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Clinton Home Uninhabitable After Fire


A home on Old Orchard Road in Clinton is uninhabitable after fire broke out Friday morning.

The homeowner of 6 Old Orchard Road called 911 just after 8:30 a.m. Friday to report a fire in the attic and firefighters found a large fire, which had burned through the roof, according to  the fire department.

Madison, Killingworth and Guilford provided mutual aid.

No one was injured and the Clinton fire marshal’s office is investigating the cause of the fire.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.come

Ansonia Drivers Frustrated by Condition of Wakelee Avenue


Drivers in Ansonia are frustrated by the poor conditions of Wakelee Avenue.

The road was torn up last summer when Eversource replaced gas lines.

An Eversource contractor did the work and temporarily patched the road, but drivers are getting impatient waiting for a permanent fix.

“Cars are just going all over the road trying to avoid holes, the cracks and things like that and it’s dangerous,” said Chicago Rivers, of Ansonia.

“Most people have had to have their cars realigned at least a few times in the last year because of the condition of the road,” Roger Parauka, of Ansonia, said.

Mayor David Cassetti said the permanent fix should be coming this fall.

According to him, the Department of Transportation is reviewing plans to repave the entire stretch of road, replace sidewalks, curbs, drainage and lighting. He said the city has already secured $5 million from the Valley Council of Governments in 2011.

The city of Ansonia has to contribute 10 percent or $500,000, which the board of alderman approved in 2015, Cassetti said.

In light of the complaints, an Eversource spokesperson told NBC Connecticut the company has already walked Wakelee Avenue twice, once in October and again in May, and patched areas city officials pointed out as problem spots.

Eversource plans to discuss additional areas of concern with the mayor next week.

Mayor Cassetti said he expects the full repaving project to be bid in August and awarded in October of this year.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Anti-Semitic, Racist Graffiti Found in Ridgefield


Police are investigating after finding anti-Semitic and racist graffiti in Ballard Park in Ridgefield. 

Police were contacted around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday about the graffiti and officers found anti-Semitic symbols and statements as well as racist statements on the park stage, police said. 

Officers also found spray paint on one of the stone walls in the park. 

The Ridgefield Parks and Recreation Department has since cleaned up the park. 

Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to call police headquarters at 203-438-6531 or the anonymous tip line at 203-431-2345.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Old Saybrook Fire Marshal Resigns, Investigation Suspended


The criminal investigation of Old Saybrook fire marshal Donn Dobson has been suspended and he has resigned from his duties in Saybrook and Westbrook, according to police. 

Police said Dobson was the sole subject of a criminal investigation concerning issues of time sheets submitted to various municipalities. 

In May, police executed two search and seizure warrants for the Old Saybrook Town Hall and Westbrook Town Hall and officers looked for all documents, pay roll records, employee expectations, email communication, among other items related to Dobson, according to a page of the search warrant for the Old Saybrook Town Hall. 

Dobson worked full-time in Old Saybrook and part-time as a fire marshal in Westbrook. 

Police said Dobson and the Middlesex County State's Attorney's Office reached an agreement, which includes Dobson's voluntary resignation of employment with the towns of Old Saybrook and Westbrook, restitution, and his preclusion of working as a fire marshal in Middlesex County.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Newtown Man Accused of Manufacturing Explosives


An investigation into explosive devices found at a trailer park on South Main Street in Newtown in March has led to the arrest of a resident accused of manufacturing explosives.

Larry Bailey, 67, of Newtown, was arrested on a warrant Friday and has been charged with manufacturing multiple explosive devices as well as other charges.

Police said Bailey called police on March 24 to report his vehicle was vandalized and officers who responded noticed two items that appeared to be pipe bombs, police said.

Investigators then evacuated the immediate area and called in the Connecticut State Police bomb squad and detectives. The FBI also responded to help destroy the devices and preserve evidence.

When police investigated further, they found several suspicious items that led investigators to believe Bailey was making bombs.

Bailey was also charged with two counts of illegal possession of explosives, first degree reckless endangerment and making a false statement.

He was held on $50,000.

Photo Credit: Newtown Police

Teen Injured in Fall at Enders State Park in Granby


A 17-year-old boy slipped and fell at Enders State Park in Granby Friday afternoon and suffered minor injuries.

Officials from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said the incident happened around 2 p.m. 

The teen was with a group of friends when he fell around 10 feet and sustained facial injuries, officials said.

The teen's injuries are not life-threatening.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Two Connecticut Cities Among 'Worst in America': Report


Photo Credit: AP

McDonald's, Olympics Ending Partnership After 40 Years


After 40 years, the relationship between McDonald’s and the International Olympic Committee has come to an end.

McDonald’s, which began sponsoring the United States Olympic Committee in 1976 and been a partner with the IOC since 1996, terminated the relationships with both entities on Friday afternoon.

"As part of our global growth plan, we are reconsidering all aspects of our business and have made this decision in cooperation with the IOC to focus on different priorities," McDonald's Global Chief Marketing Officer Silvia Lagnado said in a statement. "We have been proud to support the Olympic Movement, and we thank our customers and staff, the spectators, athletes and officials, as well as the IOC and local Olympics Games organizing committees, for all of their support over the years."

McDonald’s will continue on as a partner with the Olympics with domestic marketing rights for the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, but their deal, which was set to run through the Tokyo 2020 games, will be terminated with immediate effect, according to CNBC.

"In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, we understand that McDonald’s is looking to focus on different business priorities," Timo Lumme, managing director of IOC Television and Marketing Services, said in a statement to AdAge. "For these reasons, we have mutually agreed with McDonald’s to part ways."

According to AdAge, McDonald’s is just the latest business to cut ties with the IOC, following the lead of other companies like AT&T, Budweiser and Hilton Hotels.

McDonald’s and the Olympic Games have a long history that dates back all the way to 1968. According to the company’s Olympic page, they airlifted hamburgers to athletes during the Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France, to help athletes deal with homesickness.

The company officially became a sponsor of the USOC in 1976, and became one of the Games’ TOP partners before the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. Since then, McDonald’s has served food in the Olympic Village at each competition, and has served up specially branded advertisements, cups and other items in the years since. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Stew Leonard: Amazon is Rival After Whole Foods Acquisition


Amazon purchasing Whole Foods is sending shockwaves through both the retail and food store industries.

In Connecticut, one person who’s been watching the developments closely is Stew Leonard Jr., the president and CEO of Stew Leonard’s Stores since 1987.

"When you think of Amazon you think of technology and delivery quickly, so I think they’re going to try and bring that to the food industry," Leonard said during an interview at the store in Norwalk.

Leonard said his company has been looking at new strategies like food delivery and having even more take-away options for younger customers.

"We can’t just be focused on the food store now. There are a lot of the millennials that want things delivered. They want food that maybe they can just come and pick up," Leonard said. 

The grocery store CEO said it took years to develop a strategy inside the stores located in Danbury, Norwalk, Yonkers, Newington and Farmingdale that customers would enjoy. Even though more people are looking for delivery and even more convenience, he said the one thing customers enjoy about his family’s stores is the experience they get as they meander the shelves, aisles and stations.

"People come in here they smell the bread, they see the mozzarella being made, you taste some, you see the coffee being roasted, you go to the butchers and see that big ribeye steak that was in there that the butcher cut. You’re not going to be able to do that over the internet," Leonard said. 

Leonard has even visited the Whole Foods headquarters in Austin, Texas, and said he has respect and admiration for the company and its mission.

He’s always viewed Whole Foods as a competitor and said Amazon is a rival, too, with its entry into the grocery business.

“I view as a competitor to anyone who has the lights on and sells food,” Leonard said. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Sources: GOP Shooter Had List of House Republicans' Names


The man who opened fire on Republican lawmakers in Alexandria, Virginia, on Wednesday was carrying a handwritten list of House Republicans' names, NBC News' Pete Williams reports. 

According to officials briefed on the FBI investigation, the list included Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona, Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama and others who officials would not reveal.

Adding to uncertainty about the list, Franks was not on the baseball team.

Investigators say they still do not know if Hodgkinson had an attack plan. They checked his laptop, cell phone and a camera and found there that indicated he had been scouting potential targets.

Rep. Steve Scalise is still in critical condition, but his health is improving, the Congressman's surgeon said two days after Scalise was shot at a practice for the Congressional Baseball Game. 

Scalise, 51, was in dire condition when he was first shot, but internal bleeding is under control and the prognosis is positive. 

"I think that an excellent recovery is a good possibility," Dr. Jack Sava, director of trauma at MedStar Washington Hospital Center said at a news conference Friday afternoon. 

The House of Representatives' No. 3 Republican leader was in grave condition when he was first shot. 

Lobbyist Matt Mika was shot multiple times and remains hospitalized. Also hurt but released from hospitals were two Capitol Police officers, David Bailey and Crystal Griner, and House GOP aide Zack Barth.

President Donald Trump said Friday that Steve Scalise “took a bullet for all of us.”

Investigators studying Wednesday's attack at a suburban Virginia park said Thursday that shooter James Hodgkinson had obtained his rifle and handgun from licensed firearms dealers. Capitol Police said they had "no evidence to suggest that the purchases were not lawful." 

Hodgkinson, a Belleville, Illinois, home inspector who had been living out of his van near the park, had a social media page filled with criticism of Republicans and the Trump administration. He died after officers in Scalise's security detail and local police fired at him. 

Scalise was fielding ground balls at second base Wednesday when he was shot at a practice for the annual Republicans-Democrats baseball game. 

Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images, Handout

International Festival of Arts & Ideas Enters Final Week in New Haven


There are still plenty of more concerts, shows and exhibits at this year’s International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven, which runs through June 24.

For three weeks in June, the festival is one of the largest cultural events in New England.

Crews spent Friday afternoon putting the finishing touches on setting up New Haven’s new city-owned stage before a Saturday afternoon teen dance competition and an evening concert with Mexican band TROKER and the funky Latin soul group Fulaso.

“There's something that anybody can go to,” Graeme Swank from New Haven said. “There’s a myriad of things that you can choose from.”

Swank visited a photo exhibit Friday at the Yale University Art Gallery.

“It’s about the infrastructure of New Haven and a lot about the evolution of the city and how its people are intertwined in it,” he said.

Susan Davidson from Woodbridge said she tries to attend an event each day of the festival.

“Last night we heard the performance of 'Black Girl: Linguistic Play',” Davidson said. “That was phenomenal.”

With her husband and friends, Davidson observed a Friday afternoon panel discussion called “Imaging New Haven: Engaging the City.”

“We belong to the New Haven preservation trust and we’re familiar with some of the panelists,” she said.

The annual festival generates a big boost to the downtown New Haven economy.

“Last year the festival brought in over $15 million over the course of June to the area,” said Chad Herzog, the festival’s Interim Co-Executive Director.

This year Arts & Ideas is the first event to utilize a new City of New Haven investment.

“Tomorrow is a huge concert night,” Herzog said. “We get to christen our new city stage.”

With all the shows, art exhibits and idea discussions, Davidson said the festival is the highlight of the summer season on the shoreline.

“Many, many cities of this size do not host something like the Festival of Arts & Ideas,” she said. “We are fairly unique and it’s something New Haven should be enormously proud of.”

Saturday afternoon in the festival’s family day on the New Haven Green. NBC Connecticut and parent company Comcast are proud sponsors and will have a booth from noon until 3 p.m. with free giveaways like beach balls and key-chains.

You can find more information on the festivals remaining events here.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Trump Reports Hundreds of Millions in Financial Liabilities


The newly released financial disclosure of President Donald Trump reveals how much money he has made, as well as what he's liable for, through April 15.

The U.S. Office of Government Ethics released the 98-page document Friday, and it shows that the president carries at least $315 million in liabilities, including $130 million to Deutsche Bank, as NBC News reports.

Trump last released his financial disclosure in May 2016. He has not released his tax returns.

The disclosure also shows Trump earned nearly $20 million from the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Since Trump won the election, the hotel has become a central symbol of the president's potential conflicts of interest, as some worry it is a route through which the Trump family could receive payments from foreign governments.

Photo Credit: Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images

Waterbury Students, Officers Have Friendly Game of Basketball


Officers took to the basketball court on Friday for some friendly competition with Waterbury high school students. 

The tournament was held by a Crosby High School student-run organization, VOICES, which stands for Victory Over Injustice through Community Enrichment Services.

“From the club idea we decided to embrace the police and reach out to the community to show that we’re here for them because in reality they’re here for us. And so were trying to show a united force,” said Christian Baumbach, advisor for VOICES and a Crosby High School social studies teacher.

Waterbury’s high school teams from Crosby, Kennedy, Wilby and the Waterbury Career Academy played at the Waterbury Police Activity League Gymnasium on Friday.

A total of eight officers played, one for each team. One officer was from the Naugatuck Police Department and the rest were from the Waterbury Police Department.

“It’s just a different way to break down different barriers. A lot of times were working in a patrol car so it removes any sort of barrier and we get to see each other in our natural element,” said Officer Matt Lemos of the Waterbury Police Department.

Perris Brinkley was a Crosby student who played.

“We want to feel like the people that protect us, helps us as well on and off the court… be like a big brother to us because they are to serve and protect… so trying to make that relationship better,” said Brinkley, who is part of the student-run organization.

While there were eight different teams, the goal was to be on the same off the court.

“I like it – to interact with officers that I’ve never seen before, it’s a different experience that I’m really like happy to see,” said Crosby High School student, Nosa Egbineware.

Yale Professor Banned From Cuba Reacts to Trump’s Policy Change


A Yale University history professor said he hopes President Donald Trump’s policy change to restrict the flow of American dollars into Cuba will make it more difficult for the Castro dynasty to stay in power.

“Well I was born in Cuba, and I left when I was 11 years old without my parents,” Professor Carlos Eire said.

That was in the early 1960s. Later reunited with his mom, Eire has not been back to Cuba since. He was unable to attend his father’s funeral.

“I can’t go back because I’m an official enemy of the state,” he explained. “And all my books are banned in Cuba, even my scholarly books that have nothing to do with Cuba.”

Eire has long opposed any tourists visiting Cuba because the Castro regime remains in control.

“The foreigners who visit have access to all sorts of thing that are off limits to Cubans and they have freedom and rights denied to Cubans,” Eire said.

In December 2014, when President Obama was preparing to ease restrictions on U.S. travel to Cuba, Eire wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post saying, “As a Cuba exile, I feel betrayed.”

“He didn’t care how long Cuba remains enslaved,” Eire said of the former president. “He just wanted to change his police to fit all his foreign policy.”

In Miami Friday, Trump announced a reversal in his predecessor’s approach to Cuba that includes limiting American trade and travel.

“American has rejected the Cuban people's oppressors, they are rejected, officially today, rejected,"  Trump said in front of a crowd of Cuban-Americans.

Both of Connecticut’s Democratic senators expressed concern with the announcement from the president on U.S.-Cuba relations.

“Trump’s new policies break the campaign promises he made to boost American jobs and business,” Senator Chris Murphy said. “Connecticut businesses are eager to do more business with Cuba, but now our president has made that harder. More than 50 years of embargo and isolation failed to bring about any meaningful change in Cuba or help the Cuban people. Rather than doubling down on the failed policies of the past, President Trump should build on the new course that President Obama set and recognize that diplomacy and people-to-people ties are the best way to bring democracy and prosperity to the people of Cuba.”

Senator Richard Blumenthal said he wants to see how the policy change plays out, but said he hoped Cuban human rights and relations with the U.S. could improve through more “trade, visits and contacts.”

According to Eire, the past two years of U.S. engagement and increased American travel has not made life better for Cubans because the money flowing in ends up in the pockets of the military that runs the country.

“The Obama normalization circus as I like to call it is a little blip that didn’t make any difference so to speak,” Eire told NBC Connecticut. “This reversal remains to be seen what happens.”

Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

13-Year-Old Rushes Into Burning Waterbury Home


A 13-year-old boy is being called a hero for rushing inside a burning home in Waterbury on Friday night. 

The call came in to the Waterbury Fire Department at 6:05 p.m. and firefighters responded to the home at 121 Central Avenue.

Michael Tineo said he was playing outside when he noticed flames coming from the home.

About ten people, including children and pregnant women, were inside the multi-family home at the time of the fire.

Tineo ran inside the house to help.

"It was smoky but the thing I thought about was what’s going to happen to my family and my little baby sister, my cousins?" Tineo told NBC Connecticut

The fire started at the rear of the two-story, two unit wood frame building. The fire spread to a three-story, three unit building next door.

All the people inside got out safely and received help from the Red Cross.

Two firefighters were taken to St. Mary's Hospital for evaluation but were released shortly after, the fire chief said. 

The Fire Marshal's office is investigating.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Pro-Trump Protester Arrested Onstage at 'Caesar' Play in NYC


A supporter of President Trump jumped onstage during a performance of "Julius Caesar" in Central Park before she was arrested, police said.

The play, put on by The Public Theater, portrays a dictator, with the intention of imitating Donald Trump, in a business suit with a long tie who gets knifed to death onstage. The production has drawn criticism from the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., and other conservatives. 

The protester took to the stage of the Delacorte Theater around 8:30 p.m. Friday and interrupted the show for about ten minutes, police said.

Video posted to Twitter by pro-Trump activist Jack Posobiec appears to show the event unfold. He captioned the video: "BREAKING: Julius Ceasar [sic] Gets SHUTDOWN."

"Stop the normalization of political violence against the right — this is unacceptable," the woman shouted onstage. "You cannot promote this kind of violence against Donald Trump." 

She is eventually drowned out by an announcer calling for security and a chorus of boos from the audience.

"Shame on the New York City Public Theater for doing this," she shouted. 

Moments later, a man holding the camera in the video posted by Posobiec — it may be Posobiec himself — starts shouting at the audience.

"You are all Goebbels, you are all Nazis like Joseph Goebbels," the man said as he pointed at the audience. "You are inciting terrorists."

Goebbels was a minister of propaganda in Nazi Germany.

"The blood of Steve Scalise is on your hands," the man shouted as he is taken away by security.

Congressman Scalise, House Majority Whip, was among several people injured in a shooting in Virginia earlier this week. The shooter, who was shot and killed by police, had a social media page filled with criticism of Republicans and the Trump administration.

The protester onstage appears to be pro-Trump activist Laura Loomer, who posted what appeared to be a first-person video of the incident to her Periscope account. She and Posobiec have contributed to The Rebel Media, a right-wing website. 

The hashtag #FreeLaura was trending on Twitter Friday night. 

The woman onstage was eventually placed under arrest. Police said she’ll be charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing.

No injuries were reported.

A performance of the classic Shakespeare play went on as planned in Central Park on Monday night despite uproar over the stabbing of the Trump look-alike. 

Delta Air Lines and Bank of America have pulled their sponsorship of the Public's version of the play, but in a statement Monday the theater said it stands behind the production. It noted its staging has "provoked heated discussion" but "such discussion is exactly the goal of our civically-engaged theater; this discourse is the basis of a healthy democracy."

Other defenders included Scott Stringer, the New York City comptroller, who wrote letters to the heads of Delta and Bank of America, arguing that dropping their support "sends the wrong message." He writes: "Art matters. The First Amendment matters. Expression matters." He enclosed copies of the play with the letters.

"I hope you enjoy it — it is a classic, in any age," he wrote.

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus/The Public Theater via AP
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Traffic Backups After Crash, Fuel Spill on I-84W in Tolland


A crash and a fuel spill caused traffic delays on Interstate 84 West in Tolland Saturday morning.

State police, Tolland and Vernon firefighters and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection all responded to the crash, which occurred between exits 67 and 68. A motorist called in a report that a tractor trailer involved was leaking fuel all over the roadway.

Tolland fire officials said one person was taken to St. Francis Hospital. There is no word on their condition at this time.

Crews are still on scene working to mitigate the fuel leak. Sand has been placed on the road to absorb the fuel. It is not clear if there is significant environmental impact at this time.

The right lane remains closed while crews continue to clean up the mess.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Despite Push by FL Governor, Stanley Black & Decker Staying


Since 1843, Stanley Black & Decker has called Connecticut, specifically New Britain, home, and company officials say they have no plans to move elsewhere.

The company employs 1,600 people in Connecticut and 54,000 globally, with multiple locations in the state across six cities and towns.

"We are known as the Hardware City because of Stanley Tools," said New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart.

To kick off next year's 175th anniversary, the world's largest tools and storage company hosted a benefit event Friday night. They raised more than $600,000 dollars for Connecticut Public Television.

"Stanley Black & Decker has an incredible history of giving back to the state, giving back to the community," said Stewart.

"This company is a national treasure, but obviously a Connecticut icon," said US Senator Richard Blumenthal, who also attended Friday night's gala.

Stanley Black & Decker is a treasure a rival state is attempting to lure away as part of a larger trip to grab Connecticut companies.

"It does happen on an occasional basis where we'll get a phone call from a governor from another state who will want to come and visit us," said Stanley Black & Decker Senior Vice President and CFO Donald Allan.

The most recent call came this week from Florida Governor Rick Scott, who hoped to meet with the company this Monday to make the pitch for moving to the Sunshine state. Allan says the company declined.

"I think [Florida is] trying to do the right thing for their state. However, we want to make sure we do the right thing for the State of Connecticut," said Allan.

From GE to Aetna to the budget, lately news in the state has been grim, but Allan says it's far from hopeless.

"I think this situation can be solved, but I think government and businesses have to work together to do that," said Allan.

Several Connecticut leaders, including US Senator Richard Blumenthal and US Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty say the nutmeg state has something Florida can't compete with: the people.

"The skilled people who work for this company are not going to Florida. They're not going anywhere else," said Blumenthal.

"We have the tradition, we have the people, we have the schools, and we have that commitment and fantastic communities to live in. I put myself against Florida any day of the week," said Esty.

Friday night's gala celebrated the history of the fruitful relationship between Stanley Black & Decker and Connecticut, as well as its future.

"We have no plans to go anywhere," said Allan.

"It's an honor to be here tonight to celebrate their 175th anniversary, and we hope for 175 more years," said Mayor Stewart.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Read Camille Cosby's Statement Blasting Judge, DA, Media


A publicist read this statement on behalf of Camille Cosby outside the courthouse on June 17, 2017, after a mistrial was declared in her husband Bill Cosby's sexual assault case: 

"How do I describe the District Attorney? Heinously and exploitively ambitious.

How do I describe the judge? Overtly and arrogantly collaborating with the District Attorney.

How do I describe the counsels for the accusers? Totally unethical.

How do I describe many, but not all, general media? Blatantly vicious entities that continually disseminated intentional omissions of truths for the primary purpose of greedily selling sensationalism at the expense of a human life.

Historically, people have challenged injustices.

I am grateful to any of the jurors who tenaciously fought to review the evidence; which is the rightful way to make a sound decision....ultimately, that is a manifestation of justice, based on facts, not lies.

As a very special friend once stated, "truth can be subdued, but not destroyed."

Moreover, I express humongous gratitude to counselors Brian McMonagle and Angela Agrusa for their hard work. Mr. McMonagle for his passionate and powerful articulations of truths; Ms. Agrusa for her thorough research to bolster Counsel McMonagle; to Mr. Andrew Wyatt for his unequivocal skills in public relations; to our team, who worked diligently and intelligently; to our staffs for their continuous commitment to our family and me....and to our children, grandchildren, and other family who loves us...and to our dear friends and supporters, who never gave up on us, despite it all."

Camille Cosby

More Coverage: 

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Cosby Jurors' Deadlock Reflects Court of Public Opinion


The Pennsylvania jury that deadlocked on the fate of Bill Cosby mirrored the split in the court of public opinion. 

The mistrial declared Saturday underscored a wider struggle to reconcile the disconnect between prosecutors' depiction of Cosby as a sexual predator and his long run as one of our most beloved entertainers. 

The 12 Pennsylvanians, unlike the rest of the country, sifted through evidence and testimony as they considered over 52 hours whether Cosby drugged and assaulted then-Temple University employee Andrea Constand in his home outside Philadelphia in 2004.

The public could only judge Cosby via media reports – including the unproven allegations of dozens of other women, whose accounts, stretching back to the 1960s, largely echo Constand's. 

Steadfast Cosby supporters can point to juror division as evidence of a prosecution case that was far from open-and-shut. But there’s little doubt, reasonable or otherwise, that the trial helped seal the new image of "America's Dad" as, at best, a philanderer. 

There's no doubt he had sexual contact with Constand (Cosby contends it was consensual). 

There's no doubt Cosby handed Constand pills (Benadryl, he says). 

There's no doubt he said under oath, during a deposition, that he bought Quaaludes to give to women he wanted to bed. 

There seems little doubt all this will be rehashed with prosecutors vowing to retry Cosby. 

The unsettling details of the case stand at odds with the previous popular perception of a man who rose to fame mining the humor of relatability with family friendly stories of growing up in a hardscrabble section of Philly. 

Cosby forged a special connection with children, dispensing laughs and wisdom from a cartoon junkyard in 1970s Saturday morning staple "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids," and even in commercials for Jell-O. 

He reached his pinnacle in the 1980s with "The Cosby Show," playing the sometimes goofy, but reliably loving patriarch of a model, yet very human family. The NBC show became a ratings hit and sitcom classic that some believe helped pave the way for the election of the first African-American president a generation after its debut. 

By now, Cosby should have been taking an extended victory lap – transitioning into life as "America's Granddad," while practicing the storytelling-driven standup style he turned into an art form. 

Instead, at 79 and with faltering eyesight, his legacy appears destined to be viewed through tarnished lenses. In 2015, as accusations against Cosby mounted, Gallup put his “unfavorable” rating at 62 percent, compared to four percent 18 years earlier. 

Bill Cosby left the Montgomery County Courthouse Saturday with his legal fate still in limbo. The same could be said for what remains of his once-stellar reputation. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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