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Caught on Video: Woman Spends 7 Hours Vandalizing Car


A Los Angeles woman said her Thanksgiving nightmare started when a stranger broke a windshield wiper off her car and etched hundreds of words all over the vehicle over seven hours.

Surveillance cameras over the street in East Hollywood on Thursday night captured the act. In the footage, the vandal is also seen lying on and jumping on the car, denting the hood.

"I just broke down and started crying," owner Stacy Omelianoff said when she saw her car.

The vandal started late Thanksgiving night and continued inflicting the damage, which will likely cost thousands of dollars, all the way past sunrise.

"I couldn't believe it," Omelianoff said. "They were on this car working for hours."

People walked and drove by -- some even took photos -- but didn't try to stop the vandal.

"It's terrible," Omelianoff said. "This is what it comes to here. All people care about is themselves."

The woman was arrested after a mechanic eventually called the police. Witnesses said officers struggled with the woman, who had a bag over her head because she couldn't stop spitting at officers.

Omelianoff said she was told the woman was homeless and would likely be released after a 72-hour mental evaluation.

She said her insurance may not cover the damage and her friends have set up a Gofundme page to raise money for repairs.

Photo Credit: Adrian Arambulo

Friends Make Swastika Cupcakes for Jewish Teen's Birthday


Sweet treats at an Arizona teen's birthday party turned into an offensive message after young party goers decided to decorate their cupcakes with swastika symbols.

Pictures of the swastika topping at the Jewish teen's party began spreading on social media after the teen's mom posted about what happened on Facebook, writing that she hoped it could be used as a teaching moment for parents.

According to the post the girls are all friends and told the Jewish teen's mom they did it to "be funny."

Carlos Galindo-Elvira, the director of the Anti-Defamation League in Arizona says parents need to teach their children about the meaning symbols tied to acts of hate like the swastika.

"When you joke with symbols like the swastika you begin to normalize them and make it very casual within our society," Galindo Elvira says.

Photo Credit: Dan Stamm

Public Hearing to Discuss $250M XL Center Improvement Plan


The Capital Region Development Authority will hold a public hearing Tuesday night to discuss a $250 million improvement plan for the XL Center in Hartford.

The plan could end up costing taxpayers an additional $6.66 for the next 25 years.

This would allow the authority to add 100,000-square feet of additional space. Right now the building seats 16,000 people and is used for concerts, Hartford Wolfpack games and UConn hockey and basketball games. It was built in 1975 and there have been improvements over the years.

The City of Hartford owns the XL Center and any renovations would need to be approved by the legislature.

The hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Connecticut Convention Center, Room 21, on Columbus Boulevard in Hartford.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Car Hits House in Hartford


A car hit a house on Campfield Avenue in Hartford this morning and police are investigating.

Officials said the driver hit a pole and minor injuries are reported.

Eversource and staff from the city’s licenses and inspections department are responding.

The road is blocked, according to police.

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police

New London Assault Victim Dies at Hospital: Police


A New London man seriously hurt in an attack Thursday morning has died of his injuries, police said Tuesday.

Police said the Marlon Beasley, 38, was found unconscious in a fourth floor apartment at 127 Hempstead Street around 3:34 a.m. Sunday. Beasley had serious trauma to the face and head and was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital for treatment. He died Monday evening, police said.

On Monday, police arrested Edgar Sanchez-Valencia, of New London, 44, on assault charges. Police identified Sanchez-Valencia as a suspect in Beasley’s attack with help from the community.

Sanchez-Valencia was initially charged with second-degree assault and held on a $200,000 bond. Police said the charges will be updated following Beasley’s passing.

Photo Credit: New London Police Department

Trump to Kick Off 'Thank You Tour' Thursday: Source


President-elect Donald Trump is set to embark on a tour to thank supporters who carried him to the White House. 

A source in the Trump camp confirmed to NBC News Tuesday that Trump's "Thank You Tour" is set to begin on Thursday with a rally in Cincinnati.

During the campaign, Trump's rallies often drew thousands of people and were often broadcast live. Trump won Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida, states won by President Obama in 2008 and 2012.  

George Gigicos, Trump’s director of advance, told reporters on Nov. 17 that Trump's may visit "swing states we flipped over" after the election, Bloomberg reported. 

Gigicos corrected reporters who called it a "victory tour," according to Bloomberg. “‘Thank you tour,’ Gigicos said. "It’s not a ‘victory tour.'"

Photo Credit: AP

Stratford Emergency Dispatch Center Phone Lines Working Again


The Town of Stratford rerouted 911 calls to other agencies for a little while Tuesday morning because of problems with the emergency dispatch center telephone lines. 

Police said 911 was working and would be rerouted to assisting agencies for emergencies, but the center was back online and operational as of 11:06 a.m.

Another Inch of Rain Possible Wednesday


A hefty soaking of one to three inches of rain will fall across Connecticut through late Wednesday.

On Tuesday, many areas saw close to one inch of rain.

The rain will pick back up again Wednesday afternoon.

By Thursday morning, rain totals overall will be between one and three inches of rain – and it's badly needed.

While this rain will help reservoir levels, it won't end the drought or completely erase that state's water problems.

Temperatures will be in the 50s on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

A glance at the weekend shows a blend of clouds and sunshine with highs in the middle 40s.

Another chance for substantial rain comes next week, on Thursday.

Suspect Charged Over $500 on Stolen Cards: Stratford PD


Stratford police are searching for a man accused of charging over $500 on stolen debit cards.

Police said the suspect pictured above broke into a locker at the LA Fitness at 411 Barnum Avenue on Oct. 22 and stole the two debit cards. The cards were used at the Trumbull Mall on the same date between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. at Footaction, Footlocker and Champs. The purchases totaled $561.76.

The suspect is described as male, around 5-foot-8, with black hair and a medium build. He was wearing a white t-shirt, bright blue shorts, and a dark rope braid necklace at the time of the incident.

Anyone who recognizes the suspect should contact Stratford police.

Photo Credit: Stratford Police Department

Missing Bristol Man Found in Colorado


A missing 47-year-old Bristol man has been found in Colorado, Vernon police said.

Vernon police said family reported Dominic Accarpio, Jr. missing on Saturday.

Accarpio is described as about 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, with dark hair. He was last known to drive a black 2006 Chrysler 300.

Accarpio may have been without his required daily medication, police said. 

Police did not say how he got there or why. 

Photo Credit: Vernon Police Department

WATCH: New Drone Video Shows Apple 'Spaceship' Almost Done


A new drone video released over the Thanksgiving weekend shows that Apple's new "Spaceship" building in Cupertino is nearly completed.

David Sexton, who runs Sexton Videography, made a trip from his hometown Chicago to California's Silicon Valley over the holidays. He sent his DJI Phantom 3 Advanced drone into the air over Apple's new campus.

"I'm an Apple fan boy," Sexton told NBC Bay Area by phone on Monday. "I was on vacation and no one was around, so I decided to do a flyover."

Sexton did the same thing last December, and noted how remarkable the construction changes were in a year's time. "It was just a shell," he said. "It's really blossomed."

His video, taken on Thanksgiving and posted on Nov. 25, shows aerials of Apple's 176-acre Campus 2, aka the Spaceship, being built between Homestead Road and Interstate Highway 280. The solar-paneled, space-age, circular building is slated to open in a few months, in early 2017.

The drone video also shows an underground auditorium, a huge research and development building, a tunnel with underground parking and a fitness center for employees.

A representative from Apple's Campus 2 media list did not respond for comment.

For more information on the project, click here.

Photo Credit: David Sexton/ Sexton Videography

Minimum Wage Fight Sparks Protests Across US


From New York to Boston to Los Angeles to Chicago and other cities, workers took to the streets Tuesday as part of the National Day of Action to Fight for $15. The campaign seeks higher hourly minimum wages, including for workers at fast-food restaurants and airports.

While the protests were largely peaceful, there were reports of arrests across the country. About 25 protesters were arrested in lower Manhattan after linking arms and sitting on a lower Manhattan street. They were among about 350 people at the rally.

Participants chanted "We shall not be moved" and waved signs that read "We won't back down" and "Strike for $15 and our future."

Fast-food worker Alvin Major, 51, of Brooklyn, said he supports four children and a wife recovering from cancer.

"Fifteen dollars is just a number," he said. "If we could get one dollar and one dollar could take care of our health care, housing, food and everything, that's what we need."

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation last April that gradually raises New York's minimum wage.

Workers across Chicago, including at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, began to walk off the job over union rights and an hourly wage of $15.

About 500 workers at O'Hare committed to strike on Tuesday. They include cabin cleaners, janitors, wheelchair attendants and baggage handlers. The workers are employed by private contractors. Strike organizers say many work for minimum wage. They're trying to unionize with the help of Service Employees International Union Local 1.

Organizers say they expect delays and disruption, particularly for United and American airlines. But Chicago Department of Aviation officials say they don't anticipate disruptions.

There were also reports of protests in Charlotte, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Minneapolis in addition to many other cities across the U.S.

Thirty-four Boston-area workers were arrested after protesters gathered in Central Square in Cambridge, at Logan International Airport.

In Los Angeles, the first protest began at 6 a.m. in downtown L.A. with another rally scheduled for noon at Airport and Century boulevards just east of Los Angeles International Airport. Officers made several arrests. 

Work Underway on Waterbury Regional Food Hub


More jobs and fresh produce will be coming to Waterbury’s south end as plans move forward to renovate a brownfield site on Mill Street.

Brass City Harvest, an agricultural non-profit organization, will be overseeing the construction of the Waterbury Regional Food Hub.

The facility will sit on a 4-and-a-half-acre site with three commercial greenhouses, where food will be grown, stored, processed, packaged and sold in a year-round farmers market. Some of the food will also be donated to area food charities that serve low-income families.

The food hub will also employ an additional 24 people.

“I’m still walking on clouds, I really am. We are all in disbelief and now the work really has to begin very quickly. This is where the rubber meets the road and we’re prepared,” Susan Pronovost, the executive director for Brass City Harvest, said.

Brass City Harvest was able to move forward with the plans after the state bond commission approved a $1.7 million bond to begin Phase I of the project.

“What this bond has done is it allows us to leverage grant funding. We needed this as a foundation so we can go to different sources in the federal government and private philanthropic donors,” Pronovost said.

Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary said this project is a win for the community and residents in Waterbury’s south end.

“This section particularly has been long under-served and it’s about time we do something here,” Mayor O’Leary said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Truck Hits State Police Cruiser, Keeps Going: Police


A tractor-trailer kept going after hitting a state police cruiser on Interstate 95 on Tuesday morning, injuring the state trooper, and state police are trying to find the driver.

Trooper Charles Workman was stopped in the right shoulder on I-95 South, near exit 82 in Waterford, when the tractor-trailer drifted into the right lane and sideswiped his cruiser at 4:13 a.m., state police said.

"Could have been a tired driver, could've been a distracted driver," Trooper Kelly Grant said of the truck driver. "Those are the things that we don't know." 

Photos state police posted on Facebook show damage to the driver's side of the cruiser, including to the side mirror, which was destroyed.

Workman, 33, was taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

"It's a shock too. You, as you're sitting in your vehicle and you get hit, your first concern is, am I OK?" Kelly said. 

After hitting Workman's car, the truck driver kept going on I-95 South and police said the tractor-trailer had no distinguishing features. 

Anyone with information is asked to call 860-848-6500.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police.

Woman Runs Triathlon, Breaks Fingers, Delivers Baby in 1 Day


A Tacoma, Washington woman has quite a story to tell after her unexpectedly hectic Thanksgiving. It started with a triathlon, took her to a hospital, and ended at the dinner table with baby pictures.

Rhonda DiCostanzo was up before sunrise on Thanksgiving morning. She kneaded some dough for the dinner rolls and headed out to participate in a YMCA triathlon.

As she was crossing the finish line, she tripped, fell, and broke two of her fingers. DiCostanzo works as a midwife at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma. She hurried over to the ER, where she knows some nurses, to get her hand fixed up.

"And I heard this lady come in, and she was obviously in very active labor and was obviously going to deliver very quickly. You could just hear it," DiCostanzo said.

Jessica Morales could not wait a minute longer. The hospital delivery staff were still on their way. So DiCostanzo rushed over, with her hand still injured, and single-handedly delivered Morales's baby boy.

When all was said and done, DiCostanzo served Thanksgiving dinner to 16 people.

State Announces Eligibility Changes for Child Care Program


The state is changing the eligibility requirements for a program designed to help low and moderate income families pay for child care.

The Office of Early Childhood announced Tuesday that as of Dec. 31, the Care 4 Kids program will not accept new candidates who are former recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) within five years, or who are teen parents ages 18 and 19 enrolled in high school or an equivalent.

This eligibility change will only affect new applicants and will not change the status of any family currently receiving a subsidy or who are eligible for redetermination.

The OEC estimates that this change will impact roughly 1,800 families who may have applied over the next six months.

“The Office of Early Childhood takes the decision to change eligibility requirements to the Care 4 Kids program very seriously and we realize the impact this will have on many working families. We support the goal of many of the federal policy changes that create stability and continuity in care for families. However, these changes have made the program more expensive per child and the OEC must take steps to mitigate this increased cost,” Linda Goodman, OEC Acting Commissioner said in a statement. “Our long-term endeavor is to provide high-quality early childhood opportunities to as many Connecticut children as we can and we will continue to work with our local, state and federal partners to deliver on this goal.”

The change is in part because of a change in federal policy that requires the state to lengthen the period of eligibility for every child that drove costs up.

Specifically in Connecticut, the issues surrounding cost include a shift from an 8-month to a 12-month eligibility redetermination, the extension of the subsidy during a three-month job search if an enrolled parent loses employment, and an increase in number of families enrolled in the program.

In June the OEC asked the US Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to urge Congress to provide more funding to the Child Care Development Block Grant Act to ensure children and families get the care they need.

Earlier this month the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters reported on the multi-million dollar state budget shortfall for Care 4 Kids. At that time many parents expressed concern that they would not be able to count on their day care assistance. However, the changes announced Tuesday will not have an immediate effect on care for those already enrolled in the program.

But Merrill Gay of the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance said the cuts still hurt.

"Today's announcement further restricts access to the Care4kids childcare subsidy. While we are thankful that families currently relying on the program aren't being cut off, there are now over 2,200 families on the Care4kids waiting list," Gay said in a statement to NBC Connecticut. "Connecticut needs to prioritize keeping children out of poverty. Key to that is helping parents with the cost of childcare so that they can work to support their families."

For more information, visit the Care 4 Kids website by clicking here.

Body Pulled from Pond in Willington: State Police


Connecticut State police are investigating after a body was pulled from Halls Pond in Willington Tuesday morning.

Police said the body was found in the pond off Route 32 around 10:35 a.m. Police are investigating the case as an untimely death.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) will be conducting a post-mortem examination to determine the cause of death and confirm their identity. 

Police said there is no criminal aspect to the untimely death. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

State Police Receive Several Reports of Scams at Rest Areas


It’s Giving Tuesday and people are in a generous mood, but state police are urging residents not to give money to people who approach you in a rest area and give a story about why they need money.

“(They're) saying that they ran out of gas, they don’t have enough money for gas, they need to make a phone call, their phone battery is dead, can I borrow some money so that I can make a phone call – 9 out of 10 times, that is a scam,” said Connecticut State Police spokesperson, Kelly Grant.

Several people have contacted Connecticut State Police recently to report strangers approaching them at rest areas along Interstates 95 and 84 and on the Wilbur Cross and Merritt Parkway.

State police urge you not to give money to people who ask for money under questionable circumstances and to decline the request and continue on with your own travel.

“It is fairly secluded there aren’t necessarily going to be a lot of people at a rest area so panhandlers, scammers who do this they know what times of day are the perfect times of day when there’s not going to be a lot of people around to witness what is going on,” said Grant.

If you feel threatened in any way, call 911.

Anyone wishing to help people in need is urged to check www.charitywatch.org, www.charitynavigator.org or www.givewell.org or www.guidestar.org to find reputable organizations and their ratings. 

State Police is also urging people not to donate over the phone or to solicitors who appear at your door and avoid donating through Western Union or other money transfer systems.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

One Injured in Ansonia Shooting


One person was hurt in a shooting on Howard Avenue in Ansonia Monday night.

Ansonia police said they responded to the area of Howard Avenue and May Street around 8:30 p.m. There were no victims on scene but police did collect evidence of a shooting.

A short time later Griffin Hospital reported a gunshot wound victim had arrived at the hospital. The victim, who was not identified, was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact Ansonia police at 203-735-1885.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Group Calls for Trump to Speak Out More Against 'Outbreak of Hate'


The Southern Poverty Law Center has documented 900 incidents of bias and violence in the 10 days since the elections and is calling on President-elect Donald Trump to more aggressively condemn what it calls "a national outbreak of hate."

According to the report, schools have been the most common sites of the spike in harassment and bullying.

The SPLC drew its numbers from submissions to its #ReportHate website and reports in the press. It did not count online harassment. NBC News has not independently verified the incidents.

Anti-immigrant sentiments made up the largest share of incidents reported by motivation, followed by anti-black, anti-Semitic, anti-LGBT and anti-Muslim.

Brenda Abdelall of Muslim Advocates said that Trump's call on "60 Minutes" for supporters accused of harassment to "stop it" is "a step in the right direction - but there must be more."

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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