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Police ID Teen Shot in New Haven


An 18-year-old man who was shot in New Haven on Wednesday evening is in stable condition, according to police. 

Police officers responded to Shepard and Newhall streets at 6:36 p.m. to investigate a shooting and found Malik Daniels, an 18-year-old New Haven man, with several gunshot wounds. 

Daniels was transported to the hospital for treatment and was in critical condition as of Wednesday night, but is now in stable conditon, according to a news release from police. 

Anyone who witnessed the shooting or has information valuable to investigators should call detectives at 203-946-6304.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Trump Site Selling 'Official' Membership Cards for Inauguration


With just over a month until his inauguration, President-elect Donald Trump is selling membership cards to the event, though it's not exactly clear what the cards offer.

A page on the Donald J. Trump for President site offers the cards in exchange for a donation, suggesting amounts from $35 to $2,700, the federal limit for an individual political donation. The site doesn't say what benefits being a card-carrying inauguration member conveys.

"The bearer of this card is committed to helping advance President Donald Trump's agenda to Make America Great Again!" reads a rendering of the back of the card, visible in a short video on the site.

The webpage informs potential buyers that "our official membership rollout begins on Inauguration Day." On Thursday, it warned contributors that they only have until 11:59 p.m. to pay for the "exclusive" cards before they were sent to printers.

Contributors can vote for their favorite of two inaugural membership card designs. One is deep blue and features an inaugural seal showing the White House above the names "Trump" and "Pence." The other is a photo of Trump waving to an audience at an event. Neither design provides information about how the cards will be used on January 20.

NBC reached out to the Trump transition team for comment about what privileges cardholders will enjoy during inauguration. 

As of Monday, Trump added a link to his Twitter bio selling "inaugural membership cards," according to reports in Fortune and the Verge; the link to DonaldJTrump.com in the bio Thursday redirected to the page selling the cards.

This is reportedly not the first time Trump has made IDs available to his supporters.

The Trump campaign offered donors "gold executive membership cards" over the summer for showing their support, the Verge reported. The asking price was originally $200, but by August they had devalued to $35, according to Fortune. The fundraising move was criticized online, as the shiny gold cards served no actual function.

Photo Credit: AP
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Are They Kidding? 'Fake News' Authors Say It's Just a Joke


Bogus stories about paid protesters and presidential endorsements made by the Vatican, among many other clickable tales, were not uncommon in the run-up to the general election this year, spreading like wildfire through social media. In the media's soul-searching following the election, unsubstantiated stories and their purveyors were singled out, dissected and lumped together under the umbrella of "fake news."

Now, some of the more artistic and comedic creators among the pure click-baiters are speaking out against the "fake" label and calling for a more nuanced approach. Many say they aren't doing fake news — they're doing satire, NBC News reported.

"We get our news from Facebook, but we don't fact-check what we're reading, we don't look into what we're reading," said John Egan, who runs The Burrard Street Journal out of Vancouver, Canada, and has published stories with headlines like "President Obama Confirms He Will Refuse to Leave Office if Trump Is Elected."

Egan said his content is entirely satirical, but he is aware some people will share a story after reading only the headline.

Photo Credit: AP

Kremlin: Report Putin Directed Hack Is 'Laughable Nonsense'


The Kremlin on Thursday disputed an NBC News' report that U.S. intelligence has documented Vladimir Putin's personal involvement in a Russian intelligence operation to interfere in the U.S. presidential election.

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told The Associated Press the report was "laughable nonsense."

Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, accused "Western media" of being a "shill" and a "mouthpiece of various power groups."

NBC News reported Thursday night that two senior officials with direct access to the information say new intelligence shows that Putin personally directed how hacked material from Democrats was leaked and otherwise used. The intelligence came from diplomatic sources and spies working for U.S. allies, the officials said.

Appearing on MSNBC Thursday, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said: "We just don't think Russia would engage in activities like hacking American political organizations without the approvals from the highest level of government. And we are considering what are the responses that can be taken."

Man Who Hit Cruiser on I-91 Was Under Influence of Anxiety Medication: Police


A Meriden man who hit a police cruiser on Interstate 91 in Middletown early on the morning of July 18 was driving under the influence of anxiety medication, according to state police.

Police said Joshua Rita, of Meriden, hit the back of a state police cruiser that was blocking a lane for a Department of Transportation crew fixing a guardrail after a prior crash.

When police questioned Rita, he told them he did not see the police car, according to the arrest warrant application.

The state police cruiser and Rita’s vehicles were both damaged and had to be towed from the scene, according to state police.

The state trooper sustained minor injuries and had to be taken to the hospital.

While Rita was at the hospital, his blood was drawn and lab tests showed a concentration of Alprazolam, a drug used to treat anxiety and panic disorders, which is commonly known as Xanax.

Police have charged Rita with operating under the influence and failure to move over.

Bond was set at $2,500.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Bitter Cold Arrives, Snow on the Way


Winter's grip on Connecticut won't end soon.

The coldest part of this Arctic invasion settles in tonight, with gusty winds and single-digit temperatures.

Temperatures Friday morning will be in the single digits above and below zero, with the wind making it feel as cold as 10 to 20 below zero.

Snow breaks out after midnight early Saturday morning, and several inches are expected.

Up to a half foot of snow is expected in the northwest hills, while as little as one to two inches is expected in southeastern Connecticut.

The snow will change to ice and then rain by midday Saturday, so roads will improve Saturday afternoon.

Temperatures by Sunday will rise into the 50s, so melting will continue. Rain is likely on Sunday.

Another shot of cold comes in Monday, when high temperatures will only be near 30 degrees.

Facebook Is Now Letting You Flag Fake News


Facebook is letting its users flag news stories as fake or a hoax and working with fact checkers to vet them, the social media giant announced Thursday, in its first efforts to address fake news since the United States election.

Some news articles that were widely shared on the platform in the run-up to Election Day were obviously and demonstrably false, like the Pope and Denzel Washington endorsing Donald Trump for president — they did not. It's causing widespread confusion, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center, and the propagation of a baseless conspiracy theory is being blamed for gunman walking into a Washington, D.C., pizzeria shop and shooting a rifle.

Facebook executives have indicated since the election that they were reviewing what changes to make, if any, to combat fake news, though none have said they believe the false news shared on the platform changed the outcome of the election. Those changes were announced at 1 p.m. ET Thursday.

News that's identified as fake by the fact checking organizations, which must sign on to Poynter’s International Fact Checking Code of Principles, will be marked as "disputed" and have an explainer accompanying that content, Facebook said. Facebook's algorithm may also have those stories appear lower in users' feeds. Recode reported that ABC News, Politifact, FactCheck and Snopes are the partner news organizations.

Facebook is also trying to reduce the financial incentive for creating and posting fake articles, and is testing a way to see if reading an article leads fewer people to share it indicates the story is misleading and should be ranked lower.

"We believe in giving people a voice and that we cannot become arbiters of truth ourselves, so we’re approaching this problem carefully," News Feed Vice President Adam Mosseri said in a statement. "We've focused our efforts on the worst of the worst, on the clear hoaxes spread by spammers for their own gain, and on engaging both our community and third party organizations."

A Pew survey released Thursday found that 64 percent of U.S. adults say fabricated news stories are causing confusion about basic facts in current events, while only 10 percent said they believed it was causing not much or no confusion.

Seventy-one percent of the 1,002 people surveyed between Dec. 1 and 4 said they see fake news online often or sometimes.

Fake news became a massive point of contention in the final days of the election and afterward, with Hillary Clinton calling fake news a "danger that must be addressed" quickly in a speech on Capitol Hill last week.

The fake news seemed to target Clinton more than Trump, according to analyses of the content, including one by Buzzfeed that found top false articles generated more engagement than top election stories posted by 19 major news outlets, like NBC News, The New York Times and others. Only three of the top 20 performing false stories didn't target Clinton or support Trump, it found.

Producing fake news became a cottage industry in one part of Macedonia, where NBC News spoke to a teenager who said he's earned $60,000 in six months off of baseless, incendiary posts that mainly targeted followers of Donald Trump, because "Nothing can beat Trump's supporters when it comes to social media engagement," he said.

Those stories appear to have had real-world effects. Edgar Maddison Welch took an AR-15 rifle and handgun into the popular Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in D.C. in early December, to investigate the a rumored child sex abuse ring purportedly run by a Clinton aide, police said. The store's owner had already been receiving death threats, as the hoax became popular on Reddit and other online forums, before spinning off into fake news stories.

Welch discharged his rifle, but no one was hurt, police said. He later told a New York Times reporter that his "intel on this wasn't 100 percent."

CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said he doesn't think fake news swayed the election, and Mosseri told The New York Times Thursday he doesn't believe the feed directly caused people to vote for a particular candidate: "the magnitude of fake news across Facebook is one fraction of a percent of the content across the network."

Americans are split on whether fake news is should be limited by social media, according to a McClatchy-Marist poll of just over 1,000 adults out Thursday. Fifty-three percent said it should be up to users to determine what information is true, while 41 percent said Facebook and Twitter should be responsible for preventing false information from spreading. 

A higher portion of those surveyed by Pew — 71 percent — said social networking sites and search engines bear a great deal or some responsibility for preventing their spread.

According to that poll, only 15 percent of people are not confident in their ability to spot fabricated news. But many have difficulty differentiating fake news from real, according to a recent Stanford study of students across the country. 

Photo Credit: File – Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images
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Tom Brady is Hiding Old Pairs of His UGGs Around Boston


Always wanted a pair of Tom Brady's old shoes? Well you're in luck.

The New England Patriots quarterback is hiding three pairs of his old UGGs around Boston on Thursday. The autographed slippers and boots are being left outside, wrapped in festive red ribbon.

So far, he's posted clues to the whereabouts of two pairs on his Facebook page.

Brady has long been a spokesperson for UGGs. During his 4-game Deflategate suspension, he appeared in ads for the footwear company featuring teammate Julian Edelman and actor Jeff Bridges.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Access Health Connecticut Deadline Extended


The deadline to enroll for Access Health CT has been extended.

The deadline to enroll for health coverage as of Jan. 1, 2017 has been extended from Thursday, Dec. 15 to midnight, Thursday, Dec. 17 to accommodate high application volumes. 

Access Health is the state’s version of the Affordable Care Act and in the past six weeks 16,000 Connecticut residents have signed up for coverage in 2017.

The entire system’s future is uncertain with President-elect Donald Trump targeting it for possible changes.

“This a national topic right now and that’s been working really positively for a lot of our state,” Andrea Ravitz, of Access Health CT, said. “What we’re telling people right now is the law has not changed and the rules are still the same and the penalties are still there. So we’re doing everything in our power to enroll as many people as possible.”

The penalty for not having health insurance is at least $695.

To enroll, you need the following documentation:


  • Social security number
  • Visa, green card or other immigration documents
  • Most recent tax return
  • Employer Information including offers of employer sponsored coverage
  • Current insurance coverage


And for those concerned about the president-elect’s plans, Access Health staff said it is their understanding anyone who enrolls now will have coverage through 2017.

Access Health reminds people there is money available to help with costs if you qualify.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Route 1 Reopens in Westbrook Closed Following Laundromat Fire


Part of Route 1 in Westbrook was closed as crews responded to a fire at a laundromat. 

State police said Route 1 was closed near Wesley Avenue because of a fire at the Jet Laundrette, which is located at 755 Boston Post Road. 

The fire chief said the call initially came in as a dryer fire and the department had to call in mutual aid to help. 

Due to the bitterly cold temperatures, it was necessary to cycle crews to try and give them some relief from the elements. Ice also added some complication for crews. 

"Makes a lot of hazards around the fire scene- we had ice almost immediately when we got here," Chief Clifford Spencer with the Westbrook Fire Department said. "As soon as we put water on fire, it would have turn to ice." 

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Truck Rollover Shuts Down I-395 South in Plainfield

Roof Found Guilty on All Counts


Dylann Roof, the 22-year-old who shot and killed nine people during Bible study at a Charleston, North Carolina, church, was found guilty of all charges on Dec. 15, 2016.

Entire Police Force Quits in Protest of 'Immoral' Actions


Bunker Hill, Indiana has been left without a police department after the town marshal and four reserve deputies resigned over complaints about mismanagement and unethical requests from the town council, NBC News reported.

Town Marshal Michael Thomison, in his resignation letter, accused the town board of engaging in illegal, immoral and unethical actions, including requests to conduct criminal background checks on other board members and retaliation against deputies who pulled over council members or their spouses.

In addition, deputies were rankled by a lack of adequate supplies and skimpy funding for the force, which has volunteer members who do not receive benefits. Thomison was the only paid full-time member.

In a statement Wednesday night, officials disputed the deputies' assertions that something nefarious was being done by the government, and chalked it up to "disagreements" in policy making.

Photo Credit: Michael Thominson

Cold Weather Slows Efforts to Put Out Fire at Ledyard Recycling Facility


The bitter cold is what is slowing down crews efforts to put out a fire at a recycling facility in Ledyard. 

Ledyard fire chief said his department continues to battle the fire at Sauchuk M.J. Waste Management Company on 20 Lorenz Industrial Pkwy. 

The fire broke out at 10:30 a.m., however, crews were still on the scene after 8 at night because of the cold, the fire chief said. 

While the fire is almost out, firefighters need to be switched out because of the frigid temperatures.

In addition to swapping crews, the chief said their water lines froze while they worked the fire. 

There were no injuries reported.

Photo Credit: Bryan Quilter

Company Uses Thousands of Balls to Help Get Pets Adopted


"For a dog in a shelter, being adopted is as awesome as being able to jump into a pool full of tennis balls."

That's what Daniel Reitman, the owner of Dan's Dog Walking and Pet Sitting,  believes. 

When Reitman was inspired by a Bay Area man'sInstagram post about losing his dog, he was inspired to make allegory a reality. 

In 2014, Chris Sontag-Ratti lost his best friend: a dog named Everything. As a way to honor her memory, Reitman said, Sontag-Rattie posted a picture of a flyer with a picture of Everything in January, which marked two years since she passed. 

"Please use this tennis ball to spend some time with your best friend. Thank you for helping keep her memory alive."

Sontag-Ratti said that he would send one of the 100 tennis balls he bought to whoever wanted them. When he woke up the next day, he said, he had thousands of emails. 

In November, Sontag-Ratti was contacted by Reitman, of Long Island, with an opportunity to take his generostiy a step further. 

"He sent me a picture of (the thousands) of tennis balls he had," Sontag-Ratti said. "He told me was donating them to shelthers and that went with the theme of what I'm doing."

Reitman explained to Sontag-Ratti that he began collecting up to 4,000 tennis balls since seeing the Instagram post. 

"We wanted to take his concept and apply it to getting dogs rescued from shelters," Rietman told NBC Connecticut.

After getting Sontag-Ratti's photos and videos of Everything, Reitman and his team made their own video to bring attention to shelters and pet adoptions. When someone shares the Facebook posts and tags their favorite animal shelther, Dan's Dog Sitting promises to donate a bag of tennis balls to them.

For more details on how you can help, check out their website. 

Photo Credit: Daniel Reitman/Dan's Dog Walking and Pet Sitting
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Off-Brand Hatchimal, Fuzzy Wonderz, Leaves Customers Waiting


In his desperate search for a substitute to the popular Hatchimal toy, Southbury native Robert Morin came across Fuzzy Wonderz.

The off-brand holiday toy costs just as much as and acts similar to a Hatchimal—once hatched from its shell, children can interact with it using a free smartphone app.

“I started looking at it really briefly,” said Morin. “I read a little bit about it, and without doing much research, I purchased it.”

Morin ordered one for his 9-year-old daughter on November 23. The website boasted free two-day shipping, but Morin says he never received confirmation that his was on its way… so he went back online and dug deeper.

“The company just popped up out of nowhere,” said Morin.

When two days passed with no update, he decided to cancel his order. He says he had to call customer service several times before he received an email confirmation.

“I did get nervous when I thought I was going to have to eat 60 dollars,” said Morin. “Which, you know, it’s a lot for myself and my family.”

It took about two weeks of waiting and scrambling for a new gift before his refund was processed. Morin says he contacted us because he doesn’t want other parents to have the same experience.

“You’re trying to give your child a great Christmas, and this guy’s promising something great for your kid and people are getting let down,” said Morin. “It’s not good.”

NBC Connecticut Responds reached out to Fuzzy Wonders. A company spokesperson told us:

"We failed to predict the overwhelming demand for our product. We have been and continue to take steps, including adding staff to improve the level of customer support. We are working to get customer wait time down to as little as possible."

The spokesperson also added that the company expects to ship all remaining orders by Dec. 15.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

SWAT Has Cleared Scene in Willimantic


There was a large police presence on Pearl Street in Willimantic on Friday morning, including SWAT, and several streets were closed, but the scene is now clear.

Police said there is no danger to the public.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Herd of Bison Surround Family, Lick Salt Off Car


A family visiting South Dakota's Custer State Park got quite a greeting from a herd of American bison. They were driving along the park's wildlife loop, hoping to catch a glimpse of animals roaming around and to their amazement, had a close encounter with a number of seemingly friendly bison. The curious animals discovered the car was covered with road salt, and proceeded to use it as a giant salt lick.

Photo Credit: NBC

Police Investigating Homicide in Bridgeport


Police responding to reports of a shooting in Bridgeport on Thursday night found a man dead in an apartment and they are investigating his death as a homicide.

Police said they responded to 360 Palisade Ave. after a 911 call placed at 6:43 p.m. and found 32-year-old Noel Esbri, of Bridgeport, with a gunshot wound to his upper body.

Medics responded, but Esbri had already died from his injuries, police said.

The Bridgeport Police Department Detective Bureau is investigating and anyone with information about the homicide should call the Bridgeport Police Tips Line at 203-576-TIPS (8477).

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Boy, 12, Tried to Nail-Bomb Christmas Market: Officials


A 12-year-old boy attempted to detonate a bomb at a Christmas market in Germany, authorities said, NBC News reported.

On Dec. 5, local officials found a black bag in a waste container. The bag contained what is believed to be “pyrotechnical material that is used in fireworks,” according to investigators.

Germany’s FOCUS magazine reported that a controlled explosion was carried out after the bomb was reported by a civilian. They also reported that the same boy had tried to detonate explosives at the Ludwigshafen Christmas market on Nov. 26. It is unclear if it was the same device as the one found nine days later.

Local authorities told NBC News that they would “turn down an investigation” in this case because they boy, who was born in Germany but is of Iraqi heritage, was under age 14. FOCUS quoted investigators as saying the "strongly radicalized" suspect was likely "incited and instructed" by an "unidentified member of ISIS."

Photo Credit: Google Maps
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