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US Warns Israel to Stop Announcing New West Bank Settlements


The White House warned the Israeli government Thursday to stop announcing plans to build new settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Netanyahu's office announced Wednesday that for the first time in two decades, Israel planned to build 3,000 new settlement homes in the disputed territory.

Thursday, the White House issued a brief statement that the new administration has not taken an official position on settlements in the West Bank, but adding that "the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful" in achieving peace.

The White House said at the time that Trump emphasized "the deep and abiding" partnership between the two countries and that he "affirmed his unprecedented commitment to Israel's security."

Photo Credit: Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

Police Investigating 2 Shootings in Hartford

Crews Battle Blaze at Apartments in Hartford


Emergency and fire crews were on scene at a fire at a Hartford apartment complex Thursday night. 

Fire officials said they were called to an apartment building on Everegreen Avenue around 6:30 p.m. 

According to officials, firefighters are still working to assess damage done by the fire, but they believe only a few apartments will be impacted. 

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Holocaust Survivors Say Refugee Travel Ban Revives Bad Memories


Holocaust survivor in suburban Skokie expressed their opposition to President Donald Trump’s executive order banning Syrian refugees indefinitely and temporarily suspending immigration of nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries. 

At an event at the Illinois Holocaust Museum, Fritzie Fritzshall and Aaron Elster shared their personal stories in the hopes of putting a spotlight on the president’s banning of immigrants and refugees from certain countries.

The museum’s mission and motto is “Remember the Past, Transform the Future.”

“The Museum is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Holocaust by honoring the memories of those who were lost and by teaching universal lessons that combat hatred, prejudice and indifference,” its website reads.

For survivors like Elster and Fritzshall, that mission is personal.

“We survivors know what it is like to be put upon, to be isolated, to be ultimately eliminated,” Elster said Thursday. “They died of disease, they died of hunger and I observed all of that.”

Elster said his parents and his 6-year-old sister died in the Holocaust. He said he survived by living in an attic in Poland for two years.

Fritzshall said news of the executive order made her feel as if she were back in time—when she was at the now infamous Auschwitz concentration camp.

“Hunger came back to me,” she said.

She said she remembered facing the cold, immigration lines and not being able to leave the country.

“Because nobody would accept the Jews,” she added.

Fritzshall and Elster say that by speaking out, they are not trying to make a political statement, they just want to make sure that immigrants are treated with respect.

Reckless Driver Said She Was Upset With Police, Donald Trump: Police


When cops pulled over a woman driving recklessly in Burlington on Thursday, she the reason was because she was upset with police officers and President Donald Trump. 

Eileen Marie Pierce, 58, was driving northbound on Route 69 when she intentionally veered into the northbound lane directly toward an officer patrolling a work site, state police said. 

The trooper was able to get out of Pierce's way, "barely avoiding being struck." When Pierce drove pass the officer, she was shaking her fists our her car window and yelling, according to police reports. 

Pierce veered back into the southbound lane, almost colliding with tree service trucks that were at the active work site. Police described Pierce's driving on Route 69 south toward Bristol as "irate".

When the car was stopped, police asked if Pierce had intentionally tried striking the trooper with her car. 

Pierce, during an "emotional ramble", said she was upset with police, that she had been victimized over her lifetime and that "police are being murdered because the police tend to abuse our rights," police paraphrased in the report. 

The Bristol resident also said she was angry over a lot of issues, including the fact that Donald Trump was president, according to the report. 

Pierce was charged with reckless endangerment, reckless driving and failure to drive in a proper lane.  

Foundations Problem is Bigger than State Has Identified: Exclusive


An NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters analysis reveals the number of homeowners directly affected by crumbling foundations may be three times more than the nearly 500 homeowners who have filed complaints with the state. The reason is condominiums.

Ed and Bobbie Oswecki love condo living, but problems with their unit arose several years ago.

"In 2010, my front wall was bulged in and was ready to collapse and was replaced, "says Oswecki.

They didn't know the cause until the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters started reporting on crumbling foundations and Ed went to a concrete coalition meeting a year ago.

"When I saw the pictures and the reports that they gave, I knew we had a problem here," says the Vernon resident.

Ed is President of the Lakeview Condominium Association and took immediate action, hiring a structural engineer to inspect the entire complex. he engineer called three buildings unsound and told Ed that eventually, they will begin to collapse.

The Osweckis' neighbor Phil Bambera is dealing with the same issues: map cracking of his basement walls that's progressively getting worse.

"If this is happening this fast in 8 months, what's it going to look like in another 8 months?," says Bambera.

They brought in a contractor to give a quote to lift the buildings and replace the concrete in ten unit: 865 thousand dollars. Ed pulled together all the condo owners to show them the engineers report and the quote. He also encouraged each owner to file a complaint with the state.

Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan Harris says the number of homeowners filing a complaint continues to grow.

"We have 488 total complaints and of those, 136 are condo unit owners in five different associations," says Harris.

Harris acknowledges that count doesn't capture the true number of homeowners directly impacted by the concrete issue. Those 5 associations have 456 owners who share financial responsibility.

"If you extrapolate that out, our universe now would show about 944 homeowners affected in some way," says Harris.

The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters did an analysis of the nine condominiums and planned unit developments that have identified the crumbling foundation problem in the towns of Enfield, Manchester, South Windsor, Stafford, Tolland, Vernon and Willington.

There are more than 800 owners in these complexes, the vast majority of whom share financial responsibility to fix the concrete basements in their associations.

The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters also looked at the entire universe of condo owners in those same seven towns. There are nearly 8000 owners in 156 associations built since 1983 who are potential victims of the crumbling foundation problem.

Ed Oswecki says each owner at Lakeview will either pay a 19 thousand dollars up front or $190 per month for ten years.

As painful as it may be, he believes there's strength in numbers.

"There's other condo associations that are reluctant to come forward yet, they're in shock they don't know what to do with this. They are impacted. Their sales are impacted. There is an onus on your complex. Everyone is going to chip in and pay for this. Right now, there are state and federal officials looking at this problem, but the numbers are small, so they look at it as a little problem. It isn't."

Another impact that's harder to quantify is that anyone who lives in an affected condo association or planned unit development is dealing with the fact that the mere presence of the deteriorating concrete in their complex, makes it very difficult for them to sell

Property managers tells the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters several sales in recent months have fallen through because more and more potential buyers are learning about the concrete problem.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Adoption Agency's Bankruptcy Leaves Hopeful Parents in the Dark


Dreams of adopting and becoming parents are now in danger for hundreds of families across the country and here in Connecticut.

Many had invested thousands of dollars in Independent Adoption Center, but the non-profit suddenly announced this week it was declaring bankruptcy, leaving hopeful parents wondering what to do next.

“We were shocked. Then we got really angry,” Ben Pelletier of East Haven, said.

For three years, Ben and Crystal Pelletier have worked tirelessly to adopt a child.

NBC Connecticut met the couple years ago as they raised thousands of dollars online to help the two teachers with the nearly $20,000 adoption cost.

“We’re just two normal people who just want to bring a baby into our home and give a baby love they wouldn’t have otherwise,” Crystal Pelletier said.

The couple traveled to New York City and signed up with an apparently trustworthy organization, Independent Adoption Center.

Twice they were paired with birth moms and even prepared a nursery. But both times fell through.

“We thought that was as bad as it was going to get,” Ben Pelletier said.

Then on Tuesday, the East Haven couple received an email from the adoption agency, explaing that the non-profit was declaring chapter 7 bankruptcy and were closing after 34 years.

“We were just like this can’t be real,” Ben Pelletier said.

The Pelletiers weren’t alone.

Hundreds of hopeful parents are potentially affected coast-to-coast because Independent Adoption Center operated in nine states.

In a statement on its website, the organization blames the shutdown on fewer birth parents and more hopeful adoptive parents.

It wrote in part that it, “has worked tirelessly to adapt to this changing environment, but the many efforts we implemented were ultimately unsuccessful.”

Many, including the Pelletiers, are not sure what to do next since they do not have money to go through the process again.

“It’s all gone. And it’s not about the money. It’s about the child. So we’re leaving there with nothing,” Crystal Pelletier said.

The adoption organization says once the bankruptcy proceedings are underway people can apply for refunds.

Any money given out will be up to a trustee and the court.

People looking for help here in the state were encouraged to contact DCF.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Price Skyrockets for Life-Saving Antidote to Opioid Overdose


As opioid addiction continues its grip on the lives of millions of Americans, the demand for a drug that can save those lives has grown significantly -- along with its price.

Kaleo, a drug company based in Richmond, Virginia, makes an injector device to deliver naloxone, the drug made to reverse opioid overdoses. The company has raised the price of its injector twin pack from $690 in 2014 to $4,500 in 2016.

The cost of generic naloxone has also doubled to nearly $150 for a 10 milliliter vial, and a 2 milliliter vial has doubled from about $20 in 2009 to about $40 in 2016, according to a study published in December 2016.

First responders in the D.C. area said the rise in cost has led to shortages at times.

"We are in crisis. We meet monthly to find creative ways to fill these gaps," said Brian Frankel, the EMS commander for the Prince George's County Fire Department.

"Where we used to pay about 20 dollars a dose, we're now paying up into the 50 dollar range," said Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Alan Butsch.

Frankel said to keep up with the need for naloxone, the Prince George's County Fire Department has had to make cuts to some administrative programs and programs for training.

"It is a very very significant public health concern," he said.

Drug overdose deaths have increased by 33 percent in the past five years across the country, according to data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. More than 52,000 died from drug overdoses in 2015.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

Crews Knock Down Fire in Hartford

Fire Destroys Wilton House


Fire destroyed a house in Wilton on Thursday evening and investigators will be back out to the scene today to investigate.

Dispatchers received reports of fire at 7 p.m. Thursday at the corner of Shadow Lane and Hurlbutt Street, found the home engulfed and crews from six departments provided mutual aid.

It took about three hours for firefighters to knock down the fire and the road was closed for about five hours.

Because of the damage, a fire watch crew remained at the scene overnight.

The residents were not home when fire broke out and no one was injured in the blaze.

Officials said fire significantly damaged the house and it’s pretty much a total loss.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but officials said it does not appear to be suspicious.

The fire marshal will return to the scene to investigate.

Photo Credit: NBC 7

Trump Named in More Lawsuits Than Past 3 Presidents Combined


President Donald Trump has been named in more than 50 lawsuits since taking the oath of office, a staggering number compared to the first days of past administrations, NBC News reported.

Since being sworn in Jan. 20, Trump has been named in 52 federal cases in 17 different states, according to the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. Comparatively, Barack Obama was named in three and George W. Bush and Bill Clinton were each named in four cases between Jan. 20 and Feb. 1.

While the president is often named in court cases against the federal government, the Trump administration is facing a wave of legal challenges for its two controversial executive orders that focus on immigrants from Muslim-majority nations or immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally. They also will have to battle a lawsuit over Trump's possible conflicts related to his business holdings.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

School Bus Mirror Hits Tree in Mansfield


State police have responded to Woodland Road in Mansfield after the mirror on a school bus hit a tree.

Around a dozen children were on the bus when the crash happened, according to state police. Everyone is OK, but an ambulance is at the scene as a precaution.

State police said the crash happened on Woodland Road, near Summit Road, near the Ashford line.

Crashes Closes Part of Barnum Avenue in Stratford

Colchester Elementary Students Being Sent Home Early


Students are being sent home from Colchester Elementary School after a power failure.

A statement on the Colchester schools web site says there was an electrical transformer malfunction and there is no heat in the building.

Students are being transported home, but students whose parents are not at home will be brought to the Jack Jackter Intermediate School, so parents may pick up their child there.

Schedules at the other schools will not be affected.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

A Tranquil Weekend Followed by a Wintry Mess Next Week


We're not forecasting any weather issues for the weekend, however it will be a much different story early next week.

Temperatures will be chilly and more seasonable for the start of the weekend with highs in the low 30s. Temperatures rise to near 40 for Sunday. 

Plans for the Super Bowl? Whether you're heading to a gathering or watching it from home the weather will quiet. We're forecasting mostly cloudy skies with snow flurries Sunday evening

The weather turns wintry on Tuesday. We have issued a First Alert for snow, sleet, freezing rain, and plain rain along with gusty winds.

While it's too early to pinpoint totals and exact timing we can tell you what we know so far.

Here's what we know:

  • Snow will overspread the state on Tuesday and transition to sleet and freezing rain.
  • The wintry mix will transition over to plain rain on Wednesday. The transition will take place first at the shore and last in the northwest corner. 
  • The impacts will be statewide, we're expecting travel to be impacted especially on Tuesday.

We're still four days out from the storm so there is plenty of time to fine tune the forecast. Make sure to download the NBC Connecticut Weather App for updates on the forecast.

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

Chick-fil-A Opens in West Hartford Next Week


Chick-fil-A is opening in West Hartford next week.

A Chick-fil-A restaurant will open Thursday, Feb. 9 at 509 New Park Ave. and the owner will offer the first 100 guests the chance to win free Chick-fi-A for a year.

The “First 100” celebration will be in the restaurant parking lot from 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 8 to 6 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9.

Daryl Jackson, who is originally from Naugatuck, owns the restaurant and this is his first Chick-fil-A.

Participants in the First 100 will have the opportunity to win a digital offer card loaded with a one-year supply of free Chick-fil-A meals -- 52 meals total.

To be eligible, you must be at least 18 years old, live in one of the zip codes listed below and have identification while you’re and in line and when the doors open at 6 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8.

If you plan to camp out, see the campout rules here

If more than 100 people are there when the line officially forms at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 8, then all 100 spots will be determined by a drawing held that morning with those selected needing to camp out for 24 hours to secure their spot.

The First 100 event is open to residents of the following zip codes.

  • 06001
  • 06002
  • 06006
  • 06023
  • 06025
  • 06028
  • 06030
  • 06032
  • 06033
  • 06034
  • 06037
  • 06040
  • 06041
  • 06042
  • 06045
  • 06050
  • 06051
  • 06052
  • 06053
  • 06062
  • 06064
  • 06067
  • 06070
  • 06073
  • 06074
  • 06081
  • 06085
  • 06087
  • 06089
  • 06092
  • 06095
  • 06101
  • 06102
  • 06103
  • 06104
  • 06105
  • 06106
  • 06107
  • 06108
  • 06109
  • 06110
  • 06111
  • 06112
  • 06114
  • 06115
  • 06117
  • 06118
  • 06119
  • 06120
  • 06123
  • 06126
  • 06127
  • 06128
  • 06129
  • 06131
  • 06132
  • 06133
  • 06134
  • 06138
  • 06140
  • 06141
  • 06142
  • 06143
  • 06144
  • 06145
  • 06146
  • 06147
  • 06150
  • 06151
  • 06152
  • 06153
  • 06154
  • 06155
  • 06156
  • 06160
  • 06161
  • 06167
  • 06176
  • 06180
  • 06183
  • 06199
  • 06416
  • 06480

Photo Credit: Chick-fil-A Del Sur/Facebook

2 Juveniles Charged With Arson After Fire at Wethersfield Swim Club


Wethersfield police have arrested two juveniles who are accused of setting a fire at the Pine Acres Swim and Tennis Club last month.

The Wethersfield Volunteer Fire Department responded to the swim and tennis club at 2:19 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29 after receiving reports of heavy smoke in the area and found the primary building heavily involved in fire.

The juveniles have been charged arson in the third degree, burglary in the third degree, criminal mischief in the first degree, conspiracy to commit arson in the third degree, conspiracy to commit burglary in the third degree and conspiracy to commit criminal mischief in the first degree.

Police said the same two juveniles have also been charged in connection with the burglary and vandalism of storage sheds at the Wethersfield High School on Jan, 7 and Jan. 24.

They have been charged with burglary in the third degree, criminal mischief in the first degree, criminal trespass in the second degree, conspiracy to commit burglary in the third degree, conspiracy to commit criminal mischief in the first degree and conspiracy to commit criminal trespass in the second degree.

Police said exterior surveillance footage from the high school helped them identify of the suspects.

Police have not identified the juveniles because of their ages.

Photo Credit: Wethersfield Volunteer Fire Department

Police Investigating Bank Robbery in West Haven


Police are investigating a robbery at Wells Fargo Bank on Campbell Avenue in West Haven.

Police said the robbery happened at 590 Campbell Ave. around 11:30 a.m.

The robber showed a note to a teller and fled with money, according to police. The amount of money stolen was not released.

3 Suspects in Custody for Allegedly Robbing Hamden Bank


Three men have pleaded guilty to armed robberies at the West Haven Post Office and a Hamden bank in April, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Malcolm Haynes, 26, of New Haven, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of armed robbery of a postal employee and one count of armed bank robbery. 

On Jan. 25, Derrick White pleaded guilty to one count of armed bank robbery and Howard Booker, 19, of Hamden, pleaded guilty Jan. 30 to one count of armed robbery of a postal employee.

Officials said Haynes, White and Bookert, as well as another person, drove White's vehicle to the area of the Allingtown Post Office on Farwell Avenue and Haynes pointed a gun at people in the lobby, as well as the clerk behind the counter. White hopped over the counter and handed the money to Bookert, officials said. They left with almost $500.

In the afternoon, the group robbed the Wells Fargo Bank at 1647 Whitney Ave., according to federal officials. Haynes pointed the rifle toward several employees and White went behind the counter and stole nearly $10,000, federal officials said.

All three pleaded guilty in Hartford federal court, according to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Warn of Insurance Check Scam


If you receive a check in the mail that looks like it’s from Nationwide Insurance but did not, it might be a scam and East Windsor police are warning people not to fall for it.

They issued the warning after a resident received a suspicious check for around $1,400 and alerted authorities. The check came in the mail with a letter that informs the person they’ve been approved of a $75,000 settlement.

However, there is no information on what the settlement is and the letter instructs the recipient to contact their designated claims agent, someone supposedly with the company, with a number to call on the bottom of the letter.

Once the person calls the number on the letter, they’re instructed to deposit the check they received, and then forward another check to them using a wire service.

Police said the letter is from someone trying to phish for your information, not from Nationwide Insurance, and the check will bounce and leave your responsible for the funds.

"Nationwide is aware of attempts to use our name fraudulently, and we take these incidents seriously. Nationwide will work with authorities as appropriate. We encourage you to report this incident to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at www.uspis.gov; once there, go to “CONTACT US” and “FILE A COMPLAINT,” a statement from Nationwide Insurance says.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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