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Man Arrested for Peeping at East Hartford Couple Having Sex: Police


A man was arrested for watching an East Hartford couple have sex through a window, police said. 

Demar Caldwell, 31, was seen looking in the window of a home on Main Street. 

Caldwell struggled with police arriving to the scene and failed to comply to commands, East Hartford police said. 

The suspect was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and interfering with an officer.

His bond was set at $5,000. 

Photo Credit: East Hartford Police

5 Dead, 8 Wounded in Gunfire at Fort Lauderdale Airport


A gunman opened fire in the baggage claim area of Terminal 2 at Fort Lauderdale / Hollywood International Airport Friday afternoon, killing at least five people and sparking hours of chaos at the airport.

Law enforcement sources identified the shooter as Esteban Santiago, a 26-year-old man born in New Jersey who was taken into custody unharmed. He was a passenger on flight into the airport with a checked gun, according to reports. The shooter claimed his bag and took the gun from baggage, law enforcement sources said. He loaded it and started shooting people in baggage claim, Lamarca wrote. 

A total of 13 people were shot shortly before 1 p.m. ET, Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said in a Friday afternoon news conference. He said investigators were interviewing the gunman. Multiple sources told NBC News that the gunman had a military ID on him. 

The shooting started hours of chaos at the airport as police tried to confirmed there wasn't an additional shooter. More than an hour after the attack, people were seen running across the tarmac and sheltering behind cars while police had their guns drawn at a parking garage at the airport. But Sheriff Israel said the only shots fired were at Terminal 2.

"Someone said they heard something that sounded like gunshots," Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief said on MSNBC of the later police activity.

Witnesses described the mayhem in the baggage claim area.

"I was dodging bullets and trying to help people get out of the way," an eyewitness, Mark Lea, told NBC News. 

The Broward Sheriff's Office said they received a call about the shooting around 12:55 p.m. The shooting occurred at the baggage claim inside Terminal 2. Aerial footage later showed a large crowd of people running across the tarmac between terminals while others took cover behind cars - while officials search for another possible shooter. Police were also seen running into a parking garage with guns drawn.

Lea, a 53-year-old financial adviser from Minneapolis, was in the baggage claim when, he said, a man came in and started shooting. 

“At first we thought it was firecrackers," he said. “Everyone started screaming and running. The shooter made his way down through baggage claim. He had what looked like a 9mm and emptied his entire clip. People were trying to run.”

Police officers responded less than a minute after the shooting began, Lea said.

“It was absolutely surreal,” he said. “People were scared and frantically running to avoid being shot. People were tripping over each other. They were trying to make a fast exit out of the door.”

John Schlicher, who was in the baggage claim with his wife and mother-in-law, told MSNBC the shooter "walked over and he was right in our area within feet from us shooting people.”

Schlicher, from Columbus, Ohio, described the gunman as a "slender man" with "dark hair.”

“I put my head down and prayed," Schlicher said. 

He added that his wife "was holding a sweater up against a man who was shot in the head. She was doing her best to apply pressure to his wounds. The person right next to him was already gone."

Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, who was traveling from the airport, tweeted about the incident:

President-elect Donald Trump tweeted, "Monitoring the terrible situation in Florida. Just spoke to Governor Scott. Thoughts and prayers for all. Stay safe!"

The ATF said it is responding to the shooting to assist state and local officials. Florida Gov. Rick Scott was traveling to Fort Lauderdale to be briefed by law enforcement, his office said.

The airport has temporarily suspended all services. All flights within 50 miles at the time of the closure were able to land, while the rest were diverted to other airports.

Miami International Airport has also announced that it has added extra security after the incident. 

Check back for more on this developing story. 


Photo Credit: NBC 6
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Malloy: 'Everything Has to be on the Table' For Budget Talks


Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, facing the prospect of negotiating a budget agreement with fewer fellow Democrats, said Friday that "everything has to be on the table" if lawmakers from both parties want to truly fix the state's continuing spate of budget deficits and reduce the size of state government.

"If we're going to have a meaningful, bipartisan discussion about who we are, where we are and where we want to get to, then everything has to be on the table," Malloy told reporters during a meeting in his state Capitol office, two days after he delivered his State of the State address to the General Assembly.

Malloy said lawmakers can't "cherry pick" programs they want to protect, as they've done in past years.

But the Democrat also stressed he is not advocating higher taxes, even though he didn't rule out the possibility of tax hikes appearing in a final budget agreement. The Working Families Organization, which previously endorsed Malloy, has criticized him for focusing more on cuts to state services and jobs while not making corporations and Connecticut's wealthiest residents "pay their fair share."

"I'm not leading with taxes," Malloy said Friday. "I don't take them off the table, but I think you can tell from my speech that's absolutely not what I'm leading with."

The new fiscal year that begins July 1 is projected to have a $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion deficit. The state's main spending account is roughly $18 billion. Meanwhile, the following fiscal year is expected to have a shortfall ranging from $1.4 billion to $1.6 billion.

Malloy is scheduled to unveil his proposed two-year budget next month for lawmakers to consider. During his address on Wednesday, he said he would propose additional spending cuts, as well as changes to the state education aid formula for cities and towns. Municipal aid is the state's largest expense, making up one-fifth of the state budget, or $5.1 billion.

Also, Malloy said his administration has been meeting with state employee unions about possible labor concessions. While the governor has already negotiated an agreement that restructures future pension payments, he didn't rule out possible changes to pension benefits and other givebacks. That's something Republican legislators have been seeking for years. 

The negotiated agreement now moves to the legislature for consideration.

The GOP won enough votes in November to create an even partisan split in the Senate for the first time since 1893. In the House of Representatives, the Democrats now hold a narrow six-vote majority.

Malloy insisted he wasn't concerned about having to work with more Republicans. He said he expected a lot will get done in the new session.

"I got Democrats last year to cut $850 million out of the budget," he said. "I'll take my record."

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Planned Parenthood Cut Would Hit Connecticut


As Republicans start to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, they also have Planned Parenthood in their sights.

The women's healthcare provider is the main source of healthcare for millions of low-income women, but Republicans have targeted it because it also provides abortions.

Even though those abortions make up a small fraction of their overall service portfolio, it still could become a political casualty.

"We're focused on prevention," said Judy Tabar, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, which covers all of Connecticut and Rhode Island.

The group in that region depends on about $5 million annually from the federal government in the form of federal reimbursements for Medicaid services.

Of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England's 70,000 annual customers, about half of them pay for services with Medicaid.

Tabar warned, “If close to 30,000 patients could no longer come here overnight, where else would they go? We’re in rural communities. 75% of our health centers are medically underserved areas or are health profession shortage areas and rural communities where there’s no one else who can care for them.”

Tabar said the same services would be available to those low income patients, but they would be for fees which are on a sliding scale.

The group's New England locations performed about 10,000 abortions in 2015, out of more than 165,000 total medical procedures across all patients.

“So much of the focus is on abortion when really the focus at Planned Parenthood is on making sure that women stay healthy, strong, and have access to the reproductive healthcare that allows them to plan their families,” Tabar said.

Governor Dannel Malloy also criticized Congressional Republicans Friday, saying “I don’t get it and anybody who wants to defund an agency that helps families and women in particular should be ashamed of themselves.”

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Malloy Wants to Avoid Tax Increases; Can't Rule Them Out


The governor says it is too early to start seriously discussing either tax increases or exactly how much money needs to be cut from cities and towns in order to balance the budget.

“I want to be very clear, I’m not leading with tax increases. I’m leading with constrained expenditure," he said.

One thing is clear, however, and that's the governor looking under every rock for savings in the 2018 fiscal year budget.

“If we’re going to have a conversation about how we spend money, we have to have a conversation about how we spend all of the money and you can’t have all of these sacred cows," he said during an interview Friday, two days after his annual State of the State Address.

The governor called for a reevaluation of the way the state funds cities and towns, which amounts to roughly five billion of all state expenses.

He called Friday, for what amounts to a means test for municipalities, where they would need to show what they're spending money and why they need it.

“We need a real test. What is the property tax burden adjusted across a statewide basis? What are the needs that a community has with respect to the dollars that they’re receiving? What is the collective burden of a community with respect to educating children in poverty, for instance?”

Governor Malloy said flatly Friday that Hartford should not consider bankruptcy to deal with its fiscal crisis, but said the state won't simply write a blank check to prevent that, and said Mayor Luke Bronin has to do as much as possible to secure labor and other savings.

“I represent a workforce that has made some real sacrifices, where are the sacrifices coming from in the workforce in Hartford?”

He said he believes Hartford's fate will dictate the futures of neighboring towns, even if those towns think they're immune to the Capital City's challenges.

“This idea that you can live in West Hartford, or Avon, or Simsbury, or East Hartford and not be a part of the greater Hartford community is just not the case, having said that, those communities have the right to make their decisions as well.” 

Chronology: Veteran and Active Duty Shooter Incidents


Photo Credit: U.S. Army, AP
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Missing Manchester 10-Year-Old Found


Police said the Manchester boy who went missing on Friday afternoon was found unharmed. 

The boy, Jaiden Colon, was last seen at Robertson School on 45 North Street at 3 p.m.

Just before 10 p.m., police said the boy was found safely but was being transported to the hospital as a precaution. 

Police were searching the area of the school and Union Pond, which is located close to the school. 

No other details were immediately available for this developing story. 

Photo Credit: Manchester

CT Family Held on Tarmac During Fort Lauderdale Shooting


Inside Bradley International Airport, authorities stepped up security Friday evening following the horror that unfolded inside Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport

Flights set to arrive and depart from the area were canceled, but one flight that made it from Bradley to Ft. Lauderdale sat on the tarmac for hours.

"It's very chaotic almost, just looking out and seeing all the stuff going around and then not being able to tell us anything," said Hannah Ment.

Hannah and her mom, Wendy, posted a picture of them on social media to let family and friends know they're okay.

The two from Glastonbury spontaneously decided to take a weekend trip away. They left Bradley at 9 on Friday morning and were on one of the few planes allowed to land in Ft. Lauderdale after the shooting began inside the baggage claim area.

"If we were any earlier, obviously, we would have been in the baggage claim area," said Wendy.

"It was literally just half an hour before we got there, and it's crazy to think that we could have been in there at the time," said Hannah.

For hours, hundreds of passengers stayed inside the plane. Many of them kept a close eye on the news reports.

At one point, they noticed police stop someone next to the tarmac, check the vehicle and take an individual away.

"We can see police cars and helicopters," said Wendy.

"We can see outside. All the planes are just sitting here," said Hannah.

After more than 6 hours, all the passengers were finally allowed to leave.

As they walked inside the airport, Hannah said what they saw hit them hard: bags were strewn everywhere. They said they know the people who owned them dropped them as they ran for their lives.

Inside the airport, armed police stood guard with long guns and outside emergency vehicles were everywhere. It was all a reminder of the horror they just missed.

"We are very fortunate to be safe," said Hannah.

"It was frightening. We were lucky. It's horrible for those poor people that were there," said Wendy.

Photo Credit: Hannah Ment

Investigation Into Shelton Bus Driver Sleeping at Wheel Underway


There are new developments surrounding the arrest of a former school bus driver arrested for falling asleep at the wheel.

"Everyone started yelling and screaming wake up and he started yelling back at us that he's not sleeping," a 12-year-old girl riding the school bus Dec. 16 told NBC Connecticut.

Shelton police won’t release additional information, except to say there is an open internal affairs investigation into the "details" of that terrifying December bus ride, as described by one of the little girls on board.

Former driver, 55-year-old Paul Pixley, according to police, was asleep at the wheel with as many as 30 Shelton Intermediate Students on board.

The child’s mother wants answers.

"If he was on a methadone program, why was he hired? After the bus was pulled over, they definitely should've done a tox screening,” Vienna DiPave told NBC Connecticut late last month.

According to the arrest warrant, Pixley admits he took methadone and also says he may have taken Nyquil instead of Dayquil.

Greg Walter, the vice president at Ontario-based Landmark transportation, has been in Connecticut the entire week looking for answers as to what happened with Pixley, telling the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters he did not drive a school bus after the incident in question.

"I told my employees, I wanted to contact the officer that was at the scene because I needed to know why he was not breathalyzed or drug tested and they said to me that the Officer said he was, based on his experience, he was pretty sure that it was a medical condition and I questioned if it was medical why wasn't 911 called."

DCF and the DMV are also investigating.

“I want to make sure every page is turned. That we are taking a look at everything to make sure something like this doesn't happen again, but I want to tell you the person responsible is Paul Pixley."

At this week's Board of Education meeting, Shelton's superintendent told parents he met with Greg Walter, and the district has lost confidence in Landmark. After a “frank discussion”, according to Dr. Chris Clouet,  “The result was, not only is the driver no longer working for the company and will have no association with our children in any way but the local manager is also going to be removed. And we are going to monitor very closely how their hiring practices, are implemented and our team will be doing random checks."

The school district will now be doing spot checks on Landmark hiring records and responses to documented accidents. Landmark will also randomly check bus videos too.

Walter said video the company reviewed shows Pixley coherent when he checked in before his run that December day, but when he turned the bus on he says Pixley fell asleep.

"Paul Pixley either made some bad decisions or had some sort of medical problem, or both," Walter added.

Both the bus company and the superintendent say Paul Pixley was fired and never got behind the wheel again after the incident.

The Department of Motor Vehicles paid a visit Tuesday to landmark, results of what they found could be available late next week.

Photo Credit: Snapchat

Millions in China Learn to Live With Smog 'Airpocalypse'


As smog levels in northern China reach historic levels, millions are learning to live with what has been dubbed "airpocalypse."

Earlier this week, as many as 32 cities in northern China were under "red alert," the most severe pollution warning in the country's four-tier system, NBC News reported. Another 27 cities, including Beijing, were under "orange alert."

Short, intense periods of bad air are commonplace in Beijing - but the fact that city has now been under "orange alert" since Dec. 31 is frustrating locals, who criticized authorities’ response to the severe pollution.

Photo Credit: AP

US Ethics Office Struggled to Gain Access to Trump Team


The office tasked with overseeing ethics and conflicts in the federal government struggled to gain access to leaders of the Trump transition team, and warned Trump aides about making decisions on nominees or blind trusts without ethics guidance, according to new emails obtained by MSNBC.

Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub emailed Trump aides in November to lament that despite his office's repeated outreach, "we seem to have lost contact with the Trump-Pence transition since the election." 

Trump aides may also be risking "embarrassment for the President-elect," Shaub warned, by "announcing cabinet picks" without letting the ethics office review their financial information in advance.

West Haven Burglary Suspect Takes Dip Trying to Escape: PD


A West Haven burglary suspect allegedly tried to elude officers by taking a tip in chilly water Saturday.

Police said early Saturday morning officers on patrol spotted a ladder against Krauszer’s at 544 Derby Avenue. A bag of burglary tools, including an acetylene cutting torch, was found nearby.

According to police the suspect, later identified as James Samperi, 27, of Milford, was hiding behind a tree and fled when police found him.

Samperi reportedly jumped the fence to Maltby Lakes and dove into the water, trying to swim away. Eventually officers spotted him on a small island and called the West Haven Fire Department for help returning him to shore.

Samperi was charged with burglary, possession of burglar tools and interfering with police. He was held on bond.

Monster Winter Storm Cripples South, Kills 3 Across U.S.


Millions of Americans were struggling under a winter storm that blocked roads and covered airports in treacherous ice across the South Saturday, threatening to paralyze transportation from Alabama all the way to New York City, NBC News reported.

Three died from weather-related causes in Oregon, Kentucky and Maine, according to The Weather Channel.

Parts of North Carolina and Virginia were forecast to see up to a foot of snow while roads in Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama were coated in ice, leading to hundreds of accidents. Charlotte, North Carolina, reported Saturday morning that 35 accidents, some with minor injuries, had occurred since 10 p.m. Friday.

Photo Credit: AP

Man Accidentally Shoots Son with Handgun: South Windsor PD


A 23-year-old man is recovering after his father accidentally shot him with a handgun, according to South Windsor police.

Police said they were called to a home on Gail Lane around 9:50 a.m. Saturday for a reported shooting. When they arrived the resident told them that he accidentally shot his son in the stomach with a 9mm handgun while showing off the weapon, police said.

The victim was conscious and alert when police arrived and was taken to Hartford Hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound to his lower abdomen.

Officers interviewed other family members on scene and it appears this was in fact an accident, police said.

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Thousands Line Up for Tickets to Obama's Farewell Speech


Thousands of people lined up first thing Saturday morning to get tickets to President Barack Obama's farewell speech in Chicago on Tuesday - so many that officials said tickets were no longer available to newcomers before distribution even began. 

Distribution of the free tickets began around 8 a.m. at McCormick Place, with one ticket per person given on a first-come-first-serve basis.

People were not allowed to line up before 6 a.m., but shortly thereafter, officials said they had reached 7,000 people and anyone not in line by around 6:30 a.m. would not get a ticket.

"This feels amazing. First in line!" exclaimed Kenita Christmas, who was first in line to get her ticket. "It's monumental, and to have my daughter here with me - it's going to be amazing."

Doors open at 5 p.m. on Tuesday for the 8 p.m. speech and attendees are encouraged to arrive at or before that time. Those arriving late may not be permitted to attend.

All attendees will be subject to "airport-like security" and should bring as few personal iterms as possible. Bags, sharp objects, umbrellas, liguids, and signs will not be allowed in the venue.

For those who did not get tickets or are unable to attend, the speech will air on NBC 5 News beginning at 8 p.m. CST and streaming on NBCChicago.com

Obama, in a written statement released Monday, explained that the American people have helped him lead during his presidency, a theme he plans to highlight in his speech.

"I'm thinking about [my remarks] as a chance to say thank you for this amazing journey, to celebrate the ways you've changed this country for the better these past eight years, and to offer some thought on where we all go from here," he wrote.

The sitting president offered encouragement to his fellow Americans, who he said have hit obstacles since he took office.

"Since 2009, we've faced our fair share of challenges, and come through them stronger," he said. "That's because we have never let go of a belief that has guided us ever since our founding — our conviction that, together, we can change this country for the better.

The U.S. president's farewell address, Obama noted, is a tradition that dates back to 1796, when George Washington said goodbye to Americans before transferring power to his successor, John Adams.

Photo Credit: Regina Waldroup
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State Police Seize 170 Bags of Heroin During Traffic Stop


Connecticut State police arrested three people after finding 170 bags of heroin during a traffic stop Friday, according to state police.

Police said they pulled over a vehicle on the Tolland Turnpike (Route 74) in Willington for an equipment violation. During the course of the stop, police found 170 bags divided between the driver and two passengers in the vehicle, police said.

Anthony Falzone, 24, of Norwich, and Ryan LaFountain, 27, of Danielson, were arrested and charged with possession of heroin. They were each issued a $10,000 bond and scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 24.

David McKnight, 53, of Danielson, who police said had 100 bags in his possession, was charged with possession of heroin with intent to sell, possession of heroin, and a brake light violation.

He was issued a $75,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 9.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

20-Car Pileup Closes I-91 in Middletown


Interstate 91 south is closed in Middletown after a multi-car pileup, according to state police.

Police said at least 20 cars, three tractor trailers and a tanker were involved in the crash near exit 21 in Middletown. No serious injuries have been reported.

Fuel tanks from at least two of the trucks ruptured, spilling diesel fuel onto the highway, according to Middletown mayor Dan Drew.  Crews from the department of Energy and Environmental Protection were at the scene to clean up the spill, Drew said.

Shortly after, multiple crashes closed the northbound lanes of I-91 between exits 20 and 25, state police said.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
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Plainfield Police Warn of Dating Website Scam


Plainfield police warn that scammers claiming to be law enforcement are targeting people who use the dating website “Plenty of Fish.” 

According to police, individuals posing as law enforcement call would-be victims and claim there is a criminal investigation stemming from someone the victim interacted with on the website. The scammer then requests money to make the criminal complaint go away, police said.

There have been multiple reports of these calls, police said.

Police remind residents that law enforcement would never request payment during any kind of investigation.

Anyone who receives a phone call like this should report it to Plainfield police or their local department.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

Connecticut Digging Out After Saturday Storm


Connecticut is digging out after a daylong storm that brought several inches of snow to parts of the state.

Snow began across most of the state around 10 a.m. Saturday, and quickly caused conditions on Connecticut's highways to deteriorate.

A 21-vehicle pileup closed I-91 North in Middletown for roughly six hours. Three tractor-trailers and two tanker trucks were involved in the crash. There were no serious injuries.

State police troopers responded to about 115 crashes and 94 motorist assist calls as of 4 p.m., according to TFC Kelly Grant.

Several cities and towns, including Hartford and New Haven, implemented parking bans to allow crews to clear streets.

Photo Credit: Submitted Photo

3 Victims of Airport Shooting Were Heading on Cruises


Three of the five victims of the Fort Lauderdale aiport shooting had arrived from out of state, bound for Caribbean cruise ships with their spouses, NBC News reported.

Olga Woltering, an 84-year-old great-grandmother traveled to Florida from Marietta, Georgia for a cruise with her husband who survived the shooting. Terry Andres, 62, from Norfolk, Virginia, was going on a cruise with his wife, Ann, while Michael Oehme, 57, from Council Bluff, Iowa, had flown to Florida with his wife, Kari, for another high seas adventure, his family said.

The FBI said officials would only provide names of victims after relatives were contacted, although family members and loved ones have been paying tribute to them publicly.

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