NBC Connecticut
Browsing All 57608 Articles Latest Live
Mark channel Not-Safe-For-Work? cancel confirm NSFW Votes: (0 votes)
Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel.

Earth Sets Record for Hottest Year Third Time in a Row


Government scientists say the Earth sizzled to a third straight heat record last year. 

They mostly blame man-made global warming with help from a natural El Nino, which has since disappeared. 

The figures announced Wednesday come from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which measure global temperatures in slightly different ways. They said last year passed 2015 as the hottest year on record. 

NOAA calculated that the average global temperature last year was 58.69 degrees (14.84 degrees Celsius) — beating the previous year by .07 degrees (.04 Celsius). 

NASA's figures include more of the Arctic, which was warmer than usual. The agency said last year was .22 degrees (.12 degrees Celsius) warmer than 2015. 

NASA's Gavin Schmidt said most of the record heat was from man-made climate change.

Photo Credit: AP

Jewish Community Centers Again Targeted With Bomb Threats


Jewish community centers around the country were again targeted with bomb threats Wednesday morning, a week after a spate of similar threats against many centers. 

In Miami, police responded to reports of a bomb threat at the Miami Beach Jewish Community Center. Threats were called in at the same center a week ago. 

Police in Newton, Massachusetts, responded after a suspicious phone call prompted an evacuation Wednesday morning at a local JCC.

Jewish community centers in Scotch Plains, New Jersey, and two in Connecticut, one at the JCC of Greater New Haven in Woodbridge and another at The Mandell JCC West Hartford, reported receiving bomb threats.

Threats were made to at least seven JCCs in Florida, New Jersey, Delaware, Tennessee and North Carolina last week.

A JCC building in Marin County, California, was also evacuated as a precaution after a threat. 

It's unclear if the threats are connected. 

There were no injuries or actual explosives reported found following the earlier bomb threats.

Former East Hartford Man Pleads Guilty in Theft of $21K From Postal Worker


A former East Hartford, Connecticut man pleaded guilty to robbing a postal worker of more than $21,000 at a Hartford post office in September 2014.

Dion Edward Thompson, 39, formerly of East Hartford, pleaded guilty Tuesday, according to federal officials.

He was charged with one count of robbery of a postal employee and one count of theft of government property.

Federal prosecutors said Thompson and one other man robbed the victim at gunpoint at the Barry Square Post Office on Maple Avenue in Hartford on Sept. 9, 2014 as the postal worker was loading proceeds from the post office into a USPS vehicle.

The robbers got away with $21,817 in cash, checks and money orders, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Thompson, who is detained, will be sentenced in April.

Photo Credit: Metro

Best Day Ever: Gracie Lou's Bucket List


They say every dog has its day. On a rainy Tuesday morning, Newington Police Department helped a dog named Gracie Lou Freebush have the best day ever.

It’s just the latest adventure for the Boxer and her owner, Jennifer Valenches of Newington, on a mission to turn precious moments into comforting memories. Three days before Christmas, a veterinarian diagnosed Gracie Lou with cancer, estimating she has six months left to live.

“It just struck me just knowing the little time we have together and just to make the most of it,” Valenches says. “What can we do to make this remaining time we have together extra special?”

So began Gracie Lou’s Bucket List: A list of adventures, together, to make every last day count. Along the way, Valenches is documenting the journey on a public Facebook page which is quickly amassing followers. So far, Gracie Lou has had a photo shoot, a romp in the snow, even a visit to the Hartford Fire Department.

When officers at the Newington Police Department caught wind of the story, Officer Jamie DeSimone says they jumped at the chance to grant another wish on the list – for Gracie Lou to ride in a police car.

“They’re Newington residents,” DeSimone explained, “and I just felt like that would mean a lot to us, and I’m sure it would mean a lot to her mom.”

Judging by the slobbery kisses Officer Mike Fallon got as he drove the pup around in a police SUV, it meant a lot to Gracie Lou, too. Uniformed officers came outside to watch as Fallon flipped on the lights and sirens, circling the parking lot. Gracie sat attentively in the passenger seat wearing a police cap with her name on it, an extra touch by DeSimone.

“It really reaches out to our community that it’s not just about going out and fighting crime and arresting people,” she explained. “It’s about partnership with our community and giving back.”

And for Valenches, it’s about more than simply checking off a list. She hopes to inspire others to commit acts of kindness, and wants to raise awareness of the need for animal adoption and fostering. She currently volunteers and has fostered four dogs for Adopt A Boxer Rescue. As Gracie Lou’s story continues to spread on social media, Valenches says she’s receiving offers of help and messages from all over the world.

“It’s giving us the opportunity to tell others the importance of spreading love and kindness,” she said, “and that’s what I really want it to be about.”

Jennifer knows there will soon come a time for difficult decisions. The love of an animal can give us some of the best days of our lives, along with one of the worst. But for now, she hopes to keep “Pawing It Forward” – one of the items on the list, and a philosophy for living every day to the fullest.

“I don’t want the last six months or so, whatever God gives us together, to be about this awful disease,” Valenches said. “I want it to be about love and make it positive, not only to bring support to me and Gracie, but for us to share love with everyone else.”

Follow Gracie Lou on Facebook. 

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

Man Wanted for Attacking Woman with Frying Pan: Police


A South Windsor man is wanted on accusations he attacked a woman with a frying pan and stole her debit card, according to South Windsor police.

Police said that on Tuesday they spoke to an assault victim with a large cut on her head and a swollen eye. She reported that someone who lived in her home hit her with a frying pan, took her debit card and took off.

Police have an active arrest warrant and are trying to locate the suspect, identified as Ronald Fuller, 53. Fuller faces charges of second-degree assault, sixth-degree larceny, credit card theft and disorderly conduct.

He is described as 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, with short black hair and facial hair. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact South Windsor police at 860-644-2551.

Photo Credit: South Windsor Police Department

Man Shot Roommate in Hamden: Police


Police arrested a 43-year-old Hamden man who is accused of shooting his roommate in the leg. 

Police said they responded to 106 Arch St. around 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday and found the victim suffering from a gunshot wound to the leg, so Hamden Fire Rescue arrived and provided medical assistance. The victim was then transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital. 

Police said the victim and his roommate, 31-year-old Christopher Perez, got into an argument, which turned physical and Perez shot the victim while two children were in the residence. 

Perez left in a car and Waterbury Police found him and transported him back to Hamden Police, police said. 

Perez was charged with first-degree assault, criminal possession of a firearm, unlawful discharge of a firearm, first-degree reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and two counts of risk of injury to a minor. 

He was held on a $200,000 bond and is due in court on Jan. 31.

Photo Credit: Hamden Police

Secret Service Settles 2000 Racial Discrimination Suit


The U.S. Secret Service will pay dozens of African-American former agents $24 million in a settlement of a class-action lawsuit accusing the agency of systematic discrimination.

The suit covered nearly 100 former agents who alleged that the Secret Service promoted white agents over more qualified black agents.

The suit also alleged that white agents and supervisors regularly used the "N" word to refer to suspects and black leaders of other countries. The suit also alleged that white agents and supervisors regularly used the "N" word to refer to suspects and black leaders of other countries. 

Eight of the 10 original plaintiffs could receive as much as $300,000 under terms of the settlement.

As part of the agreement, the Secret Service admitted no wrongdoing.

Photo Credit: Susan Walsh / AP

Police Investigating Untimely Death in Bristol

Meet Veteran Who's Never Missed Inauguration Since Nixon


Decorated Vietnam veteran Sammy Lee Davis will have a front row seat on Donald Trump's Inauguration Day.

Davis, who lives outside a tiny Indiana community called Freedom, has been an honored witness to every president taking oath of office since Richard Nixon's first inauguration in 1969.

It doesn't matter whether he voted for the President-elect or not, David said, he goes to each ceremony out of a "sense of duty — an obligation I feel in my soul."

After Nixon's inauguration, the president sent Davis a personal note, thanking him for attending, and for his service.

Davis and other recipients are invited to each presidential inauguration through the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, which helps cover expenses for the trip.

Photo Credit: Brock Stoneham / NBC News

Single Mom Builds 3,500-Square-Foot Home by Watching YouTube


Cara Brookins, single mom of Hope, Drew, Jada and Roman, left a marriage where she was a victim of domestic violence, and Brookins and her kids felt broken.

“We lost ability to laugh together,” she told TODAY Home. “We had spent so long being beaten down.”

Needing a place to live, Brookins found a home destroyed by a tornado. "I thought, 'I bet I could put this back up if I really tried,'" Brookins said. With a little help from YouTube, that's what she and her family did. 

Her advice to others coming out of a difficult situation? “Set goals impossibly big — look at the big picture.”

To read more about Brookins’ inspiring story, pick up her book "Rise: How a House Built a Family," out Jan. 24.

Photo Credit: Cara Brookins

Hillary Clinton Would Beat De Blasio for NYC Mayor: Poll


Hillary Clinton would crush New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in a head-to-head matchup if she ran as an independent, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday.

Clinton would beat De Blasio 49 percent to 30 percent, with overwhelming support among Democrats and independents, the poll said. The mayor would beat the former Democratic candidate for president by 10 points among Republicans.

Earlier this month, speculation popped up that Clinton could consider challenging de Blasio this fall. While widespread media reports say she almost certainly will not run, the poll makes clear she would win virtually every age, gender, geographic and ethnic group by significant margins if she did.

"New Yorkers aren't in love with Mayor Bill de Blasio, but they seem to like him better than other possible choices - except Hillary Clinton, who probably is an impossible choice," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, in a release. 

De Blasio was Clinton's campaign manager during her successful 2000 Senate bid. But he initially delayed endorsing her, finally doing so six months after she announced her campaign.

Clinton's strength notwithstanding, in a series of hypothetical matchups De Blasio would easily win a Democratic primary for mayor against the most commonly discussed candidates, including former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Comptroller Scott Stringer.

He would also win, albeit with smaller margins, against any of those same candidates running as independents. 

The phone poll of 1,138 New York City voters was conducted Jan. 11-17 and has a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points. 

Photo Credit: AP

Bobcat That Attacked 3 People Tests Positive for Rabies


The bobcat that attacked three women at a Connecticut farm run by a social service organization in Colchester this week tested positive for rabies, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said. 

"The presence of rabies among wild animals is at typical, low levels at this time," DEEP said in a statement released on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Colchester fire officials said a bobcat bit one person and scratched two others in the greenhouse on the property of the Caring Community, a residential and day program on Waterhole Road in Colchester.

The bobcat jumped on one women and scratched the other two when they came to her aid.

The bobcat was gone from the greenhouse by the time police arrived and went into the woods, but the bobcat charged at the officer instead of running away. 

All women are clients of the Caring Community and were brought to the Marlborough Medical Center, according to officials from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. 

They were all expected to be OK.

The bobcat was shot and killed at the scene.

Photo Credit: Colchester Fire Department

Deal Similar to 2011 Tax Hikes Needed in 2017, Dem Says


The top Democrat in the Connecticut Senate, Sen. Martin Looney, proclaimed Wednesday that a deal that closely resembles the 2011 budget agreement might be needed in 2017.

That agreement led to $1.5 billion in tax hikes, in addition to spending cuts.

"I think that we need actually a plan that incorporates, as we had in 2011, a substantial number of cuts, some state employee concessions, and some new revenues,” said Looney, the President Pro Tem in the Connecticut Senate.

That 2011 budget helped to catapult Republicans to within seven seats of control in the Connecticut House of Representatives, and they’re now even in the Connecticut Senate, with 17 members.

Republican President Pro Tem Senator Len Fasano says a holistic approach to the budget process where every possible option is considered before tax increases.

“We’re going to watch out for taxpayers’ wallets and pocketbooks,” Fasano said. There's been numerous cuts, revenues are going down, I think this is going to be a very big challenge for this building because the plans get laid out but the revenues are not coming in."

The budget situation for the current fiscal year that ends in June isn’t as dire as predicted a year ago. Revenue estimates that were agreed to by the governor’s administration, the Office of Fiscal Analysis, and Comptroller Kevin Lembo concluded that the state is currently on track to end with as much as $56 million in revenue growth. However, the budget is based on one-time revenue, and will not be in balance the moment the 2018 fiscal year begins in July.

The 2018 and 2019 fiscal years are each projected to be out of balance by about $1.5 billion, which is what has led to the renewed talk of possible tax increases, spending cuts, and concessions from organized labor.

The Malloy administration tried and failed last year to negotiate new wages and benefits with the state’s bargaining units, but the unions said, “no.” The problem, Gov. Malloy says, is that the most recent budget was based on some level of concessions which didn’t materialize.

"When you talk about what the size of what the potential deficit is, people are ignoring the fact that we don't have a contractual basis to pull off some of the things the legislature built into the budget last year,” he said Wednesday.

The first look at what the state’s budget could look like for the next two years will be unveiled next month by Gov. Malloy.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Pence's Motorcade Strikes, Injures DC Police Reserve Officer


The motorcade for Vice President-elect Mike Pence struck and injured a D.C. police reserve officer Wednesday afternoon, according to the U.S. Secret Service.

The crash happened about 1:45 p.m. and the officer was taken to the hospital with a minor injury, the Secret Service said. The officer has been released from the hospital.

Secret Service said the motorcade was making its way through Northwest D.C.

It's not clear at this time if the reserve officer was working at an intersection at the time of the crash.

No further information was immediately available.

Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for more information.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Girl Scouts Defend Their Involvement in Inauguration


The Girl Scouts of the USA defended their participation in the inauguration ceremonies for President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday in the wake of some criticism.

"Trump does not mirror the Girl Scout values we try to instill in our scouts," Nancy Gannon, a Brooklyn-based Scout leader, told NBC News.

In an exclusive statement to NBC News, the Girl Scouts, which has been appearing at inaugural events throughout their history, said "Our movement is made up of individuals who hold political beliefs and convictions as varied as our nation itself. And because every girl has a home at Girl Scouts, every girl in our movement is allowed her own ideas, opinions, beliefs and political ideology."

The Boy Scouts of America, as well as several military and veterans' organizations, will also be participating.

Photo Credit: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

#JuJuOnThatChemo Star Dies


A Texas woman with cancer who lifted spirits across the world when she danced to "JuJu On That Beat" with a friend through her chemotherapy died Wednesday.

A close friend of Ana-Alecia Ayala described her as "one in a million" when confirming her death to NBC4 Southern California. She said the last couple of weeks were particularly tough.

But the Dallas resident didn't let her diagnosis with a rare form of uterine sarcoma in December 2015 get her down, gaining a following thanks to her cancer awareness video, hashtagged "#JuJuOnThatChemo." She endured the highs and lows of the disease, sharing updates of her journey with the world via social media.

"There is life after diagnosis. Making the most of the good days and taking this diagnosis and running with it is what I've tried to accomplish," she said in a November appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

Ayala leaves behind a husband and 3-year-old daughter.

Ayala’s Facebook page was flooded with condolences Wednesday, with many re-sharing her popular dance video. The video had over 9 million views on Facebook as of Wednesday afternoon.

Ayala’s internet fame exploded after the video was posted in October showing her and friend Danielle Andrus dancing to "JuJu on the Beat" with medical tubes attached to her body. Soon afterward, the pair were invited onto Ellen DeGeneres's show in Los Angeles to share her inspiring story. She even inspired her very own trending hashtag, #AnaStrong.

DeGeneres gave her a $20,000 donation from Shutterfly to help with medical expense.

"My faith in God and my trust in my doctors has gotten me this far," she said in a prior interview with NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.

Photo Credit: Ana-Alecia Ayala
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

New Haven Police Utilize WhatsApp As Community Policing Tool


New Haven resident Greta Seashore recalls an evening when two teens appeared to be following her as she pulled her car into the garage.

“I was a little concerned by that obviously,” she told NBC Connecticut. “I could of called 911, but in our neighborhood we have our neighborhood app that gets us straight to Sgt. “Wojo.”

Sgt. John Wolcheski became the New Haven Police district manager for the Beaver Hills neighborhood ten months ago.

“You want to get it on this, because it gives you an opportunity to see what’s going on in the neighborhood,” he said, recalling what his predecessor Sgt. Shafiq Abdussabur told him.

Wolcheski said between three and four hundred residents are part of the Beaver Hills WhatsApp chat group.

WhatsApp users can join groups and send unlimited mobile messages, pictures and videos on their phones. Consider this use of the app a 21st century edition of a neighborhood crime watch.

“This gives residents a direct line or the ability to have direct access to their neighborhood officer,” he said.

Last year there was a rash of car break-ins in a neighborhood near Ellsworth Ave. Sgt. Wolcheski credits communication on the WhatsApp group for catching the crook who was responsible for many of them.

“One resident saw a car break in and called the police department and then went on the chat and started giving updates on locations,” he explained.

Seashore’s friend Nan Bartow said the WhatsApp group helped police crack down on drug dealing and prostitution near her home.

“We were able to say real time, this is happening, come out,” Bartow said.

Wolcheski said he hopes other NHPD district managers get on board with bringing this new community policing tool to their neighborhoods. He added residents should still call 911 first during serious emergencies.

“I never had the kind of relationship with the police that we do through the WhatsApp because the district manager watches all the time and he will send somebody out immediately, if needed,” Bartow said.

Hartford Police Launch New Tools to Solve Cold Cases


After years of intense investigations and following leads, Hartford Police are hoping new initiatives will better help them solve cold cases.

"He was such a good boy," said Maria Rodriguez through tears about her son, Ricardo Rivera.

Rivera, 19, was shot and killed on Cherry Street in Hartford back in October 2015. The case is still unsolved.

"Somebody say something because I know somebody knows," Rodriguez said.

Now she's hoping a calendar can help bring forward leads.

Hartford police along with Mothers United Against Violence filled the pages with 23 cold case victims. It's a new tool they plan to possibly distribute at local stores, the train station, libraries and three correctional facilities to generate leads.

"I honestly feel that this is a great tool and it will generate people talking, whether it's in the jails or in public," said Jasmine Moton.

Moton lost her brother, 33-year-old William Ward, last year in a double homicide in Hartford.

She's hoping the calendar makes people come forward with information. She said she has friends who had cases solved thanks to the Connecticut Department of Correction "Cold Case" playing cards distributed to inmates.

"It just means so much to us for us to know who did this to him," Moton said.

Also inside the calendar, the numbers for an anonymous cold case tip line for citizens and one for inmates.

Police also created a pin for officers and victims' families inscribed with "Forever in our Thoughts," and they're creating a commemorative coin as well.

"We don't know anything," Rodriguez said about her son's case.

But these parents are hoping these new initiatives change that.

Hartford police said this is the first time they've created a cold case initiative specific to Hartford.

They're also looking for ways to get the word out on social media.

Waterbury Looks to Replace Plywood on Vacant Buildings


Drive around parts of Waterbury and you’ll notice buildings boarded up with trusty plywood.

Some say the days of using plywood to board up abandoned or vacant buildings are over-- but not everyone thinks the replacement is a good idea.

This conversation began after Ohio banned the use of plywood to board up buildings.

“It’s nice to have beautification but some people will break into places if they’re not secure,” Len Bunting of Waterbury, said.

Ohio wants people to use a material called polycarbonate. The clear material could go over windows in an attempt to look better. In addition, the material is stronger than plywood and would stop people from easily breaking into buildings.

The main drawback is the cost. 

“The main thing is cost. There’s a huge cost difference between the two,” Gil Graveline, Waterbury building inspector, said.

A whole house could be boarded up for $180 with plywood, which is the cost of one sheet of polycarbonate

“I’m all about saving money. I just paid a ton of money on car taxes,” John Merritt of Waterbury, said.

But, money is not the only issue. Polycarbonate’s durability could pose a problem in an emergency.

“Fireman don’t like that because they can’t break that. If it’s secured properly, it’s extremely difficult to get off,” Graveline said.

Some don’t see either as a good option and worry about how fires including one recently in Waterbury started in an abandoned warehouse.

“To me all these buildings should be demolished and just leave the plain area so we don’t have to deal with fires or people breaking into the buildings,” Keila Gonzalez of Waterbury, said.

According to reports, Ohio’s law goes into effect in April and applies to homes foreclosed on by the bank.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

QU Students in DC for Donald Trump's Inauguration


A group of Connecticut students will be in the crowd when Donald Trump takes the office this Friday.

Quinnipiac University Political Science Professor Scott McLean has been taking students to the nation’s capital for the last five inaugurations and they will be there once again on Friday.

“This is a tradition for me, regardless of president or party,” McLean said.

The trip is made possible in partnership with the Washington Center Program. This year 38 students joined McLean for the two week program which educates them on the entire inaugural process.

“I think it’s important to recognize the peaceful transfer of power which is the core of our democracy,” said McLean.

Among the students in attendance is Ryian Khan of Meriden. Khan had planned to spend the semester in Washington, DC and used the program as an opportunity to extend that stay.

“The funny part is I’m not very into politics so it was a very eye opening experience that it has been for the past week and a half,” Khan said.

Although Khan is not a Trump supporter, she and McLean agree this is about the American people, not one political party.

“Personally this wasn't my choice for a president-elect, but that does not mean I don't want to be a part of it,” Khan said.

The two are most interested in hearing the new president’s first address, first hand and are eager to hear a message that will unite the country.

“I’m really hoping President Trump will give the kind of speech that his predecessors have always tried to give, one that will unite our country behind our shared principals,” said McLean.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
Browsing All 57608 Articles Latest Live