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Disabled Protesters Removed From Mitch McConnell's Office


Disabled protesters were physically removed from a sit-in outside of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office Thursday morning, hours after the GOP Senate bill to dismantle the the Affordable Care Act was unveiled.

Photo Credit: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Search Goes on 2 Years for Missing Middletown Woman


Almost two years have passed since Nina Coe, a 59-year-old Middletown woman, disappeared and police are still looking for help from the public to find her. 

Coe was reported missing in July 2015, days after family members last saw her. 

Police said she does have some health and substance abuse issues, but was in constant contact with her family and it would be highly unlike her to go so long without reach out to her many family members. 

“It is through the combined efforts of the Middletown Community that we will locate Nina Coe,” Middletown Police said in a statement. 

Anyone with any information should call Middletown police at 860-638-4000.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Senate Releases Health Care Bill


U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell released the GOP's health care overhaul on Thursday. The 142-page proposal includes massive cuts to Medicaid, cuts in taxes for the wealthy and defunding of Planned Parenthood for at least one year. The Congressional Budget Office has not had a chance to score the Senate's bill yet. Under the House bill, the CBO found found that 23 million Americans would lose their   coverage by 2026.

Police Identify 2 Teen Victims in Orange Crash


Police have identified two victims — one seriously injured — in a crash in a crash on Dogburn Road in Orange Tuesday night.

The crash happened around 11:42 p.m. on Dogburn Road near the Woodbridge town line on June 20.

Police said that investigation suggests that the car was traveling south on Dogburn Road when the driver lost control coming around a corner. The vehicle went off the road and rolled over before stopping against a tree.

An 18-year-old passenger, Kristen Poulin, was ejected and suffered critical injuries. The 17-year-old driver, who was not named, and another 18-year-old passenger, Gia Mentillo, suffered non-life threatening injuries.

The cas is being actively investigated by the Orange Police Department. 

 Anyone with information should contact Detective Harry Burke via email, Sergeant Ray LaPlante via email, or call the Orange Police Department at (203) 891-2130.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Waterbury Astronaut Rick Mastracchio Retires from NASA


NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio, of Waterbury, has retired from NASA. His last day with the agency was June 16.

“Rick is a classmate and a friend and he has done great work for NASA, both in space and on the ground,” Chief Astronaut Pat Forrester, who was selected as an astronaut in the same class as Mastracchio, said in a statement posted on the NASA website. “His breadth of experience over three decades in human spaceflight will serve him well as he moves on to his next endeavor.”

Mastracchio, a UConn graduate, joined NASA in 1990 as an engineer, was selected as an astronaut in 1996 and went on three space shuttle missions and one long-duration stay at the International Space Station.

The next phase of his career is with Orbital ATK, an aerospace and defense technologies company based in Dulles, Virginia.

He joined the company’s Space Systems Group as the senior director of operations for the Commercial Resupply Services program. A news release from the company says the program relies on commercial providers to deliver vital cargo to the International Space Station.

Mastracchio will be responsible for managing the CRS Mission and Cargo Operations teams and will support other Human Space Systems programs.

Photo Credit: AP

Man Who Attacked Woman in Windsor Locks Arrested


Police have arrested the man accused of attacking a woman at work in Windsor Locks last week and leaving her in critical condition. 

Clinton Weston, 25, has been charged with engaging police in pursuit, operating unregistered vehicle, reckless driving, evading responsibility and felony assault. 

The woman was at work at 295 Ella Grasso Turnpike in Windsor Locks on April 20 when she got into an argument with Weston, of Hartford, and he punched her in the face, causing her to fall and hit her head on a vehicle, police said. 

Weston left in the victim’s vehicle, which East Hartford Police later located. 

The victim was transported to the hospital and police later learned she went through emergency surgery because of complications from the head trauma.

Weston was arrested after a vehicular pursuit involving East Hartford police.

His bond was set at $75,000. 

Photo Credit: Windsor Locks Police

Americans Overwhelmingly Oppose House Health Plan: Poll


Americans disapprove of the House plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act by a 3-to-1 margin, according to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll that comes as the Senate reveals its plan to replace Obamacare. 

NBC News reports that 16 percent of adults believe that the American Health Care Act, supported by President Donald Trump and passed by House Republicans last month, is a good idea. Forty-eight percent say the plan is a bad idea. The poll surveyed 900 adults between June 17-20.

Obamacare continues to be viewed in a more positive light, with 41 percent supporting the 2010 Affordable Care Act, versus 38 percent who say it’s a bad idea.

Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate GOP's Health Care Plan Would Bring 'Pain': Obama


Former President Barack Obama on Thursday posted a long statement on Facebook condemning the Senate Republicans' health care overhaul plan and urging Americans to work to prevent its passage.

"I recognize that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act has become a core tenet of the Republican Party. Still, I hope that our Senators, many of whom I know well, step back and measure what’s really at stake, and consider that the rationale for action, on health care or any other issue, must be something more than simply undoing something that Democrats did," he wrote.

"We didn’t fight for the Affordable Care Act for more than a year in the public square for any personal or political gain – we fought for it because we knew it would save lives, prevent financial misery, and ultimately set this country we love on a better, healthier course."

The Republican proposal would dismantle much of Obama's health care law, cut Medicaid and erase tax boosts that helped Obama finance his expansion of coverage.

The bill would provide less-generous tax credits to help people buy insurance and let states get waivers to ignore some coverage standards that "Obamacare" requires of insurers. And it would end the tax penalties under Obama's law on people who don't buy insurance — the so-called individual mandate — and on larger companies that don't offer coverage to their employees.

In his post, Obama spells out some of the parts of the plan he opposes, and writes that "to put the American people through that pain – while giving billionaires and corporations a massive tax cut in return – that’s tough to fathom. But it’s what’s at stake right now. So it remains my fervent hope that we step back and try to deliver on what the American people need."

"The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill. It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else,” he wrote.

He said Americans can make a difference, "If you’re willing to call your members of Congress. If you are willing to visit their offices. If you are willing to speak out, let them and the country know, in very real terms, what this means for you and your family. After all, this debate has always been about something bigger than politics. It’s about the character of our country – who we are, and who we aspire to be. And that’s always worth fighting for."

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Rise of Car Crashes in States Where Marijuana is Legal


There has been a rise of car crashes in places where recreational marijuana is legalized, a new report claims. 

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that legalizing recreational marijuana use in Colorado, Oregon and Washington has resulted in about 3 percent higher overall collision claim frequencies. 

"The combined-state analysis shows that the first three states to legalize recreational marijuana have experienced more crashes," Matt Moore, senior vice president of HLDI, said. "The individual state analyses suggest that the size of the effect varies by state."

Since the three states legalized recreational marijuana, Colorado had a 14 percent increase of collision claims compared to Nebraska, Utah and Wyoming, Washington had a 6.2 percent increase compared to Montana and Idaho, while Oregon had a 4.5 percent increase compared to Idaho, Montana and Nevada.

"This report reveals the same concerning trend we've seen in reports from the Governors Highway Safety Association and the AAA Foundation, underscoring the increased risk associated with legalization," Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA in Greater Hartford, said. "AAA applauds Connecticut lawmakers for the careful consideration they have given this issue".

On June 6, for the first time, the Connecticut General Assembly brought a bill up for debate about regulating the recreational use of marijuana. The Speaker of the Connecticut House, Rep. Joe Aresimowicz conceded that the bill was about 12 votes short of passage.

Massachusetts started allowing recreational marijuana use in the state at the beginning of the year. 

Photo Credit: NBC Washington

Bus Driver Accused of Sexually Assaulting 11-Year-Old Girl


The driver for a bus company is accused of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl on the bus and the company he worked for said it has terminated his employment.

State police said they received a report on Feb. 28 about sexual contact between an 11-year-old girl and a bus driver for Connecticut Transportation Solutions, LLC. The web site for the company says it specializes in transporting "behaviorally challenged children and adults."

The driver, Luis Cruz, 39, of Bridgeport, is accused of touching the girl inappropriately

Cruz was charged with sexual assault in the fourth degree, risk of injury to a minor and illegal sexual contact of a victim who is under the age of 16. 

He turned himself in on Wednesday evening.

Statement from Chet Doheny, President and CEO of Connecticut Transportation Solutions, LLC.
Connecticut Transportation Solutions takes the safety of the students and passengers utilizing our transport services very seriously.  We ensure all of our drivers go through an extensive background check satisfying all the credentialing requirements of the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Transportation, and the Department of Children and Families.
The driver in this case met all mandated requirements and when concerns were brought to our attention we took immediate action, including contacting police and other appropriate state agencies as well as terminating employment.  We have and will continue to support the Connecticut State Police in this investigation.
We know the level of trust and confidence parents and guardians place in us.  This is not something we take lightly. This company will continue to put student and passenger safety first

Chet Doheny, president and CEO of Connecticut Transportation Solutions, LLC, released the following statement:

"Connecticut Transportation Solutions takes the safety of the students and passengers utilizing our transport services very seriously.  We ensure all of our drivers go through an extensive background check satisfying all the credentialing requirements of the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Transportation, and the Department of Children and Families.
The driver in this case met all mandated requirements and when concerns were brought to our attention we took immediate action, including contacting police and other appropriate state agencies as well as terminating employment.  We have and will continue to support the Connecticut State Police in this investigation.

"We know the level of trust and confidence parents and guardians place in us.  This is not something we take lightly. This company will continue to put student and passenger safety first."

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Cosby Panel Was Concerned About 'Politics' of Case: Juror


A juror in Bill Cosby's sexual assault trial said Thursday that some jurors were concerned that prosecutors waited 10 years to charge him, expressing suspicion that politics had played a role in the case.

The juror told The Associated Press that the panel was almost evenly split in its deliberations, with a similar number of jurors wanting to convict the 79-year-old entertainer as acquit him on charges he drugged and molested a woman at his Philadelphia-area home in 2004.

He was the second juror to speak out after the jury deadlocked in the case. A mistrial was declared Saturday after 52 hours of deliberations. Prosecutors plan to put Cosby on trial again.

The juror who spoke to the AP questioned the long delay in bringing charges against the TV star, suggesting that "no new evidence from '05 to now has showed up, no stained clothing, no smoking gun, nothing."

In reality, prosecutors reopened the investigation in 2015 after the public release of a deposition that Cosby gave in 2005 and 2006 as part of accuser Andrea Constand's lawsuit against him — testimony that hadn't yet been offered when another district attorney passed on the case in early 2005. Prosecutors used Cosby's deposition as evidence at the criminal trial.

The juror spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity in order to discuss the sensitive deliberations.

Constand told jurors Cosby gave her pills that made her woozy and then penetrated her with his fingers as she lay paralyzed on a couch, unable to tell him to stop. Cosby has said his encounter with Constand was consensual.

Constand, now 44, initially went to police about a year after she said Cosby assaulted her, but a prosecutor declared her case too weak to bring charges.

A decade later, another district attorney revived the probe after excerpts from Cosby's lurid deposition about drugs and sex became public, and dozens of women came forward also alleging him of sexual assault. Cosby was charged shortly before the statute of limitations was set to expire.

The juror who spoke to the AP said other jurors expressed the view in the deliberating room that "politics was involved."

"I think they created this whole thing, a case that was settled in '05, and we had to bring it up again in '17 with no new evidence," the juror said.

The juror declined to reveal whether he wanted to convict or acquit Cosby but left little doubt about how he felt.

He said he was suspicious of Constand's story, questioning why she waited to tell authorities about the alleged assault and suggesting the clothing she wore to Cosby's house had influenced his view of their encounter.

"When you ask for help on your resume, on your resignation letter, which she did, and he, Mr. Cosby, invites her to his home and she arrives in a bare midriff with incense and bath salts, that's a question," said the juror, appearing to lump several meetings between Cosby and Constand into one.

Cosby, he said, seemed more truthful in his deposition, in which he acknowledged giving pills to Constand before their sexual encounter. The comedian also described how, in the 1970s, he obtained prescriptions for the powerful sedative quaaludes for the purpose of offering them to women he wanted to have sex with.

"He openly admitted that what he gave 'em, he gave 'em pills. He almost incriminated himself. It was very, very honest from his side. You could believe from his testimony what he did, but not from her," the juror said.

The juror characterized the deliberations as tense.

"Crying by men and by women and more than one. And the tears came towards the end, it was so tense," he said.

The same juror, in an interview with NBC affiliate WPXI in Pittsburgh, described it as a "true deadlock" case with votes split 7-5 or 5-7 as jurors deliberated.

Another juror told ABC News on Wednesday that jurors had voted 10-2 to convict Cosby on two of three counts. The juror who spoke to the AP confirmed that vote but said three people then changed their minds. He said the panel was typically more "evenly split" and "up the middle."

"It was hopeless," he said of the prospect of a unanimous verdict.

The AP does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.

Man Shot, Killed in Hartford Apartment


An extensive Hartford police investigation underway at the Carriage Place West apartments at 390 Farmington Avenue.

Detectives are searching a third floor apartment where they found a male who had been shot and killed on Thursday. Police said the call came in at 12:50 p.m.

The name of the victim has not yet been released.

Investigators said they first checked out the apartment after a call from a concerned citizen. 

No word yet on any suspect. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Middletown Area Transit Officials Announce New Cuts to Bus Routes


Middletown Area Transit officials said lack of state funding is causing new cuts to bus routes and financial strain, while city officials said the money troubles may have come from money mismanagement. 

"We work on a break-even budget," said MAT Adminstrator Andrew Chiaravallo.

Shiaravallo said the transit system servicing 400,000 annual riders has funding problems and next month riders will feel it.

"If we don't make these cuts July first then we'd be putting ourselves in a position to totally shut down," Chiaravallo said.

The July first cuts eliminates the mid-day and night service of M-Link.

The route running between Middletown and Meriden during the week.

Another cut will be the elimination of all night service.

"Cutting that would be a big blow," rider Garri Saganenko said.

MAT said they've had financial issues for years, claiming their funds come from federal, state and municipal sources. But this year, during the 2016-2017 fiscal year, troubles mounted, in part, because the Department of Transportation cut 2 percent of MAT's funding.

A 2 percent cut the DOT also gave to 15 other transit districts, according to DOT officials.

With years of financial strains, city officials like Middletown Mayor Dan Drew are asking, if MAT had money problems for years, why were city officials alerted of these problems just last month?

"We first tried to work this out in-house, and tried to resolve it, but it didn't work," said Chiaravallo.

"Saying you are going to take care of it 'in-house' and not letting anyone know, is tantamount to saying, you want to take care of it so nobody knows it was going on," Drew said.

Since MAT is not a Middletown city entity, officials said they have limited control. They can appoint board members, but cannot hire or fire anyone. They can also ask for MATs financial data to see how money is being handled, which officials did.

"Since the state and Middletown don't have any direct or executive control over the organization, this information is helping us figure out how we can help the people that rely on this service," Drew said.

While city officials analyze how deep MAT's money problems go, riders may not be only ones dealing with a bumpy road ahead.

"We analyze the cuts and see if it's enough to continue, but if its not enough, we may have to cut more," Chiaravallo said.

"Their ship hit an iceberg, it's going down, it's taking on water, and they waited until the tip of the bow was sticking up out of the water, until firing off their flare gun," Drew said. 

City officials believe a new terminal built in recent years may have not had proper financial planning. This could be a reason for some of MAT's financial strains. MAT says they understand riders are concerned, and have the riders best interests in mind. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Trump’s Approval Remains Low But Steady


Between the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, President Donald Trump has managed to maintain a historically low but stable approval rating, according to a new poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal.

NBC News reports that 55 percent of those surveyed disapproved of the president, while 40 percent approved. While the approval rating is low for a new president, the numbers have remained steady since polls from May and April.

Support from Republicans has kept the president afloat, with 82 percent of the party approving of the president. Of those Republicans, 80 percent believe that Trump’s failings can be attributed to "the establishment in D.C." that opposes the president.

Photo Credit: Charlie Neibergall/AP Photo

Rare Disorder 'Miracle Drug' Pulled From Market


Christian Mumm was given a 50 percent chance to see his first birthday.

That is what doctors told parents Erica and Edward Mumm shortly after he was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called KCNQ2 encephalopathy, causing severe epilepsy and developmental impairment.

Erica Mumm, Christian’s mom, said the seizures happened as often as every five minutes.

"It was very challenging," Mumm said. "He could not eat by himself, he had seizures very frequently which required oxygen."

Christian had seizures so often, he would eventually be admitted to New Britain’s Hospital for Special Care. There, he was given Potiga, an anti-epileptic seizure medicine. On this medication, Christian went days without a seizure, something he had never done before.

"Once we started him on the drug, we immediately noticed a change in level of seizures, which pleased the doctors immensely," said Mumm. "It was like a designer drug made for my son."

The drug, however, is slated for permanent removal from the market at the end of June. Drug maker GlaxoSmithKline said in its announcement that the drug is being permanently discontinued due to, "limited usage of the medicine and the continued decline in new patient initiation."

GlaxoSmithKline spokesperson Anna Padula said as few as 1,500 patients with epilepsy are treated with this medicine globally, with numbers continuing to decline.

"Potiga is the only drug of its kind currently being sold," said Mumm. "There is no other drug that is designed for KCNQ2 medication."

Online, a growing network of families is asking the drug maker to keep Potiga on the market, or at least make it available to families for "compassionate use", manufacturing just enough of the drug for their use.

KCNQ2 Cure Alliance co-founder and director Scotty Sims said new parents are still contacting them about Potiga. Their organization has a liaison working with GlaxoSmithKline for a possible solution, but the plan for full discontinuation is still scheduled.

New Britain Pharmacist Kristyn Dombowski said discontinued medications are rare.

"It is uncommon and it is shocking for families and pharmacies and even healthcare providers," said Dombowski. "There is lots of research going on and there could soon be a drug coming to market that is ten times better."

Without the medication, Ed Mumm expects the seizures to return.

"We don’t know what will happen and how it will happen," said Mumm.

"It is a sad reality that someone is making a decision on the healthcare of my child based on profits."

Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction Draws in Big Crowds


Convertibles, hot rods, even old school pick-up trucks are all on the auction block as part of the second annual Barrett-Jackson Northeast Auction at Mohegan Sun.

The event draws in crowds of automobile collectors and those who dream of owning one.

"It's like real estate. Condition, condition, condition. And if you look at this car, the paint is flawless, there's no waves on the side," said Rich Willard, of Lyme, who’s planning to make a bid. 

Willard has his eye on this 1951 Ford Custom Deluxe Convertible, but his love of vintage cars transcends what's underneath the hood.

"We related to them. We went to the movies in them. We went to church in them,” Willard said.

Even the younger generation realizes that.

"I wanna see, like, how fast they are, when they were built and how they were built," said 10-year-old Kahmari Jacobs, of West Haven, who was at Barrett-Jackson with his family.

There's something for everyone. From an award-winning 1965 Jaguar XKE Series I Coupe, to motorcycles, even automobilia.

The Northeast Auction at Mohegan Sun is in its second year. Last year Barrett-Jackson made history at the casino with its first double-sellout in the company’s 45-year history. It was so popular, they added a fourth day this year.

"That's really testament to people in Connecticut and all the surrounding states (loving) cars," Barrett-Jackson Chairman and CEO Craig Jackson said.

"It is a testament to going back to the Route 66 days and your car is your first escape. And you get to get some freedom," Jackson said. "But so many Americans grew up, you know, family trips in cars. And I think it’s evolving even more as multiple generations can share a passion for cars."

The Barrett-Jackson Northeast Auction runs from June 21 to 24 at Mohegan Sun.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Home Health Care Aide, on His Way to Join ISIS, Arrested at NY Airport: Feds


A Bronx home health aide was arrested at Kennedy Airport Wednesday night as he prepared to board a flight to Turkey in an apparent attempt to join ISIS, federal prosecutors say.

Saddam "Adam" Mohamed Raishani, 30, was allegedly planning to leave his family and life in New York City to support the deadly terrorist organization in Syria, Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim alleges. He was planning to get into the country through Turkey. 

Raishani has been charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, and was set to face a judge in federal court later Thursday. It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney. 

The FBI and NYPD began investigating Raishani in January when he contacted a confidential source working with law enforcement to tell him he wanted to join ISIS, authorities said. He told the source he'd already helped another person get from New York to the Middle East to join ISIS and regretted not having gone with him.

Raishani told the source he he wanted to wage jihad and that he believed that the Quran could be read to justify the violence, including beheadings, used by ISIS.

That source introduced Raishani to an undercover officer who pretended he also wanted to travel abroad to fight for ISIS.

Whenever the three of them met, Raishani would talk about being in touch with other ISIS supporters and show videos that appeared to depict ISIS terrorists killing civilians in Yemen, prosecutors alleged. 

Also during those meetings, Raishani advised the other two to avoid detection by law enforcement by covering their computer's cameras and turning off the microphones when watching pro-ISIS videos online, according to prosecutors. He told them he even put on gloves while watching such videos. 

He also said if the two went abroad, he could pose as a nurse and the undercover officer could pose as a refugee aid worker in order to cross international borders without being stopped and questioned by authorities, the criminal complaint stated. 

By April, Raishani was actively planning to travel abroad to join ISIS, and he contacted a second undercover officer, an FBI employee, to figure out how to travel overseas to join ISIS before the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month that runs from about May 26 through June 24 this year.

He told the undercover FBI officer he'd contact him about travel arrangements, and said didn't care if he was arrested, "because Allah would know that he tried," according to prosecutors.

Then in June, Raishani told the initial confidential source he was getting ready to leave, including paying off his remaining debts; the two men bought clothing they intended to wear for their training in ISIS, the criminal complaint alleges. Raishani then told the undercover FBI officer he was planning to meet an ISIS member in Turkey in the next few days, who would then help him join ISIS in Syria.

Raishani bought a plane ticket for a flight scheduled to leave JFK Airport on June 21 for Istanbul, via Lisbon, Portugal, according to federal authorities. He was arrested by the FBI after he tried to board that flight to Lisbon.

Raishani faces up to 20 years in prison if he's convicted. 

Photo Credit: AP

Lawmakers to Meet Next Week to Pass Budget


Connecticut’s Speaker of the House hasn’t ruled out approving a spending plan for the next two years before the end of the current fiscal year.

House Democrat and Republican Caucuses met behind closed doors for more than two hours each on Thursday, as the deadline to approve a spending plan is getting closer and closer. The 2017 fiscal year ends on June 30.

Rep. Joe Aresimowicz, the Speaker of the House told reporters, "Our caucus told us as we believed they would that they want us to work as hard as we possibly can in the coming days and convene on June 29 to pass a budget for the State of Connecticut for the next biennium and that's what we intend to do."

One concern making its way through the ranks is the prospect of Gov. Dannel Malloy making all spending decisions without a budget in place. The governor provided his "guiding principles" for how to manage the state’s finances without an appropriations law in place.

In a statement, Malloy’s communications director posed a warning to lawmakers that if they pass a budget it can’t add to a budget and told them their legal authority is extremely limited if they don’t pass a traditional budget document.

One of his top requirements is that a budget can’t add to the state’s deficit, which is currently projected at more than $5 billion over the next two years.

Communications Director Kelly Donnelly wrote, "If members of the General Assembly choose to exacerbate our difficulties and kick the can down the road, they should be prepared to justify that fiscally irresponsible choice to their constituents."

Donnelly also floated skepticism of Republican support for any budget plan, since it’s been years since they supported any plan put forward by Democrats.

"It would be especially surprising to see Republicans endorse any continuation of the current biennial budget, given their strong criticism of that budget over the past two years," the statement continued.

Republican Leader Themis Klarides told reporters she's open to discussing revenue, but said it has to be combined with adding a real cap on spending and ensuring cities and towns gt the funding they expect every year.

"Finding revenue cannot be done in a vacuum," Klarides said. "You need to find revenue if you need but what you need to do is figure out is why you need so much revenue."

Further, she said she’ll have her members ready for whatever happens next Friday when lawmakers meet on June 29, but said she’s not optimistic about passing a budget.

"I would be very shocked if there was a budget on June 29," Klarides said. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Road Rage: Motorcyclist Kicks Sedan, Sparks Chain-Reaction Crash


A caught-on-camera road rage incident between a motorcyclist and a driver on a Southern California freeway led to a chain-reaction crash, sending an innocent person to the hospital Wednesday, authorities said.

The crash occurred before 6 a.m. on the southbound 14 Freeway near Newhall in Santa Clarita. The passenger who shot the video said he started recording when a gray sedan inadvertently cut off a passing motorcyclist.

"Words went back and forth," he told NBC4.

The motorcyclist zooms up to the driver's side of the sedan and kicks the side of the vehicle. The sedan veered left, pinching the biker to the center divider before it swerved and crashed into the wall, hitting and flipping a Chevy pickup truck over on its roof. The motorcyclist zooms past the collision.

The man in the truck was sent to the hospital and is expected to recover, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Officials were looking for the biker and said they were investigating the crash as a road rage incident and a possible hit-and run.

"Obviously it was a road rage incident. He was kicking the vehicle. We have to get a statement, see what's going on," said CHP officer Josh Greengard.

The person who recorded the video immediately turned in the footage to the CHP.

"The old man who had nothing to do with it was the one that got hurt," he said. "Hopefully by doing this, it can help him out."

The southbound lanes of the 14 Freeway were reopened by 6:33 a.m.

Photo Credit: KNBC

Podesta to Answer Congressional Questions in Russia Probe


John Podesta will answer questions next week in a closed session from the House Intelligence Committee, which is investigating the Russian meddling in last year's election, NBC News reported.

Podesta was Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign manager. The committee will likely focus on the emails from his Gmail account published by WikiLeaks during the closing months of the campaign. 

That time period is a key part of the hacking attack that U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was carried out by Russians.

Photo Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images, File
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