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West Hartford Presents New Idea for Garbage Pick up


A new proposal by the director of Public Works for West Hartford would require residents to pay for trash bags and place all trash in those specific bags.

"Keep an open mind," John Phillips, the director of Public Works for West Hartford, said. 

A 30-gallon bag would cost $2, a standard 13-gallon kitchen bag would cost $1.25, a small bag 80 cents and they would be available typically where residents currently buy garbage bags.

The money collected would help fund collection services, as opposed to the traditional way through property taxes.

"This is a transformational discussion we will be having, but they are discussions that are necessary to have," said Phillips.

The town is working with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection as a test program of sorts, in an effort to reduce waste and enhance recycling programs.

One of the goals is to incentivize people to throw away less trash.

"The upside is controlling your utility budgets, like you conserve on electricity, like you conserve on home heating oil," said Phillips.

Phillips said the one downside is it would be more work.

Residents have three chances to weigh in on the proposal.

The first is Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall Auditorium.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Using Fastrak To Bring Cultures Together


It may not look like much in the winter, but come the warmer months, it's a multicultural wonder in the Parkville section of Hartford, right at the CT FastTrack station.

"If they come out to One World Market and they see a mobile food truck or stall, then they have access to a majority culture market of people outside their own ethnic group," said Art Feltman, the director of International Hartford which is spearheading One World Market. 

Right now, the multicultural food and entertainment experience is only on Fridays from about May to October.

The goal is to expand that.

Residents we spoke to say more music, dance, and cuisine will enhance an already convenient FastTrack experience, that they say has been well worth the taxpayer dollars.

"If they bring in more vendors, that's good. But the FastTrack is fantastic," said Hector Goritz of New Britain," said Darryl Wilson, also of New Britain. "I think a food court would be great. It would bring more people to the area."

The goal is to ultimately have a six day a week operation, with a permanent site by a FastTrack station that would be open year round.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Woman Had Trouble Getting Cash Back Rewards


Kim Tran is a frequent shopper at BJ’s Wholesale Club.

In March 2016, she applied for the store’s My BJ’s Perks Elite credit card, which offers 5 percent cash back on most purchases.

According to the program terms, “Earnings on Eligible Purchases accumulate to your Program balance when you pay for them with your My BJ’s Perks credit card so long as your Account is in Good Standing.”

Those rewards can be used at the register in $20 increments and expire after six months.

Tran said she paid her monthly credit card bill on time, but her earnings were never applied to her account.

She called customer service multiple times, but said no one was able to pinpoint the problem.

In September 2016, Tran’s case was forwarded to the IT department. At that point, some of her rewards were about to expire.

When January 2017 rolled around with no solid answers from BJ’s, Tran asked NBC Connecticut Responds to investigate.

Our consumer team reached out to the company and within a few days, Tran’s account was credited with all the rewards she’d earned since March, totaling $640.

BJ’s did not provide any additional comment on Tran’s case.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Why the 'Obamacare' Name May Have Done More Harm Than Good


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'Obamacare' was such a catchy nickname for the 2010 healthcare reform law. Even President Barack Obama himself embraced it when his Republican enemies coined the term.

But it may have done more harm than good for Obama's signature policy, now in the process of being repealed. ‘Obamacare’ provided an easy scapegoat for people suffering problems in a health care system that was a mess long before the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed Congress in 2009 without a single Republican vote, NBC News reported.

Liz Hamel, who directs polling for the independent Kaiser Family Foundation, found the name does tend to polarize people. “There is some evidence there that, to a certain extent, views on Obamacare are a proxy for views on Obama," Hamel told NBC News.

"When we said 'health reform law' they said they don't know how they feel about it. When we said 'Obamacare', people more easily split into pro- and con- camps," she added.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Poll: Majority of Americans Dislike Trump's Twitter Usage


In these divisive political times, the American public actually has a pretty unambiguous message for Donald Trump: "Cool it with the tweets."

Nearly seven-in-ten Americans say that Trump's use of Twitter is a bad idea, and only nine percent say they strongly support his use of the 140-character medium to announce policy positions and express his personal point of view, according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released late Tuesday.

Sixty-nine percent of respondents in the survey said that Trump's tweeting is bad, agreeing with the statement that "in an instant, messages can have unintended major implications without careful review."

Just 26 percent said that his use of Twitter is good, agreeing with the statement that "it allows a president to directly communicate to people immediately."

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Pickup Hits Garage and House in Lebanon


A driver was taken to the hospital after a pickup crashed into a garage and a house Tuesday night, according to the fire department.

The Lebanon Volunteer Fire Department said they were called to a home at the intersection of Trumbull Highway and Burnham Road for a report of a vehicle striking the structure. When they arrived they found a pickup had crashed into a garage and house.

The driver, who was not identified, suffered minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital for evaluation. The garage and house have minor damage, according to the fire department.

The Lebanon Building Official was called to the scene to check the structure. State police are investigating the cause of the crash.

Man Fired Off Gun, Pointed Weapon at Officer in Hartford


Hartford police arrested a man accused of brandishing and firing off a gun in the street while high and pointing the weapon at a responding officer, police said.

Police said they were called to the area of Maple Avenue at Main Street around 5:45 p.m. after multiple 911 calls reporting shots fired in the area. Callers reported a man wearing a blue coat had shot off a gun and was still on scene displaying the weapon.

An officer responded and saw the suspect, identified as Abdias Cortes, of East Hartford, on the sidewalk. The officer reported that Cortes appeared high or disoriented and he was openly brandishing the gun.

According to police, the officer ordered Cortes to drop the weapon but Cortes refused and pointed the gun directly at the officer. At that time, more officers arrived on scene which distracted Cortes, who lowered his weapon. Officers took Cortes into custody after a brief struggle.

The gun was a Glock 9mm handgun and was loaded with eight live 9mm rounds, police said. Officers found a spent 9mm casing on the ground but no shooting victims were located.

The Focused Violence Reduction Team was called in to assist.

Cortes was taken to police headquarters where he admitted to being high on narcotics, police said. He did hold a valid pistol permit and the gun was properly registered. The permit was remanded, police said.

Cortes was charged with criminal attempted assault, unlawful discharge of a firearm, reckless endangerment, carrying a firearm while under the influence, breach of peace and interfering with police.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police Department

DeVos: Schools Might Need Guns Due to ‘Potential Grizzlies’


President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for education secretary told lawmakers at her confirmation hearing that guns might have a place in schools due to the threat from grizzly bears, NBC News reported.

Democrat Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut asked DeVos if she thought firearms had any place in or around schools.

"I think that's best left to locales and states to decide," Betsy DeVos replied.

Pressed on whether she could say "definitively" if guns shouldn't be in schools, she referred to an earlier remark by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) who mentioned an elementary school in Wyoming that had erected a fence to protect children from wildlife.

"I think probably there, I would imagine that there's probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies," DeVos said.

Photo Credit: AP

Man Stabbed 2 Coworkers at Windsor Locks Business: Police


A Hartford man is accused of stabbing two coworkers and advancing on responding police officers while working at a warehouse in Windsor Locks, police said.

Windsor Locks police said they were called to the C&S Wholesale Grocers at 500 North Street around 9:15 p.m. Tuesday for a reported stabbing. This is a large warehouse with more than 80 employees working at a given time.

When officers arrived they saw one victim, a 56-year-old man, with a non-life threatening stab wound. The victim was being tended to by another employee.

Police continued to where the suspect was located and saw that he was still wielding a knife. The warehouse was active and police were concerned there was an immediate danger to employees.

According to police the suspect, later identified as Hasudin Siljkovic, 27, refused to drop the knife and advanced on one of the officers. Police said the officer moved backward to give Siljkovic an opportunity to stop, but he continued forward. At that point the officer discharged his stun gun, but Siljkovic was not affected.

Siljkovic continued to advance on the officer until another officer also deployed a stun gun, police said. Police then overpowered Siljkovic and took the knife. According to police, Siljkovic was violent and resisted arrest. Police recovered Siljkovic’s weapon, a folding knife with a 3.5-inch blade.

After Siljkovic was taken into custody police discovered a second stabbing victim. The 27-year-old man was stabbed in the thumb trying to block the knife.

Both the 56-year-old victim and 27-year-old victim were treated and released.

Siljkovic was taken to the hospital for evaluation. He is charged with two counts of second-degree assault.

Police said C&S management was on scene and are cooperating with the investigation.

Photo Credit: Windsor Locks Police Department

Man Shot in Stomach in Ansonia


Police are investigating after a man was shot in the stomach in Ansonia on Tuesday night. 

Griffin Hospital called police at 7:38 p.m. to report that they were treating a 25-year-old man who’d been shot in the stomach at 112 Central St. and arrived at the hospital in a private vehicle. 

The victim was transferred to Bridgeport Hospital and is reported to be in stable condition, police said. 

The detective bureau and patrol division are investigating.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

School Bus Involved in Crash in Meriden


A school bus with children on board has been involved in a crash on Evansville Avenue in Meriden, near Baker Avenue, according to police. 

No information was immediately available on whether anyone is hurt. 

Check back for updates.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

School Delays Today, Mild Weather Moves in Tomorrow


While the northwest corner woke up to some icy roads and sidewalks, causing several schools to delay opening, most of the state is dealing with wet conditions. This is what conditions looked like last night in Torrington. 

Check out the list of school delays this morning, most of the delays were in the northwest corner of the state.

Scattered rain showers will continue throughout the day with temperatures remaining in the upper 30s inland and near 40 at the shore. 

The weather pattern turns unseasonably warm tomorrow with high temperatures forecasted in the middle 40s. This warm pattern continues into the weekend and right through next week. Temperatures next week approach the 50-degree mark toward the middle of the week. 

Conditions remain dry for the next few days, then a soaking rain storm will move in for the Monday/Tuesday time frame. You can expect rain to be heavy at times, windy conditions and temperatures around 50 degrees. 

The weather pattern remains unseasonably warm with no accumulating snow forecasted in the Exclusive 10-Day Forecast. The good news for snow lovers is that it looks like the pattern takes a more wintry turn to start the month of February. 

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

Troops Have 'Full Control' of Eastern Mosul: Iraq Military


U.S.-backed Iraqi government troops announced on Wednesday they were in "full control" of eastern Mosul, after routing Islamic State militants from that part of the northern city almost exactly three months since the major operation started.

The achievement was a "big victory," said Iraqi Army Lt. Gen. Talib Shaghati, who commands the counter-terrorism forces, describing the success of the Iraqi forces as "unprecedented."

Shaghatai, who spoke to reporters in the town of Bartella, just east of Mosul, said plans were now being drawn up to retake the western part of the city. He did not elaborate on when that part of the operation would begin.

Wednesday's advance came after Iraqi troops over the past days intensified their push into the last IS-held neighborhoods in Mosul's eastern sector, closing in on the Tigris River, which roughly divides the city. Stiff resistance by the militants, thousands of civilians being trapped in their houses by the fighting and bad weather had in the past slowed the advances of the troops.

However, skirmishes and clashes continued in some pockets along the Tigris in eastern Mosul, according to Iraqi special forces Maj. Ali Hussein who said his unit was still pushing into the Ghabat area along the river bank. Small arms fire could be heard and at least one civilian was wounded by mortar fire.

Also, some commanders on the ground disputed Shaghati's claim of "full control" of eastern Mosul, with Lt. Gen. Abdul-Amir Raheed Yar Allah saying the eastern side "has not been fully liberated ... and the advance is still continuing."

Yar Allah, who commands army operations in Ninevah, where Mosul is the provincial capital, said the special forces "have done their duty" in eastern Mosul. 

The prospect of retaking western Mosul looms heavy on Iraqi forces, despite all the support they have by the U.S.-led coalition, and Sunni and Shiite volunteer militias. The western half of the city is home to some of Mosul's oldest neighborhoods, with narrow streets packed with buildings that will further complicate the urban fight.

So far in the Mosul offensive, Iraq's counterterrorism forces, which are by far the military's most battle seasoned unit, have done most of the fighting, advancing from east of the city.

Regular Iraqi army troops are pushing from the city's southeast and northern edges, and the federal security forces from farther to the west.

Mosul — Iraq's second-largest city and the Islamic State group's last urban stronghold in the country — fell to IS in the summer of 2014, when the militant group captures large swaths of northern and western Iraq.

The operation has also left more than 148,000 people homeless, according to the United Nations. Nearly 12,500 people have been forced to flee their homes just over the past week, the U.N. said.

More than 1 million people were estimated to still be living in Mosul in October, when Iraqi forces launched the operation to retake the city.

Photo Credit: AP

Presidential Children: Post-White House Years


The sons and daughters of United States presidents, most of whom were children and teenagers when they followed their parents into the White House, each made a life for themselves away from the shadow of their famous fathers. See how the former first children lived post-White House.

Photo Credit: AP

Three Connecticut Webster Bank Branches to Close


Three Webster Bank branches in Connecticut will be closing, according to a news release from the company.

The branches at 105 Mill Plain Road in Danbury and 320 Middle Turnpike West in Manchester will close on April 10 and the branch at 1160 Silas Deane Highway in Wethersfield, Connecticut will close on May 26.

In all, Webster Bank is closing eight banks in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

In 2016, the company opened 17 new banking centers in greater Boston and Webster Bank said its overall banking center teller transactions declined almost 40 percent from 2010 to 2016.

The company said it is closing branches where there are multiple Webster banking centers.

Forty seven percent of Webster’s checking account households are now served by mobile banking, and self-service deposits now represent 40 percent of all deposits.

“We continue to evaluate our network to ensure that our banking centers efficiently balance our physical and digital banking channels in response to rapidly changing customer expectations,” David Miree, executive vice president, consumer deposits and investments, said. “At the same time, we concurrently invest in high-opportunity markets and modernize the overall banking experience. Banking centers are, and will continue to be, the cornerstone of our service culture, which is based on relationship development.”

The company said employees at centers that are closing will be given an opportunity to be resigned within the company.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Brooklyn Man Accused of Attacking Girlfriend with Frying Pan


A Brooklyn man is accused of attacking his girlfriend with a frying pan and a machete, according to state police.

Police said that on Tuesday around 9:20 p.m. they were called to a home in Brooklyn for a reported disturbance.

Authorities allege that Jason Wilbur, 39, got into a fight with his girlfriend, tackled her to the ground and hit her with a frying pan. Police said he also threw a machete at her but missed. A minor was in the home at the time, police said.

Wilbur was arrested and charged with criminal attempt at first-degree assault, third-degree assault, risk of injury to a minor, first-degree reckless endangerment, breach of peace, disorderly conduct, criminal mischief and possession of a dangerous weapon.

He was held on a $100,000 bond and expected in court Wednesday.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Man Tries to Set Self on Fire Outside Trump's DC Hotel in Protest


A man was injured outside Trump International Hotel in Washington Tuesday night after he said he tried to set himself on fire to protest the election of Donald Trump. 

Police said they were called to the Pennsylvania Avenue hotel for a report of a person "in distress." 

The man told News4's Shomari Stone he was trying to set himself ablaze as an act of protest over the election of Donald Trump.

"I was trying to light myself on fire as an act of protest," the man said. " To protest the fact that we've elected someone who is completely incapable of respecting the Constitution of the United States."

The man did not identify himself, and police did not give his name.

He was taken to a hospital with burns. No information on his condition was available.

Photo Credit: NBC4 Washington

Scores of US Lawmakers to Boycott Trump Inauguration


More than 50 Democratic representatives of Congress from across the country have announced plans to boycott Donald Trump's inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017.

Photo Credit: AP

Jewish Community Centers in West Hartford, New Haven Evacuated Over Bomb Threats


Jewish Community Centers in West Hartford and New Haven have been evacuated because of bomb threats. 

A senior staff member at The Mandell JCC in West Hartford said the center has been evacuated because of a bomb threat and that police are searching the building. Preschool children have been moved to the Hebrew Home.

The JCC of Greater New Haven has been evacuated after a woman called in a bomb threat at 9:22 a.m. and said a bomb is in the building, according to the a senior staff member.   

Police are at the scene and children have been moved.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

4 Assault Teen While Trying to Steal Marijuana from Him: Police


Four men are accused of assaulting a teen while buying marijuana from him in Naugatuck on Tuesday morning and have been arrested. 

Police responded to the Southwood Apartments on Rubber Avenue just before 11:30 a.m. Tuesday to investigate a robbery and the victim, a 16-year-old boy, said two men in ski masks approached the car he and his friend were in and said he “owed them money,” then one of the men punched him in the face through his open car window and ran, the teen told police.

As police investigated, they determined the teen sold marijuana to the men before the assault and four men had conspired to buy marijuana from the teen, then steal the drugs, police said.

Steven Lister, 19; 22-year-old Javon Couture; 19-year-old Sean Chobian; and 26-year-old Victor Foster Jr., all of Naugatuck, were charged with second-degree robbery, risk of injury, conspiracy to commit robbery, sixth-degree larceny, sixth-degree conspiracy to commit larceny and breach of peace.

Chobian was also charged with third-degree assault.

Photo Credit: Naugatuck Police
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