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Some Colleges Cancel Evening Classes Due to Snow


Some colleges are cancelling evening classes with a forecast of accumulating snow that will change to ice and rain overnight.

UConn is closing at 5:30 p.m., the University of Hartford is closing at 7 p.m., the University of New Haven is cancelling classes after 6 p.m. and the University of Bridgeport has canceled evening classes,

See the full list of school cancelations.

UConn classes that started at 5:30 p.m. or later will be canceled, except for online classes, which will proceed as scheduled.

The University of Hartford is closing at 7 p.m., but said some professors might opt to hold classes or provide assignments online when the campus is closed, so check Blackboard and your email to learn of any alternate arrangements.

The University of New Haven is cancelling all classes starting after 6 p.m. in West Haven and Orange.
Afternoon classes will be held as scheduled, so commuting students should notify their instructors if they feel they cannot drive to campus for afternoon classes.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Americans Split on U.S. Dominance


Despite spending more than $610 billion on national defense, Americans are split down to middle on whether the U.S. remains the leading global military power, according to a new Gallup poll.

In the opinion poll released Monday, 49 percent of Americans said they believe the U.S. is the No. 1 military power in the world — the lowest percentage recorded in 23 years, according to Gallup.

Another 49 percent do not see the U.S. as the world's dominant military force, although the poll found that most Americans — 67 percent of those polled — believe global military dominance is important.

Researchers said waning confidence in the nation’s military power may be a result of worries about international terrorism. It is also an election year, when there has been a lot of discussion about the strength and weaknesses of our military.

In nearly every Republican presidential debate, candidates have made defense a central topic of discussion. Some say we are not taking a leadership role in Iraq and Syria, even though the U.S. is leading a growing coalition against ISIS.

Last February, a similar poll found 59 percent of Americans believed the U.S. was the top military power. The decline is in keeping with a 10-year trend: Gallup polls have found that positive public opinion on the topic has been steadily decreasing.

Additionally, 37 percent said the government is spending too little on "national defense and military purposes," a number that peaked in the early 1980s and has increased since 2015.

Numbers laid out by the non-partisan Peter G. Peterson Foundation show the U.S. spends more on defense than the next seven countries behind it. America spent $610 billion last year, while China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, France, United Kingdom, India and Germany reached $601 billion together.

So the power of suggestion appears to be influencing public opinion in a big way when it comes to the military.

Many San Diegans that spoke with NBC 7 San Diego Monday said they believed the U.S. had the most dominant military in the world. 

San Diego resident Danna Nicholas said she believes the military forces are the best in the world, and need more support from the government. More support would ensure we keep our top position in the world, she said. 

"It does kind of surprise me but its generally in election years I think that people start to focus on where we spend our money and what they want the future to look like," Nicholas said. "So I think maybe people are forward looking and they're thinking that if we continue on a trend of downsizing the military and cutting back on bases and naval stations, we won’t be number one anymore."

Reginald Sidaway, of San Diego, said he believes the U.S. is on top -- at least for now. 

"I think at this time its still number one but I don’t think its going to stay that way," he said.

However, in the coming years, he said he believed countries like North Korea and China may overtake the U.S. because of their ambition.

"You’ve got to remember, most people, me included, have no idea how much [weapons] they have," he said.

When the results are broken down by party lines, self-identified Republicans are found to be overwhelmingly in favor of increased defense spending.

Sixty-six percent of Republicans believe the government spends too little on the military and defense, a sharp contrast to Democrats and Independents — 20 and 27 percent, respectively, according to the poll.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
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Woman Leaves Baby in Toilet: Police


A newborn child was in critical condition after being found abandoned in the restroom of a sandwich shop Monday morning in West Covina, California, police said.

A transient walked into the Subway restaurant at 2540 S. Azusa Avenue about 8:30 a.m., gave birth in the bathroom and left the child in the toilet, according to the West Covina Police Department.

A customer saw blood and alerted the manager, then an employee called 911.

"There's a pregnant lady," a woman in a 911 recording said. "She just gave birth in the restroom and she just walked out."

An umbilical cord led to the toilet, where a baby was found sitting upright, crying and submerged in the toilet with his head above water, police said. Paramedics arrived and took the child to Queen of the Valley Medical Center.

Officers followed a blood trail to the rear of a business, where they found the woman, identified by police as 38-year-old Mary Grace Trinidad. She was arrested and taken to the hospital for medical treatment.

Trinidad was booked on suspicion of attempted murder and child endangerment. She was also wanted on a $30,000 drugs warrant, police said.

Information on an attorney for Trinidad was not immediately available.

Lydia Olivar, who works at the restaurant next door, said the woman believed to be the baby's mother would sometimes sleep in the alley behind the restaurant.

"She always asks for food, even a cup of soup or a scoop of rice," Olivar said.

According to the Safe Surrender law, parents can drop off their newborn at any hospital or fire station confidentially within 72 hours without fear of prosecution.

More information on the Safe Surrender law can be found at the following sites:



Nyree Arabian contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

Garbage Truck Tumbles Off Ramp


The driver of a garbage truck is in serious condition after driving off an exit ramp on Interstate 95 in Miami-Dade on Monday and tumbling more than 100 feet to a parking lot below.

The incident happened in the southbound lanes near Southwest 7th Street, Miami Fire Rescue officials said.

Officials said the solid waste truck ripped through 50 feet of guardrail, drove off the ramp and fell more than 100 feet to a parking lot next to Jose Marti Park.

"It sounded like an explosion almost. We didn't know what it really was," explained one witness, who was at the park. "Everyone turns and no one said anything while it happened. No one screams, we were just all staring."

The truck split in two, slamming into three other vehicles, just feet away from the basketball courts, pool and community center. The crash caused some structure damage to the park, officials said.

The driver, Kaseem Smith, was ejected from the vehicle and taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital in serious condition. His co-workers, family and friends showed up after the crash.

Officials said the ramp could be closed for days while the damage is repaired.

The cause of the crash was unknown. The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the incident.

"You never know. Maybe he lost control of the vehicle, had a heart attack, maybe he was hit by another vehicle. We don't know yet," FHP said.

Photo Credit: Miami Police

Man Burned While Working on Boiler in Enfield


A technician who was working on a boiler at housing for the elderly in Enfield has been taken to the hospital after the boiler exploded and burned his face.

Police said the man was burned while working on a boiler at 22 Enfield Terrace at 9:50 a.m. and there was some type of pressure release.

He was taken to St. Francis Hospital for treatment and the injuries are not life-threatening.

OSHA will be investigating.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Group to Tackle Opiate Abuse Problem in Connecticut


There's a fresh effort in Connecticut to use millions in federal funds, and policy ideas on the state level to address what officials describe as a crisis when it comes to opiate and substance abuse.

The issues are related to heroin and prescription drugs that contain opiates.

“This is like a hurricane or some other natural disaster that has to be addressed before it increasingly takes a toll in life" said Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

Sen. Blumenthal helped to organize the group that will meet on Tuesday, that includes President Barack Obama's National Director of Drug Control Policy, Michael Botticelli.

“This crime is not victimless. We’re not going to arrest our way out of the heroin addiction disease but it has to be a crack down on the dealers and suppliers who are profiteering at the expense of our young people,” Blumenthal said.

One of those victims was Lance Supersad, who's been in recovery for two years after he fought with heroin, marijuana, and eventually cocaine, all before the age of 18.

“I feel like it’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever done, getting into recovery," said Supersad.

Now he's working to become an addiction coach to help those reach the same point in life.

Supersad says awareness is key for people to understand the seriousness of opiate abuse.

“I want to put a face on it, of recovery because addiction is real and it’s a disease that’s killing people slowly, and I just want people to know,” he said.

Law enforcement say recent state policies have changed the way they deal with those suffering from addiction. Waterford Police Chief Brett Mahoney said in many cases they won't even make arrests.

“If someone is calling in an overdose, we go there and deal with them but we don’t necessarily arrest. If they call for help, it’s now state law that we don’t make an arrest.”

Federal funds will be on the way in coming months to fight opiate abuse and it will be provided to rehabilitation centers, outreach and marketing efforts, and for law enforcement.

Photo Credit: File--Getty Images

Enfield to Decide on Future of Enrico Fermi High


Enfield residents will get two chances this month to voice their opinions on the future of Enrico Fermi High School.

After this school year, Fermi will close and students there will merge with students at Enfield High School.

A public meeting will be held at Henry Barnard School on Wednesday as well as a second meeting on February 24th, both at 7 p.m.

The high school is located on North Maple Street and has existed since the 1960’s.

The merger next fall is part of the town’s school consolidation plan.

Superintendent of Enfield Public Schools, Jeffrey Schumann, told NBC Connecticut the decision is ultimately up to the board.

“The board of education will make a final decision on March 8, whether or not they will continue to use the Fermi High School building. Regardless of their decision, Enfield High School will use the Fermi athletic facility for Enfield High School’s athletic programs,” Schumann said.

Residents shared their ideas of what they would like to see in placed of the building.

“Anything which could generate you know traffic that goes into the town, the town can make money that is good for anyone,” Syed Hashmi said.

“Maybe make it a branch of Asnuntuck and expand the college,” Jim Verdina said.

“A middle school would be real good because we only have one middle school in the town of Enfield and there’s a lot of kids coming that are going to need somewhere to go and there’s just nowhere else to go right now,” Donna Trowbridge said.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Police Search for Woman Accused of Setting Boyfriend on Fire


New Haven police are searching for a woman who is accused of setting her boyfriend on fire and causing extensive injuries.

Medics were responding to a home on Blatchley Avenue on Thursday to investigate a domestic dispute when the call was updated to an assault by burning, police said.

When crews arrived at the home, they found the victim, screaming in pain. He sustained burns to about 40 percent of his body, including his face, arms and torso, and some of his skin had burned off.

He told police that his girlfriend, Mayra Crespo, 46, of New Haven, had thrown alcohol on him and lit him on fire inside their apartment, police said.

The man was rushed to Yale–New Haven Hospital and he remains in critical condition at the Connecticut Burn Center at Bridgeport Hospital.

Police are searching for Crespo, who is wanted for first-degree arson, assault in the first degree, reckless endangerment in the first degree, second-degree breach of peace and violation of a protective order.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Ex-Treasurer Stole $20K from Youth Basketball League: Police


The former treasurer of the North Branford Youth Basketball League is accused of stealing $20,000 from the organization.

Board members of the North Branford Youth Basketball League reached out to police in November 2014 about possible finance improprieties by the treasurer at the time, Donna Ricci, and said she refused to provide financial records that she controlled, according to police.

After obtaining search warrants, police went through thousands of pages of financial documents and obtained an arrest warrant charging Ricci with one count of first-degree larceny.

She turned herself in at the North Branford Police Department on Monday and was released on a $10,000 surety bond.

Ricci is scheduled to appear at GA 23 in New Haven on Feb. 25.

Photo Credit: North Branford Police

Lynch 'Most Likely' to Replace Scalia: Analyst


According to a leading Supreme Court expert, Attorney General Loretta Lynch is the "most likely candidate" to fill the seat of the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, NBC News reported. 

Tom Goldstein, who runs the influential SCOTUSblog, had earlier predicted Ninth Circuit Judge Paul Watford would make the top of President Obama's shortlist. But in a revised blog post, Goldstein said he now believes Lynch will be the nominee. 

"The fact that Lynch was vetted so recently for attorney general also makes it practical for the president to nominate her in relatively short order," Goldstein wrote. 

Lynch would be the first black woman ever nominated to the nation's highest court but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already made it clear that he believes next president should be responsible for appointing a justice.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Dozens of Tenants Without Heat in Rocky Hill Apartments


With an icicle hanging from her bathroom faucet, Amanda Nelson Reid has been trying to get Century Hills Apartments in Rocky Hill to give her running water again all weekend.

"This is not the first year something like this happened," she said. "There's many frozen pipes last year. This year now we have frozen pipes and it's not immediately attended to."

There's no heat in her bathroom. The toilet has ice in it too. Other tenants are even more in the cold.

"Can't flush toilets, can't go to the bathroom, there are no rooms in the building to go to the bathroom, so kinda forced to hold it," Steve Corma said.

The woman who answered the phone in the Century Hills office said every contractor is on the job but it's Mother Nature. It's the cold, she said.

One tenant says she spent the holiday weekend in bed trying to get warm.

"You can't walk across the carpets. The bathroom, forget it, frozen solid ," said Gail Peck. "Toothpaste froze."

"I'm just hoping that they get the heat back up and going and the showers," said Jerry Baxter, after three days without a shower.

Baxter bought a portable heater. Others say they'll be moving out as soon as possible.

Photo Credit: Amanda Nelson

Trump Maintains National Lead Heading Into S.C.


With contests in two states completed, the most recent NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll found that 56 percent of Republican voters now believe that Donald Trump will be the eventual nominee. That was up from 42 percent a week ago. 

This week's tracking poll found Marco Rubio dropping 3 percentage points and John Kasich rising 4 points to a two-month high of 7 percent support.

In the New Hampshire primary, which took place during the period the poll was being conducted, Kasich finished in second place behind Donald Trump, Ted Cruz came in third, and Rubio finished in fifth.

Although Trump maintains his lead nationally with 38 percent support, he will face a different test among a more evangelical and conservative electorate in South Carolina on Feb. 20.

The NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking poll is conducted online among 13,139 adults, including 11,417 who say they are registered voters. The results have an error estimate of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.

Photo Credit: AP

Missing College Pitcher Found Dead


A New York community college baseball player who vanished after leaving a party has been found dead, NBC News reported. 

Alex Hendry, a 19-year-old freshman at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, was last seen leaving an off-campus party early Sunday, according to a statement from the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office.

His roommate reported him missing Sunday afternoon. Hendry's body was found near the college's baseball and softball diamonds, officials said on Monday.

"The thoughts and prayers of our entire campus community are with Hendry's family and friends," the college said in a statement, adding it was "deeply saddened" to confirm the student's death.

Photo Credit: Onondaga Community College

Truck Crash Closed I-95 North for 7 Hours


Interstate 95 North was closed for around seven hours on the West Haven-New Haven line since 3:15 a.m. on Tuesday.

Two lanes reopened around 10 a.m.

State police said a tractor-trailer carrying orange juice jackknifed around 3:15 a.m. between exits 45 and 46 and all lanes closed.

There was also a fuel leak and a light pole was knocked down.


Crews from Consumer Protection, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and Department of Transportation were called.

No injuries were reported.

The accident was fully cleared just after 5 p.m.

Follow Heidi Voight on Twitter for updates.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

12-Car Pileup in Trumbull


Police are closing the exit 7 ramp from Route 25 North in Trumbull after a 12-car crash.

State police said the crash is on the ramp to the Merritt Parkway Southbound and White Plains Road.

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

High-Fat Diet Linked to Memory Loss


Researchers have found even more proof that you are what you eat.

A group at the University of Texas at Dallas School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences found a link between chronic high-fat diets and memory loss.

"Diet really does have a significant impact on your brain, and it degrades brain function," said Dr. Tres Thompson, an associate professor of Neuronal Mechanisms of Memory and Aging at UTD. "What it looks like we're doing with a high-fat diet is aging the brain prematurely."

Thompson, along with neuroscience doctoral student Erica Underwood, tested their theory on rats. The control groups were fed a diet consisting of 14 percent fat, 64.8 percent carbohydrate, and 21.2 percent rat chow, according to the study. High-fat diet groups were fed 58 percent fat, 25.5 percent carbohydrate, and 16.4 percent protein rat chow.

Researchers said the animals' cognitive decline started soon after they began consuming a high-fat diet.

"What we see after the high-fat diet is impairment of that spatial memory," Underwood explained.

They believe the same thing happens in humans and said the implications for children are huge.

"The concern is not only for their long-term health — increased risk of heart disease and all sorts of other complications — it's a risk to their long-term mental faculty," said Thompson. "If they're already having trouble in school, as a child, that has long-term consequences."

The research suggests memory loss can be reversed with an improved diet

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

Firefighters Battle Fire in Cornwall

Convicted Bank Scammer Found Dead


The search for a missing Loudoun County, Virginia, man who was once convicted of scamming banks out of millions of dollars has turned into a Maryland murder investigation.

Osama El-Atari's body was found Saturday afternoon in a pickup truck in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. He had been shot.

The 37-year-old's family reported him missing last week.

A former restaurant owner, El-Atari was convicted in 2010 for scamming banks out of more than $53 million. He presented fake life insurance policies claiming cash values in the millions as collateral for loans from banks in Virginia, Ohio, Tennessee and Maryland, according to the U.S. attorney's office. Phony domain names, emails and Federal Express mailings supported his fraudulent claims.

El-Atari flaunted his millions, living a lavish lifestyle, the FBI said. He bought Lamborghinis and Ferraris and a multimillion-dollar home in Ashburn.

He served only four years of his sentence after working as an informant and testifying in two high-profile cases.

Photo Credit: Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office

Clinton Posts 11-Point Tweet Blast on High Court


Democratic Candidate Hillary Clinton took to Twitter Monday to excoriate Republicans who are intending to block President Obama's  Supreme Court appointment. 

The newly available High Court seat was left vacant by the recent passing of Justice Antonin Scalia on Feb. 13.

Clinton said in an 11-point fusillade that Senate Republicans are putting politics over the Constitution by vowing to block the nomination, which she said is a "new low."

"I have news for Republicans who would put politics over the Constitution: Refusing to do your duty isn’t righteous, it's disgraceful," tweeted Clinton.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Bahrain Charges, Releases 4 US Journalists


Independent American journalist Anna Therese Day and three members of her crew were released Tuesday "pending further investigation," two days after they were detained while covering the anniversary of Bahrain's 2011 uprising, NBC News reported.

Bahraini authorities initially said one American had joined "rioters" in attacking police and accused all four of falsely claiming to be tourists. They were charged with "unlawful obstruction of vehicles and attending unlawful gatherings," according to the state-run Bahrain News Agency.

A defense lawyer for the four told The Associated Press the journalists were not under travel restrictions and were heading to the airport to leave Bahrain.

The Committee to Protect Journalists was among those calling for their immediate release.  

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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