A New Mexico pottery shop is turning human remains from cremations into coffee mugs, bottles and bowls. Owner Justin Crowe found a way to help memorialize loved ones by accident when he tried out the process for an art project.
Photo Credit: KOB-TV
Stacy Downer from New Haven does not want you to make the same mistakes she made with her money.
"My mistake was I hardheaded, my mistake was I thought I was young, my mistake was I didn’t take these things seriously," Downer, 39, said. "I thought money comes money goes, I thought that plastic card would be refilled of not my own account, somebody would do it and it was colossal."
Mishandling her finances cost Downer both education and job opportunities, she said.
"Financial literacy is the keystone to have a better life, to have a stronger household," Downer said. "It’s the foundation to everything."
Downer is part of the 15 member Financial Empowerment Commission Mayor Toni Harp formed back in March. Its task was to come up with ways to educate residents on financial responsibility.
"So basic financial information in some of our communities is non-existent, so what we want to be able to do is provide all of that information," Harp said at a presentation Thursday by the commision.
The city is launching the website to teach residents lessons like how to save, how to budget and how to set up a bank account.
On the homepage, there are also links for reducing debt, buying a house and planning for retirement.
"With this website, it is so user friendly, it’s language that everybody can understand," Downer said.
Downer has learned to curb her impulses to spend beyond her means.
"There’s things your going to have to stop, you cannot live like the Joneses," she said.
Now for a living, she teaches financial literacy classes and offers one-on-one coaching.
"I’m not living from paycheck to paycheck," Downer said. "You know I’m helping my daughter pay for college, I really hold myself accountable to the teachings that I’m giving to the community."
The New Haven Opportunity Center at 316 Dixwell Ave. will also start offering financial coaching classes, Harp said.
A man accused of videotaping unsuspecting women as they used the bathroom in the UConn Law School library is due in court today.
Yiyan Wang, 30, of Hartford, has been charged with 15 counts of voyeurism, one count of disorderly conduct and one count of attempt to commit voyeurism.
A woman who was using a unisex bathroom on the fourth floor of the Thomas J. Meskill Law Library on Elizabeth Street in Hartford contacted police and filed a complaint on May 13.
She said she was using the bathroom when someone in the stall next to her stuck an iPhone under the stall and took a picture or video of her.
According to the arrest warrant application, police identified Wang as a person of interest through surveillance video.
On July 6, police approached him and he initially denied the allegations, but eventually admitted that he recorded videos of females in the restroom, according to police.
Police seized Wang’s phone and laptop. On the phone, they discovered 13 videos of females undressing and using the toilet in the unisex bathroom in the law library, dated between June and July.
Police also found clips of a male and female having sexual intercourse. That video appeared to have been shot through a small opening and the couple did not seem to know they were being recorded, according to the application.
Police found similar video’s on Wang’s laptop. Some videos dated back to May 2013.
Wang turned himself in around 6 a.m. on Oct. 12 after learning of a warrant for his arrest.
He was held on a $250,000 bond, which was later reduced in court.
A UConn senior who is accused of grabbing a woman's buttocks on the UConn campus in Storrs Thursday afternoon has been charged with fourth-degree sexual assault.
Police arrested 21-year-old Samuel Manzolillo, of New York, New York, who is accused of "aggressively" grabbing the victim's buttocks with both hands at 1:55 p.m. outside of the Commissary Warehouse.
A police report says the incident was caught on camera.
After sending out a campuswide alert with a photo of the incident, police received information that Manzolillo was the person in the photo and went to his apartment, where they found clothing matching what he was wearing in the video.
Manzolillo, an engineering student, was charged with fourth-degree sexual assault and second-degree breach of peace.
Bond was set at $10,000.
Most Americans will cast their votes without any problems on Election Day, but some may be challenged on their voting eligibility, experience or witness voter intimidation, or have trouble finding the right polling place.
There have been reports of several voting issues across the U.S. during early voting: A Texas judge ordered local election officials in San Antonio to stop incorrectly telling voters that photo ID is required to cast a ballot; an Iowa woman was charged with voter fraud after she allegedly voted for Donald Trump a second time; and civil rights advocates in North Carolina said voters were illegally dropped from registration lists after their eligibility was challenged.
The nation’s largest nonpartisan coalition of more than 100 organizations, led by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, has been fielding voters’ complaints from across the country since the primaries. The coalition will ramp up its efforts on Election Day, bringing 4,500 legal volunteers and 2,500 grassroots volunteers to help answer questions from voters calling into their Election Protection hotline.
They can be reached at 866-OUR-VOTE (English only), 888-VE-Y-VOTA (English/Spanish) and 888-API-VOTE (English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Bengali, Hindi, Urdu and Tagalog).
“We’re bracing for a higher volume of calls on Elections Day and remain vigilant,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director at the Lawyers’ Committee. “We want to ensure that voters are able to cast their ballot free from discrimination and harassment.”
Here’s what you should know before heading to the polls:
Am I ready to vote?:
Among the most frequently asked questions from people calling the Election Protection hotline over the years are: Am I registered? Where do I vote? What do I need to bring with me?
Voting laws vary from state to state and before casting a ballot voters should verify that they are registered to vote at their current address, find out where their polling place is and ensure they have the proper form of identification required by state law — if ID is even required. People who moved recently and did not change their address for voting purposes may face additional obstacles in getting to the right voting place or will have to cast a provisional ballot, instead. Contact your local board of elections to ensure you’re registered to vote and check out this vote prep plan.
Still confused? Call the hotline.
“We’re on the phones, but we’re also sitting in front of the computer and we can help people in real time by finding their voter information,” said Adam Laughton, an associate at Seyfarth Shaw law firm who will serve as a call center captain in Houston, Texas.
He added that local election board websites often get overwhelmed on Election Day, so calling the hotline can be the quickest way to access voter registration information. Election Protection volunteers can also be found at many polling places and there are lawn signs in front of polling sites advertising the hotline.
Voter ID Laws:
Voter ID laws vary from state to state and a recent national survey found that Americans are confused about voter ID laws. According to the survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, some voters live in states that do not require identification to vote but think it is needed. Others live in states that require IDs but mistakenly believe they do not need one to vote, the survey found.
Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have no identification requirement, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Twenty-two states “request” identification but provide conditions that permit voters without it to cast a ballot without requirements to confirm identity. That means voters can cast a provisional ballot or sign an affidavit of identity in order to vote. Ten remaining states have “strict” identification requirements. Check your state's requirements before heading to the polls as there have been changes to some states’ voter ID laws.
In the summer of 2013 the Supreme Court eliminated a vital provision of the Voting Rights Act, triggering more than a dozen state legislatures to pass restrictive voter ID laws. Federal courts across the U.S. have overturned, challenged or blocked some of those laws.
One such example is the Texas voter identification law. A federal appeals court loosened ID rules in July, allowing voters to present alternative documentation such as a voter registration certificate or a utility bill and sign a document affirming a reasonable difficulty in obtaining a photo ID. Despite the ruling, voting rights groups say not all polling locations are relaying that message.
Laughton said incorrect printed instructions about the voter ID law were posted in polling places in San Antonio and the hotline has been fielding calls from confused voters and poll workers across the state.
"Poll workers just don’t have the grasp on the final points of the law and how it’s changed or the workaround the court put in place," he said.
Voters Being Challenged:
A voter’s eligibility can be questioned before they complete and cast a ballot by voter challengers at polling sites, according to the Lawyers’ Committee. The voting challengers might be appointed by political parties or other organizations, depending on state law. These voter challenges “are often fraught with discriminatory practices and can intimidate qualified voters from voting,” the Lawyers’ Committee said.
“Generally speaking, your identity your citizenship, whether you’ve already voted, those are all reasons someone can properly challenge a voter,” said Adam Humann, a partner at Kirkland & Ellis law firm in New York which is running one of the Election Protection call centers. “Things like race, ethnicity, gender — those are not proper basis to challenge a voter.”
Each state has a different procedure for how to overcome a challenge. The Lawyers’ Committee recommends that if someone is challenged at a polling site they should contact the hotline so an attorney could walk them through the process.
“The first thing is to remain calm and recognize that in every state there’s a legitimate basis for people to challenge voters and that’s done to protect the integrity of the system,” Humann said. “There should be election officials on site who can assist if there are voter challenge issues and here’s a lot of resources if you’re worried that people are making improper challenges or acting improperly.”
There’s a history of voter intimidation in past U.S. elections and this year may not be any different. According to Clarke, voters have been calling the Election Protection hotline with complaints that they felt intimidated when showing up to vote early. In Texas, Laughton said, there have been instances of unofficial poll workers and campaign volunteers telling voters at a polling places to go to a non-existent polling site.
“We encourage people to call our hotline even if it doesn’t personally affect them but they see something wrong at the polling place, if it’s intimidating signs, presence, or poll workers acting inappropriately,” Laughton said. He added that volunteers can contact a county attorney’s office which may direct deputies to go to a polling place if there’s a disruptive situation.
The Lawyer’s Committee suggests the following steps when met with voter intimidation: “First, do not engage. Second, continue inside and make sure you vote. Then notify a poll worker or official. Third, call the Election Protection hotline: 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683). From there, concerned voters can pass along info and local polling officials will be notified and take the proper next steps.”
In addition to answering the hotlines, the coalition has representatives on the ground at polling places in 28 states. The U.S. Election Assistance Commission, which supports state and county election officials, will be monitoring for voter fraud and disruptive election behavior.
If a voter is not able to cast a regular ballot because their name is not appearing on the registration list at the polling place, the voter does not have a required form of voter identification, or an election official challenges the voter’s eligibility, they should cast a provisional ballot.
After a voter has cast a provisional ballot, election officials determine whether or not to count the provisional ballot by verifying the voter’s eligibility. Depending on the state, a voter might have to take additional steps to verify eligibility in order for the provisional ballot to count.
According to the Lawyers’ Committee, many poll workers are improperly trained to handle provisional ballots, and may fail to inform voters’ of their right to it. They can also mistakenly misinform an eligible voter entitled to cast a regular ballot that the voter must instead cast provisional ballot.
“A provisional ballot is the last resort,” said Laughton. “They will be counted several days after the election.”
There are no clear and uniform standards for counting provisional ballots, according to the Lawyers’ Committee and many states do not count provisional ballots cast in the wrong precinct, while others do. Provisional ballots can also be rejected if the voter is not registered to vote, the voter did not complete or sign the provisional ballot or the voter did not provide sufficient identification.
Problems With Voting Machines:
There are various types of new and old voting machines being used across the U.S. and if you see a machines malfunctioning, alert a poll worker or call the Election Protection hotline.
“Anyone using an electronic voting machine, kind of like an ATM, make sure it has registered your vote for the candidate you intended to vote for before you press that last button to submit your vote,” said Marjorie Lindblom, a retired partner at Kirkland & Ellis and the former national co-chair of the Lawyers' Committee. “Just always check to make sure your vote is going to count correctly.”
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump raised suspicions in late October about the voting machines in Texas despite producing no evidence of an actual problem.
"A lot of call-ins about vote flipping at the voting booths in Texas. People are not happy. BIG lines. What is going on?" Trump said in a tweet.
But Texas Secretary of State Carlos Cascos, a Republican, said that there was no evidence of vote-flipping, a term that's used to describe a correctable technical glitch on older electronic voting machines.
Loughton said if a voter notices a lot of machines down, the line getting long, and poll workers not acting to resolve it, report the problem to the Election Protection hotline. Long lines can mean there’s a high turnout or that a county has done a poor job planning and didn’t get enough machines and poll workers, he said.
Another issue that's come up in early voting this year are voter selfies. Nineteen states prohibit posting photos of ballots and voting laws for ballot selfies are unclear in a dozen states, according to reports.
NOTE: NBC Chicago will offer a live stream with complete parade coverage beginning at 9 a.m. Friday right here.
Hey Chicago, what do you say? The Chicago Cubs World Series parade and rally is today!
Cubs fans from across the country are flocking to the city Friday for what will be arguably one of the biggest sports celebrations Chicago has seen in many years.
Street closures, parking restrictions and transportation reroutes will all be in effect as preparations begin.
Fans are being asked to watch the parade along Addison Street from Sheffield Avenue to Pine Grove Avenue, along North Michigan Avenue from Oak Street to Ohio Street and on Columbus Drive from Monroe Street to Balbo Avenue.
The parade will leave Wrigley Field about 10 a.m. CT, the mayor's office said in a news release, with the official parade route starting about 11 a.m. traveling along Michigan Avenue between Oak Street and Ohio Street. It will then continue along Columbus Drive between Monroe Street and Balbo Avenue.
A celebration rally will take place at Lower Hutchinson Field in Grant Park at approximately noon, when the motorcade arrives in Grant Park.
For more on what you can expect, click here.
A 62-year-old Granby man who had been missing since Oct. 22 has been found dead, according to police.
Daniel Gilbert was found dead in a vehicle Thursday night at Tunxis State Forest in Hartland, according to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
His death appears to be a suicide, officials said.
Minnesota-based company MyPillow was fined $1 million for running ads with false claims of the pillow helping with snoring, fibromyalgia, migraines and other medical conditions, NBC News reported.
Prosecutors in nine California counties brought the charges against the misleading infomercials. MyPillow spends about $1.4 million each week on advertising and more than 18 million pillows have been sold in 10 years, according to the Boston Herald.
The lawsuit alleged the company “knew or reasonably should have known” their claims were “untrue or misleading.”
"We did nothing wrong. We did not make any misleading claims," MyPillow CEO Michael Lindell told NBC News. "Rather than fight this, I made a business decision to prevent long and costly litigation, pay this and move on."
The company is no longer allowed to claim the pillows cure, prevent or treat any disease without reliable scientific proof.
Multiple reports say a band of FBI agents hostile to Hillary Clinton are behind the damaging leaks hitting her campaign, according to NBC News.
A current agent told the Guardian that "the FBI is Trumpland," and Reuters and the Washington Post named the New York office as a locus of hostility or frustration. FBI spokespeople did not comment or had no information when asked for comment by the reporters.
Adding to the speculation about the leaks being politically motivated, Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani said on Fox News before Comey's announcement that Trump had "a surprise or two that you're going to hear about in the next few days. I mean, I'm talking about some pretty big surprises," according to the Daily Beast.
But on Fox News Friday, days before the general election, Rudy Giuliani was asked if he had any prior knowledge of the announcement. "I'm not part of it at all," he replied.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump visited New Hampshire Friday, saying he's confident that he'll carry the state on Election Day.
"This is where it all began, New Hampshire - first victory," he said in a speech at the Atkinson Country Club. "In four days we are going to win the state of New Hampshire, and we are going to win back the White House... We're on the cusp of historic change."
Just a few weeks ago, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton had a big lead in New Hampshire. But three new polls released Thursday now show the two candidates in a virtual dead heat.
Clinton will be in New Hampshire on Sunday, and President Barack Obama will attend a rally for Clinton at the University of New Hampshire in Durham on Monday.
Trump and running mate Mike Pence will also be in the critical swing state on Monday night for a rally at Southern New Hampshire University.
Trump mostly stuck to his usual talking points on Friday, hitting Clinton over the FBI's investigation of her emails, saying Obamacare needs to be recalled immediately and promising that, if elected, he will build "a great wall" to keep out illegal immigrants.
"How can Hillary manage this country when she can't even manage her emails?" Trump asked. "What a mess!
"Wait till you see what they find" in the latest round of emails," he added. "It won't be pretty."
Trump also said he would suspend the Syrian refugee program, "and we will keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country. We have no choice."
He also claimed a new jobs report shows the U.S. economy is in bad shape.
His rally came hours after the government reported that employers added 161,000 jobs to the workforce in October. The report also showed that workers received their best pay raises in seven years.
Trump called the numbers "an absolute disaster," and said: "nobody believes the numbers they're reporting anyway."
He also spoke specifically to his New Hampshire audience, saying he'll work to end the state's opioid problem and to protect the environment, including the White Mountains and Great Bay.
Stamford police are trying to identify a man who exposed himself to a 14-year-old girl and inappropriately touched her as she was walking to the bus stop last Tuesday.
Police said the girl was walking toward the bus stop at Ursula Place and Orange Street at 6:45 a.m. on Oct. 27 when the man approached her.
The victim called 911 and the man ran toward East Main Street, police said.
He is in his 30s, and has a medium build and a scruffy beard, police said. His height is around 5-feet-6 and he was wearing a dark black or navy hat, a green sweater and blue jeans.
A 43-year-old East Hartford man was under the influence and violated the move-over law when he hit a construction vehicle and landed on top of a police cruiser in a construction zone on Route 3 at the Wethersfield-Glastonbury line on Thursday night, according to state police.
Police said Michael Gauvin, 43, of East Hartford, sideswiped a crash truck with his Jeep Wrangler on Route 3 South, right before the onramp to Interstate 91 North at 11:15 p.m., hit a barrier in the median, rolled over and landed on top of a police cruiser.
The trooper had minor injuries and was brought to Hartford Hospital. He is expected to be OK. The driver of the crash truck, which is designed to take the impact in the event of a crash, was treated at the scene.
Gauvin was also brought to Hartford Hospital to be treated for minor injuries. He has been charged with driving under the influence and failure to maintain a proper lane.
A duty-free shop is opening up at Bradley International Airport.
Passengers flying to Dublin, Ireland as well as to Toronto and Montreal in Canada or Cancun, Mexico will be able to buy items while exempt from customs duties and consumption, liquor and tobacco taxes.
“The addition of this duty free shop to our menu of services is an important milestone in our continuous terminal transformation process. We’re pleased to now offer our international passengers an opportunity to shop and save on premium items and to expand the shopping options for our domestic passengers,” Kevin A. Dillon, executive director of the Connecticut Airport Authority, said in a statement.
International Shoppes is a specialty retailer with duty free shop operations at John F. Kennedy International Airport and Boston’s Logan International Airport, among others, will manage the new shop.
“We are excited to expand our operations to Hartford’s Bradley Airport and look forward to providing excellent customer service to its passengers. Customers can expect a full assortment of duty free liquor and tobacco products as well as duty paid fragrances, skin care sets and confection that can be sold to all customers,” Matthew Greenbaum, vice president of the International Shoppes, said.
The 500-square-foot duty free shop is located near Gate 8 and will be open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and on Sundays, from noon until 6 p.m.
Passengers who are traveling to destinations within the U.S. can purchase certain items at the store but will not be exempt from the local sales tax.
Interstate 95 North is closed in Stonington because of a tractor-trailer fire just north of exit 91.
The onramp at exit 91 is also closed.
It’s not clear if there are injuries.
Whalley Avenue in New Haven is closed from Amity Road to Pond Lilly Avenue after a car hit a utility pole and knocked it down, according to police.
Traffic from Route 15 North and South to Whalley Avenue can only turn west into Woodbridge and traffic is being diverted to Amity Road, police said.
The driver was not injured.
Police said traffic will likely be impacted for a while because the pole needs to be replaced.
Police officers, firefighters and utility crews have responded.
Two men with guns tied up employees of a T-Mobile store on the Berlin Turnpike in Newington and forced them to open a safe at gunpoint last night, according to police.
The two robbers approached staff at the T- Mobile at 3111 Berlin Turnpike just after 8 p.m. on Thursday, as they were locking up the store, forced them back into the building and committed the robbery, according to police.
Both men were wearing all dark clothing and ski masks, police said.
One is around 6-foot-1, with a heavier build. He is believed to be in his 20. The other man also appeared to be in his 20s. He is tall, but shorter and thinner than the other male.
Anyone with information is asked to call Newington Police Detective Division (860)594-6249. RE NPD I20164126.
An excavator has tipped over along Interstate 84 in Waterbury, according to crews from the state Department of Transportation.
The crane flipped over at a construction site for the I-84 project near exit 23, near the BJs, according to officials from DOT.
No injuries are reported and no additional information was immediately available.
A Playboy playmate was charged Friday after allegedly secretly photographing a nude woman in a fitness club locker room and posting the image to social media.
Dani Mathers was charged with one count of invasion of privacy, the city attorney's office announced Friday. If convicted, the 29-year-old faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 28.
Prosecutors allege Mathers secretly snapped a photo of the nude 70-year-old woman in July while she was showering at an LA Fitness center. The photo later appeared on Mather's Snapchat account and included comments about the woman's appearance, prosecutors said.
Mathers, 29, can be seen looking at the camera and covering her mouth in the photo.
The police investigation began after a report of "illegal distribution" of the image. LA Fitness also reported the post to police.
"Body shaming is humiliating, with often painful, long-term consequences," Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said in a statement. "It mocks and stigmatizes its victims, tearing down self-respect and perpetuating the harmful idea that our unique physical appearances should be compared to air-brushed notions of 'perfect.'
"What really matters is our character and humanity. While body-shaming, in itself, is not a crime, there are circumstances in which invading one's privacy to accomplish it can be. And we shouldn't tolerate that."
The 2015 Playmate of the Year apologized for taking the photo and posting it online. She called her actions "absolutely wrong" and said she meant to forward to select friends instead of all of her followers.
"That was absolutely wrong and not what I meant to do," Mathers said. "I know that body-shaming is wrong. That is not the type of person I am."
The post received swift backlash on social media. Mathers soon deleted her Snapchat and Twitter accounts.
LA Fitness issued a statement, saying her "behavior is appalling." They company said it terminated Mathers' membership.