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Rubio Mocks Trump's Tweets During Dallas Rally


Marco Rubio repeatedly mocked Donald Trump Friday morning in Dallas, at one point ridiculing him over misspelled tweets and joking that the billionaire businessman may have "wet his pants" over his debate performance.

"What will the conservative movement be like if the front runner now, Donald Trump is put in charge of the conservative movement?" Rubio asked an audience of supporters at his Klyde Warren Park rally. "So last night we had a chance to talk about that. It's time to pull his mask off so people can see what we are dealing with here. What we are dealing with her my friends is a con artist."

Rubio paced the stage and echoed the themes of Thursday night's GOP debate.

He questioned Trump's business background, his ability to lead the nation, and called the billionaire businessman a "con artist" who has spent decades "sticking it to the little guy."

"You all have friends that are thinking of voting for Donald Trump. Friends do not let friends vote for con artists," he said.

He also read from a series of Trump insults on Twitter from earlier Friday that were misspelled.

"What does Donald Trump do when things go wrong? He takes to Twitter," Rubio said. "Let's read some. You'll have fun."

Rubio continued: "Number one. Here's the first one. 'Lightweight Marco Rubio was working hard last night.' This is true. 'The problem is he is a chocker. And once a chocker, always a choker.' I guess that's what he meant to say."

"He spelled choker c-h-o-k-e-r. Chocker," Rubio said, himself misspelling the word.

Rubio went on to accuse Trump of having a meltdown backstage during commercial breaks.

"First he had this little makeup thing applying makeup to his mustache because he had one of those sweat mustaches," Rubio said. "Then he asked for a full-length mirror. I don't know why because the podium goes up to here. He wanted a full length mirror -- maybe to make sure his pants were't wet. I don't know."

Rubio also mocked Trump for misspelling "lightweight" and "honor" in other post-debate tweets.

Trump fired back Friday during a press conference where he announced the New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's endorsement that Rubio was the one who was using makeup to cover up his sweat.

"I said 'easy with the makeup. You don't need that much,'" Trump said. "He looked like he just came out of a swimming pool."

The event was scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., but Rubio didn't take the stage until nearly 10 a.m. He asked supporters to get out the vote.

"I'm here to ask you, not just for your vote, I'm asking you to go out and get other people to vote for me. You have four days to change their minds," said Rubio at the end of his nearly 30 minute speech. "And if you do, you will make me president and when I'm president we will do what needs to be done and we will leave for our children what Americans always leave for their children, the single greatest nation in the history of all of man kind. Thank you Dallas."

Meanwhile, his allies are prepared to spend millions on new attack ads in key states, promising an aggressive and well-funded takedown effort the morning after the Republican front-runner was knocked on his heels on the debate stage.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

Facebook CEO Slams 'Malicious' Workers for Defacing Black Lives Matter Message


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is calling the behavior of whoever scratched out a "Black Lives Matter” messages on the company’s famous no-rules signature wall “disrespectful” and “malicious.”

And he said he is investigating.

In a private memo first obtained by Gizmodo, Zuckerberg reprimanded his Menlo Park, California-based employees for scratching out a supportive “Black Lives Matter” post on the communal graffiti wall inside headquarters and writing “All Lives Matter” instead. February is also Black History Month.

“We’ve never had rules around what people can write on our walls,” Zuckerberg wrote Thursday in the post. “We expect everybody to treat each other with respect.”

It’s also pretty clear this is not the first time this has happened, as Zuckerberg noted “several recent instances” of the behavior.

“I was already very disappointed by this disrespectful behavior before, but after my communication I now consider this as malicious as well,” he wrote.

He said the Black Lives Matter movement doesn’t negate people of other ethnicities, rather it addresses the historic and specific issues of racism against black people in the United States.

While many people on social media cheered that Zuckerberg took his employees to task, others noted disapprovingly that Facebook's staff is only 2 percent black.

The company, meanwhile, has long planned a celebration Friday for Black History Month, where 225 African-American students from San Francisco, Oakland and the Peninsula will visit headquarters to learn about careers in computer science and engineering.

In addition, Zuckerberg wrote that he scheduled a Black Town Hall meeting on March 4, which will be on the origins and symbolism of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Photo Credit: AP

Police Charge 5 Teens in West Hartford Armed Robbery


Five teens accused of holding a person up at gunpoint in Corbin's Corner in West Hartford and stealing a cell phone on Thursday night have been arrested and police said they are suspected of a similar robbery in Farmington as well.

West Hartford police responded to the parking lot of the Verizon Wireless store at 1479 New Britain Avenue, a popular shopping center with several restaurants as well as shops, just after 9:30 p.m. to investigate an armed robbery.

The victim said he was in his vehicle waiting to pick up his friend, a Verizon employee, with the employee's infant in his car, Lt. Stoneburner said. The victim said he was playing with his new iPhone when a man with gun approached him and demanded money and his cellular phone.

The victim said he gave the robber his iPhone and obtained a partial license plate -- 7757.

A similar robbery was reported in Farmington soon after and police found a vehicle with the license plate GO7757. They followed it into West Hartford and stopped the vehicle on South Main Street.

The car was stolen, according to police, and they found items stolen during the two robberies and two hand guns inside of it.

Officers took five suspects into custody, including two adults and three juveniles.

Police charged Samuel Lopez, 18, of Waterbury, with first-degree robbery and conspiracy, first-degree larceny, second-degree larceny and conspiracy, two counts of weapons in a motor vehicle, theft of a firearm, altering a serial number of a firearm, engaging in pursuit, reckless driving and misuse of plates.

Trevon Henderson, 19, of Waterbury, was charged with first-degree robbery and conspiracy, first-degree larceny, second-degree larceny and conspiracy, two counts of weapons in a motor vehicle, theft of a firearm and altering a serial number of a firearm.

Bond for Lopez was set at $500,00, while bond for Henderson was set at $275,000.

A public defender was appointed for both defendants and they are due back in court on March 15.

The juveniles were charged and turned over to juvenile court.

Farmington police will be filing charges as well in connection with an armed robbery at the Cumberland Farms at 352 Scott Swamp Road at 9:48 p.m. on Thursday.

Police said one of the men robbed a woman at gunpoint as she was pumping gas.

Police found the a car with a matching description in the lot at the Exxon station at 6 Colt Highway,  but the driver fled and was stopped in West Hartford.

Farmington police ask anyone with information about the case to call (860) 675-2400

Photo Credit: West Hartford Police

Police Investigating After Finding Car With Bullet Holes in Meriden


Meriden police are investigating after finding an unoccupied running car with several bullet holes on Thursday night and they are trying to determine whether anyone was shot.

Police responded to Sherman Avenue at Center Street in Meriden at 6:15 p.m. after receiving an anonymous report of gun shots and they found an unoccupied blue Chrysler running in front of 17 Sherman Avenue.

No one was inside it and there were several bullet holes in the front and rear doors of the left side.
Police said it’s possible that a man who was in the car might have been shot, but they could not confirm if that was accurate.

Police found shell casings nearby, impounded the car and are investigating.

Man Charged in Sexual Assault of Juvenile in Hartford


Hartford police have arrested a man suspected of sexually assaulting a juvenile in Hartford.

Two warrants were issued for Donald Bryan, 53, of Hartford, charging him with first-degree sexual assault, first-degree sexual assault with a firearm, third-degree sexual assault and risk of injury.

Police said they were searching for him and took him into custody on Thursday.

Bond was set at $1 million.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police

Man Accused of Hitting Pedestrian in New Haven Charged


New Haven police have arrested a 36-year-old New Haven man who is accused of hitting a 26-year-old Milford woman on Foxon Boulevard around 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 6.

Police said James E. Smith II, of New Haven, hit Meghan Perry as she was crossing Foxon Boulevard and the impact threw her into the air.

An off-duty firefighter who witnessed the crash rushed to help her and an ambulance then rushed Perry to the hospital. 

Witnesses told police that Smith had a red light and that cars in the other two northbound lanes had come to a stop, but Smith did not.

When Perry spoke to investigators, she said she was always cautious when she made her trips to the 7-Eleven for cigarettes and her friend recalled waiting for the cars to stop before they stepped from the curb into the marked crosswalk. Police said Smith swerved to avoid the women, but hit Perry, according to police.

Smith, who does not have a driver's license,  remained at the scene and cooperated with officers, police said. The car he was driving was unregistered, uninsured and had a misused marker plate.

He was charged with failure of operator to exercise reasonable care when near vulnerable user of a public way, operating an unregistered motor vehicle, misuse of a marker plate, operating a motor vehicle without insurance, operating a motor vehicle without a license and failure to obey a traffic control signal.

Perry is continuing to recover, police said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com and New haven Police

Man Fired Gun at Pizza Delivery Driver in Hamden


Hamden police are searching for the man who fired a gunshot at a pizza delivery driver around 8:30 p.m. on Thursday and demanded money.

The employee of Pizza Heaven said he was making a pizza delivery to a home in the 100 block of Goodrich Street around 8:30 p.m. and was walking to his vehicle when a man dressed in dark clothing and a ski mask pointed a gun at him, demanded money and fired a gunshot.

A Hamden Police K-9 was brought in, but could not find the robber.

Police ask anyone with information to call Detective Donald Remillard of the Hamden Police Department Major Crimes Division at (203) 230-4040.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Pointed Gun During Attempted Robbery in Shelton: Police


Shelton police have arrested a man accused of holding up a gas station at gunpoint on Friday morning and running off without cash when customers arrived.

Police responded to the Buck Stop Citgo, at 429 Shelton Ave., at 7:30 a.m. on Friday to investigate what was reported as an armed robbery and they have arrested Joshua Zarembski, 24, of Shelton.

The store owner said a man, later identified as Zarembski, entered his store, pointed a gun at him and demanded money.

As police investigated, they developed more information, including that the robber was wearing a Yankees sweatshirt and white gloves and pointed a black semi-automatic pistol at the owner, chambered a round and demanded money, police said.

When customers walked into the store, the armed man ran off without getting any money, police said.

The owner of the store called 911 while watching the man run toward the Aspetuck Village Condominiums, which are across the street.

Police checked that out and found Zarembski, who matched the robber’s description. He was smoking a cigarette on the porch of 119 Hunters Creek in Aspetuck Village and police said they found the gun used during the robbery. It had been stolen, they said.

Zarembski was charged with criminal attempt robbery, criminal possession of a firearm, theft of a firearm and carrying a pistol without a permit.

He was held on a $250,000 bond and is scheduled to be arraigned in Derby Superior Court.

Photo Credit: Shelton Police

Lawmaker Urges Casino Study as Tribes Launch Ad Campaign


Friday was the tale of two messages so far as a third casino is concerned in Connecticut.

On the same day Rep. Chris Perone urged for further study of the prospect of a third casino in Connecticut, the two tribes pushing for that facility started an ad campaign meant to focus on jobs, what they believe is at the crux of the issue.

Perone, a Democrat from Norwalk who chairs the Commerce Committee in the General Assembly says he thinks there should be an independent review that looks at all facets of a third casino that would include economic impact.

"Let’s do the research" Rep. Perone said. "Let’s understand what we’re going to be voting on next year, if it going to happen next year, and do it right.”

The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribes released an online ad meant to shine a light on what the stakes are if the state doesn't approve a third facility.

The ad highlights a study commissioned by the tribes that concluded that 9,000 direct and indirect jobs around Connecticut hang in the balance from the threat of casinos opening in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and upstate New York.

The ad shows different workers with numbers next to their names illustrating the importance of each one.

Lawmakers paved the way last year for a third casino process to begin. The two tribes recently dropped East Windsor from consideration.

Perone doesn't dispute the importance of the casino industry. He argues pause is a good thing considering the General Assembly isn't expected to act on approving a casino this session.

“Nothing is happening in the interim."

5 Adults, 16-Year-Old Arrested in Prostitution Investigation


Five adults and a 16-year-old have been arrested in connection to a Milford prostitution investigation, state police said. 

Jason Prawl, 27, of Bridgeport, Jerome Edison, 44, of Las Vegas, Nevada, and the 16-year-old are accused of promoting prostitution while Erica M. Calloway, 20, of Las Vegas, Destiny McCabe, 19, of Stratford, and Sheena Wheeler, 30, of Bridgeport are charged with prostitution.

Police said they made arrests on Feb. 24 and 25. The Connecticut's Organized Crime Investigation Task Force and Missing Persons Unit joined Homeland Security Investigations and Milford police to target human trafficking in the form of underage prostitution. 

All suspects are expected to appear in Milford Superior Court.

It was not clear if they had attorneys. 

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

CDC Confirms Nine US Pregnancies With Zika


Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported nine confirmed cases of Zika in pregnant women in the U.S., NBC News reports.

According to the CDC, all nine women reported some of the commonly observed symptoms of the virus. Four pregnancies ended in miscarriage or abortion, one baby was born with severe brain defects and two women are still pregnant with apparently healthy babies.

The CDC is also investigating 10 more suspected cases.

"We did not expect to see these brain abnormalities in this small case series of U.S. pregnant travelers," Dr. Denise Jamieson, who is assisting the CDC, told reporters. "It is unexpected and greater than what we would have expected."  

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Woman Busted for Selling Drugs at Elderly Complex: PD


A Southington woman is being accused of selling drugs at an elderly housing complex, police said.

Barbara Nolan, 53, faces charges for three counts of controlled substances sales and one count of narcotic sales, according to Southington Police. 

In November, Nolan was allegedly selling drugs at a housing complex with a general population of residents over the age of 62 years old and individuals with documented disabilities, according to police. 

Residents expressed concerns about suspicious activity happening at Nolan's apartment during a Community Policing meeting.

Based on information stemming from the meeting, police were able to execute three controlled purchases of prescription pills from Nolan.

Nolan was held on a $225,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Bristol Court on Feb. 26.

It was not immediately clear if she had an attorney. 

Photo Credit: Southington Police Department

IRS Cyberattack Wider Than Previously Disclosed


More taxpayer accounts may have been affected by a cyberattack than previously disclosed, NBC News reports.

The Internal Revenue Service said Friday that 700,000 households' tax data may have been compromised, which is approximately 390,000 more than initially reported. According to experts, the stolen accounts may cause an increase in false tax returns.

The agency said it will send mailings to affected taxpayers beginning Feb. 29.

"The IRS is committed to protecting taxpayers on multiple fronts against tax-related identity theft, and these mailings are part of that effort," IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

New Idea for I-84 in Hartford as Malloy Pushes Lockbox


Construction workers, engineers, and materials workers crowded the Legislative Office Building Friday as they pushed for a constitutional amendment to protect funds for transportation projects.

The issue has been a cornerstone of Gov. Dannel Malloy's second term as he's pressed for a 30 year, $100 billion overhaul of the state's infrastructure.

Malloy renewed that push Friday as an economic development issue that he says has been used against the state in the past.

“We are not winning our fair share of jobs coming out of New York and coming out of other places, in large part because I talk to these folks, in large part because they don’t think we have the will to address our transportation woes.”

During a December Special Session of the General Assembly, lawmakers came close to securing the question for voters on the November 2016 statewide ballot, but fell several votes short. Malloy and the transportation building sector want to see urgency in the state capitol.

Lawmakers approved diverting a half percent of sales tax revenues to transportation projects, but a lockbox was not included.

One of the most pressing projects from a safety standpoint is replacing Interstate 84 through Hartford. The winding road is notorious for its at times dangerous traffic pattern with exits weaving through the middle of the capital city.

The newest proposal from project engineers is to lower the viaduct altogether, creating a road below the ground level, with rebuilt exits, creating a land space above.

“Below grade to relink parts of Hartford, that’s an option that’s still on the table" said Lyle Wray, with the Capital Region Council of Governments, who also supports the lockbox for transportation revenues.

“It also gives fifteen acres of developable land right in the heart of the city so not only getting in and out town easier but there would be more land for building a stronger community that’s better linked to the north and south sides of the city so it’s a huge opportunity for the city.”

One of the best reasons, Wray argues, to build with such a plan is to reconnect parts of the state that are split as a result of the traffic pattern.

“This has been a sort of gash right across the heart of the city and this can get fixed in the reconstruction and this would be a critical objective.”

The project could cost as much as $6 billion. Since it wouldn't be a tunnel, it would have a much cheaper construction cost. A complete underground tunnel could cost as much as $12 billion according to engineers.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

National Junior Skiing Competition Underway


Five teams from across the country came together today to start the Junior National Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined Skiing competition after rain kept the athletes inside the past few days. But the unusual winter weather was nothing new for competitors representing Team Alaska.

"We've been training really hard all winter despite our lack of snow in Anchorage,” said Hugo Compton from Team Alaska. “But it's been paying off we've been we've definitely shown our presence here at this competition"

The unique sporting event is extremely popular in Europe, but not as common here in the U.S.

Gary Crawford, the director of sport development for USA Nordic Sports explained, "For over here it's a little bit different it's unique it's not mainstream and these kids in this whole country we have less than 800 ski jumpers in the whole country"

With so few skiers, it's a very tight knit community among the athletes.

"All the kids know each other from all over the country and their good friends but they're pretty fierce competitors when they get on the course and on the jumps," said Crawford.

But give it a few years, and these skiers could be competing together for Team USA.

"Maybe not this next Olympics in 2018 but certainly in '22 some of these kids will be skiing in the Olympics."

But for now, Hugo Compton is just focusing on bringing home the Gold for Team Alaska.

"We hope to one day have Team Alaska sweep the podium that's our long term goal it would be an amazing thing."

Expect plenty of sunshine no matter where you are in new england this weekend.

In southern New England, temperatures will be unseasonably cool in the upper 30's on Saturday but by Sunday, they'll climb into the 50s. It will be a bit cooler of course in northern New England with highs in the low 30's on Saturday and low 40's on Sunday.

If you don't feel like hitting the slopes this weekend you can check out the skiers tomorrow in Salisbury as they finish the jumping portion of the competition.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

New Haven Teen Alerts Firefighters About Apartment Building on Fire


As a student at Hillhouse High School in New Haven, junior Taylor Perry has taken courses on Community Emergency Response.

Thursday night, the 16-year-old notified first responders, as an emergency unfolded before her eyes.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say a hero, just a citizen that felt the need to help out others,” Perry told NBC Connecticut.

Perry was playing with her siblings in the parking lot of John Martinez Elementary School after a basketball came when she spotted flames coming from the third floor of an apartment building across the street.

“I automatically called 911,” she said.

As New Haven firefighters rushed to the scene, Perry said she helped bang on doors and windows to alert everyone, including children, inside the burning building.

“I kind of didn’t want to leave until I knew everyone was out of the house and I actually did my part,” Perry said.

Everyone made it out safely and it took firefighters about 45 minutes to put out the fire, Assistant Fire Chief Matt Marcarelli said.

The fire appears to have started by children playing with matches, Marcarelli added.

The American Red Cross is assisting four families displaced for a second night after the fire at 127 James Street.

“You should always stop and help others and doing something better for your community,” Perry said, “and that if it’s always an emergency, the first thing you should always do is call 911.”

Perry said she hopes to intern with the New Haven Fire Department and her goal is to one day become a registered nurse.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

'Super Lice' Make Their Way Into Connecticut


What researchers are referring to as “Super Lice” have been found in at least 25 states, including in Connecticut.

Researchers studying head lice have determined some lice are becoming immune to the chemicals in most over-the-counter drugs designed to treat them.

Liz Solovay, founder of The Lice Treatment Center, lice is now an issue for people of every age, not just school children, because of super lice.

“We treat more college students, more seniors than ever before. All ages get lice now,” she said.
The efficacy rate of over-the-counter drugs has decreased dramatically as lice have evolved, Solovay said.

She sells her own line of natural, nontoxic preventive and treatment products at the Lice Treatment Center, which sees thousands of clients each year.

To prevent coming down with a case of super lice, Solovay recommends:

  • Check hair for lice weekly, regardless of age.
  • Never share hats, combs or anything that comes into regular contact with the hair.
  • Treat hair with preventive products
  • If you have lice, tell the people you are around so they can take precautions.
  • Children should take their own pillow and head cover with them when sleeping over at someone else’s home.

Learn more at the Lice Treatment Center.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

New Britain Thrift Shop Going Out of Business


Going out of business is the Hospital for Special Care Auxiliary Thrift Shop in New Britain, though volunteers working in the store this morning admit they haven't been trying to run it as a business.

"We might not give money to the hospital for the patients up there but the way I look at it these are patients as well," said Grace Bonola. "They need help."

She was talking about the people who come in off the street, into the shop on West Main Street. It can't pay its bills.

Parking is limited and there hasn't been anywhere near the volume the volunteers expected when they moved from a location on Arch Street three years ago.

But they've done their best for what customers they've had.

"If they come in and have a little bit of heartache," said Bonola, "we'll listen to their story and sometimes we'll direct them to where they need to go for help."

"A guy came in this Monday and I had a pair of boots and I think they were twelve dollars. He had nine dollars on him. I gave him the boots! For nine dollars," said Mack Babin, a volunteer.

To save the New Britain thrift shop there's a GoFundMe page.

It was set up by one of the shop's next door neighbors, Teresa Martinez.

"This is the inner city, a lot of people can't afford to buy expensive clothes and next door they offer really nice things at affordable prices for the people of New Britain," she said.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Man Charged in Crash That Killed 2 Children in Bristol


Police have charged a Southington man in the crash that killed two young children in Bristol in December and said he was drunk and speeding at the time of the crash.

Michael Luponio, 26, has been charged in the December 13 crash that killed Veronica Martinez, 7, and her sister, Ivette Martinez, 4, both of Meriden.

Luponio’s blood alcohol level was .24 percent, according to police, or three times the legal limit. Authorities said he was also speeding and did not have motor vehicle insurance.

Veronica and Ivette Martinez were in the car with their mother, Kayla Torres, a 31-year-old nurse, who was driving home after a late shift at work when Luponio crossed over the center line of Middle Street just after 12:30 a.m. and hit Torres' car, according to police and family members.

The girls were pronounced dead shortly after being admitted to Bristol Hospital.

Luponio was arrested on a warrant at 10:30 a.m. on Friday and has been charged with two counts of second-degree manslaughter with a motor vehicle, three counts of second-degree assault with a motor vehicle, operating under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving and having no insurance.

He was was arraigned in Bristol Superior Court 17 and did not say anything. Bail remains at $500,000. 

Photo Credit: Bristol Police

Ex-Girlfriend Charged With Giving Guns to Kansas Shooter


A Kansas woman was charged Friday with giving guns to the felon who shot up a Kansas plant, federal prosecutors said.

Sarah T. Hopkins, 28, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of transferring the AK-47-style semi-automatic rifle and a Glock 40-caliber handgun to ex-boyfriend Cedric Ford, 38, NBC News reports.

Ford killed three people and wounded 14 Thursday at Excel Industries in Hesston, where he was killed as well.

Prosecutors said Hopkins knew Ford was a convicted felon and was not allowed to have the firearms. Court records show that Ford was a felon who previously lived in Miami and was on probation with a series of convictions in Florida, including burglary in 2000.

Photo Credit: Facebook, BSO
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