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Parents Discover Mold Inside Popular Teething Toy


Many parents are cutting into Sophie the Giraffe to see if there’s mold inside.

NBC Connecticut found online reports of mold inside the teething toy dating back to 2011. Now a new article posted on Good Houskeeping’s website is getting worldwide attention and prompting a response from Sophie’s maker.

After seeing the reports, Madison Allen of Ontario, Canada, wanted to know what was inside her son’s toy and shared the results in a video on Facebook.

In the video, Allen can be heard saying she’s “horrified” by the mold growing inside the toy giraffe.

The problem appears to be the small air hole in the toy, which can allow water or saliva to get inside.

Vulli, the French company that makes Sophie, released a statement in response to the mold concerns.

“First of all, it’s important to know that Sophie la girafe is composed of 100 percent natural rubber, so the cleaning instructions have to be carefully respected. As indicated on the packaging and in an explanatory leaflet inside the packaging, we recommend to clean the surface of Sophie la girafe with a damp cloth. It should not be immersed in the water nor rinsed off, to prevent water from getting inside, as she may become damaged. We thus would like to emphasize on the fact that is it important, while cleaning the product, that no water gets inside the (sic) whole.”

The mold issue is not unique to Sophie.

In May 2016, Mayborn USA recalled 3.1 million Tommee Tippee Sippee spill-proof cups because mold can grow inside the removable valve.

Pediatricians said it is a pretty common problem with any product that can trap water. They also said it’s not something to be overly concerned about unless your child has an immune disorder or a mold allergy.

Experts recommend replacing things like sippy cups and bath toys every couple of months to reduce any potential exposure to mold.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Bridgeport Museum to Carry on Circus Legacy After Final Show


After May, children will no longer be able to see an institution in American family entertainment for nearly 150 years.

Feld Entertainment, which owns and operates Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus, has decided to close the travelling show forever.

In explaining their decision, the owners are citing a decade of declining ticket sales, especially since getting rid of the elephants last year amidst pressure from animal rights groups.

“It was years ago when I first saw the circus and I was fortunate enough to be able to bring my daughter to the Barnum & Bailey circus about three years ago,” said Kelly Quick from Southington. “We’re sad because unfortunately, we were never able to bring our son to see it and I think he’s going to miss out.”

P.T. Barnum will always be remembered as the 19th century businessman, showman and entrepreneur who brought to life “The Greatest Show on Earth.”

“Connecticut owns P.T. Barnum, Bridgeport owns P.T, Barnum,” said Kathleen Maher, executive director of the Barnum Museum. “This is where Barnum’s heart and soul really was during the course of his life.”

At the Barnum Museum on Main Street in Bridgeport, there are artifacts from the history of the show and Barnum’s life.

“This wonderful piece, this wonderful top hat is actually P.T. Barnum’s wedding top hat from 1829,” Maher said, explaining the museum is creating a digital archive of all of its artifacts.

Maher showed NBC Connecticut a smaller top-hat, suit and boots that belonged to one of Barnum’s most renowned performers, Charles Stratton. He is better known as General Tom Thumb.

“He and Barnum collaborated when he was quite young to really create to Tom Thumb as the first major rock star, super star,” Maher said, “he met the Queen of England, Abraham Lincoln.”

Born in Bethel in 1810, Bridgeport became Barnum’s home.

“This is actually a model of Barnum’s first mansion in Bridgeport Connecticut,” Maher said, “it was called Iranistan.”

But that mansion burned down 10 years after being built.

The city of Hartford will never forget the 1944 circus fire that killed 168 people; 68 of them were children.

While Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey is putting on its final performance in May, the museum will continue its mission of teaching the next generations about the history of the show and its founding showman.

“Especially now with generations growing up they’re never going to be a part of it,” Quick said, “so this will be a good opportunity for them to see what it’s like.”

The restoration of the Barnum Museum building, which is a designated historical landmark, is still going on following the 2010 tornado that damaged it.

“The Greatest Show on Earth” will make a final stop in Connecticut. There are shows scheduled from April 27-30 at the XL Center in Hartford.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Trump Inauguration Draws Many CT Residents to DC


It’s an opportunity that very few people can say they’ve witnessed in person: the chance to see history made as the power of the presidency is passed to the next leader of the free world.

The inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump will draw many people from Connecticut to Washington D.C.

“It’s just a remarkable part of history that if you’re able to go down to be part of, it’s truly an honor to be a part of it,” said Susan Hatfield of Pomfret.

Hatfield will leave for Washington D.C, later this week, for her second shot to see history in the making.

Hatfield attended the 2001 inauguration of former President George W. Bush. This time, she’s expecting a more electric celebration.

“I think there will be a little more energy and the reason I saw that it because of my experiences being a volunteer,” she said.

Hatfield also attended the Republican National Convention as a delegate. She looks at Friday’s inauguration as coming full circle. This time, she even gets to attend the inaugural ball.

“People that weren’t involved with politics really came out in full force to become part of this specific election, so I think there’s going to be a lot more pomp and circumstance with this inauguration.”

Evelyn Mantilla of West Hartford is looking forward to the day after the inauguration.

“We do have close to 80 buses that have been completely filled,” she said of the Connecticut contingency headed to the nation’s capital.

Mantilla will join thousands of others for the Women’s March on Washington. She said it’s not an anti-Trump event, but a pro-rights rally.

“Not just responding to the rhetoric that occurred during the campaign but also moving forward sending a very strong message that all human rights matter,” said Mantilla.

As Connecticut’s first openly-gay legislator, elected in the late 1990’s, Mantilla said she wants to show her daughters the importance of being part of the political process.

“I’m also looking forward to connecting with all the women, men, and families that are committed to the same issues that cover all communities: women, children’s rights, LGBT rights, the rights of immigrants,” she added.

Like Mantilla, Hunter Vooys was hoping a different candidate would take the oath of office on Friday.

“I was really interested in the political campaigns this year and I followed them a lot. I was a Hillary supporter and I was a little bit upset when she lost,” said Vooys.

Last April, the 13-year-old signed up to join a youth leadership summit at the inauguration. He decided he wanted to attend no matter who won the election.

“It wasn’t exactly an orthodox political campaign that he ran, so I’m really excited for what’s going to happen,” he explained.

“I think it’s really interesting that he’s going to get the opportunity to see the transition of power… how our democracy works,” added his mother Lisa.

Vooys leaves Wednesday and will also have the chance to hear speakers such as former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Former Republican Presidential Candidate Carlie Fiorina, and 19-year-old Nobel Prize laureate and human rights activist Malala Yousafzai during his visit.

John and Patricia Ferreira just found tickets to the inauguration, last week. They’re still not sure where they’ll be sitting, but they know they’re going.

A self-described independent, Ferreira said he looks forward to being surrounded by the same energy he felt when Donald Trump visited Hartford as a candidate.

“I’ve never felt support before for someone in my life, like I do for this guy,” said Ferreira. “I just went right for him. He was speaking to me. That’s how I felt.”

The couple says they have no idea what to expect. Ferreira’s wife Patricia says she’s concerned about her safety.

“I’m a little nervous about there being protestors and being issues,” she said.

However, those worries don’t outweigh her excitement. The couple says they’re excited to witness history with their own eyes.

“I just want to be part of it,” added Ferreira.

3PL Worldwide Adding About 60 Jobs to Southington


About 60 more jobs are headed to Southington in the next few months.

3PL Worldwide, which processes online orders for its clients and then ships home goods and clothes directly to consumers, is moving from Milford to Southington.

The company's president says they need more room and they'll be getting it in the 300,000 square feet they are taking over in the old Pratt and Whitney facility on Airport Road.

"It was an opportunity for us to get a substantially increased footprint at a reasonable price," said Clyde Mount, President of 3PL.

The grand opening of the Southington facility takes place on June 1. A job fair will be held there next Thursday to try and fill those 60 new jobs.

Photo Credit: 3PL Worldwide

Mouth Southington Gets Big Turnout on MLK Day


Big crowds filled ski slopes throughout the state on Monday. But while Martin Luther King Jr. Day was a holiday, the ski industry has seen solid turnout all season long.

"We've had plenty of cold temperatures for snowmaking and the weather has been favorable on the weekends so people have been coming out," said Jay Dougherty, General Manager of Mount Southington.

Last season, because of unseasonably warm weather, Mount Southington didn't open until January 6, their latest opening ever. This season, they opened Dec. 17.

"In that two and a half weeks, we have the holiday week, the Christmas Vacation week, and then we also start to trail in toward this Martin Luther King Day," said Dougherty.

Mohawk Mountain says they should easily triple last MLK weekend. Powder Ridge says they have double the business this season compared to 2016. And Ski Sundown says they have been open three times the number of days this season compared to last. 

Biracial Stamford Couple's Home Vandalized With Spray Painted Slur


A Stamford couple's home was vandalized on Saturday with a racial slur. 

“I cannot believe it. At this time, someone could write this? Those times were supposed to be way back in the ‘60s and I was born in ‘61,” Charles said. “It’s 2017, and on Martin Luther King Day. And with President Obama, the first black president. It’s ridiculous for those things to keep going on,” resident Lexene Charles told the Stamford Advocate.

Charles, 56, discovered the n-word pained on his white garage door at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday. He lives at the home with his common-law wife Heather Lindsay, 59. 

"Our civil rights are being violated," Lindsay told the Stamford Advocate. 

Lindsay, who is white, has lived in the home- which once belonged to her uncle- with her black partner since 1999. 

Police said they talked to neighbors but have not found any witnesses who may have seen the spray painting happening. 

Neighbors complained about the slur on Sunday and police said they covered the door with a tarp, but the tarp was removed on Monday. 

Lindsay said this isn't the first time there has been problems with the property. She said they will be speaking to an attorney before removing the slur from the garage door. 

“We aren’t going to let it bother us, because from what we are understanding as it sinks in, as we cry, and as we talk about it, this is just saying the way we have been treated,” said Lindsay. “This is how Stamford, Conn. is treating us.”

Photo Credit: Lexene Charles/Heather Lindsay

West Haven High School to Show Opioid Addiction Documentary


West Haven High School is joining a list of other schools across the state showing a raw, graphic and honest look at opioid addiction.

On Tuesday, after a math midterm, students will be watching "Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict."

The documentary, released by the FBI and DEA, is meant to educate young adults about the dangers of addiction and the reality of a drug dependent life.

“We wanted to keep them in school and make sure they understood that this is a vitally important message,” said Principal Pamela Gardner.

Opiate addiction is a problem consuming the country, yet one the FBI feels many are turning a cold shoulder too.

“Everyone feels it’s not me. It won’t happen to me. It doesn't affect me and its someone else’s issues, until in comes home,” said FBI Community Outreach Specialist Charles Grady.

According to Grady, Connecticut is the “thick of it.” He said the state averages anywhere from 40 to 45 deaths per month in the state as a result of opioid use.

The pain those families feel, the pain the movie presents and one Gardner hopes students will remember when faced with hard decisions.

“I really hope that kids see what it does to their body, see what it does to those around them and will really think twice about this and really think twice about helping others,” Gardner said.

The FBI hopes this movie will make its way into more and more communities. They said progress is only possible with support from local law enforcement, local high schools and most importantly students and parents.

“If we can get them talking at the dinner table about seeing the film and what affect it has on their lives moving forward then we have succeeded,” Grady said.

Parents and community members are being encouraged to attend the screenings at West Haven High School. "Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict" will air in the school’s auditorium at 9:55am, from Jan. 17 until the 20th.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Norwalk Police Investigate 2 Armed Robberies In A Week


Norwalk Police are investigating two armed robberies of different delivery drivers that happened within a week.

“Both times, the suspects contacted food delivery and requested to bring to a location that ended up being not a real address. Both times the deliverymen were approached by two individuals, armed and robbed food and cash. This last one on (January) 14, the deliveryman was shot twice and stole his car,” said Lt. Terry Blake with the Norwalk Police Department.

On Jan. 14 around 11 pm, China Town Express delivery driver, Fen Yan Chen, was delivering food for the Chinese restaurant to an address on the corner of Kent and Derby Road. When two armed masked suspects robbed and shot him and then took the food, cash and his car.

“He’s on the bed he cant really walk he needs help he has crutches and the bullet is still inside his leg,” said his sister, Jing Chen, who added that her brother is recovering at home.

Police are investigating whether her brother’s incident and a second armed robbery on Jan. 9 are connected.

Police were called to the scene at around 11:30 in East Norwalk – but that driver was not shot, and his car was not stolen.

As police search for the suspects, they’re also visiting restaurants that offer delivery services.

“They passed out a flier with all the people’s information, what they look like, what kind of car it was and stuff like that and just to inform us not to go to anyone’s car,” said Dave Kuban, owner of Planet Pizza in Norwalk.

Norwalk isn't the only place where a violent crime against food delivery drivers have happened.

In August of last year, a woman was killed while delivering food for a Chinese restaurant in Waterbury. Waterbury Police are taking their own steps when it comes to safety measures they have met with some businesses, including those that deliver food to talk about safety on the job.

While the Norwalk Chinese restaurant is still taking deliveries, they're taking precautions on who they deliver to.

“I just hope this gets a little bit more noticed where people should be, you know, appreciating that we’re doing our job delivering the food that this should not be happening around you know to anybody,” said Chen 

Anyone with information on these incidents is asked to call Norwalk Police. 

Class-Action Suit Filed Against Milk Producers


Anyone who purchased milk in at least 15 states could be eligible for a cash payment from the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF).

An antitrust lawsuit filed against the defendants alleges that members of the Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) prematurely slaughtered cows to limit production of milk — and therefore drive up prices. CWT was created by NMPF in 2003 and is a group of American dairy farmers, including Dairy Farmers of American, Inc., Land O' Lakes, Inc., Dairylea Cooperaive, Inc., and Agri-Mark, Inc.

According to the settlement on the website Bought Milk, the CWT has denied all allegations. 

However, a $52 million settlement was reached in the class-action lawsuit. Any individual or entity who bought milk or milk products in 15 states from 2003 until now can apply to be a class member until Jan. 31.

The states included in the lawsuit are:



District of Columbia







New Hampshire


South Dakota



West Virginia


Trump Takes Aim at Automakers in Germany, Canada


Already taking aim at Mexico, President-elect Donald Trump is now warning he might enact a 35 percent "border tax" on Canadian and German automobile imports, NBC News reported.

"You can build cars for the United States, but for every car that comes to the USA, you will pay 35 percent tax," Trump told the German newspaper Bild, in an interview published Monday.

"In the long term, the United States would be shooting itself in the foot by imposing tariffs or other trade barriers," said Matthias Wissmann, president of the German automotive industry association VDA.

Trump specifically focused on BMW, noting that it is building a plant in Mexico that would produce vehicles for the U.S. market. But BMW would not be alone among German automakers. Audi last year opened a Mexican plant that is now the sole global source for the newly redesigned Q5 sport-utility vehicle. And Mercedes-Benz is preparing to set up a joint venture with Nissan's Infiniti brand in the Mexican city of Aguascalientes, where it will produce some of its new entry-luxury models.

Photo Credit: AP

Why Trump's Attack on John Lewis Resonated


The timing was particularly unfortunate: As Americans prepared to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., President-elect Donald Trump tore into one of the civil rights movement's most iconic figures.

Trump — who drew only 8% of the black vote in the general election last November — appeared to hit a new low in his already fraught relationship with the black community, NBC News reported.

"Trump's attack on John Lewis is particularly infuriating because it shows an ignorance of history, and an utter disdain for a man who risked his life for the greater good, to make America better," said writer and commentator David A. Love. "Like Dr. [Martin Luther King, Jr.,] this man is one of our role models."

On Monday, Trump met Martin Luther King III to commemorate the holiday honoring the man's father. But following a political career that began with a discredited crusade to question the first African-American president's citizenship, a presidential campaign where he broadly depicting black communities as imperiled and hopeless, and a presidential transition which has featured only one African-American cabinet nominee (Dr. Ben Carson), Trump may have a lot more work to do to find common ground with the black community.

Photo Credit: National Book Foundation

Cheshire Man Dies of Apparent Overdose in Hartford


A 25-year-old Cheshire man died of an apparent overdose in a Hartford McDonald’s bathroom Monday afternoon, according to police.

Hartford police said that around 2 p.m. they were called to the McDonald’s at 214 Prospect Ave. for a report of an unresponsive man in a bathroom. The man was found with drug paraphernalia around him. He was taken to Saint Francis Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Hartford Police Deputy Chief Brian Foley said that overdose deaths in bathrooms are “tragically” fairly common.

Hartford, like many other cities in the country, has seen an uptick in opioid overdoses and at a recent COMPSTAT meeting police officials said they were working on new ways to combat the problem.

The Major Crimes Division was called in to investigate.

Pedestrian Recovering After Being Struck by Car in Hartford


A pedestrian is recovering with multiple broken bones and a fractured skull after being struck by a car in the North End of Hartford Monday night.

Police said the 33-year-old woman was hit at the intersection of Garden Street and Mather Street around 7:30 p.m. The victim was taken to Saint Francis Hospital with a broken femur, broken arm, fractured skull, and possibly broken ribs.

She is currently listed in stable condition, police said.

The driver of the vehicle, identified as Kolaiah Davis-Muff, 29, of Hartford, stayed on scene and was cooperative with police. She was charged with having insufficient insurance and operating a motor vehicle registered out of state.

No Injuries Reported After School Bus, CT Transit Bus Crash


A school bus carrying 15 students, a CT Transit bus and a car have been involved in a crash at Broad and Clifford streets in Hartford and no injuries are reported, according to police.

The students were on a Rainbow Bus Lines bus, but it's not clear what school they were traveling to. A different bus was called to get the students.

The road has since reopened.

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

East Hartford Man Charged with Stealing Car in Hartford


Hartford police nabbed a man accused of stealing a car Monday night.

Police said around 11:30 p.m. they responded to the area of 235 Sigourney St. for a report of a large disturbance. When officers arrived they spotted a car speeding away from the scene.

Police said officers kept the vehicle in sight and saw it stop at the intersection of Albany avenue and Sigourney Street. At that point the driver got out and tried to escape on foot, police said.

Police caught up with the suspect, identified as Robert Coleman, 34, of east Hartford, and took him into custody. According to police, Coleman took the keys to the vehicle by force and took off with it.

The Major Crimes Division was notified. Coleman is charged with third-degree robbery, third-degree larceny, interfering with police, and reckless driving.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Tolland Fire Warns of Solicitors Posing as Fire Department


The Tolland Fire Department is warning residents to be on alert after reports of solicitors posing as members of the fire department.

Fire officials said the incidents occurred on Walbridge Hill Road Monday night. The fire department reminds residents that their members do not go door to door or do phone drive solicitations and any suspicious activity should be reported to Connecticut State police.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images/Purestock
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Puppy Abandoned Outside East Windsor Animal Shelter


A puppy abandoned outside the animal shelter in East Windsor will be in need of a new home.

Police said the mixed breed puppy, who is about a 1 year old, was tied us outside the shelter but was able to break loose before he could be brought inside. Animal control had a tough time capturing him, but treats helped.

If you are interested in giving him a home or meeting him, call animal control at 860-490-6142 or 860-292-1962.

Photo Credit: East Windsor Police
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Chick-fil-A Location to Open in West Hartford in February


Chick-fil-A is coming to West Hartford and jobs are posted for those interested.

The franchise will be located at 509 New Park Ave. and the grand opening is scheduled to open Feb. 9.

Connecticut native Daryl Jackson will own and operate the location. Jackson is originally from Naugatuck and graduated from Central Connecticut State University before earning an MBA at Purdue University.

“My wife and I are so excited for the opportunity to open our own Chick-fil-A restaurant in my home state. We look forward to introducing Chick-fil-A to West Hartford and to serving our customers great food with remarkable hospitality,” Jackson said in a release.

The new location will employ 90 full and part-time employees and be open from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Anyone interested in applying for a position can click here.

Employees will be eligible for Chick-fil-A’s new scholarship initiative, Remarkable Futures. Employees interested in attending college can apply and may receive up to $25,000 in scholarship funds. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

New Polls Find Most Americans Sour on Trump's Transition


New polling shows that the majority of Americans disapprove of the way President-elect Donald Trump is handling his transition into power, with less than a week to go until his inauguration.

Just 40 percent of respondents approve of how Trump is handling his transition, according to two polls released Tuesday. The CNN/ORC poll found that 52 percent disapprove, while the Washington Post/ABC put that mark at 54 percent. 

A third poll released last week from Gallup had similar results, finding Trump has a 51 percent disapproval rating and a 44 percent approval rating for how his presidential transition has been handled. 

Trump responded to the polling data Tuesday morning in a tweet, calling them as rigged as he claimed the polls were against him ahead of the presidential election.

"The same people who did the phony election polls, and were so wrong, are now doing approval rating polls. They are rigged just like before," Trump said.

Most polling ahead of the presidential election gave Democrat Hillary Clinton an advantage of several points. While she lost the election by 72 electoral votes, she won the popular vote by more than two percent. 

Trump's transition approval is falling, according to two of the three polls, which have a margin of sampling error between 3 and 4 percent.

The CNN/ORC poll found slightly more people approved of how he is handling the transition in November, by 46 to 45 percent. Gallup found a toss-up in December, with 48 percent approving and disapproving of how he was handling the transition. 

Outgoing president Barack Obama had much higher approval ratings than Trump in polls asking the same question in the first weeks of 2009: 80 percent or higher in all three polls. 

But there is good news for Trump in the polling data as well. While 54 percent of people had an unfavorable impression of Trump, compared to 40 percent favorable, in the Washington Post/ABC poll, 59 percent think he'll do a good or excellent job creating jobs in America. He's also in the green when asked about how he'll do helping the middle class, handling the budget deficit and dealing with the threat of terrorism.  

Photo Credit: AP

Police Seek North Stonington Armed Robbery Suspect


Connecticut State police are trying to identify a suspect accused of robbing a Citgo gas station in North Stonington Monday night.

Police said around 7:20 p.m. the suspect pictured above entered the store at 324 Clarks Falls Road and demanded money and cigarettes from an employee. The suspect reportedly lifted his shirt and showed a back pistol multiple times during the incident.

The suspect fled on foot toward Clarks Falls Road with an undisclosed amount of cash and cigarettes.

This individual was wearing a red body suit, black pants, a gray jacket, a mask and red gloves. Anyone with information on this crime is asked to call state police at 860-848-6500 or text TIP711 and the information to 274637.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police
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