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Police Find Owner of Dead Puppy Left at Wolcott Reservoir


Wolcott police said they’ve identified the individual who left a dead puppy at the Scoville Reservoir in December.

A box containing a dead 4-month-old puppy was found on Dec. 30 and police began an investigation. On Wednesday, Wolcott Police Chief Edward Stephens said his department identified the owner of the dog. That person told police the dog was sickly and the owner couldn’t afford to take care of the animal.

Stephens said the puppy died in Waterbury so the case has been turned over to Waterbury police. He did not release the owner's name and any charges will come out of Waterbury.

Photo Credit: Wolcott Dog Pound

Hamden Police Officer Performs CPR on Unconscious Driver


A Hamden police officer acted quickly when he found a driver involved in an accident suffering a medical emergency.

Officer David Falcigno responded to a three car accident at the intersection of Shepard Avenue and Sherman Avenue around 5:45 p.m. Tuesday. When he arrived he found that one car had hit two others from behind and the driver of that vehicle was unconscious and without vital signs.

Falcigno immediately began performing CPR on the 58-year-old patient until Hamden Fire Rescue arrived and continued treatment. The driver was revived and was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital for treatment. The drivers of the other two vehicles were taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Hamden police are investigating the accident.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

22 Children Taken to Hospital After School Bus Rollover


Ten children from Curtis Middle School in Sudbury suffered minor injuries when the school bus they were on rolled over a guardrail after a crash involving a pickup truck on I-95 southbound in Massachusetts, according to state police.

The remaining 12 students were taken to local hospitals for evaluation and precautionary reasons, state police said.

The 11 students who were taken to Newton-Wellesley Hospital are being evaluated; none have been admitted at this time. 

The crash happened just south of Route 20 in Waltham. State police say I-95's left lane is open for traffic while two others are closed to help with the medical response and crash investigation.

State police said everyone on board the bus was able to get off of it. Some of the students, who were in grades sixth through eighth, were taken to Children's Hospital, while others were taken to Newton-Wellesley Hospital and St. Elizabeth's Hospital. State police personnel are being sent to the three hospitals to speak with students' parents and school officials.

The school bus driver was not injured in the crash.

The school bus "had contact with" the pickup truck before rolling over, and the pickup truck's driver stayed at the scene, according to state police.

Waltham firefighters also responded to the rollover.

An investigation is underway.

Sky Ranger and a news crew are at the scene.

Key Takeaways From President Obama's Farewell Address


In an expansive and emotional farewell address in Chicago on Tuesday, President Barack Obama revisited the achievements and challenges of his eight years in office, outlined what he sees as the greatest threats to our democracy and both paid tribute to his supporters and colleagues, while urging them to keep fighting for what they believe in, NBC News reported.

The speech arrived at a surreal moment, 10 days away from his final day in the White House, Obama is enjoying his highest approval ratings in over six years (according to a new Quinnipiac poll) while his polarizing successor, President-elect Donald Trump has been besieged with unflattering headlines and ever more discouraging poll numbers.

Amid all the speculation and apprehension, Obama gave one of the most memorable final major addresses from a president in recent history. Here are eight of the biggest takeaways from the speech people will be talking about for a long time:

Photo Credit: AP

Crews Rescue Student Who Fell Through Ice in Cromwell


A student from a Cromwell center for children with intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, and psychiatric disorders fell through the ice and had to be rescued this morning, according to Cromwell police.

Police said they received a 911 call at 9:41 a.m. about a student at Adlebrook standing on the ice in the middle of a pond near the school, so police and firefighters responded.

The staff followed protocol when the student became upset during class and did not use their hands, the CEO of Adebbrook said. Then the student went down the hill and about 25 feet out on to the icy pond, which students are told not to go into.

As officers at the scene tried to talk to the student and have him walk toward them, the ice broke and the student fell into the water, chest deep, police said.

The officers threw a rope and tried to pull the student to shore, but the boy was unable to hold onto it, so Jeremy Hiriak, a member of the Cromwell Fire Department, put in a cold water suit, crawled out on the ice and officers pulled both of them to shore.

Police said the student was submerged chest deep for less than three minutes and was not injured during, but was transported to Middlesex Hospital to be evaluated.

Suspect in November South Windsor 7-Eleven Robbery Arrested


South Windsor police have arrested a suspect in a robbery at a local 7-Eleven in November. 

Samuel Copeland, 33, of Hartford, has been arrested in connection with a robbery around 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 26 at the 7-Eleven on Ellington Road. 

Copeland implied he had a weapon and threatened to shoot the store clerk, according to police, then left with less than $200, police said. 

South Windsor Police investigators shared information with Hartford detectives who were investigating similar robberies, which resulted in identifying Copeland as the suspect, police said. 

Police obtained an arrest warrant, charging Copeland with first-degree robbery, threatening and larceny in the sixth degree. He was already being held on other charges at court when he was arrested. 

Copeland was held at court on $225,000 bond.

Photo Credit: South Windsor Police

Police Investigating Bank Robbery in Lebanon


State police are investigating a bank robbery in Lebanon and schools were placed in precautionary mode. 

State police and the Eastern District Major Crime Squad have responded to reports of a bank robbery at Savings Institute Bank, at 554 Exeter Road, at 12:45 p.m. 

The robber demanded money from the teller, then ran toward Route 87.

State police said no injuries were reported, but they notified schools in the area of the situation. 

Supt Robert Angeli said schools were placed in a precautionary mode after state police contacted them. 

School business is being conducted and schools will be dismissed on schedule, but no one is being allowed in or out of the schools until then.

Minor Injuries Reported in West Haven Bus Crash


At least three people sustained minor injuries following a West Haven bus crash.

A CT Transit Bus and car crashed on Sawmill Road at Hood Terrace on Wednesday afternoon. 

West Haven Police Sergeant David Tammaro said between three and four people reported minor injuries. It was not clear if they were transported to the hospital.

No other details were immediately available. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

CT Council on Small Towns Discusses State Pension Shortfall


The Connecticut Council on Small Towns (COST) discussed the state pension shortfall and how to pay for it at Wednesday's meeting. 

Bethany First Selectman Derrylyn Gorski said she expects her town to have to dig deeper to help the state cover its pension costs.

"I would be surprised if we didn't get less," she said. And, there is a concern more taxes could be on the table. "We're a small town. 5,500 people. I don't have fat in my budget," Gorski explained.

That was the common theme throughout the Sheraton in Rocky Hill for the annual meeting of COST - who will bear the cost for the state's financial troubles, especially among towns with small budgets where a tiny change can have a major impact?

"There's a lot of hard choices that we have to make but we have to live within our means, we have to give predictability to folks and we have to have a sustainable program," explained Governor Dan Malloy.

Malloy said the budget is still being worked on and he won't have answers until Feb. 8, when he announces the numbers. But mayors of the small towns said they expect to share in the sacrifice, not have it all fall on their shoulders simply because they, unlike the state, have been more fiscally responsible.

"It's time that the state take responsibility. We as municipalities have done that year in and year out with our budgets and the state does need to take that responsibility. So I am hoping he is true to his word," said Enzo Faienza, Cromwell Mayor.

One non-pension issue raised was crumbling foundations, an issue first brought to light by NBC Connecticut.

The governor said it is important that the Feds take a bigger role just as they would if we got hit by a hurricane.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Winsted's Gilbert School, State at Impasse


The Gilbert School’s unique, decades-long arrangement with Connecticut, appears to be in jeopardy.

Going back to the beginning of last century, the Gilbert School in Winsted has served the role of public school for students and families in Winchester.

Of the 555 students at the school, 480 are local students that have their $13,000 tuition covered by the town. 

“Why shouldn’t our children in Winchester have the same opportunities as other kids have in other towns?” asked Cheryl Bartley, whose twelve-year-old son may attend Gilbert in the Fall.

“They have a seamless school system. Pre-k through six (grade). They know where they’re going to go to middle school. They know where they’re going to go to high school.”

The limbo of the agreement goes back two budget years when Winchester fell on hard budget times. The State of Connecticut assumed control over the school system and appointed a receiver, who has since left that position.

Administrators at Gilbert said they owe it to students and parents to negotiate a new agreement.

“We want a long term contract, to be honest about it,” said Antony Serio, the Superintendent and Head of School. “I want to see the local board reinstated and let us negotiate with the Winchester Board of Education.”

Taxpayers cover the entire cost of tuition to the Gilbert School. For the 2016-17 school year, the total amount for tuition came to $6.7 million. In a statement, a spokeswoman for the Connecticut Department of Education directly pointed to tuition as the main issue that’s gotten in the way of a long-term contract.

Abbe Smith with the Connecticut Department of Transportation said in a statement, “We had sought to negotiate a fair and fiscally responsible short-term contract that would not tie the town’s hands with a tuition increase it could not afford. We remain open and willing to negotiating a fair and fiscally responsible contract that serves the needs of Winchester students and the Gilbert School.”

For now, the state and Winchester are working off of an expired agreement struck two years ago.

Principal Alan Strauss, Connecticut’s reigning Principal of the Year, said he needs continuity to manage the school properly and that starts with a new agreement.

“We’re in this business to help kids. That’s the bottom line,” Strauss said. We can’t help kids as much as we could if we knew where we were going pre-k to twelve.”

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Fact Check: Trump Repeats False Claims at Press Conference


In his first press conference since July, President-elect Donald Trump repeated some false and misleading claims on jobs, health care and his tax returns.

  • Trump falsely claimed that there are “96 million really wanting a job and they can’t get [one].” There are roughly 96 million people not in the labor force, but that includes retirees, students and others who don’t want jobs. Only 5.5 million of them want work.
  • Trump said that “you learn very little” from a tax return. But experts told us there’s plenty of information to be gleaned from tax returns — such as potential conflicts of interest, charitable giving habits and effective tax rates.
  • Trump claimed that “some states” have seen health insurance coverage on the Affordable Care Act exchanges increase by 100 percent. Only Arizona has an average increase that high, and 84 percent with marketplace coverage in 2016 received tax credits to purchase insurance.
  • Trump continues to oversimplify the rise of the Islamic State by blaming President Obama for “leaving at the wrong time” from Iraq. President George W. Bush set the withdrawal date. More important, there were numerous factors in the rise of the terrorist group.
  • Trump claimed that “nobody even talked about it” when hacked emails showed that Hillary Clinton’s campaign got debate questions in advance. Actually, there was plenty of press coverage when it was revealed that former CNN contributor Donna Brazile shared questions with Clinton’s campaign.

Trump hasn’t held a press conference since July 27, 2016, during the Democratic National Convention. The purpose was to discuss how he would arrange to handle his business affairs while he is president. Trump will take the oath of office on Jan. 20.

But the Republican president-elect was asked a variety of questions on a host of issues, including Russian hacking, the Affordable Care Act and his cabinet appointments. In several cases, Trump repeated some of the same claims that he had made during the campaign.

Trump on Jobs

Trump wrongly claimed, once again, that there are “96 million really wanting a job and they can’t get [one].” There are roughly 96 million people “not in the labor force,” but only 5.5 million of them “currently want a job,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Trump cited the statistic in the context of a border tax on “these companies that are leaving [the U.S.] and getting away with murder.”

Trump, Jan. 11: And if our politicians had what it takes, they would have done this years ago. And you’d have millions more workers right now in the United States that are — 96 million really wanting a job and they can’t get. You know that story. The real number — that’s the real number.

According to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 95.8 million people “not in the labor force” in December. But Trump is wrong to lump them all in as “really wanting a job.” According to BLS, only 5.5 million of them “currently want a job.” Those not looking for a job include millions of retirees, teenagers and stay-at-home parents. For example, there were 18.3 million people age 75 and older who were not in the workforce in December, BLS says.

Throughout the presidential campaign, Trump argued that the “real” unemployment rate was higher than the official one, because he said it did not include those so frustrated by the labor market that they simply gave up looking for work. Indeed, the labor force participation rate has been on the decline, and the Congressional Budget Office attributed some of that recent decline to workers so discouraged by the slow recovery from the recession that they stopped looking for work. But CBO estimated about half of the decline was due to long-term structural trends, mainly aging baby boomers reaching retirement age.

The Tax Returns, Again

Trump said that “you learn very little” from a tax return and that “the only one that cares about my tax returns are the reporters.”

But experts told us there’s plenty of information to be gleaned from tax returns — such as potential conflicts of interest, charitable giving habits and effective tax rates. And polls show that a majority of Americans say Trump should release his tax returns.

Trump was asked if he would release his tax returns to prove that he has no business dealings in Russia. He responded: “I’m not releasing the tax returns because as you know, they’re under audit.” That was Trump’s stance during the campaign as well.

Also during the campaign, when he was facing questions about releasing his returns — something many 2016 presidential candidates and every major party nominee since the late 1970s had done — Trump claimed that “there’s nothing to learn” from his tax returns. He repeated a version of that claim in his press conference, claiming, “you learn very little [from] a tax return.”

When we wrote about this in May, experts cited several details voters could learn from a candidate’s tax returns, including sources of income, deductions taken, potential conflicts, overseas income and how a candidate’s tax proposals could affect his or her personal tax situation.

Joseph J. Thorndike, director of the Tax Analysts’ Tax History Project, wrote in a May 12 blog post on taxnotes.com that “[r]eturns can shed light on the way a candidate lives his life. It can tell us about charitable giving as well as personal borrowing and investment activity. Returns can also illuminate the complicated business arrangements that often provide the bulk of a candidate’s income, especially for a real estate mogul like Trump.”

And the returns “tell us a lot about how candidates conduct themselves in the gray areas of the tax law,” Thorndike wrote.

Trump also claimed in his press conference that reporters were the only ones that cared about his tax returns. A reporter followed up: “You don’t think the American public is concerned about it?”

Trump replied: “No I don’t think so. I won, when I became president. No, I don’t think they care at all. I don’t think they care at all.”

Polls show that, in fact, the American public does care. A Pew Research Center poll, conducted Jan. 4-9, found 60 percent of respondents said Trump has a responsibility to release his tax returns.

Those who identified as Democrats or leaning Democratic more strongly supported this view: Seventy-nine percent said Trump had a responsibility to release the returns, while 38 percent of Republicans or those learning Republican had that view.

Other polls have shown similar results. A CBS News poll conducted Dec. 9-13, 2016, asked whether it was “necessary” for Trump to release his tax returns. Sixty percent responded that it was necessary. A Quinnipiac University poll taken Aug. 18-24, 2016, asked likely voters: “Do you think Donald Trump should publicly release his tax returns, or not?” Seventy-four percent said he should release them, including a majority (62 percent) of Republicans.

Premium Cherry-Picking

Trump claimed that under the Affordable Care Act, “some states have over a hundred percent increase” in premiums. Actually, only one state has an average increase in exchange premiums that high: Arizona.

Premiums on the ACA exchanges — for individuals who buy their own insurance — have jumped up an average 25 percent from 2016 to 2017 among the 38 HealthCare.gov states, and that’s substantially higher than the 7.2 percent average increase from 2015 to 2016.

The variation in the change in premiums among states, and even within states from county to county, is also substantial, with Arizona, at the high end, seeing a 116 percent average increase, while Indiana, at the other extreme, has an average 3 percent decrease. The median increase is 16 percent.

These figures, which do not include subsidies available to lower-income individuals, are for the average second lowest-cost silver “benchmark” plans for a 27-year-old, and they’re part of a report released by the Department of Health and Human Services in October.

As the chart below shows, some states had average premium changes in the single digits, others in double digits, and Arizona had the distinction of a triple-digit average increase. As we wrote before, the wide disparity on the numbers makes the report ripe for cherry-picking.

At least one county had a nearly 100 percent increase (see Table 13 of the report). In Medina County, Texas, the average increase is 99 percent, from an average $201 monthly premium to $399. Texas overall, however, had an 18 percent average increase.

Massachusetts, which has a state-based exchange (not the federally run HealthCare.gov), saw an average 3 percent decrease, while Minnesota’s state-based exchange had an average 59 percent increase — again, showing the contrast across the country. Adding in four state-based marketplaces plus the District of Columbia’s — for which HHS had data — brings the nationwide average increase down to 22 percent.

The vast majority of Americans who buy coverage through the exchanges get tax credits, which shelter them from these premium increases. The credits cap the amount a person must contribute toward a benchmark plan based on income. The HHS report says 84 percent of the 10.4 million Americans with marketplace coverage in the first half of 2016 received tax credits, and that 77 percent of current enrollees can find plans for $100 or less, after factoring in tax credits. An estimated 7 million Americans buy their own insurance but do so outside of the exchanges.

Trump on Obama Creating ISIS

Trump continues to oversimplify the situation by placing the entirety of the blame for the creation of ISIS on Obama’s decision to withdraw troops from Iraq.

Trump, Jan. 11: I mean if you look, this administration created ISIS by leaving at the wrong time. The void was created, ISIS was formed.

This is yet another variation on Trump’s campaign claim that Obama “founded ISIS,” and Clinton was a “co-founder.”

Back when we wrote about that false claim in August, experts told us the expansion of the Islamic State can’t be pinned on the troop withdrawal alone — if at all. Blaming Obama for the timing of the troop withdrawal also ignores that President George W. Bush had signed the agreement and set the date for that withdrawal.

Trump himself supported withdrawing troops from Iraq as early as 2007, telling CNN in a March 16, 2007, interview that the U.S. should “declare victory and leave, because I’ll tell you, this country is just going to get further bogged down. … [T]his is a total catastrophe and you might as well get out now, because you just are wasting time.”

Experts have pointed to a variety of actions that could have contributed to the rise of ISIS, including: the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003; the decisions by the U.S.-led provisional coalition government in 2003 to disband the Iraqi army and dissolve and ban the Baath Party, which drove Sunnis into militant groups; the rule of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, whose Shia government further ostracized Sunnis; the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq by Dec. 31, 2011; the weakening of the Iraqi army, which abandoned posts in 2014 rather than fight ISIS; and the Syrian civil war, which began in 2011.

Debate Questions

Trump claimed that “nobody even talked about it” when WikiLeaks released emails from the Clinton campaign showing that “Hillary Clinton got the questions to the debate and didn’t report it.”

Not so. There was plenty of press coverage in October when emails allegedly obtained from the account of Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, revealed that former CNN contributor Donna Brazile shared several town hall and debate questions with members of Clinton’s campaign.

According to the emails, Brazile sent multiple questions to the Clinton campaign before a CNN town hall in mid-March last year, and she sent at least one question to Clinton’s campaign prior to a Democratic debate earlier that month.

However, there is no evidence that Clinton herself received any questions.

Trump: We talk about the hacking and hacking’s bad and it shouldn’t be done. But look at the things that were hacked, look at what was learned from that hacking.

That Hillary Clinton got the questions to the debate and didn’t report it? That’s a horrible thing. That’s a horrible thing.

Can you imagine that if Donald Trump got the questions to the debate — it would’ve been the biggest story in the history of stories. And they would’ve said immediately, “You have to get out of the race.” Nobody even talked about it. It’s a very terrible thing.

Politico and others reported that the hacked emails showed that Brazile sent an email on March 12, 2016, to Clinton campaign Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri with the subject line, “From time to time, I get the questions in advance.”

In the email, Brazile wrote “here’s one that worries me about HRC,” referring to Clinton. She then provided the text of a question about the death penalty. Clinton was later asked a similar question by an audience member introduced by TV One host Roland Martin, who was the co-moderator of the CNN town hall on March 13.

The emails show that Brazile wrote that she would “send a few more” questions to the campaign, which she did. According to Politico, an additional email shows that Brazile forwarded the campaign at least two more town hall questions — one about unions and another about income inequality. Clinton was asked the question about unions, and Sen. Bernie Sanders was asked about income inequality in the town hall.

There were also multiple news reports on another instance of Brazile tipping off the Clinton campaign to a potential question the day before a Democratic debate between Clinton and Sanders on March 6 in Flint, Michigan. In that email, Brazile tells Podesta and Palmieri that “one of the questions directed to HRC tomorrow is from a woman with a rash.” Brazile added: “She will ask what, if anything, will Hillary do as president to help the ppl of Flint.”

During the debate, Lee-Anne Walters, whose children experienced health problems after exposure to contaminated water in Flint, asked Clinton and Sanders “will you make a personal promise to me right now that, as president, in your first 100 days in office, you will make it a requirement that all public water systems must remove all lead service lines throughout the entire United States, and notification made to the — the citizens that have said service lines.”

What we don’t know is whether Clinton, herself, was ever made aware of the questions, as Trump claimed.

In her reply to Brazile’s email about the question on the death penalty, Palmieri indicated that that was a question that Clinton was already prepared to answer because she had heard it before.

“Hi. Yes, it is one she gets asked about. Not everyone likes her answer but can share it,” Palmieri wrote. She then asked another campaign official to forward to Brazile Clinton’s standard response on the death penalty.

CNN cut all ties with Brazile, the acting DNC director, on Oct. 14, three days after the first press reports on the controversy.

“We are completely uncomfortable with what we have learned about her interactions with the Clinton campaign while she was a CNN contributor,” a CNN spokeswoman said in a statement.

FactCheck.org is a non-partisan non-profit organization that will hold candidates and key figures accountable during the 2016 presidential campaign. FactCheck.org will check facts of speeches, advertisements and more for NBC.

Photo Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Jessica Alba's Honest Company Recalls Organic Baby Powder


The Honest Co., co-founded by actress Jessica Alba, is recalling all bottles of its organic baby powder sold in the U.S. because of concerns it could cause skin or eye infections.

The California-based company said during recent testing of the product, possible contaminations from microorganisms — including some species associated with skin infections or eye infections — were found.

The recalled Organic Baby Powder comes in a 4-oz. container with the UPC #817810014529.

The Honest Co. said it is voluntarily recalling this product “out of an abundance of caution.” No other products of The Honest Company are impacted by this recall.

Customers may return the affected products for a full refund. Customers with questions may call 1-888-688-8653 Monday – Friday 5 a.m. PT to 5 p.m. PT, or email support@thehonestcompany.com with subject line “Baby Powder.”

Photo Credit: The Honest Company

Group Gives Back to Member Displaced by New Haven Condo Fire


Less than a month after moving in, 26-year-old Chance Jackson lost almost everything he owns in the Harbour Landing condo fire the day after Christmas in New Haven.

“It wasn’t until I heard the fire trucks and it made it something surreal,” Jackson said in an exclusive interview with NBC Connecticut. “I looked out the window and the lady screamed get out the house now, the roof is on fire.”

Jackson, who did not have renter’s insurance, returned to the condo complex Wednesday for the first time since the day after the fire.

“Hurts,” he said, looking up at the shattered window to his old bedroom. “We worked so hard to get this, and it’s been taken away from me.”

At first, Jackson said he wasn’t too concerned by the smell of smoke.

“Usually, we do smell like burning fire wood,” he explained. “Everybody’s unit has a fire place in it.”

But then he stepped into his bathroom.

“My whole bathroom is covered in black smoke and I’m like oh my god my whole unit is on fire,” Jackson said.

Jackson is one of 21 people displaced by the fire that destroyed 13 units at the condo complex by New Haven’s City Point. Nobody was seriously hurt.

“I got my laptop, my iPad and that was about it,” he said. “I’m just happy to be alive you know.”

In the weeks since the fire, an organization Jackson volunteers with has started to help him move forward after the devastating fire.

“Here is a guy that was back at work the day after the fire,” said Jack Walker, a volunteer with the Pizza People.

Once a month, Walker, Jackson and other volunteers distribute pizza from Modern Apizza and other items to the less fortunate and homeless on the New Haven Green.

“We are a group that’s all about helping others and we wanted to do something for Chance,” Walker said.

After seeing the photos Jackson posted on his destroyed condo on Facebook, Walker launched a fundraising campaign.

“This is a guy who lost everything,” Walker said. “We’re about raising as much money as we can to replace some of the things he lost.”

As Jackson looks to relocate form his mom’s couch into a new home, he can’t thank the Pizza People enough.

“Humbling to be honest,” he said. “I don’t know where I’d be without them.”

Next Tuesday is the first time this year the Pizza People will hand out toiletries, clothes and of course, pizza, on the New Haven Green.

Jackson plans to be there with them.

Photo Credit: West Haven Emergency Management

Former UK Spy Wrote Explosive Trump Memo


An explosive 35-page memo on Donald Trump's relationship with Russia, which contains unverified allegations and which Trump called a "complete fabrication," was written by a former British intelligence officer working for Orbis Business Intelligence, Ltd., two people familiar with the matter told NBC News.

Separately, Rohit Kachroo, security editor for NBC News British partner ITV News, reported that his name is Christopher David Steele, a former officer with MI6 who was posted to Moscow in 1990.

The memo was originally generated on behalf of Republican opponents of Trump but was later shopped to the media by Democrats.

Orbis director Christopher Burrows told the Wall Street Journal he wouldn't "confirm or deny" that Orbis had produced the report, and a neighbor of Steele's told the newspaper he would be away for a few days.

Photo Credit: Seth Wenig/AP

Trader Joe's in Bloomfield to Bring Hundreds of Jobs


The town of Bloomfield has approved a plan to bring a major grocer to town. 

While, detractors may call it corporate welfare by giving companies money to move their business, others say it's about bringing a Trader Joe's warehouse to Bloomfield say it's all about the jobs. 

The distribution center would be built on Phoenix Crossing in Bloomfield and was approved by the town council on Monday.

The national grocery store chain is considering building the $78.5 million dollar facility in exchange for a tax abatement from the town that will save the company about $600,000 dollars per year.

"If you really want to be competitive, you have no choice but to play the game," said Bloomfield Director of Planning and Economic Development Jose Giner.

Giner said he understands the debate in his town and throughout the state and country about using taxpayer dollars to entice companies. But he said the prospect of filling many of the 675 jobs at the new facility with Bloomfield residents is worth it, when considering competition with other states.

"Our unemployment rate is higher than Connecticut and the region as a whole so I think this will be a good positive for the town," Giner said.

People from Bloomfield, including Elyse Tucker, agreed, when asked about the new facility.

"It might bring jobs or something like that so it would be ok with me," Tucker said.

Bloomfield had been accused of not being transparent enough on the deal to bring Niagara Bottling to Bloomfield. Giner said they learned lessons from that experience and did a better job on the Trader Joe's deal.

"In this case we did have four meetings where the public had a full chance to speak up on the possible tax abatements," he said.

As for timing, the town says Trader Joe's could break ground as soon as the spring, once the ground thaws.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Occupants of New Hartford Home Ablaze Out Safely


Two occupants in a New Hartford home that was on fire Wednesday night made it out safely. 

The home on 76 Arrowhead Drive caught fire late Wednesday evening but the homeowner tells NBC Connecticut that both people living inside made it out safely. 

The fire started in the garage, the homeowner said, before spreading to the rest of the house. 

Fire crews were on the scene. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Nearly 2,000 Bus Parking Permits Requested for Day of Women's March


About nine times more permits to park tour buses in D.C. have been requested for the day of the Women's March on Washington than on Inauguration Day, according to a D.C. councilmember.

Councilmember Charles Allen told News4 about 200 permits were requested for the inauguration on Friday, Jan. 20. The city has received about 1,800 permits for the following day, Jan. 21, when thousands are expected to attend the Women's March on Washington in protest of President-elect Donald Trump.

More than 183,000 people said they will be going to the women's march, according to the event's Facebook page.

Allen said D.C. officials discussed the permit requests at a community meeting Tuesday night. He is set to hold a hearing on inauguration preparedness Thursday morning.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Michelle Obama Bids Her Own Farewell on 'Tonight'


One day after her husband delivered his farewell address in Chicago, Michelle Obama bid her own farewell, taking the talk show stage one last time as the sitting first lady. During her appearance on the “Tonight Show” Wednesday, she shared how emotional it has been to say goodbye after eight years in office.

The Obamas have become world-class figures during their time in the White House, but the first lady made sure not to forget her roots while talking with host Jimmy Fallon. She took time to show appreciation for her mother, Marian Robinson, who lived with the family in their Washington, D.C., home. She thanked her mom for helping raise Sasha and Malia, now 15 and 18.

Obama also shared stories behind some of the most iconic White House photos.

In one picture taken inside a freight elevator at an Inaugural ball in 2009, Barack Obama shares a “private moment” with his wife, who is wearing his tuxedo jacket over her gown. Several Secret Service agents stand nearby, looking anywhere but at the first couple.

“We still travel with all these people,” the first lady said of the agents and staffers in the photo. “It’s like a romantic moment — and the fellas.” 

Fallon and Obama then reflected on another special photo, one taken from behind the president standing next to the Easter bunny. “The most iconic ear profile shot in the land,” Obama quipped.

Barack Obama shaped a legacy during his two terms as president — and the same can be said for Michelle Obama as first lady. With her passion for education and combating childhood obesity, she launched the Reach Higher and Let’s Move campaigns, two initiatives she said she will “absolutely” carry on.

“I will continue to stay involved in these issues for as long as I live,” she said. “I didn’t take these on because I was the first lady. I took these on because they meant something to me.”

However, she's going to first take a much-needed vacation and see “how long it takes before I get bored.”

Fallon and Obama also took some time to pen a few thank you notes. Obama thanked her husband "for proving you're not a lame-duck, but my very own silver fox."

Fallon thanked the first lady for “brining a whole new meaning to ‘the right to bear arms,'” as a photo of Obama showing off her toned biceps in a pink sleeveless dress appeared on screen.

Without missing a beat, Obama replied: “You are welcome.”

But it was about more than just outward appearance, as Fallon continued to thank Obama for “always promoting physical fitness.”

"And, hey, since you like exercising so much, how about running for president," Fallon said, ending the segment to vibrant cheers and applause. 

A first-lady worthy send-off wouldn't be complete without a few other special guests. Comedians Dave Chappelle and Jerry Seinfeld, who donned a crisp bow tie, joined the duo for a game of Catchphrase.

"For you this is just a little talk show game, not to me," Seinfeld said of his suit.

And finally, musical guest Stevie Wonder capped off the show by serenading Obama with a special medley of "Isn't She Lovely" and "My Cherie Amour.”

Photo Credit: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC
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Russia Memo Wasn’t Leaked by Us: Intelligence Chief to Trump


Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said he spoke with President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday and told him the intelligence community did not leak information about an unverified memo that sparked a firestorm of controversy when it was published online, NBC News reported.

"I emphasized that this document is not a U.S. Intelligence Community product and that I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC," Clapper said, referring to the intelligence community. "The IC has not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable, and we did not rely upon it in any way for our conclusions."

The 35-page privately-prepared memorandum published by BuzzFeed on Tuesday includes claims that the Russian government has been cultivating, supporting and assisting Trump for five years, among other allegations. (BuzzFeed is partly funded by NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News.)

"I expressed my profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press, and we both agreed that they are extremely corrosive and damaging to our national security," Clapper said.

Photo Credit: AP

Fire Breaks Out at Killingly Nail Salon


A nail salon in Killingly will not be able to open today after fire broke out early this morning.

Firefighters responded to 1101 Killingly Commons Drive just before 1 a.m. after fire broke out at DiVa Nails 2, officials said.

Firefighters quickly contained the fire, but the nail salon will not be able to open today because of smoke damage.

There is no damage to the adjacent AT&T store, officials said.

Photo Credit: Submitted
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