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GoPro to Cut 15 Percent of Workforce Amid Struggles


The camera maker plans to reduce its jobs and close its entertainment unit as part of its efforts to turn the company around, CNBC reported.

Photo Credit: AP
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School, DCF Investigate After 4-Year-Old Walks Home Alone


School officials and the state Department of Children and Families are investigating after a 4-year-old girl walked home alone from school after she was sent to the office to be picked up early. 

The little girl was going to be picked up early Tuesday, but she was sent to the office at the Thirman Milner School in Hartford prematurely, according to police. 

When she didn't see her mother, the little girl walked around half a mile to her Bedford Street home. A citizen who saw the girl walking followed her to ensure she got home safely, according to police. 

School officials did not immediately realize she was gone, according to police, and the girl’s mother called the school, as well as police. 

No criminal action was taken, according to police, but the school is conducting an internal investigation and the school social worker and police called DCF, which will also investigate. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Linda McMahon Meets With President-Elect Donald Trump


Linda McMahon, the one-time executive of Stamford-based World Wrestling Entertainment, and two-time Republican U.S. Senate candidate for Connecticut met with President-Elect Donald Trump Wednesday in New York at Trump Tower. 

On her way out of the building, McMahon said she was honored to be asked to meet with Trump and discussed business, entrepreneurship, creating jobs and more.

Since winning the general election on Nov. 8, Trump and his transition team have been meeting in Manhattan with possible cabinet members and others considered for appointments in his administration. 

McMahon was on a list that included former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, former U.S. Senator Dan Coats, of Indiana, and retired Marine General John Kelly. 

McMahon was a critic of Trump’s comments about women during the campaign, but she eventually threw her financial muscle behind the Republican, donating $6 million in support of his presidential bid. 

McMahon was also in attendance at Trump’s campaign rally at Sacred Heart University in August. 

Multiple sources close to McMahon told NBC Connecticut that they expect her to serve some kind of role within the administration. 

When asked Wednesday if Trump offered her a position, McMahon said, "stay tuned." 

One top state Republican who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak candidly told NBC Connecticut, “I think an announcement will come soon with her role, but I’m not sure she will lead an entire agency.” 

Another elected Connecticut Republican acknowledged to NBC Connecticut that the Trump campaign sent out “feelers” to major names around the country since they were unprepared with potential cabinet picks or other appointees on election night. 

Both officials said McMahon is a favorite of Trump because of her financial backing during the campaign.

Crews Free Child Stuck in Escalator at Stamford Macy's


Firefighters rescued a 5-year-old child after his foot got stuck in an escalator at a Connecticut Macy’s department store.

Firefighters responded to the Macy’s in Stamford at 7:51 p.m. Wednesday after the child’s foot was pulled to the edge of a step.

The automatic emergency stop system activated and firefighters turned power off to the escalator to free the child.

The rescue was over within 39 minutes of emergency crews receiving the 911 call and the child was transported to Stamford Hospital emergency department, according to the fire department.

Buzz Aldrin Stable After Medical Evacuation From South Pole


Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, one of the first people to walk on the moon, was medically evacuated from the South Pole to New Zealand Thursday, according to the National Science Foundation. 

The NSF did not say what prompted the evacuation of the 86-year-old New Jersey native. According to the tour company that he was traveling with, Aldrin was in stable condition when he was handed over to a medical team with the U.S. Antarctic Program. 

"Aldrin has fluid in his lungs but is responding well to antibiotics and being kept overnight for observation," the tour company, White Desert, added in a statement once Aldrin arrived in a New Zealand hospital.

The doctors treating him say he is in stable condition and in good spirits, a NASA spokesman told NBC News. (NASA tracks all astronauts' health.)

White Desert initially said in a statement that Aldrin's "condition deteriorated" while he was visiting the pole, and he was taken out to a station on the coast as a precaution. The decision was made after discussions with the U.S. Antarctic Program.

"His family have been informed of the situation. This flight is still in progress and there will be further updates when additional information is available," White Desert said.

The request to fly Aldrin from the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station came from South African tourism firm the Antarctic Company Thursday, according to the NSF.

A representative for the Antarctic Company told NBC Thursday morning that the firm had arranged transport to Antarctica for White Desert and that he heard Aldrin was doing OK.

Ski-equipped cargo planes operated by the New York National Guard provide an air bridge between the South Pole station and McMurdo Station on the coast of the icy continent, the NSF said. From McMurdo, Aldrin was flown to New Zealand, where he was transferred to a medical facility in the city of Christchurch.

As part of the Apollo 11 mission, Aldrin followed Neil Armstrong onto the moon on July 20, 1969. He described its surface as "magnificent desolation."

Photo Credit: AP
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Family Defends Dad of Boy Killed as Driver Fled from Police


Family members are coming to the defense of the father of a 4-year-old boy who died in a crash in Branford Sunday after a police chase that started in East Haven. 

Investigators said the boy, Jairus Benjamin, was sitting on the lap of his father, 24-year-old Brandon Little, in a stolen car as police pursued the vehicle in East Haven. 

Jairus died in a head-on crash in Branford after police called off the high-speed chase Sunday night and his mother, grandmother and entire family are grieving the loss, but also coming to the defense of the little boy’s father. 

“He had no knowledge of what was going on and he begged that boy, Tyler, whatever his name is, to let him out and all he did was beg," Sheila Little, the mother of Brandon Little, said. 

"My son is not the monster that people are making him out to be," she said. "My son loved his son." 

Police said Tyler Carey, 18, of East Haven, was driving, Jairus was on Little’s lap and three other juveniles were also in the car. 

Briana Simuel, Jairus’ mother, admits that her son's father made a mistake by not properly securing their son in a child seat, but was also came to Little’s defense and said he was not in control of that vehicle. 

“Everybody still has to realize that was my son's father and he did love Jairus as much," Simuel said. 

She said she does not believe Little knew the car was stolen. 

“It’s understandable that he could have made smarter decisions or whatever -- with the seat belt with everybody in the car. We all know that," Simuel said. "But at the same token, nobody could do anything about it.” 

East Haven police released dashcam video Wednesday that shows an East Haven police officer's pursuit of a white Toyota Corolla. Police called off the chase more than a minute before the fatal crash on Route 1 in Branford. 

Jairus’ members said much of the blame should fall on the driver and they question if the crash would have happened if the police pursuit was called off sooner. 

State Police are investigating all aspects of the case. 

“My son is not perfect," Sheila Little said, "but I'm sure a lot of people here who is watching, their son's not perfect either.” 

Carey has been charged with second-degree larceny, reckless endangerment in the first degree, four counts of risk of injury to a minor, failure to have tail lamps, failure to stop for police, misuse of license plate, reckless driving, driving in the improper lane and failure to signal. 

Little was determined to have several arrest warrants out of New Haven and West Haven and was arrested and held on those warrants. 

Investigators said additional charges could be filed in the case. 

Santa Claws: Beaver Picks Through Christmas Decor at Dollar Store


Haven't we all been there at the holidays -- rifling through the boxes of pre-lit trees, prowling the shelves for just the right holiday bauble?

When it's time to decorate your dam, you have to hit the store! And that's just what this shopper did in Charlotte Hall, Maryland, on Monday.

Except this shopper was a beaver.

And its claws are better for digging through mud and sticks than through a dollar store. Police were called after the little critter damaged some of the merchandise.

"As an law enforcement officer, you just never know what your next call might be," read a Facebook post from the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office.

The beaver was safely captured by animal control and taken to a wildlife rehabilitator, the sheriff's office said.

(To wait for the after-Christmas sales, of course.) 

Photo Credit: St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office

State Trooper Injured in Rollover on Route 25 in Bridgeport


A Connecticut state trooper was injured when he lost control of his cruiser on Route 25 north in Bridgeport late Wednesday night and he was taken to the hospital. 

Police said Trooper Matthew Losh, 33, lost control on wet roads at 11:50 p.m., went into the median north of exit 5, hit the guardrail and rolled his 2013 Ford Interceptor several times.

Losh’s right hand was cut in the crash and he was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital and has been released, according to a news release from state police.

Police said the cruiser was damaged and towed to a garage.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Parton Launches 'My People Fund' to Aid Tenn. Fires Vicitms


Country music icon Dolly Parton is pitching in to help the victims of the Great Smoky Mountain wildfires in Sevier County, Tennessee, where she grew up.

The fires have killed at least seven people and another six are still missing, NBC News reported. 

“I’ve always believed that charity begins at home,” Parton said in a video, announcing that she will provide $1,000 a month for six months to displaced families affected by the deadly fires in the area. Her Dollywood Foundation has established the My People Fund and she invited fans to donate to it online.

“I know it’s been a trying time for my people, and this assistance will help,” she added. 

Approximately 300 buildings have been destroyed in Gatlinburg and 14,000 people had been forced to flee their homes, according to The Associated Press.

Many families are still separated and have not heard from their loved ones. Wolf McLellan, who was staying at a nearby motel, lost his dog, Kylie, to the disaster.

"She was too scared to move with the smoke and sirens and she just stood there. I didn't want to drag her. I couldn't drag her," he told the AP. "I figured the humane thing to do would be to just cut her loose."

Meanwhile, first responders, some of whom have been personally affected by the fires, are conducting a search and rescue mission. While they’ve found bodies, they’ve also been able to rescue people who were initially unable to evacuate.

Parton lauded organizations like the Red Cross for their efforts in Gatlinburg this week. “The support, as always, has been overwhelming,” she said. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Webster PR
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Commissioner of Department of Developmental Services to Leave


The commissioner of the Department of Developmental Services is leaving. 

Gov. Dannel Malloy released a statement on Thursday, saying Morna Murray plans to leave early next year to pursue other professional opportunities. 

Murray joined the Malloy administration in February 2015 will continue to serve in her current capacity and oversee a transition period prior to her departure, according to the governor. 

“Commissioner Murray is a diligent public servant whose skills and experience have been a tremendous asset to DDS and to the State of Connecticut,” Malloy said in a statement. “DDS has seen transformative change under her leadership, including expanding work opportunities, increasing the number of individuals who direct their own care, and implementing a long-term transition of a significant number of state-run residential and day services to high-quality community providers. Her staunch advocacy for the comprehensive needs of children and adults with disabilities will have a lasting effect. I wish Morna the best in her next endeavor, and I have no doubt that we will continue to build upon the real progress she has brought to DDS.” 

Murray said it’s been an honor to serve in her role as commissioner. 

“I am proud of the progress we have made in the last two years, and the bridges that DDS – in collaboration with individuals, families, and providers – have built to a more sustainable future for service delivery in our state in multiple areas,” Murray said. 

Malloy is conducting a search for a successor to serve as Developmental Services Commissioner. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Natural Causes Might Have Killed Woman Found in Fire


Firefighters responding to a small kitchen fire at an elderly apartment complex in Hartford Thursday morning found a woman dead and said they believe she died of natural causes. 

Firefighters responded to a kitchen fire at Shephard Park Apartments, 170 Sisson Ave., at 8:38 a.m. and found a woman who was unresponsive. 

She was pronounced dead at the scene and officials said they believe she died of natural causes rather than the fire. 

Fire officials believe the woman had been boiling eggs and said there was no significant damage to the home. 

Police and the fire marshal are at the scene and investigating.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

I-95 North in Norwalk Clear After Truck Jackknifed

Metro-North, Shoreline East Fares Increase Today


Fares for Metro-North and Shoreline East trains will be going up today.

Officials from the state Department of Transportation said they need more revenue after state lawmakers slashed transportation funding by $37 million when they refused to raise taxes in their latest budget.

Train tickets have gone up 6 percent, or $1.40 each way, depending on whether you buy a ticket onboard or at the train station.

As of today, a one-way peak trip from New Haven to Grand Central on Metro-North will be $23.25 when bought in advance, or $29 onboard. Off-peak tickets will be $17.50, or $24 on-board. See the full list of fare increases.

Commuters said there is nothing they can do about it other than pay the increased fare.

"I actually wasn't aware of it at all, it doesn't matter," Phil Rao, of East Haven, said. "Whatever it is it is, it doesn't change anything. You have to pay it. It's easier to pay here than drive, I can tell you that."

Others said better service should come with the increase.

"There's a lot going on with our service when it comes to the city residents that could be repaired, as far as like we need a hub, we need a bus hub," Kimberly Kyles, of New Haven, said.

The 2 percent discount on "mail and ride" tickets will also be eliminated and the discount on the combined monthly rail ticket and unlimited-ride MetroCard will be reduced from 4 percent to 2 percent beginning with tickets purchased this month.

Bus fare will be going up 25 cents each way, starting Sunday.

See the Shoreline East website to see fare increases.

The DOT's fare increase kicks in today and the sixth of seven consecutive 1-percent fare increases to pay for new train cars is scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Route 15 South in Orange Reopens After Crash


Route 15 South was closed near exit 57 in Orange on Thursday afternoon.

There a multi-vehicle crash and injuries were reported.  The Wilbur Cross Parkway reopened after about 45 minutes.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Found Many Stolen Items After Arresting Burglary Suspects


Police said the arrests of two burglary suspects in Milford Wednesday has led investigators to several items stolen during burglaries in six towns and officers are trying to identify the victims.

Milford police arrested 20-year-old Kelvin Quintero and 20-year-old Noel Figueroa-Flores, both of New Haven, yesterday after receiving a report of a suspicious van on Naugatuck Avenue, in an area where burglaries have been reported.


The van driver fled from police and the vehicle spun out on Interstate 95 in Milford, hitting a police SUV, according to police. People in the vehicle fled, but police soon caught up with two of them, while another got away.

Police have since executed search warrants in New Haven and said they found ítems taken in recent shed burglaries in the last two weeks in Milford, West Haven, New Haven, North Haven, Orange and Branford.

On Thursday, police released photos of the stolen items and are asking the victims to call the department.

Quintero and Figueroa-Flores have been charged with third-degree larceny, third-degree conspiracy to commit larceny, third-degree burglary, third-degree conspiracy to commit burglary and interfering with arrest.

Police said they have identified the other person the two suspects were with.

Photo Credit: MIlford Police

World AIDS Day 2016: Activists Urge Testing, Education


Dec. 1 marks World AIDS Day. It's a time to remember over 35 million people who have died from the disease since the early-1980s and show support for those who are struggling with it now. It's also a chance for health organizations and charities to raise awareness about testing and treatment.

In the United Kingdom, activists are spreading the message that HIV stigma is “not retro, just wrong.” The U.S. World AIDS Day theme for 2016 is “Leadership. Commitment. Impact,” and the United Nations launched the “Hands up for #HIVprevention” awareness campaign, emphasizing the importance of protecting at-risk demographics like young women and girls. 

Across the globe, approximately 34 million people suffer from HIV/AIDS, including more than 1.2 million who live in the United States. 

A red ribbon is a universal symbol of support and solidarity for those living with HIV or AIDS. Here's how organizations are raising awareness and money to help combat AIDS: 

World Health Organization
For World AIDS Day, the UN agency is advocating that health organizations should make self-testing equipment more readily available. About 14 million people around the world don’t know they have the disease -- one in eight AIDS survivors in the U.S. goes undiagnosed.

Self-testing allows individuals to check their HIV/AIDS status. If they do get a positive test result, they can then explore much-needed medical resources that will improve their standard of living and protect others from infection.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are two types of self-HIV tests: the Home Access HIV-1 Test System and the OraQuick In-home HIV test. You can buy a self-testing kit at drug stores like Walgreens and Rite Aid. 

When U2’s Bono and activist Bobby Shriver founded (RED) in 2006, they were bent on eradicating HIV/AIDS in Africa. Since then, they’ve raised $365 million for grants to provide survivors with anti-retroviral treatments that can cost as little as 30 cents a day, but that still aren’t accessible to about 18 million people suffering from the disease.

This World AIDS Day, (RED) has partnered with companies to raise money for the Global Fund to Help Fight AIDS. For every handcrafted holiday drink purchased today, Starbucks will donate 25 cents to the cause. Profits from 20 Apple games sold on the iTunes app store are also going toward AIDS prevention, and New Yorkers can swing by the (BANK OF AMERICA)RED pop-up in Bryant Park to buy holiday gifts through Dec. 4.

According to (RED)’s website, “Bank of America will donate $1 for every purchase made with a Bank of America card using Apple Pay, up to $1M” beginning on Dec. 1. This contribution will be doubled by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has promised to match the money raised by (RED) this year, up to $78 million.

This World AIDS Day, the website’s team is asking Americans to educate themselves about the HIV/AIDS epidemic and how it manifests in the U.S. They’ve put together a resource page for readers to peruse, including links to the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, a timeline of HIV/AIDS, and information about the Affordable Care Act, which has provided coverage to survivors who couldn’t find insurance before because of their pre-existing condition.

Photo Credit: AP
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Hunter S. Thompson's Widow Wants to Clone, Sell His Pot


The widow of American gonzo journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson is working with a company to clone, grow and sell a strain from the writer's personal marijuana stash, CNBC reported.

"I am in the process of making the strains available to those who would like to enjoy the authentic Gonzo strains in legal states," Anita Thompson, who married Hunter in 2003, said in a Facebook post.

She told The Aspen Times that proceeds from the sales would go toward renovating Hunter's 42-acre Owl Farm property in Colorado and turning it into a private museum and writer's retreat.

The recreational use of pot has been legalized in some form in eight states and Washington, D.C. Hunter S. Thompson died in 2005 of what was ruled a self-inflicted gunshot wound at Owl Farm.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Bloomfield in Running for Trader Joe’s Distribution Facility


Bloomfield might soon be the home of a new 690,000 square-foot distribution facility for Trader Joe’s

The proposed project would cost about $78.5 million and be located near Amazon’s fulfillment center off of Blue Hills Avenue Extension in Bloomfield. 

Jose Giner, Bloomfield’s planning and economic development director, received a letter on Tuesday from KPMG, the company Trader Joe’s contracted to negotiate the deal

According to KPMG, the warehouse would bring approximately 675 new jobs to the area, including 150 transportation positions. 

“Very optimistic because they’ve been talking about submitting applications to planning and zoning, those type of things that would indicate they’ve done their due diligence,” Giner said.

But Giner said this is not a done deal. 

Trader Joe’s is considering another location in New York. The company is asking for a 100 percent tax abatement for seven years, as well as a full building permit and a waiver for MDC water and sewer. 

Giner said he does not think the town council would approve those requests, but they would be willing to negotiate to come up with a competitive package. 

“We’re not a very large region so we have to keep that in mind -- that to be competitive, sometimes we do have to offer some types of incentives or else other towns will,” Giner said. 

The town council is working on a new policy for tax abatements. 

Council members received a lot of backlash for their most recent abatement deal with Niagara Bottling

Despite the possibility of a tax break, some Bloomfield residents are in favor of a Trader Joe’s warehouse. 

“I think it’s a good idea. Whatever it takes to bring jobs into Bloomfield and the state of Connecticut,” said Columbus Woodard Jr., who has lived in Bloomfield for more than 40 years. 

A town council meeting is scheduled for Dec.12 to discuss the details of Trader Joe’s proposal. 

Two Suspected Cases of Mumps at Yale University


An email from the Yale Health Director Tuesday morning alerted the university community of two suspected cases of mumps.

One of the cases involved an undergraduate living on campus and the other is a graduate student living off-campus.

“Well, I was glad to be aware of it and I think it’s appropriate to let people know and I trust the school is handling it,” Yale graduate student Catherine Rodriguez said.

Other outbreaks of mumps have occurred in the past year at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield and on the campus of Yale’s biggest rival, Harvard.

“You know my parents had always joked you’re going to go to college and meet some weird disease that you never encounter at home,” Yale freshman Joseph Lawrence said.

Mumps is best known for the symptoms of puffy cheeks and swollen jaw caused by inflammation to the salivary glands.

“On Facebook, the boy who was suspected of mumps actually came and said guys, I'm the one they’re talking about trust me, I’ve been vaccinated, no need to worry about it,” Lawrence told NBC Connecticut.

Yale's Heath Director, Dr. Paul Genecin said in his email more than 90 percent of Yale undergrads have received the mumps vaccine, but it is still possible for students to contract the contagious respiratory disease when exposed to an infected person coughing or sneezing.

“I’m making sure to keep my hands clean especially during flu season,” Lawrence said.

In the email, Dr. Genecin said students with mumps who can’t go home will be cared for at the campus health center until they are no longer contagious. He asked faculty or staff with symptoms to contact their doctors and not come to work.

Photo Credit: Moment Editorial/Getty Images

2 Seriously Injured in Danbury Police Chase


Two people are seriously injured after flipping a stolen car during a police chase in Danbury Thursday morning, according to police. 

A Danbury police officer who was working an extra-duty job at Main and Center streets saw a car he knew was stolen at 10:35 a.m. and approached the vehicle, but the driver fled, according to police. 

The officer then got into his personal vehicle, went after the stolen car and called into dispatch, police said. 

The man driving the stolen car went south on Mountainville Road and the vehicle went off the road in the area of 13 Mountainville Road and rolled over, police said. 

The driver and a woman who was also in the car were both transported to Danbury Hospital to be treated for serious injuries. 

State Police will be investigating and Danbury Police are conducting an internal investigation.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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