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Connecticut GOP Delegates Pick Candidates for U.S. Senate, Congress


Connecticut Republican delegates picked their candidates for U.S. Senate and Congress Monday night.

State Representative Dan Carter wrapped up the convention with 77 percent of the delegates voting for him to face off with Senator Richard Blumenthal in November.

Carter said his experience means he can handle a race against Blumenthal, but with high voter turnout expected in November, conventional wisdom said Carter faces an uphill battle.

"People have reached a point where they're just fed up with the nonsense. So while it's a traditional presidential year, it's a nontraditional election, and I think my voice and my message is going to resonate with a lot of those supporters,” said Carter.

The presidential race also managed to weave itself into Monday night's convention. The question on the minds of many is how Donald Trump will affect the chances for Republicans in Connecticut.

"I would said there are people who vote for or against me, or anybody, based on Trump. There's no question about it," said Carter.

"So much of this election year is going to depend on the race at the top," said Larry Kudlow.

Kudlow is a CNBC commentator and considered a run for U.S. Senate against Blumenthal. He spoke at the convention and said it's time for a change and that Trump can help with that.

"A lot of very smart people in Washington think I'm nuts, that Trump is going to hurt everybody. I don't believe that for a minute. They missed the primary outcome, they're going to miss the general election outcome too," said Kudlow.

For the Congressional seats, U.S. Rep. John Larson will face off against Matthew Corey. U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney will face off against Daria Novak. U.S. Rep. Jim Hines will face off against State Rep. John Shaban. U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro will face off against Angel Cadena, Jr. And U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty will face off against Sherman 1st Selectman Clay Cope.

The Connecticut Democratic Party released this statement following the Connecticut Republican convention:

"Despite Donald Trump's promises to tear families apart by deporting 11 million immigrants, ban an entire religion from entering our country, and punish women for exercising their right to choose, Republican Senate nominee Dan Carter has pledged to support Trump and his bombastic policies and rhetoric. I want to be clear, the Trump-Carter agenda is not just out of touch; it's dangerous.

"Dick Blumenthal has spent the past six years fighting for Connecticut's veterans, communities, and middle class families in the Senate. He is Connecticut's champion, and the Connecticut Democratic Party stands ready to defend his stellar record of public service."

Photo Credit: AP

Driver Hits DOT Truck on I-95 North in Old Lyme


Interstate 95 North has reopened in Old Lyme after a driver hit the back of a Department of Transportation truck and had to be extricated, according to state police and the state Department of Transportation.

Officials from DOT said the driver hit the back of a truck that was patching potholes near exit 71 and no DOT workers were injured. 

The driver had to be extricated and state police said minor injuries are reported. 

All lanes have reopened.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

70 Years After Hiroshima, Obama to Pay Historic Visit


In a moment seven decades in the making, President Barack Obama this month will become the first sitting American president to visit Hiroshima, where the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb during World War II, decimating a city and exploding the world into the Atomic Age. 

Obama will visit the site with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a previously scheduled trip to Japan, the White House announced Tuesday. 

The president intends to "highlight his continued commitment to pursuing the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. 

Obama will not apologize for the bombing, the White House made clear. And Abe said none was expected nor necessary, suggesting the visit itself would send a powerful message. 

"The prime minister of the world's only nation to have suffered atomic attacks, and the leader of the world's only nation to have used the atomic weapons at war will together pay respects for the victims," Abe told reporters late Tuesday. "I believe that would be a way to respond to the victims of the atomic bombings and the survivors who are still in pain."

The president's visit has been widely anticipated since U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's trip to the Hiroshima memorial in April. Kerry toured the peace museum with other foreign ministers of the Group of Seven industrialized nations and participated in an annual memorial service just steps from the site's ground zero. 

Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui praised Obama's plan to visit as a "bold decision based on conscience and rationality," adding that he hopes Obama will have a chance to hear the survivors' stories. He also expressed hope the visit would be "a historic first step toward an international effort toward abolishing nuclear weapons, which is a wish of all mankind." 

The U.S. attack on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, in the final days of World War II, killed 140,000 people. While it scarred a generation of Japanese, many Americans believe the bombing, along with another Aug. 9 on the city of Nagasaki, hastened the end of the war. Japan announced it would surrender on Aug. 15.

Diverging views about an act that forever changed war have made a visit from a sitting U.S. president a delicate and arguably politically risky move. Former President Jimmy Carter did visit, in 1984, three years after he left office. 

It took 65 years for a U.S. ambassador to attend the annual memorial service. In the U.S., officials remain wary that a presidential visit could be perceived as an apology for an act believed to have saved American lives. 

Sunao Tsuboi, 91, a survivor of the bombing and head of a survivors' group in the western Japanese city, praised Obama for his decision. 

"The day has finally come," Tsuboi told Japan's NHK national television." 

"We are not asking for an apology," Tsuboi said. "All we want is to see him lay flowers at the peace park and lower his head in silence. This would be a first step toward abolishing nuclear weapons."

Kevin Martin, president of Peace Action, a U.S.-based group, said Obama should use the visit to announce specific steps to "bring the world closer to being free of nuclear weapons," such as reducing the number of nuclear warheads in reserve. 

"Obama will look insincere if his words espouse ridding the world of nuclear weapons while at the same time his administration continues its plan to spend a trillion dollars over 30 years to upgrade nuclear weapons," Martin said in a statement. 

Early in his presidency, Obama said he would be honored to make the trip, and the White House has said it often considered a visit on previous trips to Asia. It has not explained why a visit there has never come together. 

Asked last week whether the president believes an apology is warranted, Earnest was direct: "No, he does not." 

In a statement posted as the visit was announced, a senior White House official added that the president does not intend to wade into past debates.

"He will not revisit the decision to use the atomic bomb at the end of World War II. Instead, he will offer a forward-looking vision focused on our shared future," deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said. "The United States will be eternally proud of our civilian leaders and the men and women of our armed forces who served in World War II for their sacrifice at a time of maximum peril to our country and our world. Their cause was just, and we owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude."

Obama will be in Japan to attend the Group of 7 economic summit, part of a weeklong Asia tour that will also include a stop in Vietnam.

Photo Credit: AP

Evacuations Underway After Gas Leak in Manchester


Police and firefighters have responded to a gas leak in the area 140 Homestead St. in Manchester and nearby buildings are being evacuated. 

This is in a residential area and the road is closed.

No additional information was immediately available.

Teen Injured When ATV Hits Tree in North Haven


An 18-year-old man suffered life-threatening injuries in an ATV crash in North Haven on Monday evening. 

Police received a 911 call at 5:50 p.m. reporting that a young man appeared to have suffered serious injuries in a crash in the wooded area near Valley Service Road. 

Police said the teen hit a tree and was transported to an area hospital for treatment. 

Police are investigating.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Meeting Planned on Plainville Crematorium


Bailey Funeral Home wants to build a crematorium in the second bay from the left of an industrial building in Plainville and they are hoping for Planning and Zoning Commission approval. 

Last winter it applied to do it in an old factory off Whiting Street, but the woman who lives near it objected and gathered signatures against it. 

The funeral home then switched sites, to another woman's dismay. 

“Now the factory stays empty behind my house," laughed Margaret Olsen. "But the fact of a crematorium itself doesn't bother me." 

Others, however, oppose putting a crematorium anywhere near the air they breathe. 

Kyle Carrillo said she was going to the Tuesday night hearing on the proposal. 

"People have those breast implants, the knee - listen, they don't take that off of the body, they burn it, so all the chemicals are going up in the air, and they're going and they're coming down," she said. 

Daryl Alatsatianos countered that the crematorium was nothing to worry about. 

It's just that people are scared that maybe there'll be a smell or ashes in the air or stuff like that. But I think it's a good idea. It's a very popular thing to be cremated these days," she said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Cruz Declines to Endorse Trump, Won't Rule Out Restarting Bid


Former presidential candidate Ted Cruz declined Tuesday to say whether he would support presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump and suggested he might even re-enter the race if he saw a "viable path to victory," NBC News reported.

Supporter Glenn Beck asked in an interview if Cruz would consider jumping back in the mix if he won Tuesday's contest in Nebraska.

Cruz responded that he assumed that "would not happen."

"The reason we suspended the race last week was that with Indiana's loss I didn't see a viable path to victory," Cruz said. "If that changes, we will certainly respond accordingly."

When asked if he could support Trump, Cruz said voters should not rush to make a decision. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Mom Tries to Surprise Daughter, Snaps Selfie in Wrong Bed


A mother wanted to surprise her college-aged daughter after she traveled to her school to help her move out for the summer, so she snapped a selfie in what she thought was her daughter's bed. 

But when Deeana Pilling, who flew from New York City to Utah last week for the surprise, texted her daughter the photo, she realized she had a mistake. 

"Look where I am! Where are you?" Deeana texted daughter McKenna Pilling, a Utah State University student, after she sent her the selfie.

"Where's that?? I'm in my dorm. Please tell me you're not in someone else's dorm," McKenna texted back.

Her mom then replied: "I am in the wrong dorm omg." 

The dorm and the bed, it turns out, belonged to a friend of McKenna's who lives in the same building, Select/All reported

“She came to surprise me from New York City to help clean out my dorm and apparently walked in the wrong dorm,” McKenna Pilling told Buzzfeed News. “No one was in there so she laid down for five minutes in the wrong bed and decided to send me a picture as a surprise.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified Deanna Pilling's daughter as McKeena Pilling. 

Photo Credit: McKenna Pilling
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Senators Ask Airlines to Stop Charging Bag Fees


Two senators asked several airlines to stop charging baggage fees for the summer.

“We call on airlines to take a smart, common sense step to help thwart this growing problem: stop charging checked bag fees during the coming summer months, the busiest travel season of the year," U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Edward J. Markey wrote to executives at 12 major airlines.

The senators said baggage fees adds 27 percent more carry-on bags on flights, resulting in longer lines and wait times. 

"Without charges for checking their bags, passengers will be far less likely to carry them on, which snarls screening checkpoints and slows the inspection process," the senators wrote.

According to the letter, the senators call the elimination of baggage fees for the summer - the busiest travel time of year - as a "common sense step."

The senators argue that airlines started charging these fees in 2007 because of the peak of fuel prices. However, since that time, fuel prices has plummeted and bag fees have spiked. 

The letter went to executives at American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Allegiant, JetBlue, Alaska Air, Hawaiian Airlines, Virgin America, Sun Country, and Island Air Hawaii.

Rescue Underway of Fallen Hiker at Talcott Mountain


A rescue is underway at Talcott Mountain after a hiker fell, DEEP confirms.

DEEP said they had been dispatched for a male hiker who has fallen at the mountain in Simsbury, the department said. 

LifeStar told NBC Connecticut that they are on their way to pick up one patient from Talcott Mountain. Multiple municipalities are assisting in the rescue, DEEP said. 

There were no other details immediately available. 

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Louis CK to Perform in Connecticut in May


Louis CK has revealed his new Spring comedy tour and the list includes two Connecticut shows. 

The Emmy-nominated comedian will perform at Foxwood's in Mashantucket on May 25 and 26. 

Tickets are available for a maximum of $50 and are limited to four tickets for each purchase. 

Over the weekend, CK, who created the show Louie on FX, announced that there "most likely" won't be anymore episodes of the hit show, according to an interview with the Hollywood Reporter.

This year, CK premiered the new web series "Horace and Pete", which is about two bar owners in Brooklyn. 

See the full tour list here

Photo Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Driver in 2014 Double Fatal Stamford Crash Sentenced


The hit-and-run driver who killed two people in 2014 while driving in Stamford has been sentenced on Tuesday. 

Felicia Burl, 32, of Bridgeport, was sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by another 10 years on special parole, the Stamford Superior Court Clerk office confirms. 

In November 2014, Burl was traveling southbound on Alvord Lane  when she ran a red light and slammed into the passenger side of a 2007 BMW, police said. Her passenger, Henry Nixon, 50, of Stamford, was ejected from Burl's car and died at Stamford Hospital from his injuries.

Anthony Andriulli, 73, the driver of the BMW, was crossing the intersection on West Main Street in the westbound direction when the collision happened and he was seriously injured, police said. His wife, Judith Andriulli, 70, who was in the front passenger seat, died in the hospital on Nov. 8. The couple is from the Cos Cob section of Stamford.

The Nissan Altima driver ran from the car after the crash. Police identified Burl as the missing driver through forensic analysis of the crime scene, police said.

Police charged her with two counts of second-degree manslaughter, second-degree assault and two counts of felony-level evading responsibility, police said.

Photo Credit: Stamford Police Department

Suspect in Meriden Bar Shooting Found in Michigan


A man supsected in a shooting outside a Meriden sports bar on April 10 was taken into custody in the Detroit, Michigan area.

Police responded to the Noiise Sports Bar, at 149 Lewis Avenue in Meriden, at 1:55 a.m. on April 10 after receiving several 911 calls about gunshots and found two men and a woman had been shot.

Police have identified the suspect as Erick Gomez, 24. Meriden police obtained a warrant for him and he is being held in Michigan as a fugitive from justice and awaiting extradition back to Connecticut.

Once he is in Connecticut, he will be charged with three counts of assault in the first degree and other charges, and he will be held on a $1,000,000 bond, police said.

Photo Credit: Meriden Police
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Hazmat Incident Hospitalizes Multiple People in Barkhamstead


Crews are on the scene of a hazmat situation in Barkhamstead after multiple people were transported to the hospital on Tuesday. 

Litchfield County dispatch said crews responded to a call around 1 p.m. from state police about hazardous materials on 47 Lavander Road. DEEP is accompanying Litchfield officials at the home, where people still may be inside. 

DEEP said people became ill from fumes created from a a mixture of household cleaning products. Litchfield County dispatch said the incident involved Pine Sol and bleach. 

Multiple people were transported to the hospital via ambulance but it is unclear how many. 

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Financial Troubles Could Force Torrington School to Close


Dozens of school employees have already been laid off, and now the financial troubles in Torrington could force an elementary school to close. Supporters of the Southwest School packed a Board of Education meeting Monday night in an effort to save it.

Southwest is Torrington’s smallest elementary school, and it’s on the chopping block as the district looks for ways to come up with $3.2 million.

“We have increased costs and less revenue coming it,” Board of Education Chair Fiona Cappabianca said. “It’s the perfect storm.”

Parents say the city’s financial problems should not be falling on their students.

“They’re going to be moved around the district, long bus routes, bigger class sizes,” Jennifer Lopez, a parent with three children in the school said.

Parents and students voiced their concerns at Tuesday night’s meeting and they plan on attending the next one on Thursday. They have also started a petition to save their school.

Board members say they have already laid off 30 school employees in the current budget, and the rest of the money has to come from somewhere.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Black Bear Tranquilized in Downtown New Haven


A 350-pound black bear which found its way into downtown New Haven, had to be tranquilized and transported out of the city on Tuesday evening.

DEEP Environmental Conservation officers successfully tranquilized the large male bear after surrounding the animal in the area between Wallace Street and the State Street highway on-ramp to Interstate 91. New Haven Police and state police were also responding.

“Police officers are in the back of the building and there’s a roof and they can see the bear from the roof," said Mary Torres, who owns a home on Wallace Street.

Dozens of residents watched from the sidewalk as the bear decided to make a move toward a nearby park and housing complex.

DEEP said the bear had been seen in several locations and was making his way towards the highway, which meant he could've potentially been hit by a car.

“It was a very tenuous scene especially being down here close to the city atmosphere on 91 with a lot of traffic," said Sgt. Steve Stanko, with DEEP. "We had a lot of concerns about the bear going into the roadway.”

Trained DEEP officers first hit the bear with a bean bag round in order to get him to climb up into a tree, which the animal did.

“We were able to cordon off an area with enough personnel, yelling, with car lights on, keeping the bear sort of in the wood lying area which is what we needed to do,” said Stanko.

Minutes later, officers hit the bear with a tranquilizer dart. The animal fell out of the tree and onto the ground where authorities loaded the bear into an SUV to transport him to a remote and wooded area away from the city.

"Bears in an urban area like this is unusual. Sgt. David Guliuzzo of the New Haven Police. "We all know that," he said after six-plus hours of monitoring the bear's movements.

“I hope it’s a beautiful end and he goes back into his habitat where he belongs," said Torres.

DEEP officials said that the bear was said to be in good health and breathing normally during transport out of the city. The animal was to be released in an undisclosed location with hopes that he wouldn't return to downtown.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Officer Sues NYPD for English-Only


An NYPD officer is suing the department after she said she was disciplined for speaking in Spanish to a coworker.

Officer Jessenia Guzman, originally of the Dominican Republic, said in a suit filed Monday that she was reprimanded for violating the department’s English-only policy after speaking casually with a coworker at a precinct in 2013.

The suit claims that the department violates her civil and constitutional rights and seeks unspecified damages.

Anthony Miranda, the chairman of the National Latino Officers Association, has been advising Guzman in the case and said that the conversation amounted to little more than a casual “how are you” conversation.

He disagreed with the NYPD’s policy and called it “pure racism.”

In a statement to the New York Post, the department said that "with over 50 different languages spoken by employees of the Department, our Office of Equal Employment Opportunity has established guidelines for members to speak English when they are conducting business for the department, unless speaking a foreign language is necessary to perform his or her duties."

The Post also reports that a lieutenant at the department said that Guzman "continually" spoke in Spanish with another officer. 

On Tuesday, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton defended the policy on Tuesday.

“She's wrong,” he said. “We're gonna win. See you in court."

Missing Lab Found 720 Miles Away


After three years and 720 miles between them, a New Mexico man and his beloved pooch, Brownie, were reunited in San Diego County.

The 7-year-old Labrador retriever was spotted wandering the streets last week in the Otay Mesa area when someone scooped him up and took him to the County Animal Services’ care facility in Bonita.

Animal Services workers traced his microchip to the dog’s owner in Santa Teresa, New Mexico: Ricardo Dominguez.

Dominguez was alerted to the amazing discovery late last week when his girlfriend called him.

“She said, ‘They found Brownie. I say, ‘What? Where is he? San Diego? Do I want to keep him? Hell, yeah,” according to a news release from County Animal Services.

Dominguez said Brownie disappeared several years ago from his horse ranch even though the dog owner had someone watching the pup.

Last Friday, Dominguez drove 720 miles nonstop through the night from a job site in El Paso, Texas, to pick up Brownie in Bonita.

Dominguez said Brownie is healthy, but seems more protective and territorial than three years ago. It wasn’t clear how the dog got all the way to San Diego County.

Still, Dominguez said he’s happy to have Brownie home. When he picked him up in Bonita, the pooch bounded over to him, jumping in his arms.

“He looks up through the door at me in my cowboy hat and his eyes were, ‘Wow, is that you?,’” the Animal Services news release said.

Photo Credit: San Diego County Animal Services

Cows Safely Moo-ved Off Route 9 North


Two cows slowed traffic on Route 9 North in Haddam for a little while this morning, but they are safely off the road and state police have located the owner. 

The cows are from a nearby farm and they are OK. 

The animals were causing congestion at exit 8.

Check the interactive traffic map to see if there are issues on your commute. 

Follow Heidi Voight on Twitter for traffic updates throughout the morning.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Brazilian President's Successors Also Accused of Corruption


Impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff have put a spotlight on endemic corruption in the ranks of Brazil's lawmakers. Watchdog groups say about 60 percent of the 594 legislators in both chambers of Congress are being investigated for wrongdoing or are facing corruption charges, including the two men in line to replace Rousseff if she is impeached and a third who would have been in line.

FIRST IN LINE: Vice President Michel Temer.

A former senator turned state's witness recently accused Temer of appointing a lobbyist to distribute bribes between 1997 and 2001 in ethanol deals through Petrobras, the giant state-run oil company. He denies wrongdoing.

Temer also is accused of arranging the appointment of a Petrobras director who was involved in a series of corruption cases linked to Temer's Brazilian Democratic Movement Party. He denies knowing the man.

Temer is being investigated for receiving more than $ 1.5 million in funds from a construction company that works with Petrobras. Temer says they were legal campaign donations.

Authorities seized spreadsheets from the construction company Camargo Correa that listed Temer's name 21 times alongside numbers that added up to $345,000, allegedly in bribes. While the case was thrown out in the courts, the investigation is credited with having led to the current broader Petrobras probe.

SECOND IN LINE: Senate leader Renan Calheiros.

Calheiros would be acting president if Temer travels. Brazil's Supreme Federal Tribunal is currently considering seven investigations against Calheiros in the Petrobras probe. He denies wrongdoing.

Among the cases are accusations by a lobbyist that Calheiros was paid $600,000 to stop a Senate probe of corruption in Petrobras.

Calheiros is accused by a former Petrobras director of threatening to withhold support unless he was paid off. The same ex-director says Calheiros was paid $1.7 million through a Petrobras lobbyist in a case related to drill ship contracts.

In a plea bargain, another former Petrobras director accused Calheiros of using a legislator in the Chamber of Deputies, Anibal Gomes, to be paid bribes for contracts with constructors.

OUSTED: Former Chamber of Deputies Speaker Eduardo Cunha.

Cunha would have been second in line but was removed as speaker last week by Brazil's highest court while he is investigated in several cases. Cunha, who led the impeachment push against Rousseff in his chamber, denies wrongdoing.

Prosecutors have accused Cunha of corruption and money laundering for his role in negotiating contracts for drill ships, including a payment of $5 million.

Swiss prosecutors say Cunha held secret bank accounts at Julius Baer bank, with media reports putting their value in December at 2.4 million Swiss francs. Brazilian investigators suspect the funds are linked to corruption at a Petrobras oil operation. Brazilian investigators say Cunha also has had undeclared accounts in the U.S. since 1990 holding more than $20 million.

A senator-turned-government witness has said Cunha and his Brazilian Democratic Movement Party were paid more than $10 million by BTG Pactual bank to get an executive order approved by the lower house. A lobbyist who pleaded guilty in another case alleged Cunha was paid more than $12 million in bribes by big construction companies to win contracts to renovate Rio's port area ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games.

Photo Credit: AP
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