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Open Enrollment for Health Insurance Begins Tuesday


Tuesday began the annual open enrollment period for Americans to enroll in a health insurance plan.

In Connecticut, the state-run program is called Access Health CT. Residents can browse their website to start looking at quotes from two companies – Anthem and Connecticare.

There were four insurers during last year's open enrollment period, but United Healthcare and HealthyCT are no longer participating.

Insurance prices have increased this year. The Department of Insurance approved a 22.4 percent increase for Anthem plans on the state’s exchange and a 17.4 percent increase for Connecticare plans.

Residents will need certain documents, such as a social security number or visa, green card or other immigration documents, their most recent tax return, employer information and current insurance coverage, to apply for a plan.

The least expensive monthly plan for an individual is $170 a month with a $7,000 deductible.

The federal government can fine any resident without insurance. Open enrollment doesn’t end until Jan. 31, 2017, but to avoid a gap in coverage, residents must sign up by Dec. 15, 2016, which allows coverage to start on Jan. 1, 2017.

Besides using the exchange's website, consumers can contact the call center at 855-805-4325 or visit Access Health CT's storefronts in New Britain and New Haven.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

2 Injured in Head-On Crash Near Connecticut College


Two people were injured in a head-on crash on Route 32 South, near the entrance of Connecticut College, in New London around 8:40 p.m. Monday.

Police responded to Route 32, at 223 Mohegan Ave., after receiving several 911 calls and found the two drivers trapped. Firefighters were also called to the scene and extricated the victims.

An ambulance transported one driver to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital and LifeStar transported the other person to Hartford Hospital, police said.

Route 32 was closed between Benham Road in Waterford and Connecticut College for an extended period of time.

Anyone who witnessed the crash should call the detective bureau at (860) 447-1481 or use the anonymous Tip411 system.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

6 Dead in 'Catastrophic' Baltimore School Bus Crash: PD


Six people were killed and 10 others hurt when a school bus slammed into a commuter bus in Baltimore early Tuesday morning, police said.

WBAL-TV footage from the wreck showed severe damage along the front of the Maryland Transit Administration bus, from which the school bus was protruding. Baltimore police spokesman T.J. Smith initially said told the NBC affiliate three people had died, before the Baltimore Police Department's Twitter account indicated that six were dead. 

There were no children on board the school bus, police said. 

The crash took place in southwest Baltimore, in the 3800 block of Frederick Avenue, about 7 a.m. police said. The yellow bus struck a Mustang car, hit a pillar outside a cemetery and then struck the MTA bus. At least five people died on the commuter bus, which had most its side ripped off, while the driver of the school bus was killed.

"It literally looks like a bomb exploded in the [commuter] bus," Smith said at a press briefing. "It's catastrophic damage."

He added that responders were still searching the commuter bus for victims. 

Among the eight people on the commuter bus who were taken to the hospital, injuries ranged from minor to critical, Smith said. One person each from the bus and the car were also hospitalized.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation, Smith said.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan released a statement Tuesday morning: "The First Lady and I are deeply saddened to hear of the horrific crash this morning in Southwest Baltimore involving a school bus and an MTA commuter bus. Our deepest condolences go out to the victims and their families in the wake of this tragedy. We will continue to pray for those who were injured, as well as the first responders who worked swiftly and continue to care for the injured.

Photo Credit: WBAL
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Amazon Starts Offering Black Friday Deals


It's only one day after Halloween and more than three weeks to Thanksgiving but Black Friday deals are already here. 

Amazon began offering sales on Tuesday as part of its Black Friday Deals store, which will run through Dec. 22.

Each day will bring a set of timed sales with new deals coming "as often as every five minutes," similar to last years. 

Meanwhile, Walmart and Target are taking cues from each other by offering more exclusive merchandise during the holiday season.

Walmart is offering 400 exclusive toy items including what is already a hit — a Disney Princess Carriage priced at $398. It's also adding thousands more items that will be available for store pickup. 

Target is offering 1,800 new or exclusive toys, about 15 percent more than last year. Another exclusive is a 10-disc box set from Garth Brooks, which includes his new album and the 25th anniversary edition of "Friends in Low Places." The set will be in Target stores Nov. 11, two weeks before the new album is available elsewhere.

Walmart is also planning more product demonstrations, in departments from toys to food. And Santas who used to remain stationary will roam the stores for more customer interaction and selfies.

For the end of the year, the world's largest retailer plans to deploy "holiday helpers" stationed at the checkouts, who can direct customers to registers with shorter lines or even run back to the aisles to pick up an item someone forgot.

Macy's announced in October it was staying committed to Thanksgiving Day shopping, saying it'll open an hour earlier this year. The move dampened hopes that other key stores will back away from the "Christmas Creep."

The retailer plans to open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving, with most Macy's stores closing at 2 a.m., and then reopening at 6 a.m. on Black Friday. It cited "ongoing customer interest in shopping on Thanksgiving, both at Macy's and at many other retailers."

Macy's announcement shows that many major chains will probably stick with the Thanksgiving opening and may even open earlier than last year as they try to avoid being trumped by the competition. Macy's is under pressure to do well, after six straight quarters of declines for a key revenue measure. Target, Best Buy and J.C. Penney have not yet announced their Thanksgiving strategy.

Photo Credit: AP

Delays on Route 8 South at Bridgeport/Trumbull Line

It's Harder for Black People to Get Ubers, Lyfts: Study


Black people using Uber and Lyft can face longer wait times and other forms of racial profiling, according to a new study on the ride-sharing services reported on by NBC News.

The study, conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, found that drivers are more likely to discriminate against passengers with "African American-sounding names" than riders who appear white.

Researchers at MIT came to the conclusion after conducting more than 1,400 case studies in Seattle and Boston. They found that black passengers in Seattle could experience up to a 28 percent increase in wait times for Uber and Lyft, while a separate study in Boston found that black passengers were twice as likely to have an UberX ride canceled.

The study emphasizes that the observations are a result of individual drivers' choices, and not Uber or Lyft policies. Representatives for both companies argued against the study's findings Monday, referring to research showing the services as more likely to serve low-income communities than taxis.

Photo Credit: AP, File

Hamden Woman Accused in New Haven Shooting


New Haven police have arrested a Hamden woman accused of shooting another woman during an argument.

Police charged Nayamka Jackson, 35, with first-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment and unlawful discharge of a firearm after an incident early Tuesday morning.

Police said the around 1:16 a.m. officers responded to Yale-New Haven Hospital after hospital staff reported a patient with a gunshot wound. The patient, identified as Olivia Coy, told police she was shot in her apartment by Jackson.

Coy’s injury was not life-threatening.

Jackson turned herself in at police headquarters and was taken into custody.

Editor's Note: New Haven police initially identified the victim and the accused as cousins, but they are not in fact related. This story has been updated to reflect that.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

New Haven Police Charge Convicted Felon in June Shooting


New Haven police have charged a man in connection with a firefight on Kensington Street that left one person injured in June.

New Haven police said that on June 27, 2016, officers responded to 43-45 Kensington Street for a reported shooting. The victim, 24-year-old Jaray Turner, of New Haven, suffered a non-life threatening gunshot wound to his leg.

Witnesses reported to police that a man leaning against a car began shooting. Police said evidence suggested the shooter was in a firefight with at least one other person who was shooting from between two houses.

On June 28, police arrested Ibrahim Shareef Jr, 29, New Haven, on gun charges.

On Monday, police obtained an arrest warrant charging Shareef with first-degree assault in the June 27 incident. Shareef was in custody for the previous gun charges.

Both Shareef and Turner are convicted felons.

Photo Credit: New Haven Police

Period of Rain Later Thursday


The next chance for rain comes Thursday as a cold front comes through late.

Until then, it will be dry and quite warm for the time of year.

High temperatures will be in the middle 50s Tuesday with lots of sunshine.

More clouds will be in the mix Wednesday, though temperatures will reach the middle 60s.

Believe it or not, 70-degree warmth returns on Thursday ahead of the cold front. The period of rain will begin in the afternoon and last through the evening.

Behind the front, dry weather returns Friday with a breeze. It will be much cooler, in the lower 50s.

First Alert forecasters are watching a storm that will dive out of Canada over the weekend.

The most likely result is a blend of clouds and sun Saturday, with perhaps a shower by Sunday.

Temperatures will fall after the weekend storm moves to the southeast of New England, and might only reach the upper 40s at the start of next week.

3, Including Child, Seriously Injured in Groton Crash


Three people, including a child, were seriously injured in a two-car crash in Groton Monday evening, according to Groton police.

Police said the accident happened on the Gold Star Highway near the intersections of Packer and Welles Roads around 5:19 p.m.

A child was taken to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital then flown via LifeStar to Yale-New Haven Hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries.Two other people were transported to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries. The injured were all traveling in the same vehicle.

The occupants of the other vehicle were treated for minor injuries on scene.

None of the victims have been identified at this  time.

The highway was closed in both directions but has since reopened.

The Groton Town Police Department’s crash reconstruction team is investigating, with assistance from Ledyard police.

Anyone who witnessed the accident or may have information on the incident should contact Groton police at (860) 441-6712.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego

Men Hold Lost Kitten Ransom, Demand $50 From Owners


When two men found a lost kitten named Lefty, they decided to hold it hostage until the owners gave them $50. An 11-year-old girl in Albuquerque, New Mexico, put up fliers after her cat went missing. "I just don't feel like it was fair," the girl's mother said. "I don't feel like an adult should do that to a child."

Norwalk Home Day Care Owner Surrenders License


Nearly a month after the State’s Office of Early Childhood suspended the child care provider license for the Norwalk home family day care under investigation after the death of a 4-month-old baby girl, the owner has voluntarily surrendered the license.

Christine Limone, the daughter of Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling, has not been charged with a crime. State Police Western District Major Crime detectives are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the infant’s death in October.

Police and paramedics responded to the daycare last month because the baby girl was not breathing and she was rushed to Norwalk Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

State Police investigators are handing the investigation into the baby’s death at the request of Norwalk Police. The baby’s name has not been released.

An administrative hearing was scheduled for today, but will not take place.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Clinton: Why Would FBI 'Jump Into an Election'


The FBI's discovery of more emails tied to Hillary Clinton hasn't hurt her in the polls.

Cromwell Man Reported Missing


Cromwell police are searching for a 65-year-old man who has been missing since Monday night, hours after getting into a minor crash, and police are asking for help to find him.

Bradford Sage, 65, was reported missing at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

He was involved in a minor crash just before 11 a.m. Monday, which damaged his silver 2003 Toyota Prius on the right front bumper and headlight, according to police.

Police pinged Sage’s phone in the area of Berlin and New Britain stadiums, which was the last contact he had with his wife, at 5 p.m., according to police, who issued a Silver Alert for Sage, who needs medication daily.

Sage’s Prius has Connecticut plates JX 8286.

He is around 5-feet-8 and has an average build, short gray hair and a close shaven beard. He weighs around 165 pounds.

Cromwell police are asking anyone who comes in contact with Bradford to call 860-635-2256.

Photo Credit: Cromwell Police

Thieves Damage Habitat for Humanity Home in Waterbury


Waterbury Police are searching for burglars that broke into several homes, including a Habitat for Humanity home.

Rebecca Light lives on Berkley Avenue. She told NBC Connecticut that on Oct. 21, she left her home for about 25 minutes in the early afternoon. When she returned, she discovered something unsettling that happened to her backyard door.

“They pried the door open. It doesn’t shut all the way anymore and then they broke the lock right here,” Light said.

The burglars stole her computer and a watch – about $400 worth of items.

Light said she looked across the street and noticed a house for sale had also been broken into, as well as a newly built Habitat for Humanity home.

“I was inside on the telephone -- I can look out and I saw a window and you can see through her house right here because she has no curtains at the moment, but you can where the back door goes [and] I could see trees out the back," Light said. That's when she called 911. "I was like 'hello? The house across the street has been broken into as well.'”

Boarded up windows and doors said it all. Keith Weston, the executive director for Habitat For Humanity of Greater Waterbury, said there were $1,000 dollars in damages to the home.

“It’s heartbreaking. I feel more for the family that’s delayed another week and a half you know what it’s like to buy your first home," Said Weston.

The family was supposed to move in Oct. 26. Now, Habitat for Humanity is scrambling to get the house ready for the end of the week, so the family can move in.

"We have to have an electrician come out and get that ready all over again. We have people coming in tomorrow to put a new door in and the windows so it’s just delayed us," said Weston.

Because the $1,000 in damages doesn’t meet their insurance deductible, the non-profit organization is going to have to pull money from another future home they were saving for. The organization operates on donations.

Anyone interested in donating to Habit for Humanity can visit their website here or call the organization at 203-596-0014.

If you have any information about the break-ins, call Waterbury police. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

1 Taken to Hospital After Crash on Route 9 in Haddam


LifeStar responded to a crash that closed Route 9 South in Haddam Tuesday morning, but the patient refused to be transported, according to state police.

State police said Paul Rouleau, 59, of Old Saybrook, was driving a pickup on Route 9 near exit 9 when he swerved out of his lane and struck a tree.

LifeStar was called and the highway was closed between exits 9 and 10 so the helicopter could land, but Rouleau was conscious and refused to be transported by helicopter, police said.

Instead Haddam Ambulance transported him to Hartford Hospital.

The road has since reopened.

Waterbury Residents Petition for Stop Sign at Intersection


Members from one Waterbury neighborhood are petitioning to get a stop sign at what they consider a dangerous intersection.

Specifically, some said it’s too dangerous when trying to turn left out of Jersey Street onto Spring Lake Road.

Residents said when driving northbound on Spring Lake Road in Waterbury, it can be difficult to see the traffic headed southbound because of a hill ahead.

On the opposite side of that hill is the Jersey Street, Spring Lake Road intersection. It’s getting out of Jersey Street to make a safe left turn that can be a problem, neighbors said.

“It’s very blinding when you first stop at the stop sign and a lot of people just speed,” said Ersiljo Barolla who lives in the neighborhood.

“It’s like you look and you pray,” described John Sabetta.

Both neighbors agreed they would like to see a stop sign on the northbound side of Spring Lake Road before drivers pass the Jersey Street intersection.

The Gilmartin Community Club supports them. They’re petitioning to have one put up, but they’ll have to go before the Board of Police Commissioners, which can approve the installation of the sign. It was denied twice -- most recently in 2014.

“I do remember that one of the reasons was visibility," said Chair of the Board of Police Commissioners in Waterbury, Christian D'Orso. "When you come up Spring Lake, you hit a hill. When you’re coming down the hill that’s where they want the stop sign; and according to regulations and safety, there wasn’t enough visibility for that stop sign to be placed there giving the driver appropriate time to see the sign to stop.”

Members with the Gilmartin Community Club weren’t available to speak on camera with NBC Connecticut, but told us the idea they may have to wait for an accident to happen here to get any change is scary and it is not what they want.

They plan to go before the police board with the petition next month.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

East Lyme Considers Independent Police Department


East Lyme might be the next in the string of Eastern Connecticut towns to rid of a resident state trooper and hire a police chief.

"We have 22 police officers in our town that are under control of the state trooper system, which doesn't make sense," said East Lyme First Selectman Mark Nickerson.

With the costs to maintain a resident trooper going up to about $212,000, according to Nickerson, a local police chief is the better option. Especially since the department already has the equipment and 22 full-time officers.

Hiring a police chief isn't any cheaper, but it's a better value, Nickerson said. The cash would go toward hiring a chief, another administrative assistant and using lock-up facilities in Waterford. Plus the new chief would have roots in East Lyme, according to Nickerson.

The town has had three resident state troopers in the past two years, Nickerson added.

"Who really doesn't know our town, isn't embedded in our town, isn't part of the fabric of our town where his or her kids would go through the school system..."

Talks for an independent police force aren't new. Nickerson said they date back to the 1980s.

Sgt. Michael Macek, with the East Lyme Police Department, said he's worked for good troopers, but this will make East Lyme Police more efficient.

"They have their higher echelon of officers that they must answer to, as well as the selectman and the board of selectmen here in town," Macek said.

According to Macek, the town has been getting ideas and advice from the town of Ledyard that swore in its first police chief earlier this year.

Some residents said this is a step in the right direction, others are not sure why the change is needed.

"Let the locals take over," said Richard Resnisky, who's lived in East Lyme for 45 years. "The town is growing every day.

"I don't know why we need to (hire a police chief)," said Evelyn Maskell, who's lived in East Lyme since 1955. "I kind of like it the way it's always been."

The Board of Selectmen will vote Wednesday at Town Hall at 7:30 p.m. whether to establish a police commission that will be made up of six appointed members along with the First Selectman, according to Nickerson. It'll be their job to move the East Lyme Police Department toward independence.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Driver Hit Tree, Hydrant in West Hartford


A 29-year-old West Hartford man is in the hospital with serious injuries after hitting a tree on Tuesday morning, according to police. 

Police responded to 29 Sunset Farms after someone contacted them about a loud noise and water spewing from a fire hydrant that was knocked over and they found that the driver, Charles Narwold, hit a tree, police said. 

Narwold was unresponsive and first responders pulled him from the vehicle. 

Police said it appears he was traveling on Sunset Farms, toward Farmington Avenue, when he went off the road and hit a large tree, police said. 

The vehicle was totaled and Narwold was transported to St. Francis to be treated for serious injuries. 

Police said the fire hydrant and a large tree were damaged and the vehicle was totaled.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Crews Battle Fire on Talcott Road in West Hartford


Part of Talcott Road in West Hartford is closed as crews battle a fire in a commercial building.

Smoke could be seen rising from the structure around 9:15 a.m. Monday.

More details were not immediately available. Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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