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Compare the Crowds: Obama and Trump Inaugurations


President Donald Trump promised an “unbelievable, perhaps record-setting turnout” for his inauguration, but it appears he fell short of a record.

Photos taken from the same vantage point at roughly the same time during the inaugurations of Trump and Barack Obama show far fewer people on the National Mall on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. Subway ridership figures released Friday also show a drop between 2009 and 2017.

Various groups involved with the planning of Friday’s ceremonies — the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Activities, the D.C. Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the U.S. Armed Forces Joint Task Force-National Capital Region — predicted 700,000 to 900,000 would attend Trump’s swearing-in and parade.

His predecessor drew what was originally estimated to be a record 1.8 million people to the National Mall for his inauguration in 2009. That estimate was provided by Washington D.C. officials, though The Washington Post later questioned whether it was too high.

On Friday, ridership numbers from the Washington D.C. Metro showed a drop from the 2009 inaugural. As of 11 a.m. on Friday, it recorded 193,000 rides, compared to 513,000 at that time in 2009.

Meanwhile, an expert told The New York Times the crowd on the National Mall on Friday was about one-third the size of the crowd for Obama in 2009. 

The Joint Congressional Committee for Inaugural Ceremonies distributed about 250,000 tickets for Trump’s inauguration on Friday, 1,600 on platforms and 1,000 on bleachers, which it said was on par for previous ceremonies. But most people attending the festival watch from elsewhere.

Photo Credit: AP/Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies
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Protestors Hold Peaceful Demonstration in New Haven on President Trump Inauguration Day


Unlike the clashes with police and vandalism in the nation’s capital on Inauguration Day, protestors in New Haven peacefully voiced their opposition to President Donald Trump, his positions on several issues and his cabinet selections.

“This is just a peaceful demonstration to get all of the residents of the city of New Haven together,” said Alderman Darryl Brackeen Jr.

After a rally outside City Hall, protestors began marching down Church Street in downtown New Haven.

Jennifer Hernandez from Wallingford did not watch President Trump’s inaugural speech because she doesn't, “want him to have any ratings today from me, at least,” she said.

Hernandez told NBC Connecticut she is concerned with what he said after reading the transcript.

“Very nationalistic, very fascist type rhetoric and very anti a diverse America,” she said. “But very pro-white male America, and I won’t stand for that, that’s not who we are.”

While President Trump delivered his speech on the steps of the U.S. Capitol after swearing in, dozens gathered on the steps of City Hall in Milford for their own demonstration. 

“There are just too many things Trump and the republican agenda want to eliminate or harm,” Wayne Theriault of Milford said.

Back in New Haven, the diverse group of demonstrators started gathering outside City Hall around 2 p.m. They rallied against President Trump’s positions on issues such as immigration, women’s rights and climate change.

“He’s talking about rolling back all the progress we’ve made under Obama,” Steve Winter of New Haven said. “Installing, basically, an oil lobbyist as the head of the EPA.”

Winter was collecting signatures for a petition to drop the Electoral College, pointing out Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by nearly three million votes.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Could Trump Shut Down an Investigation if He Wanted?


The FBI is conducting a counterintelligence investigation into Russia's efforts to manipulate public opinion in the United States presidential election, examining how the operation was paid for and whether any Americans were involved, current and former U.S. officials told NBC News.

Former intelligence officials told NBC News that President Donald Trump would technically have the authority to order an end to the investigation — which the CIA, NSA and Treasury Department are also participating in — given that the intelligence agencies report directly to him.

Officials have not said whether the investigation has unearthed any evidence of wrongdoing by Trump aides or any other Americans. Trump spokesman Sean Spicer said on the "Today" show that the president would let the investigation go wherever it leads. And it would be politically disastrous for Trump to end the probe, the former intelligence officials said.

"I remember the last president who ordered a stop to an investigation and it cost him his presidency," said Raymond Batvinis, a former FBI counter intelligence agent who teaches national security at George Washington University, speaking of Richard Nixon and Watergate.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Final Piece of Dunkin Donuts Ballpark in Hartford Placed


The final piece of the concourse at Dunkin Donuts Park in Hartford was placed on Friday at the stadium.

Construction crews with Whiting-Turner were seen using a crane to place the bridge, which connects left field to center field. It was a gaping hole left behind when the city fired the old developer.

Mayor Luke Bronin said Arch Insurance has committed to the deadline of finishing work on the stadium on time for it’s opening on April 13, about a year behind schedule.

Bronin said the city, Arch Insurance and Whiting-Turner Construction all have the same mission: to complete construction of the ballpark.

“We’re working well with both of those partners, you know we’ve got a good, strong partnership with both Whiting-Turner and with Arch and we’re doing everything we can to make sure progress continues well," said Bronin.

Bronin said that at this time, the city will not have to put more money into the stadium project, but that can always change. 

“When Arch Insurance took responsibility for this project, took responsibility for funding it, they are doing it with their own dollars. There is always the possibility of litigation beyond completion of this thing. There’s always a possibility that there’ll be litigation that goes on for a long time,” said Bronin.

Bronin said his hope has always been to minimize taxpayer spending, especially on the stadium project.

NBC Connecticut reached out to Whiting-Turner Construction, Arch Insurance and the Hartford Yardgoats for comment. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

DEEP Seeing More Bear Sightings Than Usual


The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is seeing more bear sightings than usual this time of year and the weather is playing a big part in that number.

Cellphone video provided to NBC Connecticut shows a family of bears walking through a West Simsbury home's yard Friday morning.

Polly Rice captured the video. She said she's seen the bears come by three times this month: an usual sight for January.

“For a time the momma was just in the backyard without them and I know that they were probably either looking for each other or something because she turned to look at the neighbor’s yard over there and eventually they caught up and too the little tour and then across the street,” said Rice.

DEEP says usually bears become more active between March and April, after the coldest winter months have passed; but with the mild January Connecticut has had DEEP is getting more reports of bear sightings than normal, at least one a day. Many of those calls are coming from western Connecticut.

“They’re not full hibernators and they can move around when it’s a little bit warmer out,” said DEEP wildlife biologist, Paul Rego.

The lack of snow on the ground is a bigger factor than the mild temperatures. 

Rego said there is also an increasing bear population in Connecticut. Last year DEEP received more than 6,000 reports of black bear sightings, compared to twenty years ago when there were only about 500 per year.

Officials warn that if you don’t want to attract a bear to your yard, don’t leave bird feeders up.

“My neighbor’s bird feeder was knocked over so they ate all of that," said Rice.

Photo Credit: Polly Rice

Experts Say Flu Hasn't Hit Peak of Season


The flu is widespread in 29 states including Connecticut at the beginning for 2017.

Experts say it likely has not even hit the peak yet.

“We’ve definitely seen an uptick in the past week or two,” Dr. Steven Wolf from Saint Francis Hospital, said.

It’s a similar situation at the Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain.

“We’ve certainly seen an increase in number of patients,” Dr. Virginia Bieluch said.

They confirm what many of us are experiencing: a lot of people are coming down with the flu right now.

The Department of Public Health released updated numbers showing the flu is widespread in the state with nearly 800 reported cases since August.

Hot spots include 287 flu reports in Fairfield County, 209 cases in Hartford and 177 in New Haven.

So far this season, five people in the state have died from flu-complications.

While, anyone can be develop problems, those most at danger include the young and elderly, as well as people with health conditions.

“The sooner you get your flu shot the better,” Bieluch said.

Health experts said the flu vaccine seems to be working fairly well this season by matching the strain of flu going around.

Also to help preventing the flu, think about eating well, resting, and practicing good hygiene.

“Just trying to take care better care of yourself during this time probably pays some dividends,” Wolf said.

While the flu vaccine takes several weeks to reach full effectiveness, it can help in the meantime.

And we’re still not at peak, which last year was into February and March.

Photo Credit: NBC

Best Moments of the Presidential Inaugural Balls


See some of the best moments at the presidential inaugural balls held in honor of Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States.

Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Italy Bus Crash Kills 16 People Returning From School Trip


Sixteen people were killed when a bus crashed and caught fire in Italy while carrying Hungarian teenagers home from a school trip, authorities said Saturday.

Police commander Geralomo Lacquanita said the bus crashed and burst into flames just before midnight on the A4 highway near Verona as it returned from France, NBC News reported.

The bus was returning to Budapest with boys aged 15 to 17 along with parents and teachers.

Police say 16 badly burned bodies have been pulled from the wreckage.

Photo Credit: AP

'In God We Trust': World Newspapers React to Trump


Newspapers around the world led with the news Saturday of Donald Trump's inauguration as the 45th president of the United States and his bold declaration that "from this moment on it's going to be America first."

His vow made headlines from Denver and Dallas to the United Kingdom where it was featured on the front pages of both the Scotsman and the Guardian, which declared in a separate headline that "in pledging to put 'America first', Trump holds the world at his mercy."

"The president's inaugural address put the rest of the planet on notice on Friday that it would, from now on, have to deal with a United States that is far less willing to do things for other countries, buy their products or protect their borders," the article said.

Germany's Der Spiegel perhaps went further, declaring on its cover, "a New World Order." Featuring a billiards table that shows the United States as the cue ball about to break things up, the weekly magazine went with the headline "Trump's Game."

The Times of London also described Trump's presidency as a "new era," while the Sydney Morning Herald said that the new president would now "unleash his shock and awe agenda."

China's official Global Times newspaper said in a commentary that Trump had made a number of "lofty promises" but offered few details on how he intended to carry them out, The Associated Press reported. 

Other governments that have had strained relationships with the Obama administration welcomed the change in Washington, including Turkey. The country's pro-government Daily Sabah went with a straightforward headline for Saturday's cover that said: "Turkey sees Trump as a force to correct US’s misguided policy in fight against [ISIS]."

Photo Credit: AP
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1 Injured in West Haven Shooting


One person was injured in a shooting on Dix Street in West Haven Saturday morning, according to police.

Police said they responded to a report of gunfire with four or five shots heard and a person running into a Dix Street address. When officers arrived, they found a victim suffering a gunshot wound to his back, near the shoulder.

The victim told police he was outside in his car when someone approached him and fired multiple shots, hitting him once.

The victim was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, police said. Detectives are investigating the incident.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Protester Punches White Nationalist Richard Spencer


White nationalist Richard Spencer was punched in the face during an on-camera interview with Australian Broadcasting Corporation News not far from President Trump's inauguration, NBC News reported.

Photo Credit: AP
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Handgun, Drugs Found in Car that Fled Police: West Haven PD


Four people face charges after after a vehicle fled police and wound up crashed in the area of Forest Road and Bristol Street in West Haven, according to police.

Police said that around 2 a.m. Saturday officers spotted a vehicle near Forest Road and David Street speeding and ignoring traffic signals. When police tried to pull the car over the driver fled, police said.

According to police officers caught up to the vehicle when it crashed near Forest Road and Bristol Street. Three of the four occupants were taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries. They have not been identified.

Police said a handgun, heroin and marijuana were all found in the car. Charges are pending.

Hartford Man Arrested On Drug Charges Following Foot Chase


Hartford police said that they have arrested a man on drug and firearm charges after a brief foot chase on Friday night.

According to police, at 9:47 p.m. officers conducting a "Hot Spot" search in response to an increase of gun incidents in the area of the city's North District, observed a vehicle parked in the area of 221 Sisson Avenue.

Upon approaching the car, the officers were pushed by the vehicle's front passenger who began to flee the scene on foot, police said.

According to police, the suspect was subsequently apprehended in the area of Fales Street following a brief pursuit and was found to be in possession of crack cocaine and heroin packaged for street level sales.

Following this, a police investigation made with the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives led authorities to apartment 205 at 221 Sisson Avenue, police said.

According to police, the sole resident of the apartment gave consent to a search where officials located a firearm as well as various items used to manufacture and package heroin.

In total, police said they recovered a .22 caliber pistol with 11 live rounds, various narcotic paraphernalia and packaging, a single plastic bag containing crack cocaine and nine purple wax sleeves containing heroin.

Police said the recovered gun was found to have been stolen from Weybridge, Vermont during a 2013 home invasion.

According to police, the accused, 39-year-old Howard King aka "Wow" of South Marshall Street in Hartford was arrested and charged with criminal possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm, violation of a protective order, interfering with police, possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics with intent to sell, drug factory charges and possession of paraphernalia charges.

King, a convicted felon with multiple prior firearm related arrests in Hartford, was additionally served two outstanding violation of probation warrants for the State of Connecticut, police said.

According to police, following a debriefing King was transported to the Hartford Police Booking Facility for processing.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police

West Haven Man Injured in New Haven Shooting


A West Haven man was critically in a shooting in New Haven Saturday morning, according to police.

New Haven police said they were called to the intersection of Arthur Street and Lamberton Street around 3:15 a.m. The victim was find near the passenger side of his car, suffering from gunshot wounds to the neck, shoulder, and leg. He was taken to the hospital where he is listed in critical but stable condition, police said. He has not been identified.

Police said a female friend of the victim witnessed the shooting and is cooperating with police. She told police the pair had left a New Haven bar before the shooting occurred.

Police have not released a suspect description at this point.

According to police, there have been other shootings in the area and a nearby building has been known to sell alcohol after-hours at parties. Police are investigating whether the pair was attending one of those parties.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information should contact New Haven police.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Hartford Rally Mirrors National Women's March on Washington


As hundreds of thousands of women descend on Washington, DC for the National Women’s March on Washington, Connecticut residents will hold a sister rally of their own in Hartford.

Connecticut residents will gather at the State Capitol Building’s north lawn to stand in solidarity with women across the nation. The march stands for the idea that women’s rights are human rights, no matter what race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, sexual identity, economic status, age or disability. Participants support a wide range of concepts including ending violence, reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, workers; rights, civil rights, disability rights, immigrant rights and environmental justice.

Connecticut will also be represented at the national march.

Events are scheduled across the nation and in places as far as Australia.

The Hartford rally will begin at 12:45 p.m. and include speakers from a variety of civil and women’s rights groups, as well as state and city officials.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

First Alert Issued for Next Week's Nor'easter


The NBC Connecticut meteorologists have issued a First Alert for Monday as a Nor’easter moves through New England.

The weekend looks mild with high temperatures in the upper 40s to near 50 through the weekend, well above the average of 34 degrees in Hartford this time of year.

Sunday night into Monday most of the state will begin seeing rain and sleet, possibly a wintry mix in the hill towns. The shoreline will see rain and maybe some sleet. The rain will be heavy at times.

The chances for a significant storm are increasing for the Monday/Tuesday time frame. Right now we're forecasting heavy rain for most of the state with the potential for a wintry mix in the northwest corner. While the heavy rain won't totally alleviate the drought it will definitely help.

In addition to the heavy rain and wintry mix, winds could really whip and a high wind alert has been issued for the shoreline starting Sunday night through Monday night.

We're forecasting sustained winds gusting 40-40 miles per hour, perhaps up to 60 mile per hour gusts along the shoreline. This could cause tree limbs to fall which may lead to power issues.

For a more in depth and meteorological explanation of the storm check out Ryan Hanrahans latest article on Ryan's Radar.

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Man Verbally Harassed Students at Danbury High School: Mayor


Danbury police are investigating after a man holding a Trump sign verbally harassed students coming out of Danbury High School, according to Mayor Mark Boughton.

The mayor said school officials and police are investigating the incident after video surfaced on Twitter that appears to show a man in the parking lot holding a Trump sign and shouting at students.

"You’ll be out of the country you [expletive] illegal," the man can be heard shouting.

According to Boughton, the man was there after 2 p.m., when the high school becomes public space, and he was there to pick up a relative from school. There was also a physical fight between the man and the student, though the mayor said it appeared the student initiated the altercation.

It is unclear if the man will be charged with anything but the situation is under review.

“This is just horrible behavior,” the mayor said. “The individual should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, should any laws have been broken. Horrendous.”

Photo Credit: Hugo

Watch Women's Marches From Across the Country


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'We Shall Over-Comb': The Best Signs of the Women's March


Protesters attitudes toward President Trump were on display on handmade signs at women's marches around the globe Saturday. 

Many of the signs were playful and whimsical, but conveyed a protest message. 

One of them showed recently-deceased actress Carrie Fisher dressed as her Star Wars character Princess Leia with the title, "RESISTER." 

Another Instagram photo captioned with #womensmarch showed a sign that poked fun at Trump's speech. "Trump has the best misogyny, it's very big misogyny. Sad!" the sign reads.  

In Washington, where crowds are expected to reach 500,000 people, one marcher held a sign that read, "we shall over-comb," with a drawing of Trump's notorious hairstyle. 

A girl at the march held a sign that read, "girl's just want to have fundamental human rights." 

Photo Credit: Riya Bhattacharjee
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Women's Marches Around the World


From Antartica to the Netherlands, global marches and protests for women's right are held around the world in solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Washington, D.C., as well as the 600 "sister marches" held across the United States for the Women's March on Washington. See the photos.

Photo Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
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