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RNC Day 3 Top Moments: Boos for Cruz, Cheers for Pence


As the Republicans met for the third day of their national convention, it was Eric Trump’s turn to take the stage — following appearances by his brother and sister, Donald Trump Jr. and Tiffany Trump. Donald Trump’s vice presidential pick, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, introduced himself to the gathering, and one of Trump’s harshest critics in the bitterly fought primaries, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, got booed. Here are some top moments from Cleveland.

Chaos as Cruz Speaks
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was booed from the floor as he refused to endorse the party's nominee, Donald Trump, telling the convention instead, "If you love our country and love your children as much as I know that you do, stand and speak and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution."

Trump's family sat motionless as Cruz spoke and the audience turned against him.

Cruz, who was bested by Trump during a nasty primary, mentioned his former rival only at the beginning when he congratulated him on winning the nomination.

He focused on what Republicans believe and especially freedom, at first earning cheers.

"We have no king or queen," he said. "We have no dictator. We the people constrain government."

America is exceptional, he said, because it was built on what he called the most beautiful and powerful words in the English language: "I want to be free."

Citizens are furious at a political establishment that cynically breaks its promises and ignores the will of the people, he said.

"We have to do better," he said.

Toward the end of his speech -- as he spoke over the restive audience and at one point said, “I appreciate the enthusiasm of the New York delegation" -- Donald Trump walked into the arena in preparation for his son Eric's appearance.

Meet Mike Pence
A low-key governor to balance the showman at the top of the ticket, Mike Pence accepted the nomination for vice president and told the crowd he had been raised in a small town in southern Indiana "on the front row of the American dream." His political heroes were President John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., he said.

"Growing up I actually started in politics in the other party, until I heard the voice and the ideals of the 40th president, and I signed on for the Reagan Revolution," he said.

Pence described Trump as a man who never quits, never backs down, a fighter and a winner. The Republican ticket would win, he said, because the American people were tired of watching "a mountain range of debt" build up, tired of being told "this is as good as it gets" and quoting Ronald Reagan, "tired of being told that a 'little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives better for us than we can plan them for ourselves.'"

Clinton, whom he called the "secretary of the status quo," represents a third term of President Barack Obama, he said. She champions Obamacare, which she all but invented, more taxes and more government, he said. Indiana has a $2 billion surplus and nearly 150,000 net new jobs, he said.

And following a theme set by earlier speakers, he acknowledged Trump's sharp edges.

"Donald Trump gets it," he said. "He's the genuine article. He's a doer in a game usually reserved for talkers. And when Donald Trump does his talking, he doesn't tiptoe around the thousand new rules of political correctness. He's his own man, distinctly American."

Acclaim from Another Son
Eric Trump endorsed his father as the one candidate who did not need the job, the one who could not be bought, the one who was running for the right reasons.

"It's time for a president with common sense," he said. "It's time for a president who understands the art of the deal."

He praised his father's business successes. Trump was running for the laborer forced out of a job because of illegal immigrants, the oil and gas worker denied a job because of what he called the radical Environmental Protection Agency, for single mothers and middle-class families, he said.

"It's time for a president who can make America great again, ahead of budget and ahead of schedule too," he said.

Protests Turn Tense
Clashes broke out outside the Quicken Loans Arena when members of the Revolutionary Communist Party set an American flag on fire to protest what they called the crimes of the American empire.

Leading the protesters was Joey Gregory Johnson, whose similar flag-burning at the Republican National Convention in Dallas in 1982 was ruled protected speech by the U.S. Supreme Court. On Wednesday, he was thrown to the ground by several police officers.

Eighteen demonstrators were arrested and two police officers received minor injuries, according to Cleveland officials. As Trump supporters waved American flags, officers on bicycles and horses cleared the streets. Police Chief Calvin Williams was out with his officers and he promised to show up whenever there were problems.

Violent Rhetoric Targets Clinton
A Trump adviser called for Hillary Clinton to be tried for treason and executed by firing squad if convicted for her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

"As far as I'm concerned, the laws of the land on treason could be firing squad if she's found guilty," Republican New Hampshire State Sen. Al Baldasaro told NBC News, standing by comments he had made earlier.

The threat of death was just the latest made against the presumptive Democratic nominee. Earlier in the week, Michael Folk, a Republican in the West Virginia House of Delegates, tweeted "@Hillary Clinton You should be tried for treason, murder, and crimes against the US Constitution …then hung on the mall in Washington, D.C." Folk, who was suspended from his job as a pilot with United Airlines, later said he regretted saying Clinton should be hung but still thought she should be tried.

Tuesday night, during a speech by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the crowd started chanting, "Lock her up."

Trump's spokeswoman Hope Hicks said of Baldasaro's comment: "No, of course Mr. Trump does not feel this way."

Emilie Plesset contributed to this report. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Southwest Air Computer Glitch Causing Long Lines at Bradley


Lines at the Southwest Airlines counter at Bradley International Airport are longer than usual Thursday morning after flights were disrupted and grounded nationwide Wednesday because of a computer glitch.

Several inbound Southwest flights at Bradley were cancelled for Thursday morning and several other outbound flights are delayed.

Yesterday, flights across the country were grounded due to the glitch that prevented people from buying tickets, checking in and looking at flight statuses.

Pelople with tickets to fly Southwest today should call ahead to check if their flight is affected.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Stray Bullet Hits Woman in New Haven Home


A 59-year-old woman was struck in the chest by a stray bullet inside her New Haven home on Shelton Street in New Haven early Thursday morning. Police said she is expected to survive.

Investigators said the woman was on the second floor of her house just after 1 a.m. when she was hit by a stray bullet that was fired from the street.

Police are trying to determine how many shooters were involved, but said up to a dozen shots were fired. Around 7 a.m., police were removing two bicycles that could be connected to the shooting.

The woman was rushed to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where she is listed in stable condition.

Shelton Street is closed at Goodrich Street as police continue to investigate.

Anyone with information is asked to call police.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Cops Search for Man Using Fraudulent Debit Card in Stratford


Police are searching for the man using a fraudulent debit card in Stratford, officials said. 

On June 10, the suspect used a debit card to purchase $300 worth of gift cards at 99 Restaurant at 11:20 a.m., Stratford Police said. 

The man is described as 5'10" weighing up to 280 pounds. He has braided hair that falls at the shoulder, dark facial hair with a goatee, which is approximately 2 inches long.

On the day of the fraudulent purchase, he was wearing a dark baseball har, long sleeve shirt and dark pants. 

Anyone with information can is asked to call Detective Gallagher at (203) 385-4121.

Photo Credit: Stratford Police

Man Donates Kidney to Friend: Video


Born with a rare disease and just days away from kidney failure, Fort Worth nurse Danny Kolzow is getting a lifeline from a longtime friend. 

Graham McMillan is donating one of his kidneys to Kolzow. 

The operation took place Wednesday at Baylor All Saints Medical Center in Fort Worth – the same hospital where Kolzow works.

Wednesday afternoon, Mary Kolzow, mother of Danny Kolzow, and Claire McMillan, wife of Graham McMillan, shared a joint statement: Danny and Graham are recovering, doing well and praising Jesus. We have felt loved, encouraged and cared for by the hospital staff. Praise God for his faithfulness through this process. Thank you for the many prayers that have been answered."

McMillan said he wanted to break the news to Kolzow in a special way, so he made arrangements with other nurses to give him the news at work. The moment, posted on Vimeo, has now been viewed more than 800,000 times. 

He showed up with a sign that read, "Heard urine need of a kidney. Want mine?" 

"Pretty funny, right?" McMillan said. "Let's do this." 

He walked down a hallway and delivered the news to his shocked friend. 

The two hugged as other nurses wept. 

"My kidney's going inside that body right there," McMillan said as the two embraced. 

The two met while they were students at Texas Christian University and kept in touch. 

McMillan, a youth pastor, agreed to get tested to see if one of his kidneys would be compatible. 

It was a match. 

"Just to get the news, something I've been waiting for for so long," Kolzow said. "And it's incredible news, that I get to not have to worry, I am going to get this lifesaving organ that I need. It's incredible." 

The two men credit their faith with making it happen. 

"I'm getting a transplant literally the week before I would have to start dialysis," Kolzow said. "It's just perfect timing."

Photo Credit: Graham McMillan/NBC 5
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No Apparent Criminal Intention in West Hartford Chemical Incident: Police


Police, crews from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and a private environmental service responded to a home in West Hartford to remove several chemicals.

Police responded to 19 Troutbrook Drive around 5:30 p.m. when a resident reported an unusual smell coming from her sink.

Responding crews discovered dozens of different chemicals in the basement, but did not identify the substances.

The homeowner told NBC Connecticut that a man who lives in the home is an amateur chemist who has collected chemicals for the past year.

The homeowner said she's been "fearful" about the amount of chemicals the 30-year-old had because they were stored in water, soda and Gatorade bottles.

Officials have not confirmed the homeowner's statement about the man being a science hobbyist or how the chemicals were stored.

Police did say officers are investigating and don’t think the resident intentionally committed any crime.

Crews from DEEP removed the chemicals and police evacuated Beachland Park so DEEP could prepare the chemicals to be transported. No chemicals were released in the park and the park was reopened on Wednesday night.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

7 People Displaced in Southington Fire


Multiple departments responded to a fire on High Street in Southington on Wednesday, firefighters said.

Witnesses said they saw flames shooting out of the home before firefighters arrived around 3:10 p.m.

Firefighters from Southington, Bristol, Plainville and Cheshire all responded.

The second-floor resident told NBC Connecticut her two sons and dog were home alone when the fire broke out. She said someone started banging on their door but it wasn’t until the dog, Buddy, refused to stop barking that the boys went downstairs and realized the home was on fire. They credit Buddy with saving their lives.

“I'm grateful that my kids are alive. But I'm not happy to hear about that because you have to worry about your roof where you're going to stay, your clothes, all that stuff,” Charissa Frappier said.

Firefighters said four adults and three children were displaced. One person was sent to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

The structure suffered significant water, smoke and fire damage both internally and externally, fire officials said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. 

Photo Credit: Michelle Martone

New Haven Police Search for 3 Robbery Suspects


New Haven police are searching for three suspects in an armed robbery.

Police said the crime occurred around 5 a.m. Saturday outside the H&S Food Mart at 308 Whalley Avenue. The man in the white shirt and the woman in the red dress pictured above are believed to be involved, according to police. Police said the suspects were in a newer model, dark gray SUV.

Police said a third person was also in the suspect vehicle. Police believe that suspect is Kenneth ‘K-Rock’ Jones, 28.

Both male suspects carried guns during the robbery then left and ran behind 286 Sherman Avenue.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Carlos Conceicao at (203) 673-5720.

Photo Credit: New Haven Police Department

Hartford Threats Fake, Linked to Bristol Hostage Situation


Multiple bomb threats around the city of Hartford Wednesday were false, according to Hartford Police Deputy Chief Brian Foley.

Foley tweeted Wednesday afternoon that crime analysts were investigating at municipal buildings around the city, including police and fire headquarters on High Street. No one was evacuated when preliminary investigation suggested the threats were fake.

Later Wednesday Foley tweeted that the threats were confirmed fake and that they were related to an ongoing investigation in Bristol.

Hartford police and Bristol police are investigating.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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Pakistan Police Investigate Alleged 'Honor Killing'


Authorities in Pakistan are investigating the death of a British woman suspected to be an “honor killing,” police told NBC News on Wednesday. 

Samia Shahid’s husband, Syed Mukhtar, Kazim claims she was murdered because of her marriage to him. Shahid was visiting her estranged parents in northeastern Pakistan, where she died on July 20.

Police are investigating Shahid’s father and a cousin in her death, and told NBC News they are also looking for her former husband.

A “mark” was spotted on her neck after her death, and police said there was “foaming from her mouth, but that could be normal.” The family, according to police, say Shahid “fell ill and just died.” A final forensic report hasn’t been released yet. 

Shahid’s death has become a high-profile investigation in Pakistan. Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan on Wednesday promised a "transparent and swift probe" into the case.

Photo Credit: AP

Dog Toy and Treat Do's and Don'ts


Hundreds of local families helped NBC Connecticut Clear the Shelters this past weekend.

Six-hundred-ninety pets were adopted, many of them dogs. New dog owners should pay attention to the the treats and toys their dogs play with - they can have a major impact on the animal's health.

“I try to encourage people to buy treats that follow my formula, SAFE: Soft, American, not fragmentable and not to be eaten,” said Arnold Goldman, owner of Canton Animal Hospital.

A quick breakdown: Softer bones are better than hard ones. A Nylabone for example is a bone for chewing but it doesn’t break down into pieces like a raw hide bone does.

“Toys and treats that are rock hard for example so called marrow bones can over time break the enamel on the teeth especially cutting and crushing teeth of upper,” said Goldman.

Dr. Goldman has been a veterinarian for 30 years and says he recommends buying American made products because they don’t contain harmful chemicals. He also says to avoid fragmentable bones, if you want to avoid pricey surgical procedures.

“Fragments of bone can be swallowed, they can be painful, they can perforate the bowel they can make all sorts of problems from one end to the other,” said Goldman.

Speaking of the digestive process, Dr. Goldman says once those bones are eaten they don’t digest well and can sit in the stomach for months.

“A large breed dog swallowed this whole thing and had to be removed from the stomach because it wasn’t coming out,” he said.

A $5 bone a dog devours in five minutes could mean a $500 visit for blood work or even $3,500 for emergency surgery.

Products like the durable Kong Ball are a better alternative. They’re designed to be stuffed with a dog’s favorite food and they don’t end up in their stomach.

Vets also recommend investing in pet insurance which they say can typically cost $20 a month, depending on the type of insurance.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Remembers Small Plane Hitting Home in Haddam


After a pilot was critically injured in Haddam after a small plane crash on Saturday, some of the people involved return to the scene on Wednesday. 

The building inspector and insurance company representatives said the home on Little Meadow Road struck by the plane is no longer livable.

It could take up to six months to address all repairs.

"A lot of memories. But it can be replaced," said Norman Hanenbaum, who lived in the damaged home. 

Hanenbaum said he had been in his living room watching TV when the small plane hit just above him.

"I’ve had some sleepless nights. It could have been worse. Could have been worse. But there was a God upstairs," said Hanenbaum.

Police said the small plane, piloted by Benjamin Temple, had just taken off from nearby Goodspeed Airport when it apparently ran into some type of mechanical problem. 

Its terrifying plunge was captured on video as was the rush of people to help the pilot.

While Hanenbaum walked away unharmed, he’s now looking for a temporary apartment but is hopeful insurance will cover his costs. 

"Look yourself in the mirror and be thankful for what you have. Sometimes our wants are greater than our needs. People don’t think about that. Right now my needs are just to have a roof over my head," said Hanenbaum.

Hartford Hospital said the pilot remains in critical condition. 

On Saturday there were lots of people in nearby Eagle Landing State Park celebrating different events or enjoying an afternoon by the Connecticut River.

Many including a family from Middletown had no idea what was about to unfold and their split second decisions to help.

On Wednesday, Robert Martin, who shot a video which captured the plane crash, returned to the park for the first time since Saturday.

"I thought they were doing a trick for my family to see because we were the only ones in this vicinity here," said Martin.

Martin had been here taking family pictures and even snapped some of the plane taking off.

Then he quickly realized something was wrong. His brief video captured the horrifying moment.

“It is still hard to watch,” said Martin.

For Martin, the crash had signaled a time to help.

He made sure his wife and kids were okay, handed over the camera and took off running along with other people in the park.

Martin scrambled to grab a ladder and scurry up onto the roof.

"Together, me and this one gentleman, moved the plane as far as we could away from the pilot," said Martin.

A picture captured Martin climbing down after trained rescuers took over.

The son of the pilot, who was critically hurt, had a message to the Good Samaritans.

"He said he wanted to thank us for being there and able to help his father. That was reward enough for me," said Martin.

The NTSB is investigating and a preliminary report is expected soon.

Photo Credit: Mark Maglio

Tolland Animal Control Shelter Closed Due to Parvovirus


The Tolland Animal Control shelter is closed for 14 days because of Parvovirus, according to a notice posted on their Facebook page.

Tolland Animal control announced Wednesday that it had self-quarantined the shelter for 14 days after taking in a dog that was later determined to be suffering from Parvovirus.

Animal Control officers said they found a sick, underweight female dog that appeared to have recently given birth on Shenipsit Lake Road on Friday. They took her to the veterinarian for treatment and routine testing. On Monday they were told that the dog was suffering from Parvo and several other ailments. The dog was severely sick and animal control officers and the veterinarian decided to put her down, the post said.

Parvo is highly contagious to unvaccinated dogs and can be fatal, especially in puppies.

One other dog was being housed in the shelter before officers were aware of the Parvo exposure, according to the post. That animal received a Parvo vaccination and is being monitored by shelter staff. That dog has not shown any symptoms at this time.

The shelter said staff disinfected the shelter’s facilities and equipment. Any dogs impounded in the next 14 days will be held at the Town of Willington’s Animal Shelter.

Animal control officers are asking for the public’s help to discover where the sick dog came from. Anyone who may know the owner of the red and white Beagle-type dog, or anyone who hears of puppies being sold without their mother is asked to call Tolland Animal Control at (860) 871-3916. Information will be kept confidential.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Manchester Police Working on Program to Battle Opioid Addiction


Manchester Police are working on a program to battle heroin and opioid addiction by becoming the driving force towards recovery.

Police Chief Marc Montminy said every week police respond to an overdose. Every month a life is lost and last year, 14 addicts died from heroin and opioid use.

"We've been arresting heroin addict's for years and we find it very ineffective in reducing the epidemic here. So we're going to try something else," said Manchester Police Chief Marc Montminy.

Montminy has proposed a new program modeled after two Massachusetts police departments called Heroin and Opiate Prevention and Education (HOPE).

Partnered with the Eastern Connecticut Health Networks and other local addiction organizations, police will now help users recover from addiction by directing them to recovery programs.

"You can walk into the police department as an addict and say, 'Hey, look I'm addicted I need help,' and instead of a rest we will make you safe get you to the hospital get you into a program that has been designed for people who walk in off the street."

Citizens can join the fight by becoming recovery coaches.

"I think all of us know somebody who has an addiction problem whether or not we know," said Manchester General Manager Scott Shanley.

"This is not a Manchester problem this is a nationwide problem particularly aggressive here in New England," said Chief Montminy.

Montminy said the program should begin next month. Dealers and addicts breaking the law will still be prosecuted. Officers and recovery coaches will receive special training on how to handle addicts looking for help.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Trump Wants Female President, 'Just Not' Clinton


Speaking to supporters in Pennsylvania, Donald Trump warned women to be “careful what they wished” for if they were supporting Hillary Clinton in her bid to become the first female president, NBC News reported. 

That’s not to say Trump doesn’t want to see a woman commander-in-chief someday. It’s just that he doesn’t want it to be Hillary Clinton. 

Trump told the crowd “they’ll say 'Madame President' — oh, I don't want to hear that. I do want to hear it eventually, 'cause I want to see a woman become President, but it can't be her. She's a disaster. She's a disaster." 

Trump inspired cheers with the phrase “crooked Hillary" at the rally in Scranton, which brought out some of the most enthusiastic supporters in weeks. 

Photo Credit: AP

Man Accused of Sexual Assault Faces Additional Charges


An unlicensed massage therapist in Shelton already facing sexual assault charges after two customers reported he touched them inappropriately has been charged again after more customers came forward.

Police originally arrested Kim Hyung, 53, of Fresh Meadows, New York, on July 5, after an investigation prompted by two customers who reported he touched and spoke to them inappropriately during services at Coco Spa at 704 Bridgeport Avenue in Shelton. Police said after that arrest, four more women came forward with similar complaints.

Hyung turned himself in on four separate arrest warrants Tuesday, police said. He is charged with fourth-degree sexual assault and practicing massage therapy without a license on each warrant.

He was arraigned and released on a $20,000 bond.

This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with a similar experience is encouraged to report it to Shelton police at (203) 924-1544.

Photo Credit: Shelton Police

Budget Cuts Likely to Evict Old State House Memorabilia


The old state house in Hartford has already shut it doors due to budget cuts and now the memorabilia inside might be removed.

Since 1796 the building on Main Street has been a historical pillar in Connecticut's past. But just months ago the decision was made to transfer ownership of the building from the Office of Legislative Management to the DEEP.

"We were totally surprised by the action in the budget to give us responsibility for the building," said DEEP Communications Director Dennis Schain.

DEEP officials said in order to afford to keep the actual building afloat, the memorabilia inside, like the paintings, furniture and other artifacts must be removed. The building already has been shut down for weeks to the average 20,000 visitors a year because of budget cuts.

"$800-$900,000 is what we believe is the all in cost to operate the building. They transferred the building to us with $400,000, even with that 400,000, our budget for this year was down more than $9 million" said Schain.

Historical experts said maintaining the artifacts worth tens of millions isn't cheap.

"Some of these materials are highly fragile because of their age and the material they are constructed with. It's beyond just locking the doors and shutting down the lights. Museums across the country maintain standards for temperatures, humidity, and security, and those standards are in place to prolong the life of the objects," said Connecticut Historical Society CEO Jody Blankship.

When the ownership change is finalized the artifacts will return to historical societies around Connecticut which own them, according to DEEP Officials. Private businesses and organizations move to the building to help fund the cost of the building, according to DEEP officials.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

'Live Positive' Team Prepares for Sixth Closer to Free Ride


Maureen Raucci supervises the care for patients on the 12th floor of Yale-New Haven’s Smilow Cancer Hospital.

“We take people in at the most vulnerable time of their lives,” she said, “and with that we create bonds that are everlasting with patients and their families.”

Raucci is in her sixth year as a Closer to Free team captain. Closer to Free is a cycling fundraiser for Smilow.

“To be able to ride in front of Smilow and see your patients out there with signs,” Raucci said, “or have members of your teams who used to be your patients is just phenomenal.”

More than 20 members of Team Live Positive this year are former patients, Raucci said. Many others are their family members and friends.

“Riding through New haven, that’s the coolest part to me,” Live Positive team member Daniel Hanusch said.

Doctors diagnosed Hanusch with a cancerous brain tumor when he was a 21-year-old college student at Quinnipiac University.

Now, more than five years later after his final treatment at YNHH, Hanusch proudly wears a survivor jersey for Closer to Free.

“The big thing is just not to underestimate the power of positive thinking,” Hanusch said. “On the physical fight, you’re really in the hands of your doctors, but your mental health can go a long way with just keeping your wits about you and keep on fighting, don’t give up.”

Registered nurse Erica Nicolosi says she is riding for her family, friends and mostly her patients on the 12th floor of Smilow.

“I want to see every one of my patients out there and being able to ride for miles on a bike after being in this hospital,” Nicolosi said. “That is my goal to get people back into their normal lives.”

For patients still fighting cancer, Live Positive team members will wear their hospital wristbands with personalized messages.

“If they can’t be with us on ride day,” Raucci said, “they’re with us in spirit.”

One hundred percent of the Closer to Free proceeds go toward patient care and the search for a cure. NBC Connecticut is a proud sponsor of this year’s event on Saturday September 10.

You still have time to sign up and join a team like Live Positive.

Fact-Checking Donald Trump's Press Conference


Donald Trump made several false and misleading statements in an hour-long press conference — on Bernie Sanders, Vladimir Putin, Hillary Clinton’s emails and more.

  • The Republican presidential candidate wrongly said that Sen. Bernie Sanders had “lied” in saying Trump supported a minimum wage below $7.25. In fact, Trump told NBC News in May that he didn’t support a federal “floor” and would leave it up to the states. Sanders got it right.
  • Trump insisted again that Vladimir Putin called him a “genius,” even though Putin clarified just last month that he called Trump “flamboyant.”
  • We found no evidence to corroborate Trump’s claim that Putin “mentioned the N-word one time.” Two experts on Russia told us they had no idea what Trump was talking about.
  • Trump claimed with no evidence that Hillary Clinton deleted emails from her private server “after she gets a subpoena” from Congress.
  • There’s also no evidence for Trump’s repeated claim that “many people” saw or knew about “bombs lying all over the floor” of the San Bernardino shooters’ home and didn’t report it.
  • Trump said Blue Cross Blue Shield in Texas had “announced a 60 percent increase” in health insurance premiums. That’s a proposed increase for 2017 that has yet to be approved by regulators for certain plans purchased by those buying their own insurance.

In the press conference, Trump was right about one top Democrat, Vice President Joe Biden. Trump pointed out that Biden was wrong to say that Trump wanted to “carpet-bomb” in the Middle East to fight the Islamic State. Sen. Ted Cruz said that.

Minimum Wage: Sanders Was Right

Trump claimed that Sanders “lied” in saying that Trump “wants the minimum wage to go below $7.” But Sanders got his facts right. He said Trump “believes that states should actually have the right to lower the minimum wage below $7.25.” And that’s what Trump said.

Today, Trump said the minimum wage should go up to “at least $10,” the first time we could find that he has said that.

First, here’s Trump today at his press conference:

Trump, July 27: The minimum wage has to go up. … At least $10 but it has to go up. But I think that states … I think that states should really call the shots. … But it has to go up. Now, Bernie Sanders lied. Bernie Sanders said in his speech the other day that Donald Trump wants the minimum wage to go below $7. I said, where did he come up with that one?

Trump went on to say, “In fact he was criticized by people that fact check for saying it because I never said it.” We at FactCheck.org did not criticize Sanders on this point. In fact, Trump did say he was in favor of having no federal minimum wage. He was asked by NBC News’ Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press” on May 8, “should the federal government set a floor?” And he responded: “No, I’d rather have the states go out and do what they have to do.”

Here’s Sanders Monday night at the Democratic National Convention:

Sanders, July 25: He does not support raising the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, a starvation wage. While Trump believes in huge tax breaks, huge tax breaks for billionaires, he believes that states should actually have the right to lower the minimum wage below $7.25.

It may be difficult to follow Trump’s shifting position on the minimum wage: As Todd noted in that NBC News interview, Trump said in one of the debates that he was against raising it — “I hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is,” he said in November — and then months later said he would be “open” to raising it.

He even told Todd in May that he “would like to see an increase of some magnitude,” but added that “I’d rather leave it to the states.” However, there is no doubt that he said in that interview that the federal government should not set a floor, leaving states, as Sanders said, “the right to lower the minimum wage below $7.25.”

Here’s the full exchange from that May 8 NBC News interview:

NBC News’ Chuck Todd: Minimum wage. Minimum wage. At a debate, you know. You remember what you said. You thought you didn’t want to touch it. Now you’re open to it. What changed?

Trump: Let me just tell you, I’ve been traveling the country for many months. Since June 16th. I’m all over. Today I’m in the state of Washington, where the arena right behind me, you probably hear, is packed with thousands and thousands of people. I’m doing that right after I finish you.

I have seen what’s going on. And I don’t know how people make it on $7.25 an hour. Now, with that being said, I would like to see an increase of some magnitude. But I’d rather leave it to the states. Let the states decide. Because don’t forget, the states have to compete with each other. So you may have a governor —

Todd: Right. You want the fed– but should the federal government set a floor, and then you let the states–

Trump: No, I’d rather have the states go out and do what they have to do. And the states compete with each other, not only other countries, but they compete with each other, Chuck. So I like the idea of let the states decide. But I think people should get more. I think they’re out there. They’re working. It is a very low number. You know, with what’s happened to the economy, with what’s happened to the cost. I mean, it’s just– I don’t know how you live on $7.25 an hour. But I would say let the states decide.

Putin Still Didn’t Call Trump a Genius

Trump continues to insist that Vladimir Putin called him a “genius,” even though Russian language experts told us Putin merely called Trump “colorful” or “bright” — depending on the translation — and even after Putin clarified just last month that he never called Trump a genius.

Trump, July 27: I never met Putin, I don’t know who Putin is. He said one nice thing about me. He said I’m a genius.

Trump frequently claims that Putin called him a genius, but as we wrote on June 17, that relies on a faulty translation of the Russian president’s faint praise for Trump during a press scrum in December, after Putin was asked what he thought about the Republican candidate.

According to a translation by Russia Insider, which uploaded the video, Putin responded, “He’s a very colorful person. Talented, without any doubt. But it’s not our affair to determine his worthiness — that’s up to the United States voters. But he is absolutely the leader in the presidential race. He wants to move to a different level of relations, to more solid, deeper relations with Russia. And how can Russia not welcome that — we welcome that. As for his internal political issues and the turn of speech which he uses to raise his popularity, I repeat, it’s not our affair to evaluate them.”

It’s the word “colorful” in the first sentence of that translation that is at issue here. We reached out to several Russian language experts, and there was some disagreement about the precise meaning of Putin’s phrase, with some translating it as “colorful,” others “bold” or “bright.” But they all agreed that Trump was inflating Putin’s rather guarded praise, and that Putin most certainly did not go so far as to call Trump a “genius.”

In a speech in St. Petersburg, Russia, on June 17, Putin set the record straight, explaining that he had only described Trump as “flamboyant.” According to Reuters, Putin added, with a smile, “He is, isn’t he? I did not give any other assessment of him.”

Putin Used the N-Word?

We could find no evidence to corroborate Trump’s claim that Putin “mentioned the N-word one time,” in a sign of “a total lack of respect for President Obama.”

Trump: Putin has said things over the last year that are really bad things. OK? He mentioned the N-word one time. I was shocked to hear him mention the N-word. You know what the ‘N’ word is, right? He mentioned it. I was shocked. He has a total lack of respect for President Obama. Number one, he doesn’t like him. And number two, he doesn’t respect him. I think he’s going to respect your president if I’m elected. And I hope he likes me.

We scoured the internet and published reports archived by Lexis-Nexis and could not find where Putin ever used that racial epithet. Neither could the Washington Post or CNN, which wrote, “There are no published reports to back up Trump’s allegation about Putin’s use of the racially derogatory term, however.”

Two experts on Russia told us via email that they had never heard of Putin using that term.

“In Russian, the N-word does not begin with ‘N’ — and Putin’s English is pretty rudimentary,” said Stephen Sestanovich, an expert on Russia and the former Soviet Union at the Council on Foreign Relations.

“I have no idea what [Trump] is talking about,” added Fiona Hill, an expert on Russian affairs and director of the Center on the United States and Europe and a senior fellow in the foreign policy program at the Brookings Institution. “Putin doesn’t really speak English. So perhaps Trump is referring to some speech in Russian–but again I have no idea what he is referring to.”

Hill, who co-authored the second edition of “Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin,” added, “If it were something in Russian, then the word ‘negr’ is used widely by Russians who grew up in the Soviet era. It is the literal translation of Negro. When I was a student in the USSR in the late 1980s I heard it many times, used by teachers and students at my institute when talking about Africans and oppressed black Americans, and it was written in textbooks. I have heard it used by Russians of Putin’s generation since, including a couple of Russian officials in conversations. It does sound pretty similar to the “N” word to an English speaker, so it would certainly be shocking out of context.”

We did come across an article posted by the Conservative Tribune, which carried the headline “While Talking ISIS Strategy, Putin Just Dropped The “N” Word… This Could Change EVERYTHING.” But as the article quickly makes clear, the N-word in question there was “nuclear.”

Conservative Tribune: Russian President Vladimir Putin has not ruled out the possibility of deploying nuclear warheads when dealing with the Islamic State group, but he hoped it would never come that.

But the context of Trump’s comment makes clear that that’s not the N-word to which Trump was referring.

Clinton’s Emails

Trump claimed that Hillary Clinton deleted 33,000 emails from the private server she used as secretary of state after she received a congressional subpoena requesting her emails. But there is no evidence to support his claim. In fact, an FBI investigation found no evidence of a cover-up.

Trump: That a person in our government, Katy, would delete or get rid of 33,000 emails. That gives me a big problem. After she gets a subpoena. She gets subpoenaed, and she gets rid of 33,000 emails? That gives me a problem.

Trump, of course, is referring to Clinton’s use of a personal email system for government businesses. As we have written in “A Guide to Clinton’s Emails,” the State Department asked her in the summer of 2014 to turn over any work-related emails that she had in her possession after she had already left the department in February 2013. Her lawyers went through the emails stored on her server, and they identified 30,490 work-related emails and 31,830 private emails.

In December 2014, Clinton gave the State Department the work-related emails, and the others were deleted. But when did she delete them? We don’t know — and neither does Trump.

Clinton received a subpoena from the House Select Committee on Benghazi on March 4, 2015. The committee requested “any and all documents and communications in your possession.” The request came two days after the New York Times broke the story that she had been using a private email account exclusively for government business.

Six days after receiving a subpoena, Clinton held a press conference on March 10, 2015, to answer questions raised by the Times article. At that press conference, she first disclosed that she deleted her personal emails. “I didn’t see any reason to keep them,” she said.

Trump is assuming that the emails were deleted after March 4, when Clinton was subpoenaed, and perhaps before March 10, when she held her press conference. But her campaign told us for a previous article that the emails were deleted before March 4, although it did not provide us with a date.

FBI Director Jim Comey at a July 5 press conference announced the results of the agency’s investigation into whether Clinton or anyone on her staff violated federal law in the handling of classified information on a private server. He criticized Clinton and her staff for being “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” but cleared them of any criminal wrongdoing.

In his press conference, Comey said the FBI “discovered several thousand work-related e-mails that were not in the group of 30,000 that were returned by Secretary Clinton” to the State Department. He also said Clinton’s lawyers cleaned her server “in such a way as to preclude complete forensic recovery,” but he also said the FBI “found no evidence that any of the additional work-related emails were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them.”

Health Insurance Premiums

Trump said Blue Cross Blue Shield in Texas had “announced a 60 percent increase” in health insurance premiums under Obamacare. To be clear, that’s a proposed increase for 2017 — it has to be approved by regulators — for certain plans purchased by those buying their own insurance.

Trump:In Texas, going through BlueCross/BlueShield they just announced a 60 percent increase. On November 1st, you’re going to have new numbers come out for Obamacare, having to do with increases. President Obama is trying to get it moved to December. Because it is election-defying. It is going to be a massive number, the biggest number ever in our country’s history for health care.

Trump has cherry-picked high rate increases for some plans on the Affordable Care Act’s insurance marketplaces before. As we wrote in April on this issue, there was wide variation in premium changes for plans that individuals purchase on the marketplaces — ranging from the high increases Trump has touted to double-digit decreases.

In this case, Blue Cross Blue Shield in Texas has requested rate increases of 57 percent and 59 percent. Any increase above 10 percent has to be submitted and approved by government regulators. A 60 percent jump could well be an outlier. The nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation analyzed preliminary rates and estimated a 10 percent rise on average for the second-lowest-cost silver plan in 14 major metropolitan areas.

That’s double what KFF found actually happened in those metro areas — a 5 percent increase — for 2016. Experts have said the marketplace premiums initially came in lower than expected, in 2014, and now are being adjusted based on insurers’ actual experience with consumers. The Urban Institute wrote in November 2015 that it could take a few years before premiums stabilize.

Consumers can switch plans, and many do: The Department of Health and Human Services found 43 percent of returning customers chose a different plan for 2016. And 85 percent of customers qualified for tax credits, insulating them from higher rate hikes.

We can’t predict whether the final increases for the 2017 marketplace plans will be “the biggest number ever in our country’s history,” as Trump claims. But we’ll note that increases on the individual market before the ACA was passed topped 10 percent on average.

Those buying plans on the marketplaces totaled nearly 13 million in 2016. In contrast, more than 154 million people get health insurance through their employers. Those premiums rose an average of 4 percent for family plans in 2015, according to the latest employer survey by KFF.

San Bernardino Shooting

Trump repeated his claim that “many people” saw or knew there were “bombs lying all over the floor” of the San Bernardino shooters’ home and didn’t report it. There’s no evidence of that.

Trump: I think that the people in the community know what’s going on. Whether it’s in a mosque or whether it’s in the community and they have to report these people. When you look at San Bernardino, people knew — many people knew what was going on. They had bombs lying all over the floor. … I mean, this isn’t — you walk into somebody’s house, there are bombs lying on the floor — I think there’s a problem there. You got to report it.

Trump made a similar claim in mid-June about Muslims being complicit in the Dec. 2, 2015, shooting in San Bernardino, California. He said that “many people,” including neighbors of the shooters, saw “bombs all over the floor” of the couple’s apartment, but declined to report it because of concerns about racial profiling. As we wrote then, one friend of a neighbor said the neighbor noticed a lot of packages arriving at the house, and that the couple had been doing a lot of work in their garage — and the neighbor didn’t report it due to racial profiling concerns.

During the fifth Republican debate in December, Trump accused the mother of the shooter of having advance knowledge of the attack. The FBI was investigating the matter, but officials have not brought any charges or made any accusation against the mother, whose lawyer says that his client didn’t know what her son was planning.

Trump Right About Biden

Trump said that Biden “lied” when Biden said Trump stated that he wanted to “carpet-bomb” in the Middle East to fight the Islamic State. Biden was incorrect. Sen. Ted Cruz, not Trump, said that the U.S. should use carpet-bombing as a strategy against the terrorist organization known as ISIS.

Trump: Joe Biden lied today. He said that Donald Trump wants to carpet-bomb — he was on television — he said, Donald Trump wants to carpet-bomb the enemy in the Middle East. Now, that was Ted Cruz that said that. That was not Donald Trump.

Here’s what Biden said about Trump during an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on July 27 (at 7:10 in the video):

Biden, July 27: And some of the things he says. Like, for example, I know he’s trying to be tough, but he’s gonna go out and carpet-bomb. You want to go out and make friends and influence people in the Middle East? You’re gonna go carpet-bomb innocent people and bad people at the same time and that’s going to help us fight against ISIS and Daesh?

We can’t say whether Biden “lied,” as Trump said. That would mean that Biden knew what he was saying was false. But Biden did get it wrong.

It was Cruz, the Texas senator and former Republican candidate for president, who talked about carpet-bombing ISIS.

“We will have a president who will make clear we will utterly destroy ISIS. We will carpet-bomb them into oblivion. I don’t know if sand can glow in the dark, but we’re going to find out,” Cruz said during a campaign event in Iowa on Dec. 5, 2015.

Carpet-bombing, generally, involves dropping many bombs over an area without a specific target. Such a tactic could result in unintended casualties since some ISIS fighters are embedded among civilian populations. That’s one of the reasons that former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that Cruz’s plan would not work.

“I think most rhetoric about carpet-bombing, about making the sand glow, about bombing them to death and so on is frankly just unrealistic,” Gates said in an interview on Fox Business Network in January.

Gates added: “It’s not going to accomplish the military objective — it takes no account of civilian casualties. It’s a simplistic answer to what’s a complex and long term problem.”

For his part, Trump has said multiple times that he would use bombs against ISIS. But he has said that he would specifically target oil fields that ISIS controls in Iraq, Syria and other areas.

On June 17, 2015, a day after he announced that he was running for president, Trump told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that “I would bomb the hell out of them. I’d bomb the fields.”

Nearly a month later, he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper the same thing. “If I win, I would attack those oil sites that are controlled … by ISIS,” Trump said.

In mid-November, the Trump campaign released a radio ad in which Trump says, in a voice-over, “Yes, I will quickly and decisively bomb the hell out of ISIS.” That was after Trump, at a campaign rally in Iowa, on Nov. 12, said this:

Trump, Nov. 12, 2015: ISIS is making a tremendous amount of money because they have certain oil camps, right? They have certain areas of oil that they took away. They have some in Syria, some in Iraq. I would bomb the s— out of them. I would just bomb those suckers. And that’s right, I’d blow up the pipes. I’d blow up the refinery. I’d blow up every single inch. There would be nothing left.

So, Trump has called for specifically targeting ISIS-controlled oil fields. A strategy that some in the military have criticized. But that’s different from carpet-bombing, which is what Biden wrongly said Trump wants to do.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Residents Cool Down with Praline's Ice Cream


Many people are probably ready for it to cool down some as Connecticut hits day seven in the heat wave.

But some businesses are benefitting from the heat.

Praline's Ice Cream, based out of Wallingford, manufactures ice cream for their 11 stores throughout the state. They've been in business since 1984.

Lately, people have been flocking to get ice cream because it has been so hot outside.

On a normal day, they make about 250 to 300 tubs of ice cream, but owner Donna Torre said the heat wave has brought in extra business.

“Anywhere on a daily basis probably between 400 to [500] depending on our room depending on we have some stores that are averaging 100 tubs a delivery," Said Torre.

From adding the base, to the cream, to the fruit… they're the ingredients for happy customers and a happy business.

Then those tubs get delivered to Praline’s stores throughout the state.

“Just a steady line of customers coming in and they’re thankful to have something cold and creamy to eat," Said Michelle Caramanello, General Manager of the Wallingford Praline’s Ice Cream shop.

For Sarah Heimbach of Meriden, a scoop of ice cream does just the trick.

“And just eating ice cream after a hot day is just like it cools you down.”

Torre says she’s glad they’re getting the extra business, which compensates for the slower months in the winter time.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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