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Suspects Bound Cat's Legs With Tape


A man and a woman were arrested after a cat was found with its paws bound together with electrical tape in the back seat of their car in Santa Clarita, California, Saturday night, according to sheriff's deputies.

Shortly after 11:30 p.m., deputies approached a suspicious car behind a closed business near the intersection of Soledad Canyon and San Canyon roads and found a man and a woman in possession of narcotics, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department-Santa Clarita Valley Station.

As deputies searched the vehicle, they found a cat buried upside-down in a cat carrier. The cat's paws and hind legs were bound together by electrical tape according to LASD.

Deputies said the cat could not move and was "meowing loudly in discomfort" as the deputies worked to free him.

The two suspects, believed to be in their 20s, were arrested on suspicion of possession of narcotics.

The owner, believed to be one of the suspects, is also facing animal cruelty charges, sheriff's deputies said.

Animal control is caring for the cat, who is scheduled to be treated by a veterinarian Sunday.

Photo Credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department- Santa Clarita Valley Station

Police Seek Missing Wolcott Man


Police have issued a Silver Alert for a Wolcott man who has been missing since January 2.

Scott Basile, 23, is described 5’11”, 220 pounds, with black hair and hazel eyes. He was last seen wearing a dark gray/black hoodie with matching pants.

According to a Facebook page set up by his family, Basile was last seen January 2 and his car was found in Stamford on January 7.

Anyone with information on Basile’s whereabouts should contact Wolcott police at 203 879 1414.

NH Paper Dropped From GOP Debate


The leading New Hampshire newspaper has been removed from the state's Republican debate scheduled days before the first-in-the-nation primary, and GOP front-runner Donald Trump is claiming responsibility.

"I am pleased to announce that I had the Union Leader removed from the upcoming debate," Trump tweeted Sunday.

The Republican had publicly bashed the paper after a front-page editorial said he was an insult to New Hampshire voters' intelligence. Trump responded by holding up the paper at a Nashua rally and calling it "a pile of garbage."

The Union Leader published a story Sunday evening confirming ABC News, which was hosting the debate, had severed ties with the paper.

In the story, publisher Joseph McQuaid issued a statement expressing his disagreement with the decision.

"We are amused by ABC News apparently just discovering that we endorse candidates and write editorials. We have been doing both for many years and it has never been a problem with ABC or other debate sponsors.

"We consider ABC's actions to be spineless. Between bowing to the DNC and Trump, ABC is more concerned about appeasing the parties and candidates than informing voters. The Union Leader will continue to serve Granite Staters by being a reliable source of information about where candidates stand."

Trump reacted by saying the paper "refuses to comment as to why they were kicked out of the ABC News debate like a dog."

For its part, the New Hampshire Democratic Party issued a statement condemning the move and calling on the state's Republican U.S. senator to do the same.

"This ridiculous attack on New Hampshire's statewide newspaper threatens the traditions of our First-in-the-Nation primary and makes it clear that the New Hampshire Republican Party has now fully embraced Donald Trump as their frontrunner," Chairman Ray Buckley said in the statement. "Senator Kelly Ayotte should denounce her party's actions to undermine our state's primary status."

While putting the blame on ABC instead of Trump, the New Hampshire Republican Party similarly decried the decision.

"The Union Leader has established itself as a trusted news source that, for decades, has sponsored some of New Hampshire’s biggest political debates," Chairman Jennifer Horn said. "It is disappointing that a national media outlet would exclude New Hampshire's only statewide newspaper given the important role the Union Leader plays in covering our First in the Nation primary."

Photo Credit: AP
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Bay Area Gun Show Draws Crowd


The Crossroads of the West gun show is taking place at the Cow Palace in Daly City this weekend, where founder and owner Bob Templeton has plans to speak to the crowd about gun ownership and the executive orders President Barack Obama announced Tuesday.

Saturday's event drew thousands of people, according to San Jose Mercury News, and thousands more are expected to pour in for Sunday's show. Last year, more than half a million people attended Crossroads events, the newspaper reported.  

In addition to founding Crossroads with his wife in 1975, Templeton is also the current president of the National Association of Arms Shows. He's been an adovcate for second amendment rights for decades, working with the State Department of Justice and the California Legislature in drafting Assembly Bill 295, the gun show regulatory bill which went into effect in 2000, according to a news release.

Gun shows are often criticized for allowing private owners to sell their own guns without having a license to do so, among other concerns. The legality of purchasing guns at shows has been a hot-button issue during the 2016 presidential campaign, especially in light of mass shootings across the nation. 

Those who support gun shows claim that the events enable responsible gun owners to educate themselves and make responsible purchases, while detractors have said that the exhibitions offer loopholes that bypass regulations and make purchasing a firearm an easy task for someone unstable or dangerous.

Crossroads of the West promotes more than 60 gun shows a year throughout California, Arizona, Utah and Nevada, that are purported to be family-friendly by the company website. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

K9 Cop Dies After Grocery Store Shootout in Ohio


A police dog in Ohio died Sunday after a shootout at a grocery store, according to authorities.

K9 officer, Jethro, was struck three times after a gunman opened fire in Canton Saturday morning, NBC affiliate WKYC of Cleveland reported.

Police fired back, striking the suspect in the leg. But Jethro was struck three times, according to a Facebook post by the Canton Police K9 Association.

The bullet missed his vital organs, but one hit the bridge of his muzzle. Police said Sunday that the K9 officer “took a sudden turn for the worse” and died.  

Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Canton, Ohio, Police Department

Police Probing


Tensions ran high in the Philadelphia Police Department Sunday in the wake of an attempted assassination of an officer by a man allegedly claiming he did it "in the name of Islam" after an anonymous tip to officers on Saturday said the threat against police in the city is ongoing.

According to a police report obtained by NBC10, an anonymous tipster told officers that, "the threat to police is not over" and that the man who shot Officer Jesse Hartnett is "part of a group that consists of three others," adding that the alleged shooter "is not the most radical of the four." The report obtained Sunday goes on to say the tipster told police to "be careful.”

Law enforcement officials confirmed Sunday afternoon that police did indeed receive a tip that Edward Archer, the man accused of approaching Hartnett's patrol car at 60th and Spruce streets Thursday night and opening fire on him at point-blank range, was working among a small group of radical men. Authorities said the tip came from a woman who approached an officer on the street.

Police said they are taking the tip seriously and investigating, and that on Sunday, they were issuing memos to all law-enforcement agencies to warn them to stay vigilant as the investigation continues. They also posted on Facebook that the FBI is investigating the tip as well.

Philadelphia Police officers are riding with a partner in patrol vehicles as a precaution. 

The tipster claimed Archer attended two Philadelphia mosques. An administrator at one of the mosques told NBC10 he did not know the suspect. While the mosque is open to the public, members say any claim that Archer was possibly radicalized while attending is not true because they preach against extremism.

"It's very easy to point the finger and blame or to just throw an accusation around," the administrator said. "It's a different story altogether when you actually come in and listen to our sermons and listen to our lessons."

Hartnett, 33, a five-year veteran, remained hospitalized on Sunday with three gunshot wounds to his arm. Doctors were working to repair nerve damage caused by the bullets.

Investigators over the weekend said that so far, they had not found anything linking Archer, 30, to the Islamic State militant group, though Archer, according to police, pledged allegiance to the group, commonly known as ISIS.

Police also said that recent trips Archer took to Egypt and Saudi Arabia have not been determined to be linked to any terrorist activity.

Archer was charged over the weekend with attempted murder, aggravated assault, assault on police, illegal gun possession and related offenses. After he was shot, Hartnett managed to get out of his patrol car and return fire at Archer, wounding him in the buttocks.

Officials said the gun Archer used was a stolen police weapon.

Officers across the city on Sunday said they were uneasy in light of the unprovoked attack on Hartnett and the new information given to officers in the same West Philadelphia neighborhood where the shooting happened.

Police continued to investigate the anonymous tip on Sunday and said they planned to re-interview the tipster.  

Photo Credit: Philadelphia Police
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Mexico Formally Begins Extraditing 'El Chapo' to U.S.


The Mexican government formally began the process of extraditing drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán to the United States, the attorney general's office said in a statement Sunday.

Mexico resisted extraditing Guzmán — who is the head of the Sinaloa Cartel and is wanted on federal drug trafficking charges in San Diego; Brooklyn, New York; El Paso, Texas; Miami; and Chicago — after he was captured in 2014.

But then came a stunning and embarrassing development last July: Using a mile-long tunnel and a motorbike, Guzmán escaped from Altiplano, the maximum-security prison where he was being held. He was recaptured on Friday. 

The news comes a day after the startling revelation that actor Sean Penn conducted a secret interview with Guzmán in October for Rolling Stone magazine.

Photo Credit: AP

President, First Lady Invite Malloy As Guest to State of the Union Address


The President and First Lady have invited Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (D-Connecticut) as their guest to the State of the Union Address. 

"Currently in his second term as Governor of Connecticut, Dannel P. Malloy has pursued many of the progressive priorities that the President laid out to make America stronger," White House officials said in a press release.

Malloy is one of about 24 people the White House announced will be sitting in First Lady Michelle Obama's section of box seats for the State of the Union. The White House recognized him in a press release for criminal justice reforms like the "Second Chance Society" initiative to reintegrate nonviolent criminals into society once they're released and "common-sense gun safety laws following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary."

Malloy said he's honored and grateful to the President and First Lady for "this once-in-a-lifetime invitation.

“We’re doing big things in Connecticut. We’ve passed the smartest gun law in the nation, and we’ve helped drive a national conversation to help prevent gun violence," Malloy said in a statement. "The President is taking action on this important issue just as we have in Connecticut – it is commonsense to keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them. We’re proud of that record, just as we are proud of the myriad other initiatives Connecticut has led on, from Second Chance, to being the first state in the nation to raise the minimum wage to $10.10, to the first state to pass paid sick days, to launching a first-in-the-nation green bank to tackle global warming, to the best implementation of the Affordable Care Act in America. Connecticut has an amazing story to tell over the past few years – and we’re proud to tell it.”

The White House also said "Malloy has balanced important social reforms with strong economic priorities: Connecticut led America as the first state in the country to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 and pass legislation guaranteeing paid sick leave. Gov. Malloy also oversaw the successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act, driving down the state’s uninsured rate to historic lows and delivered the best job growth since the 1990s."

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

After Storms Move Through State, Icing Possible


As temperatures cooled Sunday evening, any puddles refreezing could cause some slick spots for the morning commute Monday, but wind should dry out the roads so that shouldn't be a widespread problem. 

Hundreds remained without power Sunday night as heavy rain and high winds swept the state.

NBC Connecticut's weather team declared a First Alert Weather Day lasting through late evening.

A line of storms moved through the state starting early evening, bringing gustin winds and heavy downpours.  At about 5 p.m., a band of storms dumped heavy rain on the Route 8 corridor in Torrington.

Power outages surpassed 2,500 in the morning and dropped in the afternoon, but Eversource outages increased again in the evening to 752 as of 5:25 p.m., with 241 without power in Redding, 108 without power in Stamford and 103 without power in New Milford, according to the power company's outage map. United Illuminating reported 458 of its customers were without power as of that time, with North Haven seeing the most outages at 347.

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued earlier in the day for New London County, as well as coastal flooding advisories on the shoreline, but those have expired. Winds increased to about 30 miles an hour and the hill towns and southeastern Connecticut saw gusts reaching 40 miles an hour or more at times. 

Significant rainfall posed the concern of possible street and basement flooding as frozen ground increases run-off. 

Temperatures were on the warmer side Sunday but are expected to drop this week.

Monday brings much colder temperatures and winds over 30 miles an hour. High temperatures will be in the low 30s and wind chills will make it feel like the 20s or teens. 

We could see light snow or snow showers on Tuesday later in the day or in the evening, with a coating of 1 inch in spots. 

Diesel Spill Closes Avery Lane in Waterford

Powerball Jackpot Soars to Record $1.4 Billion


The ever-increasing Powerball jackpot has accumulated an astounding $1.4 billion. According to lottery officials, it is the world's largest prize pot.

The cash value of the prize is $868 million before taxes, according to powerball.com and winners have 180 days from the drawing to claim their prize.

Since Nov. 4, the Powerball jackpot has ballooned from its starting point of $40 million. Most of the gains came after last Wednesday's drawing when no one matched all six Powerball numbers for the $500 million jackpot. The U.S. saw sales of $277 million on Friday alone for the next drawing on Saturday, which reached $900 million amid a frenzy of purchases. No one won the big prize in that drawing, causing the pot to roll over and surpass the $1 billion mark.

Officials with the Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs the Powerball game, hoped for such a large jackpot when they changed the odds of matching all the Powerball numbers from about one in 175 million to one in 292.2 million last fall. By making it harder to win a jackpot, the tougher odds made the ever-larger prizes inevitable.

Powerball is played in 44 states as well as the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

While that's the largest U.S. lottery jackpot ever, lotteries elsewhere in the world can be far bigger. Spain's massively popular Christmas lottery, known as "El Gordo," is ranked as the world's richest and last month showered 2.2 billion euros ($2.4 billion) across the country in millions of prizes.

As for the U.S., here's a look at the 10 previous highest jackpots and where the winners were from:

1. $656.0 million, Mega Millions, March 30, 2012 (3 tickets from Kansas, Illinois and Maryland)

2. $636 million, Mega Millions Dec 17, 2013, (2 tickets, from California and Georgia)

3. $590.5 million, Powerball, May 18, 2013 (1 ticket from Florida)

4. $587.5 million, Powerball, Nov. 28, 2012 (2 tickets from Arizona and Missouri)

5. $564.1 million, Powerball, Feb 11, 2015 - (3 tickets, from North Carolina, Puerto Rico and Texas)

6. $448.4 million, Powerball, Aug 7, 2013, (3 tickets, one from Minnesota and two from New Jersey)

7. $425.3 million, Powerball, Feb 19, 2014 - (1 ticket from California)

8. $414 million, Mega Millions, March 18, 2014, (2 tickets from Florida and Maryland)

9. $399.4 million, Powerball, Sept 18, 2013, (1 ticket from South Carolina)

10. $390.0 million, Mega Millions, March 6, 2007 (2 tickets from Georgia and New Jersey)


 The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: AP

Thieves Steal 35 Laptops from Hartford School


Police are searching for the two men who broke into the Weaver Culinary School in Hartford on Sunday morning and stole 35 Macbook Air laptop computers.

Police said they responded to the school on Sigourney Street and found damage to the building, including a broken window and come ceiling tiles that had been moved.

Surveillance footage showed two men using bolt cutters to get into one door.

They then took 35 laptops from the charging cart and left through the gym.

After getting out of the building, they ran west through the parking lot, police said.

Police searched the area after the burglary but did not find any suspects or the computers.

Anyone with information is asked to call police.

14-Year-Old New Haven Teen Shot in Hamden


A 14-year-old New Haven teenager was shot in the wrist while walking in Hamden, police said. 

A Hamden officer heard several gunshots while driving on Dixwell Avenue on Jan. 9 at about 11 p.m. 

He responded to investigate and discovered that the teen was shot in the wrist while walking in the area of Dixwell Avenue and Easton Street. 

Hamden Fire Rescue treated his minor injury at the scene. 

No suspects have been identified at this time.

Police ask anyone with information to call the Hamden Police Department Major Crimes Division at 203-230-4040.

Many Germans' Views on Foreigners Sour After Cologne Attacks


More than a third of Germans said their views of foreigners had worsened in the wake of at least 200 alleged sex attacks by men roaming the crowds in Cologne during New Year's Eve, NBC News reported.

Police said the suspected attackers were "mostly from North African countries" and "asylum-seekers and persons who are currently in Germany illegally." At least 20 suspects have been identified.

The poll by the Forsa Institute found 37 percent of Germans had a more negative outlook on foreigners following the alleged assaults, while 60 percent said their view remained unchanged. Fifty-seven percent feared refugee arrivals would trigger a rise in crime, the poll also said.

Right-wing organizations have tried to capitalize on the backlash to the attacks, while German's Interior Minister urged Germans Monday not to treat all refugees and migrants with suspicion.

Pope Francis, meanwhile, told diplomats in Vatican City that the wave of migration "seems to be undermining the foundations of that 'humanistic spirit' which Europe has always loved and defended." But he called such difficulties "inevitable" and said he hoped Europe could "find the right balance" to absorb the migrants, Reuters reported. 

Photo Credit: AP

Willimantic Man Charged With Attacking 76-Year-Old


Willimantic police arrested a 34-year-old man accused of attacking a 76-year-old. 

Christopher Landry, 34, of Willimantic, is facing assault on an elderly person and breach of peace charges after police say a verbal dispute with a 76-year-old he lives with escalated into a physical altercation, police said. He assaulted the elderly individual in the domestic incident that happened on Jan. 5, police said. 

He appeared in Danielson Superior Court Monday morning and his bond was set at $10,000.  

Police said they aren't releasing the victim's name. 

Lawmakers Tackle Calif. Gas Leak


Lawmakers on Monday announced a legislative package in response to a methane gas leak that has forced thousands of people from their homes in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles.

A group of four state senators met outside Southern California Gas Co.'s Aliso Canyon storage facility, where the leak was detected late October, calling for a moratorium of on any new gas injections.

The lawmakers said an aggressive plan beyond the emergency declaration made by Gov. Jerry Brown last week was needed, and referred to the gas leak as a local, national and international disaster.

Sen. Fran Pavley, who represents the area, said more testing at well sites and better industry regulations are the best ways to prevent another disaster.

"This is a challenge. It is a tragedy and I know we can do better," Pavley said.

Sen. Ben Allen said the leak continued to be detrimental to the local and state environment.

"At its peak this was emitting the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as 7 million automobiles," Allen said.

The leak has forced thousands of households from the area and has led to complaints of headaches, nausea and other ailments.

According to one estimate, more than 78,000 metric tons of methane have leaked from the storage well. That's equivalent to roughly 745 million gallons of gasoline burned, according to the Environmental Defense Fund.

At a hearing on Saturday, the South Coast Air Quality Management District Hearing Board considered a proposed order that would require the Southern California Gas Co. to minimize natural gas leaking from the well and to capture and dispose of leaking gas.

Hundreds of frustrated residents packed the meeting to express their outrage, calling for the permanent closure of Aliso Canyon. Residents have also said they are not being provided with enough information from SoCal Gas in the wake of the leak, including potential health hazards and a realistic timeline for when it can be stopped.

Southern California Gas Co. is in the process of digging relief wells that are expected to allow the company to cap the leak. That process, however, likely will not be completed until February or March.

In the meantime, two schools have been relocated. More than 1,000 students from Porter Ranch will not head back to school on Monday, as is planned for the majority of Los Angeles Unified School District.

Students are expected to return to school on Tuesday at different campuses.

Lawmakers hope their efforts will address fears and get life back to normal for Porter Ranch residents.

"It is our intent in the legislature to address these concerns to find solutions so we build our more sustainable energy grid in the safest way possible," Sen. Bob Huff said.

SoCalGas did not comment on what a moratorium would do for its operations and added it's focused on capping the leaking well.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

Milford Woman Killed in Weekend Crash


A Milford woman was killed in a crash in town on Saturday, according to police.

Police said Sandra MacDonald, 60, of Milford, was driving southbound on Buckingham Avenue, near Old Field Lane, when she crossed over the double yellow lines and hit the guardrail on the northbound side of the road, then went southbound in the northbound lane and hit another vehicle.

Both drivers were taken to the hospital to be evaluated and MacDonald was pronounced dead.

The other driver is in stable condition, police said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Arrest Second Suspect in Theft of Naugatuck Cemetery Gates


Naugatuck police have arrested a second suspect in the theft of a $5,000 gate from a cemetery in July.

Brian Fuda, 42, of Danbury, is accused of stealing a copper gate from the front of Grove Cemetery on July 18 and selling it to a scrap metal company.

He has been charged with third-degree larcenty and conspiracy to commit third-degree larceny.

Fuda turned himself in to police around 10:30 a.m. on Friday and was released on a $5,000 non-surety bond. He is due in court on Jan. 20. 

Police previously arrested Ryan McCarthy, 39, in connection with two thefts. 

McCarthy is accused of stealing a copper gate worth $2,500 from the front entrance around June 9, then coming back on July 18 and taking another.

He was charged with third-degree larceny, first-degree criminal mischief and third-degree criminal trespass. McCarthy was released from police custody and is due in court today.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Victim of Bridgeport Shooting in Critical Condition


The victim of a shooting in Bridgeport on Monday morning is in critical, but stable, condition and police said the shooting that prompted three schools to go into “lock-in, lock-out” mode.

Seven to eight gunshots were fired at Columbia Street and Ridge Avenue, in Marina Village, and police started chasing someone seen with a gun, police said.

Police identified the victim as Juquaahn Matthews, 20, and said he was shot in stomach and ankle. 

Matthews was transported to St. Vincent's Medical Center and the shooter remains at large, but Matthews is cooperating with police, who are developing leads.

A "lock-in, lock-out" was put into place at the Roosevelt School, located at 680 Park Ave., Bridgeport Military Academy, located at 160 Iranistan Ave., and Charter Oak, according to an email from police.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Amazon to Stream Obama's Final State of the Union Address


The 2008 presidential campaign of Barack Obama was not only historical because he was first African American to be elected president, but Obama was also the first presidential candidate to effectively use social media as a major campaign strategy.

Obama has continued to use social media and new technology platforms to communicate with the American people. Earlier Monday, the White House launched its official Snapchat account to provide a "behind-the-scenes glimpse of the administration." The first post published on the video messaging app featured a bowl of apples set in the Oval Office.

It's a strategy that White House Chief Digital Officer Jason Goldman calls "meeting people where they are." And after last night's big win at the Golden Globe awards, where they are seems to be is on Amazon.

"For the first time, this year SOTU will be available to stream on-demand on Amazon Video," Goldman wrote on the White House blog.

Beginning Wednesday, the speech, along with his previous seven State of the Union addresses, will be made available on Amazon Video and accessible across all devices.

For Obama's last State of the Union, the White House Office of Digital Strategy is pushing the president's address on as many platforms as possible. Besides airing live various television networks, the White House will provide livestreams on its official YouTube channel — as it has done since 2008 — and on whitehouse.gov. 

"And as in past years, you’ll be able to watch video excerpts released in real-time on Facebook and Twitter. From live GIFs on Tumblr to 6-second videos on Vine and photos on Instagram, we’ll build on previous efforts to connect with users across a range of social media sites and make the experience of the speech appropriate to each platform," Goldman wrote.

The White House first broadcasted the president's annual addresses on the internet during George W. Bush's adminstration in 2002, and began live streaming an "enhanced" version of the speech in 2011, during Obama's first term, Goldman wrote in the blog.

The White House has said that Obama will talk about the economy, climate change, healthcare reform and foreign policy in the final speech of his two terms as president, NBC News reported.

Photo Credit: ap
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