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Man Shot Outside Hartford Bar


A person was shot outside a Hartford bar early Friday morning and police are looking for the shooter. 

Officers responded to Mi Imperio Bar and Grill, at 455 Franklin Ave., just after 1:30 a.m. on Saint Patrick’s Day and found a victim on the porch. He had been shot in the abdomen, according to police. 

An ambulance brought the victim to Hartford Hospital and officers spoke with witnesses, who said a man who had been arguing inside the bar was escorted outside and started shooting. 

Four shots were fired, police said. The victim was shot once and three shots struck the building. 

The shooter fled after the shooting and police are looking for a man who appeared to be in his 30s, 5-feet-2 and around 120 pounds. He was wearing a white shirt and a red hat. 

The victim is reported to be in stable condition, according to police. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police Investigate Car Thefts, Vehicle Break-Ins in East Windsor


Police are investigating several car thefts and vehicle break-ins in East Windsor overnight. 

Police said several cars were broken into between 2 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. Friday on Scantic and Winton roads and one car was stolen from Winton Road. 

Police have released photos a camera recorded of an incident on Scantic Road. They said the footage showed three people get out of a black car that pulled into the driveway and rummage through the homeowner’s vehicles. 

Early Sunday morning, someone entered a car on Scantic Road and it was discovered to be stolen Tuesday morning. 

Two houses away, police found a car left running in a driveway and said it has been stolen out of East Hartford. 

Police are urging residents to lock cars up at night, remove items that are of value and avoid leaving car keys in the vehicle. If you see or hear something, call the police department.

Photo Credit: East Windsor Police

Deer Was Stuck on Ice in Middlefield


A deer was stuck on ice at Mt. Higby Reservoir in Middlefield but the animal is now gone. 

Officials said the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection was called to assess the situation. 

The Middlefield Volunteer Fire Department and other local emergency crews also responded to the scene.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Woman Led Officers on Chase After Crashing Into Snowbank, Hit Truck: Police


Police are investigating after a woman who crashed into a snow bank in Southbury fled from police who freed her car, led police on a chase and crashed into a tractor-trailer on Interstate 84 in Newtown, according to state police. 

A resident officer responded to Southford Road in Southbury at 9:10 p.m. Thursday to help a driver who was stuck in a snow bank, according to state police. 

After officers freed the vehicle, the driver, a 42-year-old Danbury woman, sped off, leading police on a chase on Route 67 south, but officers quickly broke it off because a child was in the vehicle and police had identified the driver, according to state police. 

Around five minutes later, Southbury officers saw the woman going north on Route 67 and merge onto Interstate 84 east, exit 15, going the wrong way, but she then went back down the ramp and onto I-84 west the correct way, police said. 

Police said the woman sped up and hit a Southbury officer’s cruiser. The officer was not injured, police said. 

The woman then lost control of her vehicle and hit the back of a tractor-trailer. 

The woman and child were transported to be evaluated and police are investigating. They said charges are pending. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Woman Delivering Food in New Britain Attacked: Police


A woman who was delivering food in New Britain on Wednesday was found lying on the floor after being attacked, police said.

New Britain EMS and fire were dispatched to 160 Long Swamp Road at 10:30 p.m. for a fall complaint.

Responders found a woman lying in the roadway with a laceration to her forehead and two swollen eyes. When she was transported to the hospital, doctors found numerous broken bones on both side of the victim's face, which were not consistent with a fall, New Britain Police said. 

The woman's money an personal items were missing, which leads police to believe it was a robbery.

The victim remains at a local area trauma hospital and told police she has limited memory of the incident.

New Britain Police are actively investigating and ask anyone with information to call Detective Karl Mordasiewicz at (860) 826-3141. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

9 People, Including Children, Rescued from New Britain Fire


Firefighters rescued nine people, including children, who were trapped in a fire at Dublin Hills Condo complex in New Britain on Friday morning and members of two families were taken to the hospital.

The raging two-alarm fire broke out at 3:20 a.m. at 220 Lasalle St. 

All nine victims were taken to the hospital and their conditions are unknown., according to fire officials.

Officials said the fire started on the kitchen area of the first floor of apartment B6. The two adults and four children who live in that apartment have been released from the hospital. 

The fire also spread to unit B5 because there was no firewall between the two units. 

Firefighters rescued a couple and their disabled adult daughter from that apartment and the residents' injuries are described a serious, according to New Britain officials. One man suffered burns and remains hospitalized.

One resident described hearing a large boom and seeing flames everywhere.

Fire crews from West Hartford and Hartford were called in to provide mutual aid for fire station coverage in the city.

Officials said one fire hydrant was frozen, which caused a brief delay, but the fire was extinguished in 45 minutes.

Officials said Section 8 housing inspected the smoke detectors Wednesday.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Photo Credit: City of New Britain

First Alert: Snow to Impact Weekend Plans


NBC Connecticut meteorologists have issued a 'First Alert' for accumulating snow possible this weekend.

Light snow will develop midday Saturday and will continue into Sunday morning. Most of the state will experience primarily snow however some areas along the shoreline could see a mix of rain and snow.

Our computer models are having a very difficult time resolving where the greatest snowfall will occurs. Some models show a sizable snowfall while others only show a few snow showers and flurries. 

Right now it looks like eastern Connecticut has the best chance of accumulating snow.

We will have a much better idea on the forecast as new data comes into the weather center this afternoon.

Please check back with us later this afternoon for a complete update on the forecast.

Payday Problem Affects Citizens Bank Customers


Citizens Bank customers said they were experiencing delays in deposits to their accounts on Friday morning.

"Customers are seeing a delay in transactions posting to their accounts, due to a vendor processing issue," Citizens Bank said on Twitter. "This issue is affecting multiple financial institutions. We appreciate the patience of our customers as we work to resolve this issue."

Friday is a regular payday for many companies. Many Citizens Bank customers said on Twitter that paychecks set up for direct deposit had not gone through.

It isn't clear what other financial institutions might have been affected.

The issue appeared to have been resolved as of 10 a.m.

Photo Credit: FILE - Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Secret Service Laptop Stolen, Data Not at Risk: Sources


A New York-based Secret Service agent's laptop was stolen from her car in Brooklyn, but the device is encrypted and sensitive data is not at risk, law enforcement sources told NBC News and NBC New York on Friday.

The sources said the laptop requires a keycode to access, and two unsuccessful attempts to log in will destroy the device's memory.

"An investigation is ongoing and the Secret Service is withholding additional comment until the facts are gathered," the agency said in a statement.

Early media reports had suggested the laptop -- stolen Thursday -- contained sensitive information, like data on the layout of Trump Tower or the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation.

But two sources said that was not the case.

While the laptop does contain some basic, public information on Trump Tower, the sources indicated it did not carry any sensitive information or data that would compromise President Trump's security.

Besides the laptop, a baton and pins giving access to certain secure areas were stolen; those were subsequently recovered. One official said that suggested the robbery may have been a routine one.

See Full List of JC Penney Stores Closing in US


J.C. Penney released a list Friday of the 138 stores it plans to close in an effort to cut costs and grow sales at its strongest locations.

The closures, first announced in February, represents about 13 to 14 percent of the Plano-based company's current store count, and less than 5 percent of total annual sales. Roughly 5,000 jobs will be affected by the closures.

The company expects to save roughly $200 million per year by closing this locations, which contributed less than 5 percent of its annual sales, CNBC reported.

In addition to the store closures, JC Penney's is also shutting down a distribution center in Lakeland, Florida, and relocating another in Buena Park, California.

Liquidation sales will begin on April 17, the company said on Friday.


J.C. Penney to Close MIlford Store


J.C. Penney will be closing 138 stores, including one in Connecticut. 

The company announced today that it will be closing the J.C. Penney at Connecticut Post Mall in Milford.

Most of the store closings will happen in June, according to a news release from the company, and the 138 closures will affect around 5,000 positions nationwide.

“JCPenney is in the process of identifying relocation opportunities within the Company for esteemed leaders. Additionally, JCPenney will provide outplacement support services for those eligible associates who will be leaving the Company,” a news release states. 

Most of the stores that are closing will begin the liquidation process on April 17.

There are seven other J.C. Penney locations in the state, including at Westfarms mall in Farmington, Brass Mill Center in Waterbury, Torrington Commons in Torrington, Crystal Mall in Waterford Danbury Fair Mall in Danbury, Westfield Mall in Trumbull and the Shoppes at Buckland Hills.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

West Hartford Might Have to Send ‘Letters of Non-Renewal’ to 230 Teachers


West Hartford might have to send “letters of non-renewal” to 230 non-tenured teachers because of the budget, but school officials said they anticipate rehiring most of the teachers. 

Officials from West Hartford Public Schools said they might have to send “letters of non-renewal” to the 230 non-tenured teachers and that it is based on the timing and uncertainty of the state's budget process. 

The notices are an administrative requirement to adhere to labor contracts and it is different than laying off teachers, school officials said. 

“While West Hartford is facing a significant budget challenge this year and may have to cut some very talented teachers, we anticipate that most of these non-tenured staff would be rehired with contracts before the end of the school year,” a statement from the school department says. 

You can find the school district’s budget proposals on the West Hartford Public Schools web site

AG to Fight Trump Plan on Car Emissions Standards


Days after President Donald Trump announced that his administration will re-examine federal requirements that govern the fuel efficiency of cars and trucks, Connecticut’s attorney general says he plans to file a motion against any plan to roll back on emissions standards.

"As a downwind state, and a state that has taken considerable steps toward improving its air quality, these actions are disappointing and deeply concerning. Emission standards serve an important purpose in not only combating climate change but also in protecting the safety, health and well-being of our residents,” Attorney General George Jepsen said in a statement.

Trump's decision, which has no immediate effect, requires the Environmental Protection Agency to determine no later than April 2018 whether the 2022-2025 standards established are appropriate. If the EPA determines they are not appropriate, the agency will submit a new proposal next year.

"My administration will work tirelessly to eliminate the industry-killing regulations, to lower the job-crushing taxes and to ensure a level playing field for all American companies and workers," Trump said Wednesday while in Detroit.

Jepsen called Trump’s announcement, which came the same day that the Alliance of Automobile Manufactures filed suit against the standards, “an attempt to wrest well-established authority from those states that have adopted stricter pollution standards – a position entirely inconsistent with the President's self-professed respect for state's rights.”

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers — which represents a dozen major car manufacturers including General Motors, Ford, Fiat Chrysler and Toyota — praised Trump's action and said he was creating an opportunity for federal and state officials to "reach a thoughtful and coordinated outcome predicated on the best and most current data."

"Connecticut will not stand idly by as this administration attempts to undo the significant progress made toward safeguarding our clean air. We will oppose efforts by the Trump Administration to take any action that will harm our citizens and our economy," Jepsen said in a statement.

"We will also be filing a motion to intervene in support of the current vehicle emission standards in the challenge to the standards filed by the Alliance of Automobile Manufactures in U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Whether the efforts to weaken our air quality comes from the President or from the car manufactures, we will defend our state from the onslaught," Jepsen said.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com

East Hartford School Employee Fired Over Alleged Snapchats


An East Hartford staff member has been terminated for allegedly sending a student inappropriate Snapchat messages.

One staff member was fired from her job as a substitute with the East Hartford Woodland School. According to a termination written to the employee obtained by NBC Connecticut, the woman was exchanging personal information with a student in one of the classes she was assigned to.

The letter alleges that she sent messages on Snapchat, a social media video and messaging app, to a male student. The employee is accused of sending the student her home address, inviting the student over her house and asking the student not to tell his guardians that they were communicating. In addition, the letter said she sent messages during the school day when she should have been working. 

When the substitute was questioned about the allegations, school authorites said she denied an interaction with the student through text message. She told school officials she was being set up and the text messages they had seen are fake. 

The school said they "did not find it credible that such messages could have been created by students," and said the personal information given wouldn't be known by others, according to the termination letter.

The staff member's termination was effective immediately.

East Hartford police said they are reviewing whether or not there is any criminal element to this matter.

The Department of Children and Families said they are not able to disclose case specific information.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Ice Missile Shatters Tractor Trailer Windshield on Route 6 in Andover


An ice missile that flew off another vehicle smashed through a tractor trailer windshield in Andover on Friday.

While it's been three days since the major snow storm that left up to two feet of snow in some parts of the state, flying ice from uncleaned cars are hitting other vehicles on the road, state police said. 

Ice came flying off a car traveling westbound on Route 6 in Andover and smashed through the windshield of the tractor trailer driving east.

Police are asking people to clear all the ice and snow from their vehicles. 

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Alabama City Settles Suit Alleging Debtor's Prison


A small Alabama city reached a legal settlement with the Southern Poverty Law Center Tuesday to end a federal lawsuit that accused it of running "a modern-day debtors prison," NBC News reported.

The lawsuit filed by the public interest law firm alleged that Alexander City was jailing people for being too poor to pay fines and fees for traffic tickets and misdemeanor offenses.

The law center says at least 190 poor people were wrongly jailed within two years. Indigent defendants had to pay off fines by serving time in the municipal jail at a rate of $20 a day.

Under the $680,000 settlement, people will get at least $500 for each day they were jailed illegally. A judge still must hold a final hearing on the settlement.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Tolls Bill Clears Committee


For the first time since tolls were removed from the state's highways 32 years ago, a bill to put them back on the roads cleared the Transportation Committee on a party-line, 19-15 vote.

"We should have done this four years ago," said Rep. Tony Guerrera, the House Chairman of the Transportation Committee.

“Ten years down the road, when you see more roads being fixed, more bridges, more infrastructure, when it comes to rail, bus service whatever it may be, you’ll realize it was the right thing to do for the State of Connecticut," Guerrera said following the vote.

The proposal would authorize the regulation and construction of electronic tolls on the state's highways, using the revenue from those collections for infrastructure projects. The measure would also cut the state's gas tax by half of one cent each year for five years, once the tolls are installed. Further, Connecticut residents would pay less on the state's roads than out of state drivers.

"All of the reasons against this have been taken away," Guerrera added. He also pointed out how ther Office of Policy and Management now projects that the state's Special Transportation Fund is projected to be empty within the next five years.

Opponents to tolls have been vocal. They've argued since the beginning of the debate this year, and in recent years, that tolls are just a new tax on the middle class, who could least afford it.

Sen. Toni Boucher, the Senate Transportation Committee co-Chair, has advocated for a higher gas tax, and a better use of state bonding to pay for road and bridge projects.

“Connecticut has reached a point where it has taxed its residents to the hilt," Boucher said. "We’ve become an unaffordable state and this is just one more cost that especially our middle class has to bear when they get to work at rush hour, and that’s when they would tax them more as a toll," Boucher said. 

Tolls were removed from the state following a crash involving a tractor trailer that drove into a toll plaza, colliding with several cars, killing six people.

Even though the transportation committee approved the measure, it will likely be heard by another committee, likely Finance, Revenue, and Bonding, because any toll proposal would increase the amount of money the state takes in.

The legislative session ends June 7.

Photo Credit: necn

Boys Stone Flamingo to Death at Czech Zoo


A flamingo was beaten to death and another seriously injured by three young boys who snuck into the pink-feathered birds' enclosure at a Czech zoo, according to a statement from the Jihlava Zoo.

The trio of boys, ages 5, 6 and 8, kicked and pelted the flamingos with stones before escaping when employees at the zoo, located 80 miles outside of Prague, noticed them and called the police, according to local media reports.

"Fortunately, one of them had a distinct yellow sweatshirt,”resident zoologist Jan Vašák told the Prague Morning, according to the Washington Post. “We immediately phoned police officers and so two of the villains we managed to catch far from the park. The third escaped.”

The attack left a 16-year-old male flamingo who had fathered eight chicks dead, according to a statement from Jihlava Zoo spokesman Martin Malac. It is currently mating season for the flamingos and the attack has left the flock traumatized, Malac said.

Malac said police were investigating the incident and it is a possibility that the parents would have to pay for the damage caused. The flamingo was valued an estimated 50,000 crowns (USD $2,000).

The incident is the latest in a string of fatal attacks on zoo animals. 

Just last week, poachers broke into a French zoo and killed a white rhino for its keratinous horn, known for uses in traditional Asian medicine, NBC News reported. And earlier this month, a group of visitors at a Tunisian zoo stoned a crocodile until it died from internal bleeding, according to local reports.

According to Born Free USA, an animal advocacy group that tracks zoo incidents across the country, there have been at least 33 deaths at zoos in the U.S. since 1990: 15 at zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and 18 at unaccredited zoos. But, the group notes, the numbers are based on media stories, so it's possible that the number is actually higher because of unreported incidents. 

“We have seen tragedy after tragedy where accidental contact between humans and zoo animals end in fatalities," Born USA spokeswoman Rodi Zimmerman said. "The only fool-proof way to keep people safe from wild animals and prevent wild animals from being slaughtered after close contact with people is to stop putting them in close contact in the first place."

"Gorillas belong in Uganda, lions belong in Kenya, tigers belong in India, and polar bears belong in the Artic. None of them belong behind bars mere feet from noisy crowds. Keep wildlife in the wild and not in American urban jungles and there is a much better chance of people and animals alike remaining safe,” Zimmerman added. 

Photo Credit: AP

Spirit Airlines Pilot, Wife Found Dead From Apparent Overdose


A Spirit Airlines pilot and his wife were found dead in their home by their four children this week in what officials believe may have been an accidental overdose.

Brian Halye, 36, and his wife Courtney Halye, 34, were found unresponsive Thursday in their Centerville, Ohio home after two of their children called 911.

In 911 recordings obtained by NBC News, the children told the operator they woke up for school and found the couple on the floor.

The Montgomery County Coroner’s office said the official cause of death is pending a toxicology report, but preliminary examinations are consistent with an accidental overdose. Ken Betz, the director of the coroner’s office, said while the specific cause is not being released, it is so far consistent with what officials in the area have seen in fentanyl, carfentanil and heroin overdoses.

The area has seen a record number of overdoses in January and February this year, Betz said.

Spirit Airlines confirmed Brian Halye was a pilot for the airline for nine years. He took his last flight on March 10, less than a week before his death.

“Our hearts go out to the family, friends, and colleagues of Captain Halye,” the airline said in a statement. 

The company added that “Spirit Airlines is required by Federal Law and by its own internal standards, which exceed federal standards, to operate with the highest degree of care for the safety of the traveling public.” 

“The DOT and FAA regulations require that the airline conduct pre-employment and random drug and alcohol tests on employees in designated safety-sensitive positions such as pilots, flight attendants, mechanics and dispatchers,” the statement continued. “Spirit Airlines remains compliant with DOT and FAA regulations for drug and alcohol testing for these safety-sensitive positions. Anyone who tests positive is immediately removed from their position.”

Nancy Casey, 51, the mother of Courtney Halye, told NBC News she spoke with her daughter on the day she died and sensed something was out of sorts.

“I had this dreadful feeling all day. Something was off with her and something was off with him,” Casey said. 

Casey’s 11-year-old granddaughter found the couple the next morning, she said. The girl heard an alarm going off and went in the couple’s room where she found Brian Halye on the bed, unmoving.

“She saw his face and it looked all white and pale and she knew something was wrong,” Casey said. She then went to wake up her mother, and when she couldn’t, authorities were called.

Casey said the couple’s death is a shock to her entire family and the community they lived in.

Casey noted the couple had been married for four years and each had two children from a previous marriage. She described her daughter as “a light in a room,” who was “very loved.”

“People would talk about this aura she had,” Casey said.

Casey said her daughter had type 1 diabetes and took insulin shots multiple times a day. She acknowledged her daughter had issues in the past with depression and was on medication then, but didn’t believe her daughter was an addict.

“They just got back from a cruise and I don’t know if they wanted the party to continue or something but I just don’t know,” she said.

Photo Credit: Facebook

Trump's Plan to Beat ISIS Mirrors Obama's: Officials


Donald Trump promised during the campaign to implement a "secret plan" to defeat ISIS, including a pledge to "bomb the hell out of" the terror group in Iraq and Syria, NBC News reported.

Now, the Pentagon has given him a secret plan, but it turns out to be a little more than an "intensification" of the same approach that Trump derided under the Obama administration, two senior officials who have reviewed the document told NBC News.

The plan calls for continued bombing; beefing up support and assistance to local forces to retake its Iraqi stronghold Mosul and ultimately the ISIS capital of Raqqa in Syria; drying up ISIS's sources of income; and stabilizing the areas retaken from ISIS, the officials say.

However, nearly every expert agrees that military victory over ISIS is only the first step. Unless the U.S. and its partners deal with the conditions that created ISIS in the first place — grievances among Sunni Muslims who live in Iraq and Syria, where the governments are controlled by non-Sunnis — another version of ISIS is likely to rise up as soon as the conquering force departs.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images
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