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Car Strikes Pedestrian on I-84 in Danbury, 1 Death Reported

Man Fatally Hit by Car in Groton


A man was fatally hit by a car in Groton on Thursday night. 

Police said the accident happened on Crystal Lake Road just east of Route 12.

The victim was transported to Lawrence and Memorial Hospital for serious injuries and later died. 

The car operator was transported to Pequot Health Center. 

The identity of the victim and driver are being withheld by police. 

An investigation is on-going. 

Fatal Accident on Route 8 in Naugatuck

Ellington Mother of 2 Killed a Year Ago Remembered


More than 100 people gathered at Arbor Park in Ellington on Thursday night for a vigil remembering Connie Dabate.

"I never had a sister, but she was my sister," said Kim Phillips, who called Dabate her best friend.

For family and friends, continuing on without the 39-year-old is a daily struggle.

"This past year we grieved together when you left us too soon," said Darlene Beaudry.

"She would never be able to tuck her children into bed that Christmas night or wake up with them that morning to see the presents left by Santa," said Phillips.

It was one year ago on December 23rd when police responded to the Dabate's Birchview Drive home for a burglary alarm. Inside the home they found Connie Dabate dead and her husband, Richard, with non-life threatening injuries.

Every day since, family, friends, and neighbors have hoped for a break in the case.

"I have faith. I know this will eventually get resolved, but it's very difficult to wait for that to happen," said Phillips.

Organizers of the vigil say it’s important to focus on how Dabate lived. Friends spoke of her charity, her kindness, and her strength.

"This is a way to honor her, and I know she would be so pleased looking down, seeing her friends and family," said Phillips.

Those who knew Dabate say it's important for them to remember.

"It's been a year since we lost our friend, and we don't want her memory to fade," said Liz Sprague.

Regarding the case, state police say it remains an active investigation.

Photo Credit: Dabate Family

DOL Online System Shuts Down For Upgrade


People already concerned about how they'll pay for holiday gifts may be dealing with added frustration in trying to collect unemployment benefits. The state has taken its filing system offline to perform an upgrade.

The Department of Labor's online system shut down Wednesday afternoon, they said they had to do it to be able to handle more claims. However, people waiting on unemployment money feel like it's not moving fast enough.

”It's frustrating because I’ve been three weeks without pay now, unemployed for three weeks , it's frustrating and would like to get compensation,” said Kenneth Shaffer.

Shaffer had gone to the DOL in person looking for answers.

“I came here in hopes to talk to someone and to get unemployment,” said Shaffer.

Shaffer said he lost his job after the temp agency he worked for ended his contract. But, trying to collect unemployment is proving to be hard work too.

“It's been two weeks, I’ve done it multiple times and they've locked me out and I come here to talk to someone and they give me a number to call for the state,” explained Shaffer. “I tried calling multiple times and you don't get anybody.”

Officials with the Department of Labor said the upgrade is necessary in order to handle the 300 percent increase in the number of seasonal claims they expect to be filed in January.

“We're making modifications, so the system had to come down yesterday and we're going for the modifications right now as we speak,” said Daryle Dudzinski director of labor operations for the DOL.

However, the shutdown comes at a bad time, just days before Christmas, making what many said was an already slow process, even slower.

“I have bills to pay and it's rough and it's frustrating,” said Shaffer.

Dudzinski points to cuts in federal funding for the overall delays in system.

“We know our staffing levels aren't enough,” said Dudzinski. “But we're making the changes and staff are really stepping up as they always have.”

Shaffer, did eventually get through on the phone.

The Department of Labor said the upgrade is going smoothly and they expect the online system to be back up Friday. While it’s down, shut down they want people to use their Telebenefits system to file claims. However, they said to expect longer wait times with that, because it's getting a lot more traffic due to the shutdown.

Photo Credit: DOL

Car Runs Into Lake at Southington Country Club

Berlin Truck Attacker Killed: Officials


Anis Amri, the man suspected of driving a truck into a Berlin Christmas market on Monday, has been killed in a shootout with police in Italy, Italian authorities said early Friday.

Italy's interior minister Marco Minniti said after the shootout all the necessary checks were conducted and that "the person killed, without a shadow of a doubt, is Anis Amri, the suspect of the terrorist attack."

Minniti said German authorities were immediately informed.

The shootout took place at 3 a.m. in Milan's Sesto San Giovanni neighborhood during a routine police check.

The man pulled out a gun from his backpack after being asked to show his identity papers. The man was killed in the ensuing shootout.

A police officer was injured and is recovering at a hospital.

Minniti added that the two police officers who were on patrol and stopped Amri "have done an extraordinary service to the community."

This story is being updated.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/German Federal Criminal Office

Explosion Blows Roof off Chemical Plant in New Haven


An explosion at New Haven Chlora-Alkali, H. Krevit & Company blew part of the roof off the chemical plant at 73 Welton St. in New Haven and neighbors were evacuated for a couple of hours. 

The incident, which happened around 11:30 a.m., was initally called in as a hydrogen-cyanide explosion, but officials later said it was actually an explosion in a natural gas feeder line to an overhead heater at the plant, according to the public information officer. 

Now officials are backing away from the natural gas theory.

The damage at the plant is extensive and part of the roof is gone, but no one has been injured, according to officials.

The explosion also blew out windows of a home nearby and sent debris onto the Amtrak rails, but the tracks have reopened.

Residents in the block around the company were evacuated, but have been allowed to return to their homes.

Bill Lacey was at the company to service the elevator when the explosion happened and saw it happen.

“My van shook and I turned around and when I looked the top of the roof was about 40 feet in the air and insulation and foam was flying all over the place and like a white puff of smoke came out and that was about it,” Lacey said.

He said he was taking parts out of his van during the explosion.

“It was pretty scary,” he said.

Hazmat crews responded to the scene as a precaution in the event of another explosion, but most emergency crews have now left, other than investigators.

The New Haven Fire Department is investigating and police are at the scene, providing traffic control.

The company where the explosion occurred was created in 1919 as a manufacturer of Sodium Hypochloride bleach and it was sold in 2016. The company continues to makes Sodium Hypochloride, as well as a line of other chemical products and services companies in the metal finishing, swimming pool and water treatment industries.

Photo Credit: Submitted

Connecticut Senate Control to be Shared


Connecticut Senate Democrats and Republicans announced the parties will split control of the chamber when lawmakers return for the legislative session on January fourth.

Republicans won three senates in the November 8 election, drawing even with Democrats at 18-18 for the first time since the 1890's.

In a statement, Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney said, “With bipartisan power comes bipartisan responsibility and accountability. Today’s announcement would not have been possible without Senator Fasano’s leadership and commitment to working together throughout this process."

Sen. Len Fasano, the current Minority Leader said, "Our goal is to do what is in the best interest of our state, and that includes respecting those who voted for balance and an evenly split state Senate. We have become a chamber of equals, and now we have a plan to maintain that equality in all day to day legislative business.”

There will be significant changes to regular business in the Connecticut Senate and the General Assembly as a whole.

The agreement lays out that Looney will remain President Pro Tempore, the member who historically controls floor activity and committee assignments, Fasano will have a new title of "Republican President Pro Tempore," Democratic Sen. Bob Duff will maintain his title as "Majority Leader," and Republican Senator Kevin Witkos will have a new title of "Deputy Republican President Pro Tempore.

The biggest change will be in the makeup of committees. Since Connecticut has a system of joint-committees, where both House and Senate members chair and review legislation simultaneously, there will be more Senate representation at the top of those committees.

The power-sharing agreement provides for one Democrat and Republican chairing each committee and there will be an equal number of Democrats and Republicans serving on each committee.

Finally, in recent years, controversial budget bills must be presented to the public 12 hours before the Senate can review them.

Lawmakers will meet for the opening of the 2017 session Jan. 4.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Putin: Russia's Nukes Can Pierce Any Defense System


President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Russia had nuclear warheads that could penetrate any missile defense system, NBC News reported. 

"We've advanced in improving the systems ... including [those that have] to do with overcoming missile defenses," he said during his annual press conference in Moscow. "Today, this system is more efficient than the [U.S.] missile defense."

"It's not us who have been speeding up the arms race," Putin also said.

On Thursday, President-elect Donald Trump stunned nuclear experts when he said "the United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes."

Photo Credit: AP

Donald Trump on Nukes: 'Let It Be an Arms Race'


President-elect Donald Trump suggested Friday that he is willing to engage in "an arms race," insisting that the United States will surpass its rivals and "outlast them all" in a push for global weapons dominance, NBC News reported.

"Let it be an arms race. We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all," Trump said in a statement to "Morning Joe" host Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC.

Trump's assertion comes a day after he tweeted that the United States "must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes."

But as the president-elect threatens to upend longstanding U.S. nonproliferation policy, spokesman Sean Spicer pushed back, saying Trump's comments were meant to send a general message of strength to countries like Russia and China rather than indicate the United States planned to build up its nuclear capabilities.

On NBC's "Today," Spicer said, "We're not going to sit back and watch other nations threaten our safety."

If Trump were to seek an expansion of the nuclear stockpiles, it would mark a sharp shift in U.S. national security policy. President Barack Obama has made nuclear nonproliferation a centerpiece of his agenda, calling in 2009 for the U.S. to lead efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons — a goal he acknowledged would not be accomplished quickly or easily.

Still, the U.S. has been moving forward on plans to upgrade its aging nuclear arsenal. Earlier this year, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the Pentagon planned to spend $108 billion over the next five years to sustain and improve its nuclear force.

The U.S. and Russia hold the vast majority of the world's nuclear weapons. In 2010, the two countries signed the New START treaty capping the number of nuclear warheads and missile launchers each country can possess. The agreement is in effect until 2021 and can be extended for another five years.

The state of the U.S. nuclear arsenal was rarely addressed during the presidential campaign. Trump's vanquished Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, repeatedly cast the Republican as too erratic and unpredictable to have control of the nation's nuclear arsenal.

The president-elect's transition website says he "recognizes the uniquely catastrophic threats posed by nuclear weapons and cyberattacks," adding that he will modernize the nuclear arsenal "to ensure it continues to be an effective deterrent."

Photo Credit: AP

Missing Clinton Man Might Be in New York City


Police are asking for help to find a Clinton man who has been missing since Thursday.

Edmond Frimpong, 32, does not drive and is believed to have taken a train to New York City, according to police.

He is in need of medications, which he does not have with him and does not have any known connections in New York City, but used a bank card on lower 8th Ave, police said.

Anyone with information on him should call the Clinton Police department.

You can reach Cpl. Kyle Strunjo, Sgt. Jermeiah Dunn or Sgt. Joseph Flynn at 860-669-0451 or email Kstrunjo@clintonct.org, jdunn@clintonct.org or jflynn@clintonct.org.

Man Charged With Assaulting Roommate in Norwich


A Norwich man who called police and reported that his roommate was injured in a possible suicide attempt has been arrested and accused with domestic assault. Police said the victim was in a medically induced coma for several days and both of his legs needed to be amputated.

Police and medics responded to an apartment on East Main Street on Saturday, Oct. 27 after 28-year-old Kristopher J. Prudhomme called 911 to report that his roommate, a 35-year-old man, was incoherent and had red marks around his neck from a possible suicide attempt, police said.

The victim was transported to William W. Backus Hospital and then moved to Hartford Hospital, where he was in a medically induced coma for several days and had to have both legs amputated.

After an investigation, police obtained a warrant charging Prudhomme with first-degree assault, strangulation in the first degree, cruelty to persons and tampering with physical evidence.

He turned himself in last night at police headquarters and was released after posting a $250,000.00 court-set surety bond.

Lauren E. Muskus, 21, of Monroe, turned herself in this morning at police headquarters and was charged with tampering with physical evidence.

She was released after posting a $25,000 court-set surety bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 5.

Photo Credit: Norwich Police

Snow, Freezing Rain in Parts of CT for Christmas Eve Morning


It will be a wet and cold start to Christmas Eve.

Parts of Hartford, Litchfield and Tolland counties may see snow and freezing rain on Saturday morning. These areas could see up to one inch after the snow starts around 8 a.m.

Any snow will quickly transition to rain in the morning hours, and roads should stay wet, not icy.

When the rain departs early in the afternoon, temperatures will rise to about 40 degrees.

Most of Connecticut will not have a white Christmas, but at least it will be dry. Temperatures will climb into the lower 40s with a blend of sunshine and clouds.

After the weekend, the next round of precipitation waits until Tuesday – when, again, it will be rain.

There are signs of winter, though, as a wintry mix is possible Thursday.

Festive Fleet Gives Special Gift to Man With Spina Bifida


It’s the spirit of giving that makes this season so special. In Connecticut, one cable company is connecting people to more to more than just TV and the internet. 

Comcast, the parent company of NBC Universal, which owns NBC Connecticut, launched its “Festive Fleet” program nationwide this year. Around 500 of the technicians and support staff came together across the country to surprise thousands of deserving customers with a special holiday “thank you.” 

Jose Diaz was one of the customers picked to receive a special gift. He has spent most of his life in Hartford and most of those 45 years bound to a wheelchair, suffering from Spina Bifida. 

“I'm always watching TV. I'm mostly in the house,” Diaz said. 

“The TV he had previous was older, breaking down and he needed an upgrade,” said Nicolas Correa, a Comcast technician. 

Correa and his technical supervisor, Joselin Nieves, decided they could help Diaz by nominating him for Comcast’s “Festive Fleet.” They wrote an essay outlining Diaz’s story, saying he fit the criteria of a loyal customer who also had a fixed income and was in need of a new device. 

“He was thinking we're coming here to work … ‘What's going on? Fix my cable.’ So he was in the dark about the gift that was coming his way,” Nieves said. 

“To my surprise, it was a TV!,” Diaz said. 

The team surprised him with a new 42-inch smart TV. 

“Thank you very much. Thank them from the bottom of my heart,” Diaz said. 

Diaz wasn't the only person surprised. In Connecticut alone, Comcast gave out 10 TVs to deserving customers along with other electronics and gift cards. 

Across the country thousands of customers were nominated by technicians because of need, budget and commitment to the company. 

“I would hope we do this every year going forward. It's all part of our customer experience initiative, letting people know that we do care. They are more than customers and we play a role in people's lives on a daily basis. We connect people to the world and they deserve the best service possible,” Correa said. 

“For me, it's special because I am giving back to the customers that we serve on a daily basis and it's more than just serving our customers, it's serving our community. I felt good, it warmed my heart to give him that TV,” Nieves said. 

Diaz already has a direct line to call Correa and Nieves in case he needs help. Now he has smart TV technology, a voice-command remote control and so much more. He is connected to cable and to kindness. 

“There are a lot of great people out there that are willing to help others,” said Diaz. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Fired Shots During Road Rage Incident on I-91


A 32-year-old Manchester man is accused of firing bullets at another car on Interstate 91 South in Windsor on Thursday night.

State troopers responded to I-91 South, near exit 35A, just after 5:30 p.m. Thursday and met with the victim, whose vehicle appeared to have been hit by two bullets on the passenger side.

He gave state troopers a description of the vehicle the shooter was in and the license plate and police went to the home of the person who owned that car.

After interviewing Jacob Danis, police arrested him and charged him with second-degree assault with a firearm, first-degree reckless endangerment and additional charges.

Bond was set at $50,000.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Rockettes' Reaction to Performing at Inauguration Prompts Stern Union Response


The world-famous Radio City Rockettes have been called on to perform at President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration, but not everyone is kicking up their heels at the booking.

When told they would be performing at Trump's inauguration on Jan. 20, some dancers expressed their displeasure over email and social media and reportedly discussed boycotting it, according to BroadwayWorld.com. 

That prompted the dancers' union, The American Guild of Variety Artists, to send a stern note to the Rockettes, stating, "Any talk of boycotting this event is invalid... if you are full time, you are obligated." 

But Madison Square Garden Co., which employs the dancers, said Friday no dancers are being compelled to attend the event.

"For a Rockette to be considered for an event, they must voluntarily sign up and are never told they have to perform at a particular event, including the inaugural. It is always their choice," the company said in a statement. "In fact, for the coming inauguration, we had more Rockettes request to participate than we have slots available."

James Dolan, the president of Madison Square Garden Co., announced Thursday the Rockettes would be performing at the inauguration, saying in a press release, "We are honored that the Rockettes have again been asked to perform in the upcoming inauguration festivities."

The backlash was immediate, and one Rockette, Phoebe Pearl, said in a private Instagram post that she was "embarrassed and disappointed" to appear at the event. 

"The women I work with are intelligent and are full of love, and the decision of performing for a man that stands for everything we're against is appalling," she wrote, according to The New York Post. 

"I am speaking for myself but please know that after we found out this news, we have been performing with tears in our eyes and heavy hearts #notmypresident," Pearl added. 

The American Guild of Variety Artists later sent an email to members saying the union was contacted by a Rockette dancer expressing concern about performing at the inauguration. 

"I must remind you that you are all employees, and as a company, Mr. Dolan obviously wants the Rockettes to be represented at our country's Presidential inauguration, as they were in 2001 & 2005. Any talk of boycotting this event is invalid, I'm afraid," the email from the union stated, according to BroadwayWorld.com. 

The email went on to say, "Everyone has a right to an opinion, but this does not change your employment status for those who are full time."

"This has nothing to do with anyone's political leanings (including AGVA's), it has to do with your best performance for your employer, period. I will reiterate that if Hillary Clinton was the President-elect, nothing would be different, and there would probably be those who would not want to be involved because of her. It is a job, and all of you should consider it an honor, no matter who is being sworn in. The election is over and this country will not survive if it remains divided."

The email, sent by a high-ranking member of the union's administration, then continued in bold, underlined font, according to BroadwayWorld.com: "If you are not full time, you do not have to sign up to do this work. If you are full time, you are obligated. Doing the best performance to reflect an American Institution which has been here for over 90 years is your job. I hope this pulls into focus the bottom line on this work." 

The Rockettes usually have about 36 dancers, with 12 employed full-time and the rest freelance, TheWrap.com reports, citing a former Rockettes employee. 

Though Madison Square Garden Company says Rockettes won't face consequences for not participating in the inauguration, many on social media believed attendance was mandatory and called on people to lodge complaints with the Rockettes' employer. 

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One Rockette who wanted to remain anonymous told NBC 4 New York exclusively why her fellow dancers were so disappointed in being called on to perform at the inauguration.

"I think that any sort of mixed message wouldn't be sending the right positive attitude toward these young women that we're trying to empower," she said Friday. "We are just trying to spread joy and love, and I think that a lot of women are worried that because of things that have been said from him, we would be sending the wrong message."

The woman added, "We get so many young girls coming to us, saying, 'I want to be just like you when I grow up,' so I feel like performing in the inauguration would just promote something that we don't stand for." 

The Rockettes dancers' union has not responded to NBC 4 New York's request for comment.  

Trump has had some difficulty securing stars to perform at his inauguration, though the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and 16-year-old former "America's Got Talent" contestant Jackie Evancho have agreed to sing. 

Elton John, Celine Dion, Garth Brooks and Andrea Bocelli have declined invitations to participate in the inauguration, TheWrap.com reports. 

Trump has claimed A-list celebrities are trying to get tickets to the event, "but look what what they did for Hillary, NOTHING," he tweeted. "I want the PEOPLE!" 

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The Rockettes, who have performed at Radio City Music Hall since the 1930s, have previously appeared in Super Bowl halftime shows, Macy's Thanksgiving Day parades and George W. Bush's inaugurations in 2001 and 2005.

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Actress Carrie Fisher Suffers Heart Attack on Flight


Actress Carrie Fisher suffered a heart attack on a Los Angeles-bound flight Friday, law enforcement officials confirmed to NBC News.

Fisher was in full cardiac arrest on the plane and rushed to a local hospital. She was reported to be in stable condition at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center several hours later.

Her brother, Todd Fisher, told The Associated Press that she was "out of emergency" and stabilized. He said he could not discuss any other details about what happened.

Passengers were administering CPR on the flight heading from London to Los Angeles International Airport, according to TMZ.

A source told NBC that her condition was "not good."

United Airlines released a statement about reports of an "unresponsive" passenger on one of their flights, but did not reference Fisher in its comments. 

"Medical personnel met United flight 935 from London to Los Angeles upon arrival today after the crew reported that a passenger was unresponsive. Our thoughts are with our customer at this time, and any requests for additional information should be directed to local authorities," the statement read.

The Los Angeles Fire Department said paramedics "were standing by for the plane's arrival, provided Advanced Life Support and aggressively treated and transported the patient to a local hospital."

A passenger on board the flight told NBC4 the crew made an announcement 20 minutes before the flight landed to ask if there were any nurses or doctors on board.

Fisher is best known for her role as Princess Leia from "Star Wars."

Mark Hamill, Fisher's co-star in the "Star Wars" movies, tweeted that he is "sending all our love" to Fisher.

Actor Peter Mayhew, the man behind the mask of Chewbacca, asked fans in a tweet to pray for "everyone's favorite princess right now."

Fisher recently finished filming "Star Wars: Episode VIII," which is the second of three new films in the "Star Wars" saga, noted NBC News.

NBC News Investigations' Andrew Blankstein and NBC4's Marin Austin and Jessica Rice contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris, Getty Images (File)
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DMV to Mail New Licenses by 2018


The days of leaving a Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles branch with a new license in hand will end by the end of 2017.

The State of Connecticut, by 2018, will be in line with 26 other states when it comes to the distribution of federally recognized identification cards, and they will be sent through the mail to people who have either applied for a Connecticut license for the first time, or are renewing their license.

“It will allow a person that has that gold star in Connecticut on their license, when they go into an airport or a federal building the odds of them spending more time than the average person is probably unlikely," said Michael Bzdyra, the Commissioner of the Connecticut DMV.

Those applying for a new license will receive a temporary paper record for use while the new one is manufactured and then sent out. Bzdyra says the licenses will be in a similar category when it comes to sensitive government documents.

“You get your social security card in the mail if you’ve lost it, you get your US passport in the mail, you get your credit cards and debit cards in the mail."

In addition, the process for a license renewal will drastically change as well. With the new requirements, applicants for renewals will be able to complete their entire process online, without ever having to go to a DMV branch. The photo on file could be used for as many as 12 years.

“They technically for a license wouldn’t have to come in again to a DMV branch for up to 12 years," Bzydra.

Customers have repeatedly asked, Bzdyra says, for more ways to avoid going to a DMV branch for services which leads to long waits and often frustrating waiting periods.

Bzdyra says it's a win-win for the agency to provide such an involved application to online.

“I personally take no offense if customers elect not to come to DMV except for every 12 years.”

White House Staff Pranks Obama With 'Creepy' Snowmen


For most, Frosty the Snowman is a jolly happy soul. But for President Barack Obama, the snow sculpture gives him the willies.

In an interview with People magazine earlier this month, the commander-in-chief revealed that the army of snowmen decorating the White House are “a little creepy.”

“There’s a whole kind of Chucky element to them,” he said, referencing the killer doll that comes to life in the “Child’s Play” horror films.

The first lady teased her husband, suggesting “we should put one in the bedroom, right by his bed.”

“I would move,” the president joked. “If I see one of those snowmen in my bedroom, I’m moving.”

The White House staff decided to use the president’s admission against him and set off to prank Obama with the help of a family of snowmen parked in the Rose Garden near the Oval Office.

Pete Souza, the White House’s official photographer, explained in an Instagram post that, for the last three weeks, staffers have been thinking about moving the snowmen closer to the house.

"We've been joking that we should move the snowmen a few feet closer to the Oval Office every day to see if anyone noticed," Souza wrote. "Then, we realized the snowmen were too heavy to easily lift."

But this week, they finally pulled off the prank, moving all the snowmen right up to the president's office windows. Souza captured a photo of one of the snowmen creepily peering through while Obama signed end-of-year bills.

Thankfully, according to Souza, the president was amused with the joke. He even played along in a follow-up post, acting scared to see a snowman outside another window.

The question now is, Mr. President, “Do you you want to build a snowman?”

Photo Credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
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