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Woman Fired Gun at Estranged Husband in Hartford: Police


Hartford police have arrested a woman who is accused of shooting at her estranged husband outside a grocery store in Hartford on Thursday evening. 

Police responded to Wethersfield Avenue, at Elliot Street, just after 6:36 p.m. after someone reported her daughter tried to shoot her husband during an altercation, police said. 

The patrol officers who responded found a 31-year-old man outside the Premium Grocery at 347 Wethersfield Ave. and he said his estranged wife, 31-year-old Madeline Mercado, approached him while he was in his Nissan Maxima, banged on the front passenger window with the gun, then pointed it at him and shot at him once, police said. 

The victim said Mercado ran toward 25 Elliot St. 

According to police, the victim’s vehicle had a broken window, there was a hole in the front passenger side door that appeared to be a gunshot and a projectile was located in the passenger compartment.

The victim was not injured and declined medical attention and police seized the vehicle as evidence.

When police interviewed Mercado, she told them she had been involved in an altercation with her estranged husband and was forced to fire her gun in self-defense, police said, but they added that the video was not consistent with Mercado’s side of the story.

Mercado had a valid Connecticut pistol permit and turned her Ruger LC9 9mm with five live 9mm rounds over to police, police said.

Police arrested Mercado and charged her with first-degree criminal attempted assault, unlawful discharge of a firearm, first-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree criminal mischief and second-degree breach of peace.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police

Utah Students Wear Hijabs to Support Muslims on Campus


A group of Brigham Young University students is turning heads on campus by wearing traditional hijabs.

For the last three Wednesdays, Sondra Sasser and 11 other students have added the garment to their wardrobe to show support for Utah's Muslim community.

"A lot of Muslims are feeling uncomfortable about things... feeling scared about things or just misunderstood, and so any show of solidarity I think can be touching," Sasser said.

She said that the move is no doubt raising a lot of eyebrows around the Provo campus.

"I think a lot of people get excited to see diversity on campus a little bit," Sasser said.

Muslim student Hanif Sulaeman said he supports the group's efforts.

"It's like they are saying, 'This is how we can support you' and 'You are not alone,'" Sulaeman said.

Truck Hits Bus in Willimantic


A truck hit a school bus on Route 32, or Windham Road, in Willimantic on Friday morning. 

The scene is active after the crash, but people at the scene said the bus had already left. 

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: Submitted

Free Shipping Day: More Than 1,000 Retailers Offer Deals Today


Online retailers are spreading some some much-needed holiday cheer for late shoppers: Friday, Dec. 16, is free shipping day.

More than 1,200 merchants are taking part in the offer that will ensure packages will arrive in time for Christmas Eve. Many of the participating retailers are also offering additional deals and sales with the free shipping guarantee.

The complete list of all participating retailers can be viewed here. Deals and guidelines vary from company to company, and free shipping is only guaranteed for items that are currently in stock and may exclude certain purchases.

FedEx and UPS are gearing up for last-minute cyber purchases and have advice for frantic consumers on their websites. FedEx encourages preparation and planning to ensure a stress-free delivery and even has a hotline for consumers to keep tabs on their packages. FedEx and UPS also have holiday calendars that explain the last days to order so the gifts arrive by Dec. 24. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

State Approves First Medical Marijuana Research Program


The state of Connecticut has approved its first medical marijuana research program. 

Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford will conduct the medical marijuana research program and it’s related to patients with multiple rib fractures, according to the state Department of Consumer Protection. 

State and hospital officials will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. to announce the program. 

So far the state’s medical marijuana program has 584 registered physicians and 14,858 certified patients.

Burst Pipe Closes All New Hartford Schools


All schools in New Hartford are closed Friday after a pipe burst in a conference room at the Ann Antolini School because of the cold weather.

School officials said the room was flooded with about half an inch of water. Crews cleaned up the water by 10 a.m. 

A delay was already scheduled, so school had not started for the day when the damage to the pipe and water were discovered. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Shoot, Kill Pit Bull During Domestic Incident in Meriden


Police shot and killed a pit bull that charged at officers as they were responding to a domestic incident in Meriden on Thursday, according to police.

Police responded to a home on Runge Drive around 5:30 p.m. to investigate reports that a man threatened his ex-wife with a gun and found 35-year-old Jamie Hess on his porch and tried to take him into custody, police said.

Hess struggled with officers in an attempt to resist arrest and a pit bull managed to get out of the house and charged at police, according to a news release from the police department.

Fearing for his safety, a police officer shot the dog in the neck and the animal died at an animal clinic, police said.

When police took Hess into custody, they found marijuana on him and seized the drugs as well as three fake guns.

Hess was charged with disorderly conduct, interfering with police, possession of marijuana, second-degree threatening and possession of a facsimile firearm.

Police said Hess’ 5-year-old son was in the home during the incident, so he was also charged with risk of injury to a minor.

Bond for Hess was set at $150,000 and he is due in court today.

Photo Credit: Meriden Police

NYPD: 2 'Are You Muslim?' Attacks


Two people were asked if they were Muslim before being attacked in Brooklyn, police say, and now the NYPD's Hate Crime Task Force is investigating.

Two attacks in the first two weeks of December, both in Bedford-Stuyvesant, are being investigated, according to police.

Police released surveillance video of the suspect linked to the two cases.

In the first attack, on the afternoon of Dec. 4, a group of men, including the suspect, walked up to a 20-year-old man on Gates Avenue. Police say the suspect asked the victim, “Are you from Saudi Arabia? Are you Muslim?” Moments later, he allegedly punched him in the face and another person pushed him to the ground. The group took off down Marcy Avenue.

The victim checked himself in at Elmhurst Hospital.

The victim, speaking to NBC 4 New York Friday, said his attackers were wearing hoodies and smoking cigarettes when he encountered them. They threw him to the ground and punched him, breaking his jaw, he said. 

"One guy push me, hit in the face and second guy throw me down... I  broke my bones," said the victim, who asked that his identity remain concealed.

The man, who just moved to the U.S. from India last month, still had his jaw wired shut Friday and he says he has been unable to eat since the attack. 

In the second attack, this Monday, a 58-year-old man was walking on Marcus Garvey Boulevard, near Vernon Avenue, around 3 p.m. when three men allegedly stopped him and asked where he was from.

The victim was taken to Woodhull Medical Center with a bloody nose and swelling to his face.

The attack comes amid a spate of apparent instances of bias crime and hateful language throughout the region following the presidential election.

Earlier this month, a man called a Muslim MTA worker a terrorist and pushed her down a flight of stairs at Grand Central Terminal, according to police.

In New York City, hate crime has spiked 115 percent since Election Day, with 43 cases reported compared with 20 cases in the same period in 2015, according to NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce. Bias against Muslims has doubled, with four cases reported since Election Day compared with two reported in the same time period last year.

One report, however, was found to be a hoax. A Muslim college student said she was harassed on a subway train by three men shouting "Donald Trump" but was later arrested on suspicion of making a false report. 

Overall, hate crimes are up 35 percent year over year, with a 45 percent uptick in arrests, Boyce said.

Photo Credit: Handout

China Steals US Navy Drone in Int'l Waters: Pentagon


An unmanned, underwater U.S. Navy vehicle was stolen from international waters by a Chinese naval vessel near the Philippines Thursday, according to the Pentagon.

The U.S. Navy Ocean Glider Unmanned Underwater Vehicle was on a routine survey collecting data about 50 miles northwest of Subic Bay, in the South China Sea, when a Chinese ship "unlawfully retrieved it," an official with knowledge of the incident told NBC News.

The ship had been shadowing the oceanographic research ship USS Bowditch, where the drone, carrying an unclassified system, was returning, according to the official.

The U.S. has issued a formal diplomatic complaint, though officials told NBC News the issue did not qualify as an act of war.

It comes amid a series of tense exchanges with China, including its sharp rebuke of President-elect Donald Trump's phone call with Taiwan's president.

Photo Credit: AP/Ritchie B. Tongo

Police Investigating Shooting in Hartford


Police are investigating the shooting of a man in Hartford on Friday afternoon.

Police said a man in his 20s was shot in the torso near Main and Nelson streets. His injuries appear not to be life-threatening and he drove himself to the hospital, police said.

Police ask anyone with information to call 860-757-4000.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police

Xerox to Stay in Norwalk, State Provides $4.4 Million Loan


State officials have reached a deal with Xerox to keep the company in Norwalk and the deal includes a $4.4 million loan, according to the governor’s office.

A statement from Gov. Dannel Malloy says Xerox’ company headquarters and 150 jobs will stay in Norwalk and the company could add between 20 and 40 new jobs over the next four years.

“The Xerox Corporation’s announcement removes all uncertainty regarding the location of the company’s headquarters,” Malloy said in a statement. “Today’s news guarantees that Xerox will continue to invest in the state, contribute to the community, and create high-paying jobs where it has called home for nearly five decades.”

The Department of Economic and Community Development will provide a 10-year, $4.4 million low-interest loan that Xerox will use to buy new equipment and make improvements at its new headquarters in the Merritt 7 Corporate Park in Norwalk. The company has been located at 45 Glover Ave.

“Xerox has been headquartered in Connecticut for almost 50 years and with this decision, will continue to be part of the economic fabric of this state,” Leslie Varon, Xerox’s chief financial officer, said in a statement.

Earlier in the year, Xerox Corporation announced it was separating its printer-copier business from its other contract services like toll-booth software and call centers.

While Xerox will remain in Norwalk, the business services component, now named Conduent, will move to New Jersey.

Xerox has around 39,000 employees and serves customers in 160 countries.

'Help Us': Aleppo Girl Pleads With Michelle Obama


A mother and her young daughter, whose Twitter updates from besieged Aleppo have captured the world's attention, appealed to first lady Michelle Obama as the Syrian crisis continued to unfold Friday without intervention from the West.

"I talk to you as a mother," Fatemah Bana al-Abed said in a video message sent to NBC News. "I implore you to help us ... because we are so afraid."

The message ends with a plea from her 7-year-old daughter, Bana: "Hello, Mrs. Obama. Please help us."

Syria's President Bashar Assad has called their Twitter account propaganda promoted by terrorists or their supporters.

Speaking with NBC News via Skype late Thursday, Fatemah confirmed that she and Bana remain in the shrinking rebel-held pocket of devastated eastern Aleppo. The evacuation of civilians to the relative safety of opposition areas in Idlib and the Aleppo countryside stalled Friday after pro-government militias opened fire on buses carrying civilians, rebel sources told Reuters.

Photo Credit: NBC News
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Dozen Cars Stolen in 1 Day in Waterbury

Police Investigating 6 Burglaries in 6 Hours in Stratford


Police are investigating several burglaries in Stratford between a six-hour span from late Wednesday night until 6 a.m. on Thursday. 

Police said the burglar forcing a door open or broke a window to get into the businesses and took money from the registers at Windmill Bar at 400 Hollister Ave., The Great Wall Chinese Restaurant at 2590 Broadbridge Ave., Gold Star Cleaners at 10 Boston Ave., Headquarters Barber Shop at 2315 Barnum Ave., S&S Liquor Store at 40 Boston Ave. and Kennedy Center Thrift Shop at 2323 Boston Ave. 

Police said the robber has facial hair and was wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt. 

Anyone with information should call Detective Jason Delauri 203-385-4143 or Detective Todd Moore at 203-381-6902.

Photo Credit: Stratford Police

UConn's Storrs Campus Reschedules Some Saturday Exams


UConn said some exams will be rescheduled on Saturday because of weather concerns. 

The campus in Storrs will be delayed until 10 a.m. on Dec. 17. 

Exams scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. will take place in the same locations the same time on Sunday, Dec. 18. 

All other exams beginning at 10 a.m. and later will not be changed. 

Essential employees will follow the same schedule but all other employees should report at 10 a.m.

All other UConn campuses will remain on a regular schedule. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

FBI Backs CIA: Russia Wanted to Help Trump Win


FBI Director James Comey and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper agree with a CIA assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election in part to help Donald Trump win the presidency, two U.S. intelligence officials confirmed to NBC News.

But the officials noted electing Trump was only "one part" of what Moscow was trying to accomplish. The larger goal, they said, was to undermine confidence in America's election system.

The confirmation that major intelligence agencies agree on the nature and intent of the Russian operation may put additional pressure on the president-elect and his supporters, who have sought to portray the government as divided about what happened.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Obama Condemns Russian Hacking in Last Year-End Conference


In the last press conference of the year, President Barack Obama condemned Russia and Vladimir Putin the hack that leaked emails from Hillary Clinton's staff and influenced an election.

Firefighters Battle 3-Alarm Fire in Willimantic

Fantasy of Lights in New Haven 2016


Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Rail Plan Includes Old Lyme, CT Lawmakers Vow Plan is Dead


A Federal Railroad Administration plan to improve and expand high speed rail through Southeast Connecticut became more clear Friday, but it also was blocked as soon as it arrived.

“It will never happen," vowed Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who was joined by leaders from Old Saybrook, Old Lyme, East Lyme, and New London, as well as a pair of state lawmakers and Rep. Joe Courtney. "This route, the bypass, the realignment will never happen.”

The plan, which was discussed last summer and formally revealed in an environmental impact study, included expanding the track to two east of Old Saybrook, going through Old Lyme, and through New London.

The loudest criticism of the proposal came in Old Lyme back in August when a FRA officials were greeted by a polite but vocal crowd of residents who didn't like the idea of high-speed rail going through their historic town.

“It would shake all of the paintings in the museums if it went through where the museums are, like a subway," said Phyllis Shepherd-Tambini. She attended that meeting, and spoke with NBC Connecticut on Friday.

State officials including Transportation Commissioner James Redeker that Governor Dannel Malloy's administration never endorsed the FRA plan.

The FRA has publicly marketed the plan as the best way to connect Boston and Washingont D.C. through high-speed rail.

Local officials always said they felt like the plan ignored their priorities and what was best for them along the shoreline.

“We have residents who have invested in preservation of the environment, open space, historic preservation. They’ve given their time, their effort, their money to do what’s best for our community," said Bonnie Reemsnyder, the First Selectwoman of Old Lyme.

She said with the support of just about every policymaker in Connecticut at the state and federal level, this was an example where protesting and speaking out won out.

“Yes we have been very vocal but it’s because we have something very precious to protect.”

Photo Credit: NBC OTS
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