praying all week like God I gotta get this layaway out. I don’t know how I’m gonna do this,” said Green.

The good cheer was donated by the non-profit organization, Pay Away the Layaway. The national organization choses families who have made regular payments on their layaway accounts. About 90 percent of the gifts on a customer's list must be for children.

In total, $1,100 in layaway items were paid off for 17 families at the East Hartford store on Saturday. The average bill per family was $100.

“You don’t expect something like that. My God, it’s a blessing,” said Gloria Bautista of Columbia, Connecticut.

“Nothing really ever happens for me,” said Jannea Stone, of East Hartford.

Stone’s cart was full of clothes for her eight year old daughter — more of a need than a want.

“It actually helps so that way I can just get her the other things I wanted to get her, but I was like oh well I don’t think I’ll be able to get them this time because I still have that layaway to pay off,” Stone said.

The "layaway angels" gave hugs to families in disbelief as they watched their wish lists rung up for free.

“It’s great to see the families have some of that stress taken away so that they can really enjoy their holidays,” volunteer Angelina Dabrowski said.

Click here for more information about Pay Away the Layaway.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

2 Extricated From Cars in Wethersfield Crash


Wethersfield firefighters extricated people from two cars that collided in town late Friday night.

The fire department responded to a two-car crash in the area of 1500 Berlin Turnpike at about 11:35 p.m. on Friday. They rescued two people injured, one from each car, who were then transported to area hospitals.

A police accident reconstruction team also responded.

Wethersfield police are investigating the crash.

The Berlin Turnpike remained shut down into the early morning hours on Saturday.

Photo Credit: Wethersfield Fire Department

GOP Establishment Remains Undecided in Who to Back


Many expected that the billionaire Paul Singer's public endorsement of Marco Rubio earlier this year would lead to the GOP establishment to mobilize behind the Republican candidate but that hasn't happened, NBC News reported. 

The party remains fractured, with many supporting New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie while others remain undecided, like most U.S. House Republicans and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. 

NBC News looks at some of the reasons -- like inexperience -- why Rubio hasn't gained the backing of more players. 

Photo Credit: NBC6.com
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