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Populist Tide Sweeps Mainstream as Dutch Go to Polls


Dutch voters are heading to the polls Wednesday in the country's parliamentary elections, the first in a series of European elections this year that will determine the fate of the European Union and immigration policy on the continent, NBC News reported. 

The Netherlands shows the growing strength of right-wing populism as its two leading candidates are conservative Prime Minister Mark Rutte, of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, and anti-immigration figurehead Geert Wilders, of the Party for Freedom.

Rutte took out ads last year telling Dutch people to "act normal or leave" and told Turkish immigrants who attacked journalists to go back to their country. Wilders was found guilty in December of inciting discrimination against Dutch Moroccans.

Analysts say this rightward lurch is a pattern that spans across Europe, but it is yet to be seen if the strategy will be successful for right-wing parties across the continent.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Peter Dejong

CT Transit Bus Gets Stuck in Waterbury


The travel ban is over, but getting around is challenge in some places this morning after the blizzard dumped more than a foot in several Connecticut cities and towns yesterday. 

A CT Transit bus got stuck in the snow in West Main Street in Waterbury this morning.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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'Nazi Holland' Twitter Hack Targets Bieber, Forbes, More


A rash of Twitter hacks left hundreds of accounts, from media outlets to Justin Bieber's Japanese account, branded with the Turkish flag and sending messages out in Turkish, CNBC reported.

One tweet that was sent by multiple hacked accounts appears to show a swastika and uses two hashtags that mean "Nazi Germany" and "Nazi Holland" in Turkish. The tweet appears to be in favor of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The sweeping hack comes amid tensions between Turkey and the Netherlands. Erdogan recently compared the Dutch to Nazis, while Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte replied that Erdogan was "totally off the mark" and had behaved in an "increasingly hysterical" manner.

Victims of the hacks include Forbes, Justin Bieber's Japanese account, the U.K. Department of Health and the World Meteorological Organization.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File

Trump Supporters Cheer Leaked Tax Document


The sudden unveiling of two pages of President Donald Trump's 2005 federal income tax return Tuesday night was a moment of vindication for his supporters, NBC News reported.

The White House confirmed that Trump was assessd $38 million in federal income tax in 2005 after MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" said it would release the details. Trump's backers said that proved Trump was right when he said he pays taxes to the tune of millions of dollars.

Donald Trump Jr. thanked Maddow on Twitter for proving that his father did pay his taxes as required, while Fox News host Sean Hannity derided the "scandal" of the public's learning that Trump "took legal deductions!"

Other commentators and political observers were underwhelmed by what they learned in the documents, which did not reveal the source of Trump's income.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File

Committee to Vote on Proposal for Third Casino


A committee of state lawmakers is scheduled to vote today on a bill that would authorize a third casino in the state.

The public safety and security committee will meet at noon in Room 2D of the Legislative Office Building to discuss Senate Bill 957, which would allow a casino gaming facility on non-tribal land

The Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribal partnership -- MMCT Venture – wants to build a casino at the site of the abandoned Showcase Cinema and Wal-Mart off Interstate 91 in East Windsor.

Tribal leaders said the facility would bring more than 1,700 jobs and $8.5 million annually to the town of East Windsor and the state would receive 25 percent of the revenues from slots and table games.

Earlier this week, Connecticut Attorney General released a long-awaited legal opinion about the legal pitfalls surrounding the proposed third casino in the state and laid out the possible issues that could arise.

Simply put, there is nothing simple, Attorney General George Jepsen said about opening a third casino in the state, off tribal land.

His opinion addresses legal challenges on the grounds that the process shut out commercial bidders, and what could happen to the state's agreement to collect millions of dollars every year in slot revenues from the existing tribal casinos.

Jepsen wrote there is an, "increased likelihood," that a court could side with a legal party that challenged the statute, if it were put into law, that only the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribes could operate a third casino. Jepsen wrote such a law would open the state up to constitutional challenges on the grounds of both Commerce and Equal Protection.

Jepsen went on to write that he believed the state could provide "meritorious defenses" of that position, that the relationship between the state and the tribes is unique. He hedged that comment by saying it would be "difficult to predict the outcome," of such legal challenges.


On the issue of the state's revenues from slot machines, Jepsen stays relatively neutral. While he recognizes there is precedent that would allow the compact to remain unhindered, he also mentions how a new presidential administration could change course when it comes to such arrangements.

In a statement, Andrew Doba, spokesman for both the Mohegan and Mashantuckets, wrote that while the tribes appreciated the Attorney General's opinion, they added, "Moreover, we have heard from people who spent their careers working at the BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) that the proposed changes will not adversely impact anything. The speculation that the Trump administration might nonetheless disregard the law, past practice, and the purpose of IGRA is just that -- pure speculation."


MGM, which will open a casino in Springfield, Massachusetts next year, has been in a long public relations war over Connecticut opening a third casino.

Uri Clinton, senior vice president and legal counsel for MGM, said the opinion affirmed what the gaming company has argued from the start, saying, "Connecticut risks hundreds of millions in annual revenue if it proceeds with a commercial casino - even if that casino is to be operated jointly by the two federally-recognized tribes."

Sen. Len Fasano, the top Republican in the Connecticut Senate wrote in response, "All issues raised by the Attorney General will be looked at closely by lawmakers in the coming weeks as discussions around the proposed legislation continue.”

Photo Credit: Tecton Architects
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Congress Will 'Flex Muscle' Over Wiretapping Claim: Graham


Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham — frustrated by the lack of answers from the FBI and White House — vowed Wednesday that Congress would "flex its muscle" to determine whether a warrant was ever issued by the Obama administration to wiretap the Trump campaign, NBC News reported.

FBI Director James Comey was given a deadline of Wednesday by Graham and his Judiciary Committee colleague Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse to confirm whether an active probe exists into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

A bipartisan hearing is also being held Wednesday by the Senate Judiciary Committee's crime-and-terrorism subcommittee to start an inquiry into whether Russia meddled in last November's election.

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Photo Credit: Getty

April the Giraffe Tantalizes Live Stream Viewers; Labor Near


April the giraffe was seen looking out the window as Tuesday's ferocious nor’easter drifted out of the region, while the zoo live-streaming her now world-famous pregnancy said keepers reported the baby calf was very active.

"April is doing what she does best, and waiting, and we are thankful!" the Animal Adventure Park, in Harpursville, posted in its Facebook update Wednesday morning.

The zoo said the night before that keepers saw signs April is nearing the end of her pregnancy, including "swelling and pulsing." The checkered, long-necked beauty has remained in marvelous condition as she awaits the arrival of her fourth calf, vets have said.

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“Procedures are in place to get the necessary individuals to the site should April begin birth,” The Animal Adventure Park wrote in the post, which included a black-and-white photo of April using her long neck to peek out of her window as heavy winds lingered in the area following the storm.

In the meantime, “We remain in a holding pattern," the zoo wrote. 

April the giraffe was seen on the live stream Wednesday morning around 8 a.m. standing in a corner with her backside to the camera, patiently awaiting the next steps in her pregnancy. She even gave an occasional tail wag. She took time to put food into her belly as more than 70,000 people tuned in. Later, she stared right at the camera, flicking her tongue as she munched on yet another snack. 

Watch the live stream below (NOTE: weather conditions are causing intermittent disruptions).

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The stream has had intermittent weather-related outages, but with calmer forecasts ahead, it's expected to stay up -- perfect timing as April nears the birth of her fourth calf.

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April has had periods of edginess in recent weeks brought on by stretches of cold weather and her active calf. Nevertheless, April is in “great physical and mental condition,” and the vets who have been monitoring her say they’re pleased with her progress.

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April's pregnancy was catapulted into global headlines late last month after YouTube briefly yanked the zoo's stream following complaints by animal activists that it violated the site's policies concerning "nudity and sexual content." Thousands upon thousands of commenters voiced their frustration on Facebook and YouTube, and the stream was restored within an hour or so.

Jordan Patch, owner of the Animal Adventure Park, says the natural curiosity surrounding giraffes and their birthing process has been a huge factor in drawing crowds.

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"I think the fact that she's a giraffe and she's a neat species that people are interested in, that's fostered a lot of the attention," he said. "The fact that you're gonna get to witness the miracle of birth from an animal that you really don't get to see give birth — that's neat."

He added that April's pregnancy is not just live entertainment, but a teachable moment and source for education.

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Giraffe pregnancies last up to 15 months. Labor lasts anywhere from a few hours to a few days. The calf, which will be the first born at Animal Adventure Park, will be about 150 pounds and 6 feet tall at birth and up and walking in about an hour.

The zoo said it will hold an online competition to name the baby giraffe once it's born.

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'What Will Happen to Him?' Families Fear GOP Medicaid Plans


Twenty-three years after a psychologist first diagnosed Ben Rzucidlo with severe infantile autism, his mother Susan still remembers the heart-breaking prognosis as if she heard it yesterday.

“I was told he would never learn to use a spoon, or tie his shoes, be toilet trained or speak. I was told he would never even know I'm his mother,” the Chester County, Pennsylvania, woman said. “Well, he can tie his own shoes. He can speak. And he damn well knows I’m his mother.”

Rzucidlo credits Medicaid with her son's improbable achievements.

Now, she and thousands of other parents of children with special needs who receive wide-ranging treatment and therapies through the federal program face a worrisome future as the Republican-controlled Congress pushes forth major health care reforms.

A proposal passed by two House committees last week includes an overhaul of Medicaid both in funding and in formula. It would trim $880 billion over the next decade by ending Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, and converting the federal program’s payments to the states from reimbursement-based to a capped annual amount based on current average individual expenses.

Health advocates and Democratic lawmakers say that all Medicaid recipients, including children with the most severe physical and mental disabilities, are at risk of losing often costly and extensive services.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), in an exclusive interview with NBC10, said the Republican proposal to cap state Medicaid funding through pre-determined lump sums, often called block grants, mask “a basic hostility to these programs.”

“They give it all this benign terminology: ‘Flexibility.’ Block grant.’ Doesn’t block grant sound nice? You’re giving this big grant. It all sounds so benign,” Casey said at his Center City office. “But it’ll decimate the program.”

Medicaid, which last year was roughly $575 billion, has long been a target for Republican downsizing, Casey said.

“There is a basic far-right philosophy that is no longer on the ascendancy -- it is driving the bus -- which is the federal government should be basically about the business of national defense and a few other things,” he said. “I think a lot of people don’t know how dependent and how important Medicaid is to people’s lives, even a lot of people who voted for the president by the way.”

Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer, a part-time writer and director of a non-profit said her family’s middle-class life relies on Medicaid. Her son, George, is a 14-year-old with autism and intellectual disabilities who is able to attend a special needs school in Lansdale thanks to the federal program. The cost of the school as well as his busing each day to and from their Elkins Park home is paid for through the Cheltenham School District, which is reimbursed by Medicaid.

“Even though we’re a middle-class family, we require Medicaid to help pay for all of his services, and we know that we will need it when he is an adult to help pay for housing and therapeutic supports,” Kaplan-Mayer said.

Like so many parents with dependent children, she now worries his son’s future is in jeopardy.

“Our country has made wonderful progress in how we care for people with disabilities in the last 30 years,” she said. “The Medicaid block grants could turn that progress backwards.”

Many advocates in the medical and educational fields agree. The PolicyLab of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute wrote in an analysis last week that “current proposals to simultaneously repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and reform the federal Medicaid program would be devastating to children and young adults with disabilities and complex medical needs.”

The PolicyLab estimates that caps based on the average annual cost for a child eligible for Medicaid “may leave insufficient funding for medically complex children whose health care costs are significantly higher than those of other children.”

The federal funding, according to Dr. Sophia Jan of CHOP, provides for smarter spending on special needs, including in-home and in-school treatment.

“Having the nurses in the home not only allows children to interact with community settings and socialize instead of being institutionalized but also allows parents to work,” Jan said. “(And) the cost for providing services in community-based settings instead of institutional settings is much cheaper.”

If Medicaid shrinks to levels that do not sufficiently cover costs for those often defined as traditional recipients -- children and adults with special needs, the elderly and the poor -- states would be left to pick up the difference.

Most, however, don't see a scenario in which states could afford to fill a hole in Medicaid funding.

U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello, a Republican from West Chester, Pennsylvania, was on one of the two House committees that last week approved sending the Medicaid overhaul to the full House for debate.

Discussion on Medicaid, as well of Republicans’ overall health care reform bill called the American Health Care Act, is expected to take the next two or three weeks before a version is sent to the Senate.

Costello said he does not favor any cuts in funding or services to traditional Medicaid. The target for cuts, instead, is the program’s expansion through Obamacare, which he said would explode to $1 trillion by 2026.

“When states face budget crunches in coming years, I don’t want special needs children, the aged, the blind, to be waiting in long lines competing for aid,” Costello said.

The Republican proposal, he argued, would halt the expansion, which through the Affordable Care Act now covers health care costs for American households making up to 138 percent of the poverty line.

“The GOP plan takes the expansion population and instead gives them a tax credit,” Costello said.

In that scenario, a Medicaid-reimbursed program like Pennsylvania's ACCESS that school districts use for special needs services “not only persists, but from a funding perspective, doesn’t have to compete” with expansion costs, Costello said.

It remains unclear how -- or why -- funding for those covered by Medicaid expansion will be interwoven with traditional recipients in any legislation that gets sent to the Senate for consideration.

Casey, who voted for the ACA in his first term, believes that Republicans are still grappling with the challenge of “co-mingling good health care policy, right-wing policy, and promises they’ve made.”

"It’s like running after a car and they never thought they’d catch it,” he said of the years that GOP congressional leaders have pushed to repeal the ACA. “But in this case the dog, figuratively speaking, I’m not saying Republicans are dogs, but the dog caught the car. And they’ve had to throw it together pretty quickly.”

Inside her Avondale, Chester County, home, Lisa Lightner effortlessly pivots from a conversation about Medicaid to opening the door for a milkman to feeding her son, Kevin, 10. In a moment she looks away, Kevin pushes a small bowl of macaroni off the tray of his specialized wheelchair. Now, Mom is cleaning up his mostly uneaten dinner from the floor. 

Three friends who live with the same struggle -- running a household and caring for a disabled child -- sit nearby and each testify to Lightner's unique ability to juggle tasks.

"She's unbelievable," one friend, Lynn Thomas Guidetti, says. "I don't know how she does it."

Guidetti is referring to how Lightner also writes an advocacy blog about special needs children and volunteers as a Democratic committeewoman in Chester County.

Lightner then puts into words what she and her friends, Guidetti, Susan Rzucidlo and Laura Boyer, now confront more than ever.

"What will happen to him after I'm gone? This is something I ask myself all the time."

Her son lives with severe forms of epilepsy and intellectual disability. He will depend on his mother and father for the rest of his life.

"Why is all this being done on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens?" Lightner asked.

She and the other women have vowed to fight any legislation that would decrease Medicaid's ability to those most vulnerable Americans. All see the federal program as greatly improving their children's lives.

"All budgets reflect values and if you’re cutting Medicaid, what do you really value?” Rzucidlo said.

Photo Credit: Brian X. McCrone
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Who Is Leaking Donald Trump's Tax Returns?


Someone with access to all or parts of President Donald Trump's tax returns wants them made public. But who?

Tuesday's disclosure of two pages from Trump's 2005 federal returns marked the second time in the last seven months that portions of Trump's tax filings have been leaked to reporters, NBC News reported.

In October, The New York Times published a story based on a leaked portion of Trump's 1995 state tax returns in multiple states, showing that he declared a massive $916 million loss that year that could have enabled him to avoid paying federal income taxes for nearly two decades. And on Tuesday, investigative reporter David Cay Johnston unveiled some details of Trump's 2005 federal income tax return on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show."

NBC News collected what we know about how the leaks happened and what they tell us about who the leaker — or leakers — might be.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File

Snow Plow Driver Killed by Amtrak Train


Officials say a town public works employee in Massachusetts was killed after the snow plow he was driving was hit by an Amtrak plow train clearing the tracks.

Amtrak spokesman Mike Tolbert says the Longmeadow worker was plowing across the railroad track around 4 p.m. Tuesday when the train struck his vehicle at a private crossing.

Tolbert says there were no passengers on the train. Town Manager Stephen Crane says the worker was alone in the snow plow vehicle at the time of the crash.

The worker has not been identified. Amtrak police are investigating.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Tattoo Artist Testifies in Aaron Hernandez Trial


A tattoo artist who designed several tattoos for Aaron Hernandez testifed Wednesday in the former New England Patriots star's double murder trial.

Tattoo artist David Nelson said Hernandez visited him on two occasions. The first tattoo he gave him read "Remind me that we'll always have each other." Hernandez later came back to get a tattoo of a semi-automatic handgun, with the words "God forgives."

Hernandez is accused of gunning down two men, Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, at a Boston stoplight in July 2012 after one of the victims allegedly bumped into him, spilling his drink. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty.

In court Monday the suspected murder weapon was shown to jurors after the trial's judge denied a request for a mistrial after reviewing a video reflecting witness testimony.

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Hernandez is already serving a life sentence without parole after he was convicted two years ago of killing Odin Lloyd in 2013.

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Photo Credit: AP

2 Russian Agents Charged With Massive Yahoo Hack


Two members of Russia's intelligence agency are among four people being charged in a huge recent hack of Yahoo, U.S. law enforcement officials announced Wednesday.

Two criminal hackers were also part of the data breach that affected at least 500 million accounts, said Mary McCord, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's National Security Division.

McCord, the Justice Department's top official on national security, said earlier Wednesday that Yahoo was hacked "with the backing of a nation state." She did not offer specifics at a seminar sponsored by the Financial Times. 

NBC News has not yet received a response on the allegations from the Kremlin, spy agency FSB or Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A source briefed on the matter told Reuters that the accused men live in Russia and Canada, with the Canadian more likely to face arrest because Russia has no extradition treaty with the United States.

Photo Credit: AP, File

Hundreds of Schools Closed or Delayed Day After Blizzard


Hundreds of school districts are closed or opening late today, the day after a blizzard dumped more than a foot of snow in many towns. Click here to check out an up to the minute list of cancellations.

Non-essential state employees had the day off work Tuesday, but Gov. Dannel Malloy has directed all state employees to return to work today.

"We urge residents to allow for extra travel time today to ensure that they arrive at their destinations safely," Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a statement. "Road conditions may be icy this morning and motorists are reminded to use their winter driving skills--slow down and allow for ?extra space between vehicles. I want to especially thank the road crews as well as the first-responders for the job they have done around-the-clock on behalf of the residents of our state."

While many people will be back to work today, residents are also continuing to cleanup, especially in the northwest corner, where some locations got two feet of snow. Click here to check out snowfall accumulations throughout the state.

If you plan to fly, check ahead with your carrier after hundreds of flights at Bradley International Airport were cancelled yesterday. Metro-North schedules are also affected by yesterday's storm.

We're forecasting mostly cloudy skies Wednesday with blowing snow and temperatures well below normal.

Winds will be out of the west at 10 to 20 mph. Temperatures for inland Connecticut will only rise into the middle to upper 20s. Temperatures along the shore will also be on the chilly side with highs near 30 degrees. The average high temperature for this time of the year is 47 degrees for inland Connecticut.

The rest of the work week will remain relatively quite with partly cloudy skies Thursday and mostly sunny skies on Friday.

We're also keeping our eyes on some wintry weather for the weekend. Light snow is expected Saturday morning which will transition to rain showers by the afternoon. Another round of snow showers are expected on Sunday.

Get the full forecast online here.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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12 Indicted in $12M Scheme to Sell Stolen Products on Amazon


Twelve people have been indicted in a multimillion-dollar scheme to steal merchandise from retail stores in 28 states, including New York, and resell the stolen products on Amazon and eBay, officials said Wednesday.

The alleged thieves resold at least $12 million in merchandise stolen from stores like Staples, Best Buy and Office Depot in New York City and across the nation since 2012, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said.

He called the takedown one of the "largest-ever busts of a retail theft ring."

Over the course of the 10-month probe, dubbed "Operation Sticky Fingers," investigators seized more than 5,300 stolen electronics and ink cartridges from alleged members of the criminal enterprise. Nearly $8 million was taken from the defendants' homes, banks and Amazon and PayPal accounts.

The accused kingpin of the scheme, 64-year-old Richard Rimbaugh, who goes by the name "the General," has allegedly been directing theft crews and reselling stolen goods for more than two decades, Schneiderman said.

According to the indictment, Rimbaugh allegedly instructed crews of thieves to steal specific printer cartridges, computer software and other retail electronics based on their resell value. He typically paid the crews 30 to 50 percent of the retail value for the stolen merchandise, the indictment alleges. 

Rimbaugh then allegedly resold the stolen merchandise on the internet through his illegitimate business, American Media Soft, which he operated out of his Manhattan apartment. Five packages of stolen merchandise arrived at Rimbaugh's home as investigators executed the search warrant, Schneiderman says.

Over the 20 years of the ring’s operation, Rimbaugh is accused of reinvesting roughly half of the proceeds into the criminal enterprise in the form of cash payments to the theft crews.

Information on an attorney for him wasn't immediately available.

The suspects, men and women from New York to Las Vegas who range in age from 22 to 64, were arrested Tuesday in connection with the sweeping 41-count indictment. They are charged with enterprise corruption, money laundering, criminal possession of stolen property and conspiracy, and face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.  

The investigation was conducted by the attorney general’s Organized Crime Task Force with support from the New York State Police. Neither Amazon nor eBay could immediately be reached for comment on the takedown.  

One of the main suspects named in the indictment is also charged in a separate case with welfare fraud conspiracy for allegedly helping a woman illegally obtain housing benefits from the Nassau County Department of Social Services.

Photo Credit: AP, File

Man Charged in Hit-and-Run That Killed Motorcyclist in New Haven


Police have arrested a man suspected in an October hit-and-run that killed a motorcyclist and said a discarded tea cup helped lead them to the suspect. 

Roger Sullivan Jr., 22, of New Haven, has been charged in connection with crash at 2:05 a.m. on Oct. 8 at Whalley and Osborn avenues that killed 31-year-old Garry Gulledge, of Oakville. 

Police said they saw Gulledge doing motorcycle tricks just before the bike and a car collided.

Gulledge was taken to the hospital and died from his injuries, police said. The cause of death was blunt impact injuries of the neck and torso, officials said. 

Witnesses reported that Gulledge was thrown, the bike was in the road and a silver SUV fled on Osborn, toward Blake Street at a high rate of speed. 

Police at the scene found a plastic rocker-panel, marked Honda, in the road as well as a discarded McDonald’s cup and barbeque sauce container. 

The next day, officers took the rocker panel to a Honda dealership in Branford and determined it came from a 2003 to 2007 Acura MDX. 

Police also headed to McDonalds in the 1,000 block of Whalley Avenue to see if there was surveillance video of a car matching the description and said the driver paid with a credit card and bought items, including a large sweet tea and barbeque sauce. 

The credit cardholder told police she was the passenger in a gray Acura her boyfriend was driving, police said. 

On their way home, the woman said she was looking through the bag when she felt a bump and the tea went out the open window, police said. 

She said she didn’t know anything of a collision, but confronted her boyfriend after seeing a news report days later about the crash, which included a surveillance photo and they planned to go to police that day. 

On the same day, police interviewed Sullivan and his account was consistent with his girlfriend’s, according to police. 

He said he felt a thump and didn’t know he’d collided with the motorcyclist, but later admitted he knew the crash was significant but panicked and took off, police said. He maintained he did not see what it was he’d hit. 

Police said they determined the motorcycle was going around 47 miles per hour at the time of the crash and they believe Gulledge tried to avoid the crash, laid down the bike and was thrown from it. 

Sullivan was arrested and charged with felony evading, negligent homicide and making an improper turn. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Respond to Rollover Crash on I-691 in Southington


State police responded to a rollover accident on Interstate 691 in Southington Wednesday afternoon.

Police said no injuries were reported in the accident, which occurred near exit 1 on the westbound side of the highway. The road was closed but has since reopened.

State police remind drivers to slow down and move over for emergency crews.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Norwich Police Hold Arrest Warrant for Bank Robbery Suspect


Norwich police have identified the suspect in the robbery of a local bank back in October and authorities have secured an arrest warrant.

Police allege that Stephen J. Silva, 45, of Springfield, Mass., robbed the Eastern Savings Bank at 257 Main Street on Oct. 17, 2016. No weapon was shown and no injuries were reported in the robbery.

During the investigation detectives identified seven other similar robberies and two attempted robberies at banks in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont ranging from Sep. 30 through Dec. 10, 2016.

On Dec. 12 Silva was arrested by Vermont State Police for a bank robbery in Hartland, VT. He remains in their custody.

Norwich police hold an arrest warrant for Silva charging him with second-degree robbery and third-degree larceny and intend to serve it to the suspect at a later date.

What the Federal Interest Rate Hike Means for You


The Fed raised interest rates a quarter of a point this afternoon. Here's what it means for your money, NBC News reported.

Savings: "The 'average' saver won't see much benefit because the 'average' financial institution is unlikely to increase the measly payouts in a meaningful way," said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.com.

Credit Cards: You'll pay an extra $40 in interest every year, based on the average credit card debt of $16,000 at current average of 15 percent interest.

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC): A $30,000 line of credit will cost you $75 more in annual interest.

New Car: Financing a $25,000 new set of wheels increases by $3 more a month.

Mortgages: If you're shopping for a new house, the mortgage could run you an additional $720 a year if all of the Fed's three expected rate hikes go through, according to Bankrate.com.

Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Plow Drivers Power Through Blizzard Cleanup


The plight of the plow driver is no doubt a heavy lift! They're responsible for clearing parking lots, commercial properties and residential driveways, and Tuesday’s heavy wet snow certainly didn’t make the job easy.

Nino DiBiase owns Custom Exterior Landscape in Newington. "This is the heaviest this season, definitely the heaviest this season," DiBiase told NBC Connecticut.

More than 24 hours after Mother Nature packed a powerful punch Mid-March, Nino DiBiase and his crews are still clearing, carving through the deep, thick snow.

DiBiase told NBC Connecticut, "It just got very, very heavy for all of us to start pushing and you just had to stay on top of it and keep your guys out and buy me plenty of hot chocolate or whatever you gotta do to keep them in the truck."

The goal is to stay alert and awake to get the jobs done.

DiBiase said crews stay fueled up a lot of water and meat – but no caffeine on their long days because they can’t afford the crash.

“No, no, no it spikes you up and down," stated DiBiase.

DiBiase said the company spends months prepping the metals on the truck, to prevent rust during all the snow removal.

DiBiase stated, "it destroys the equipment, absolutely destroys the equipment, and that's a two month process to spray all the trucks and equipment so it definitely beats the daylights out of the vehicle and the equipment."

Vin Fandetti with Keeney Manufacturing in the center of town gets it, going on 12 hours

"Sleep long before you come into work," he joked. "No, it's hard work. The machine's doing the work but you don't want it to get stuck or you'll be digging it out with a shovel." 

Immigration Activist Elvira Arellano Gets Reprieve From Deportation


An immigration judge extended parole Wednesday for twice-deported Mexican activist Elvira Arellano, who famously took refuge in a Chicago church when she faced removal in 2006.

Arellano’s probation for violating immigration law was set to expire Wednesday, but the legal victory will allow her and her 3-year-old Mexican-born son Emiliano to remain in the country for another year alongside her U.S.-born son, 18-year-old Saul Arellano.

"She has fought for me and now its time for me to give to her," Saul said at a news conference Wednesday. "She went against a whole government because she believed that she needed to be with her son. And now I believe I need to be with my mother here."

All three arrived for her first meeting at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Chicago under President Donald Trump’s administration, hoping for either relief through political asylum, or an extension of her current status. [[413942783, C]]

While she was not granted asylum, she was given a one-year reprieve from being deported, yet again, as her case continues to be reviewed.

“ICE did not take action at this time because her immigration court proceedings are still pending,” the immigration agency said in a statement. 

Arellano, 42, was first deported to Mexico after attempting to use fraudulent documents to enter the United States on Aug. 20, 1997, but illegally reentered the country later that year.

She settled in Yakima, Washington, and she gave birth to Saul in 1999. Arellano moved to Chicago in 2000 and was arrested by ICE agents at O’Hare International Airport in 2002 as part of Operation Tarmac, a massive crackdown on airport employees living in the U.S. illegally.

Arellano was convicted of Social Security fraud, but granted at least three stays of deportation, according to the Chicago Tribune.

In 2006, she faced deportation once again and sought refuge at the Adalberto United Methodist Church in the city’s Humboldt Park neighborhood with her U.S.-born son, making headlines around the world as she pledged to remain in America.

Arellano lived in the church for nearly a year and became a symbol for the new sanctuary movement, in which undocumented immigrants residing in the country illegally seek shelter at places of worship. [[412185383, C]]

Despite her efforts and the national attention given to her case, Arellano was deported again on Aug. 19, 2007, nearly 20 years to the day after she was first removed from the country.

Arellano’s advocacy for immigrants seeking asylum continued in Mexico, where she had Emiliano. In 2014, she reentered the U.S. and was placed into removal proceedings by Customs and Border Protection and turned over to ICE.

She was paroled out of ICE custody pending her ongoing removal proceedings in federal immigration court, in which she continues to seek political asylum in the U.S. based on her outspoken criticisms of the Mexican government. 

Photo Credit: NBC Chicago
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