Channel: NBC Connecticut
Browsing All 57608 Browse Latest View Live
Mark channel Not-Safe-For-Work? cancel confirm NSFW Votes: (0 votes)
Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel.

Mueller Impanels Grandy Jury in DC in Russia Probe: Report


Special Counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

Citing two people familiar with the matter, the newspaper reported the grand jury will convene in Washington.

Joshua Stueve, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment to the newspaper. 

Ty Cobb, special counsel to the president, said he wasn’t aware that Mueller had started using a new grand jury, the Journal reported.

“Grand jury matters are typically secret,” Cobb said. “The White House favors anything that accelerates the conclusion of his work fairly.…The White House is committed to fully cooperating with Mr. Mueller.”

NBC News had previously reported a grand jury was already involved in investigations into Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, and Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman.

Photo Credit: AP/File

7-Year-Old Nearly Drowns at Chelsea Piers Stamford: FD


A 7-year-old nearly drowned at Chelsea Piers in Stamford on Thursday, firefighters said. 

Stamford firefighters responded to the scene at Chelsea Piers' Splash Zone on Blackley Road at 12:37 p.m.

Staff had pulled the boy from the water and were performing patient care upon firefighters' arrival. 

Officials found that the child was unconscious but breathing on his own before transporting him to Stamford Hospital.

His condition has not been announced. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Weekend Storms Bring Cooler Weather


Meteorologist Josh Cingranelli here guest writing for Ryan Hanrahan while he's enjoying his vacation in Italy. 

The warm air and high humidity will come to an end this weekend as a strong cold front moves through the region.

The European forecast model has the front moving through the state around 18 UTC which is equivalent to 2 p.m. 

The front will bring in showers and thunderstorms Saturday afternoon. I've been monitoring the severe weather potential over the past couple of days.

Take a look at the forecasted weather sounding for 12 UTC on Saturday for the Hartford area. 

A couple things we look at for severe weather is, CAPE (convective available potential energy) and shear. Shear is how much the wind speed and direction changes as the height from the ground into the atmosphere increases.

This sounding is displaying decent shear values but lacks CAPE. While we're still forecasting thunderstorms we don't anticipate a widespread severe weather outbreak. 

The front will bring in much drier air which will rapidly decrease humidity values. Check out the dew point values prior to the front moving in and the dew point values after the front passes. 



In addition to the drier air, an anomalous shot of cooler air will settle in for early next week. High temperatures are forecasted to be 10 to as much as 20 degrees below normal through the middle of the week.

We expect temperatures will climb back into the low 80s by the end of next week. 

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

Two-Cars Involved in Serious Vernon Crash on Route 83

Three Hartford Public Library Branches Delay Closures


The Hartford Public Library (HPL) announced Wednesday it will delay the closure of three branches until the end of 2017.

In July, officials announced that the Blue Hills, Goodwin and Mark Twain branches will shut down on Sept. 5 as part of the city's ongoing plans to restructure the library system in Hartford. 

As a result of public criticism, HPL will slowly limit availability at these locations, offering community events until Dec. 31.

Like other places in the state, the Hartford Public Library has fallen victim to the woes of both the state’s budget and city’s budget have led to decreased revenue—especially when compared to previous years.

In a statement to NBC Connecticut, the HPL indicates it is, “transitioning to a new and very different operational model, one that is sustainable in light of our challenging financial times, and offers more open hours, additional days of operation and enhanced outreach services in six library locations for our 125,000 residents and daily visitors to the city.”

As part of the interim service plans, HPL will allow on-site computers to remain and be operational, as well as several books and other materials, which will be available to be borrowed.

At the Goodwin branch, school and day care visits will remain on site and full computer access will be granted to visitors twice a week from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. HPL also addressed one of the main concerns with the initial sudden closing of three of the Goodwin branch by continuing to offer several adult programs and community support meetings monitored by the HPL every Saturday.

The Blue Hills branch will allow Saturday morning adult and community programs, in addition to having homework club sanctioned by the HPL twice a week after school.

The Mark Twain branch at West Middle School will assist with adult education courses along with tutoring 2 to 3 days a week while hosting and moderating events from various community groups.

Hartford Public Library will detail the transition plan on Thursday night at the Mark Twain branch at West Middle School on 44 Niles Street. 

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Trump Pushed Mexico to Stay Mum on Wall Payment: Report


President Donald Trump sought to have the leaders of Australia and Mexico make concessions on immigration, at least publicly, to improve Trump's image on the issue early in his presidency, according to what The Washington Post reported are transcripts of those conversations.

Trump had calls with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull about a week after he was inaugurated. Trump asked Peña Nieto to consider dropping his public insistence that Mexico will not pay for the wall along its border during negotiations, while he argued with Turnbull that upholding a prior agreement to accept 1,250 Syrian refugees being watched over by Australia would "kill me" politically, according to the transcripts the Post published.

And Trump allegedly chalked up his primary victory in New Hampshire to the fact that it is a "drug-infested den," a characterization that prompted backlash from the state's Republican governor and two senators.

A White House representative could not confirm or deny the authenticity of the leaked classified documents, which the Post published in full, to NBC News. The White House did not respond to a request for comment on the backlash.

The White House declined to comment to the Post, which reported that an official familiar with the conversations said, "The president is a tough negotiator" who is "direct and forceful in his determination to put America and Americans first."

Both leaders visited the U.S. after their phone conversations in late January, and immigration continues to be an important issue for Trump, whose executive order to limit immigration from several Muslim-majority countries partially went into effect in June after stiff legal challenges.

Talk of the border wall took up most of the discussion with Mexico's president, even though it became clear the two leaders would not agree on what to say after Trump insisted its funding "will work out in the formula somehow."

In one exchange, Peña Nieto said: "My position has been and will continue to be very firm saying that Mexico cannot pay for that wall."

Trump replied: "But you cannot say that to the press. The press is going to go with that and I cannot live with that. You cannot say that to the press because I cannot negotiate under those circumstances."

When Trump told his counterpart that he wanted to balance the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico, Peña Nieto said he intended to have his administration work to find mutual benefit.

They agreed to work together to combat drug cartels, and during that conversation, Trump said as an aside that he "won New Hampshire because New Hampshire is a drug-infested den."

Both of the state's U.S. senators criticized his comments in statements on Twitter, while Gov. Chris Sununu said in a statement that Trump was wrong.

"It’s disappointing his mischaracterization of this epidemic ignores the great things this state has to offer," he said. 

It was previously reported that Trump's call with Turnbull was contentious — Sen. John McCain called Turnbull later to reiterate the United States' commitment to the alliance with Australia — but the White House staff-produced transcripts the newspaper obtained show how the conversation unfolded.

"Why is this so important? I do not understand. This is going to kill me. I am the world's greatest person that does not want to let people into the country," Trump said after Turnbull said it is important to Australia that the deal be upheld.

Trump grudgingly accepted that he was obliged to follow the "embarrassing" deal, but he said before ending the call that the call was more unpleasant than one he had with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier in the day. It's not clear when the refugees will be resettled. 

"I have had it," Trump said. "I have been making these calls all day and this is the most unpleasant call all day. Putin was a pleasant call. This is ridiculous."

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, an occasional critic of the president's, said it was unfair that the leaked transcripts were being shared.

"Whether you like President Trump or not, no president can do business if their phone calls are going to be leaked to The Washington Post," he told NBC News. "I hope (Attorney General) Jeff Sessions can do something about the leaking because it's really hurting the president."

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File

11 People Displaced after Overnight Fire in Stafford


Eleven people are displaced after a fire destroyed a home on High Street in Stafford.

The Stafford fire department said the fire started in the basement around 2 a.m. and quickly worked its way up to the first story. Three minutes later, the house was fully engulfed in flames, from the basement to the attic on the third floor.

The fire department said a couple of cars, the shed in the back and some propane tanks also burned.

The Stafford Fire Department along with the Somers, Crystal Lake and Tolland fire departments worked to put the flames out.

“It was a rapidly moving fire,” Fire Chief Dave Lucia said. “Of course, the fire marshal will be looking into what caused it and double check that it was balloon construction, but that's what it seems to be at this time. Fire was in the basement, traveled right up the walls in the attic and that's what we're fighting right now."

Two families lived in the home and both had working smoking detectors, which alerted the four people in the home so they were able to get out safely with their two dogs. The other family was away on vacation.

“Those smoke detectors saved their lives today, so it’s so important that that people test those and make sure they work, have a plan to get out -- everyone meet in the same place,” Jon Basso, Red Cross’s senior director for emergency services region 3, said.

Nobody was injured in the fire. The American Red Cross is providing assistance to the families.

Mom Recalls Dangling in Hoisted Car With 2 Children


A Suffield family is grateful to be safe after downed electrical wires snagged their car and hoisted it in the air during the storms on Wednesday. 

The driver, Lisa Beaulieu, said she was heading home with her two children in the car when an electrical pole snapped in half as she drove down Mountain Road.

"We saw a telephone pole snap and fall down as we were approaching it, our car got stuck in the wires that were attached to it, and we got air lifted," she said.

Beaulieu drove over the power lines which reeled her vehicle into the air. Their car dangled over Mountain Road until rescuers could come free them. 

"I prayed the entire time we were in the car. I prayed please don't let lightning hit us, please don't let the car shift," Beaulieu said.

The mother waited for help inside the car with her 5-year-old son Drew and her 4-year-old daughter Noella. The mother called 911 and the operator remained on the line until help arrived.

When help did arrive, Drew was the first to see them because he could see out the back window.

"I cleaned the window off and started crying for the firefighters," said the 5-year-old boy said.

More than 40 minutes later, the Beaulieu family was free and unharmed. They are thankful for all crews who helped them during their time of need.

"Thank you so much," said Beaulieu to the emergency crews.

Surprisingly, Beaulieu said the car may be salvageable. 

Suicides Among Teen Girls Hit 40-Year High


Suicide among teen girls between the ages of 15 and 19 has hit a 40-year high, according to new data released by the National Center for Health Statistics.

Male teens, by comparison, experienced an increase in suicides from the mid-1980s to mid-1990s.

Academic pressure, cyberbullying and undiagnosed mental disorders could offer a partial explanation of why a young person might consider or attempt suicide, according to experts. This is especially true of young people who are gay, trans or questioning.

"At times, 11-year-olds and 12-year-olds say … 'If I don’t get straight A’s in seventh grade, I’m not going to get into AP courses in ninth grade … and I’m not going to get into a good college. If I don’t get into a good college, I’m going to be homeless,'" Dr. Tami Benton, psychiatrist-in-chief at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, told NBC10 earlier this year for the groundbreaking series Preventing Suicide: Breaking the Silence.

In 2015, the latest data available, more than 44,000 people took their own lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overall, suicide is the second-leading cause of death for people between the ages of 10 and 34. More than one million people attempt suicide every year.

Men are more likely to die by suicide, but women are more likely to attempt it, the CDC reported. The disparity comes down to method: men gravitate towards suicide by firearms and hanging while women turn to overdosing on medication. The latter has a higher chance of reversal with timely medical attention.

Recently, researchers from San Diego State University found that for almost three weeks after Netflix show "13 Reasons Why" debuted, there was an uptick in Google searches involving the word "suicide." Searches included methods, hotlines and prevention. The show depicts the suicide of a teen girl and her blaming specific people for it.

The study did not provide a definitive link between actual suicides and the Netflix series.

The new data comes on the heels of the sentencing of Michelle Carter, who was 17 when she urged her 18-year-old boyfriend to kill himself. Conrad Roy Jr. died by intentional carbon monoxide poisoning in 2014.

If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting 'Home' to 741741.

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

Malloy Wants Fiscal Report Cards from Cities and Towns


In a letter to his budget chief regarding cities and towns across Connecticut, Governor Dannel Malloy provided a warning of sorts that it could be their turn when it comes to facing budget cuts.

He wrote, “if we fail to recalibrate aid based on shifting local demographics, economies, and need, we risk perpetuating an inequitable distribution of burden among our communities.”

Gov. Malloy had his Office of Policy and Management conduct a similar exercise earlier in the year during his push to shift hundreds of millions in teacher pension obligations on to cities and towns while sending more municipal aid to struggling cities like Hartford, New Britain, and Waterbury.

Both Republican and Democrat leaders in the General Assembly say they want to ensure there are minimal changes to how much cities and towns have received in previous years.

Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz said in a statement, “There is bipartisan consensus among Democrats and Republicans in the legislature to mitigate cuts to municipal aid that the governor originally proposed, and is now further looking at.”

He added, “when a budget is finalized I believe we will not see these cuts at the level of the governor’s plan.”

Sen. Len Fasano, the top Republican in the Connecticut Senate agreed with Aresimowicz, writing, “If a municipality has shown fiscal responsibility and been successful in making tough decisions to achieve a positive financial outlook that town or city should not be penalized simply for their smart budgeting. Perhaps Gov. Malloy should have learned from these municipalities when he crafted budgets for our state.”

He went on to say it is “illogical” to put policies in place that discourage towns from being fiscally responsible.

The governor’s proposal to shift $400 million in responsibilities for teacher pensions was dead on arrival in both the House and Senate during the 2017 Regular Session, which only added to the gridlock on how to proceed with a state budget.

He argues that since cities and towns negotiate benefits and wages independent of the state, and then ask the state to cover significant portions of their expenses, he said it was only fair that municipalities start to pay a portion of their pension obligations.

Cities and towns were outraged at the plan, arguing it could lead to historic property tax increases just to cover the costs, while Malloy countered with some fiscal report cards, showing how some of the wealthiest cities and towns in Connecticut could handle such burdens.

Malloy concluded his letter to OPM Secretary Ben Barnes by writing, “We risk not investing in the communities that should be our assets in attracting economic development, young professionals, and families.”

Connecticut’s fiscal year ended on June 30 without a state budget and is currently operating without one.

Manchester Farmer's Crops Badly Damaged After Severe Weather


Farmers are still feeling the effects of Wednesday's storms after hail hammered one tobacco farm dragging down the crops and potentially costing the farmer more than $100,000.

While his tobacco leaves needed the rain, farmer Tony Botticello said what came down next Wednesday afternoon in Manchester cost him thousands of dollars in just a matter of minutes.

"We were going three weeks without any decent rain so it was getting dry," Botticello said.

"It only hailed for about five minutes but it did enough damage. I have about 15 acres of tobacco, it just put little holes in all the leaves and they are useless," Botticello said.

Hail tore through the leaves of his tobacco farm, leaving them too tattered to be sold.

"When the buyer comes around to look at the field he wouldn't want this and he wouldn't buy it, it's junk," Botticello said.

To make it worse Tony had just covered the tobacco plants last week with $10,000 worth of fungicide.

"Now we're going to have to take that hit too," Botticello said.

While he says he had planned to get about $150,000 out of the crop, insurance may only cover part of the damage. Tony knows it's just a matter of time before he'll have to prepare for the next round of weather and what it leaves behind after the smoke clears.

"Farmers are a lot like gambling addicts where we just were going to hit it this year are you know to mean, you win some lose some," Botticello said.

New London Seeking Solutions to Probable K2 Overdose Spike


The number of recent probable synthetic marijuana overdoses in New London in the last two weeks is in the double digits.

That statistic has the city jumping into overdrive to address the K2 problem and how to help those who keep using it.

New London’s human services director, Jeanne Milstein, met with the state’s Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) and a couple of New London-based service providers on Thursday for a strategy meeting about getting users help—possibly before they end up in the hospital or police custody.

“Many times people have experienced unimaginable trauma, they’ve had very challenging lives,” Milstein said.

She mentioned targeting some of the frequent users and exploring emotional reasons for why they use K2.

“We know who some of the frequent users are and now we’re trying to do some real prevention work so that they don’t use again,” Milstein said.

Milstein mentioned doing more work with the recovery coaches at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital. Next week first responders, city services and providers and the hospital will be talking about interagency approaches to K2 usage in New London.

Dr. Deirdre Cronin, the EMS medical director and emergency medicine physician at Lawrence + Memorial, acknowledged that getting people into treatment for K2 use is often challenging.

“Our hands are a bit tied because if the patient is competent to make that decision, we can’t force them to stay in the hospital,” Cronin said.

Identifying the drug in someone’s system can also be a challenge.

“Because these drugs are made in a laboratory and are not chemically identical to marijuana, they do not show up in a standard drug screen,” according to Cronin.

There are still questions about whether K2 is addictive and its long-term effects. Cronin said she does see people use it repeatedly.

Police are still actively investigating where the drug is coming from. Officers arrested Lisa Lozada and Thomas Brown on Wednesday for K2 possession after finding them using the drug in a hallway on Tilley Street, according to New London's acting police chief Peter Reichard.

Watertown Man Asks TV Provider to Replace Damaged Furniture


A Watertown family said they had difficulty getting a company to make them whole after a technician broke a TV stand inside their home.

After making the most of the family entertainment system, Dave Overbaugh thought it was time to upgrade to a sleek, new 4K TV. He scheduled his longtime provider, DIRECTV, to get the job done.

The technician had to come back to fix the box in the basement. When he did, Overbaugh said the worker accidentally hit and broke the TV stand’s glass door.

Overbaugh called the company DIRECTV hired to install the system. An agent advised Overbaugh to file a claim and get a quote for how much it would cost to fix the door.

“I figured I could just get a piece of glass and it wouldn’t cost really anything,” Overbaugh said. “And I went to a few different places and they could not fix it because it’s almost put together like stained glass.”

Once Overbaugh told the company he couldn’t get the glass pane fixed, they told him to find a comparable replacement.

When he did, he said he waited almost two months without a response. When he finally heard from the company, he found out his claim was denied.

“One time I spent almost two hours on the phone with somebody, but there’s nothing they could do,” Overbaugh said.

Out of options, Overbaugh turned to NBC Connecticut Responds.

Within days of our consumer team reaching out to DIRECTV, Overbaugh got another call. This time, it was good news.

A representative told Overbaugh they couldn’t give him cash reimbursement, but wanted to make things right.

The representative offered monthly credits on his bill, worth a total of $480. DIRECTV also offered to give him two premium channels for six months, worth an additional $192.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

15-Year-Old Left Stranded at Bradley Airport for Nearly 10 Hours


A teenager is back home in Canada after being stuck for nearly ten hours in a Connecticut airport.

Victor Shmulevich was trying to fly home after finishing a summer program at Yale University, CTV News reports.

When the 15-year-old approached the United Airlines check-in counter at Bradley International, he was informed there was a problem. He describes the initial conversation:

“I gave the agent my passport and I saw him look at me confused. ‘How old are you?,’ ‘I’m 15.’ ‘We don't allow 15-year-olds on connecting flights,” Shmulevich said.

United Airlines has a policy that prevents unaccompanied minors from boarding flights with layovers. Shmulevich's flight had been booked through a rewards program online and his family said the United age policy never came up.

United is one of two Star Alliance members with mandatory restrictions on 15-year-old passengers.

Confused and alone in Connecticut, Shmulevich called his parents and told them he was stuck at Bradley with no help from the airline. 

After almost ten hours, Shmulevich was able to catch an Air Canada flight home.

In a statement to CTV News, United Airlines reiterated its policy of not allowing accompanied minors to travel on connecting flights and said in part:

“We are looking into the booking process further to determine how this passenger was able to purchase a ticket.”

Shmulevich said the airline’s policy isn’t the issue, but instead, how airline workers handled the situation. 

“They did nothing to help me get on a different flight. They said, 'Sorry you have to deal with that yourself, we can't do anything,' and that's where I’m pretty saddened," Shmulevich said. 

United is offering the family a $500 voucher for the hassle, but the Shmulevichs said they likely won’t fly with the airline again.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Car Tax Rates Uncertain as State Operates Without Budget


A state law put in place two years ago that was meant to ease the burden of the car tax on property taxpayers, could be disregarded as the state deals with its budget crisis.

During the 2015 legislative session, lawmakers approved devoting part of the state sales tax to provide to cities and towns as part of a new revenue stream. Cities and towns would then see their car tax assessments capped at 32 and then 29 in later years.

For instance, cities like Waterbury and Hartford that have property tax rates far above 32 or 29 would see car tax collections no higher than those rates, and they would each receive the difference in funds through the sales tax devoted to municipalities.

Now cities and towns are awaiting official word from the state that the property tax and Municipal Revenue Sharing Account as it’s known, are going to disappear as the state deals with it a budget crisis.

The account makes up hundreds of millions in revenue that would otherwise be provided to cities and towns.

Scott Shanley, the General Manager for the Town of Manchester, said he was never anticipating the full amount when it came to the account meant for cities and towns.

“It’s like a shell game what we were getting reimbursed for what we weren’t getting, so it’s not clear exactly how much it was,” Shanley said Thursday.

He said the Manchester Board of Directors began to make budget decisions based on the state’s uncertainty, and on the possibility that the funds would never be distributed out of the State Capitol. “We made some assumptions going into this budget cycle that we would obviously have less money from the state,” Shanley added.

Since lawmakers haven’t adopted a new budget, it’s unclear what statutory changes to the car tax cap would be made, and how it would impact local property taxpayers. It’s possible some communities with car tax rates about 29 and 32 could see higher assessed rates to make up for the lost revenue.

Photo Credit: Getty

2 Sought in Chicago Murder Donated $1K in Victim's Name: Police


Police said Thursday the Northwestern professor and Oxford employee wanted in the murder of a man in Chicago's River North neighborhood drove to Wisconsin after the killing to donate $1,000 to a library in the victim's name.

"We do have an idea of their whereabouts and efforts to locate them are only intensifying from here on in," Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement.

Arrest warrants have been issued for 42-year-old Wyndham Lathem and 56-year-old Andrew Warren in connection with the killing of 26-year-old Trenton H. James Cornell-Duranleau, who was found stabbed to death last week on the tenth floor of the Grand Plaza Apartments on State Street.

The men drove to Lake Geneva where they donated the money to the Lake Geneva Public Library, Guglielmi confirmed to NBC 5.

"Our primary focus is to facilitate a safe surrender and we strongly encourage Professor Lathem and Mr. Warren to do the right thing and turn themselves into any police department in the US or contact CPD and we will make any necessary accommodations," Guglielmi said.

Police have said the men are believed to be "armed and dangerous" and may have fled from the Chicago area. Lathem's passport has been flagged and Warren's travel visa has been revoked, and the U.S. Marshal Service has also joined in the search.

Guglielmi added that the River North crime scene was "gruesome and the victim was savagely murdered."

He would not release further details on the crime scene, but the Chicago Tribune reports blood was found on a bedroom door in the apartment where Cornell-Duranleau was found dead from stab wounds. The report, citing law enforcement sources, also says a knife with a broken blade was found in the trash in the kitchen and another knife was located near the sink.

According to authorities, the pair was spotted on surveillance video leaving the property after the incident.

Sources told the Tribune "blood was everywhere."

Cornell-Duranleau, a Michigan native and hairstylist, was pronounced dead at the scene just after 9 p.m. Thursday. An autopsy found he died of multiple sharp force injuries and his death was ruled a homicide.

Lathem is an associate professor of microbiology and immunology at Northwestern University's medical school, where he has worked for 10 years. He has been placed on administrative leave and banned from entering Northwestern campuses, according to university spokesman Alan Cubbage.

“There is no indication of any risk to the Northwestern community from this individual at this time,” Cubbage said in an emailed statement.

Warren is a senior treasury assistant at the University of Oxford in Great Britain, according to the university’s website.

Both men disappeared after the young hairstylist was found dead, authorities said.

Residents were notified via email that Chicago police swept the property and were investigating motives in the killing, including whether it may have been a "domestic incident."

Photo Credit: Chicago Police, NBC5

ISIS Directed Plot to Bring Down Plane in Australia: Police


ISIS was behind a "sophisticated" plot to bring down an Etihad Airways flight in Australia, police said Friday.

As NBC News reported, police arrested and charged two men with terror-related offenses. According to police, one of the men said his brother was a senior member of ISIS in Syria, who "inspired and directed" the plan.

The men built an explosive device and had planned to get it onto an Etihad Airways flight on July 15, but the bomb, disguised as a meat mincer, never made it past security.

"This is one of the most sophisticated plots that has ever been attempted on Australian soil," Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner National Security Michael Phelan said

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Rick Rycroft

Middletown Could Eliminate 11 Teachers Without Grant: Report


With around four weeks until school begins, the Middletown Public School district might have to cut 11 elementary school teaching positions because of uncertainty about the state budget, according to the Middletown Press

The local newspaper reports that district officials are concerned about losing a grant that provides several millions of dollars to the district.

According to the state Department of Education website, Middletown was approved to receive $3.2 million for the 2016 fiscal year.

Other towns that receive funding include Ansonia, Bloomfield, Bridgeport,

Bristol, Danbury, Derby, East Hartford, East Haven, East Windsor, Hamden, Hartford, Killingly, Manchester, Meriden, Naugatuck, New Britain. New Haven, New London, Norwalk, Norwich, Putnam, Stamford, Vernon,

Waterbury, West Haven, Winchester, Windham, Windsor and Windsor Locks. See the Department of Education website for more information about the funding.

The Middletown school district plans to send out the layoff notices, which are required by state law, but hopes everyone will be able to keep their jobs, the Middletown Press reports.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock / maroke

Innocent Ex-Death Row Inmate Broke After '30 Years of Hell'


Anthony Ray Hinton spent "30 years of hell" on death row for two murders he didn't commit, and now the state of Alabama's attempt to compensate him has stalled, leaving him practically broke, NBC News reported.

The 61-year-old's murder convictions were tossed two years ago, and while a bill was introduced that would have set aside $1.5 million for Hinton, the legislature never got around to debating it before wrapping up their session in May.

"I feel like I been raped the first time and now they're raping me again," Hinton said. "I get tired of talking about race, but I have to call a spade a spade. They're doing this to me because I'm a black man and they have the power. They're doing this to me because they can."

The Republican state senator who sponsored the bill to compensate Hinton said the body "just ran out of time" amid a busy schedule and a scandal involving a gubernatorial affair. But lawmakers did find time to pass a bill to reduce how much time death row inmates have to appeal their sentences.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/ Hal Yeager, File

Meriden Father Fights to Stay in U.S. After Deportation Order


Marco Reyes reported to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in July as scheduled and the father of three was told he would have to leave behind the life he built in Meriden and head back to Ecuador by Aug. 8. 

On Thursday, family and friends supporting Reyes gathered outside the Ribicoff federal building in Hartford, which houses the local ICE office. 

Reyes has been living in Connecticut with his wife and children since 1997, supporters said, and the problem came in 2007 when the family was vacationing and accidentally crossed into Canada. 

Federal immigration authorities apprehended Marco Reyes as they tried to return. 

Supporters said Marco has been checking in with ICE since 2016. 

Shawn Neudauer, ICE spokesman for the New England area, said a federal immigration judge issued a final order of removal for Reyes in 2009 and Reyes was granted a stay of removal to allow him to pursue legal options in his immigration proceedings but has since exhausted his legal options. 

"We don't want my dad to leave. My dad means the world to me," Marco's daughter, Evelyn Reyes, said. 

"We are in the middle of a crisis, a crisis not just for this family here, but for thousands of families in Connecticut and across the country who are being torn apart and it makes no sense," Reyes' attorney, Erin O'Neil-Baker, said. "This is a family that has paid taxes every year since 2002, and if they are returned to their country, they are in danger." 

O'Neil-Baker said Reyes' brother-in-law was murdered in Ecuador and the perpetrator has targeted other family members. 

"I will do whatever I can. I will work as long, as hard, as possible because there are real human consequences here," U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, CT-D, said. "Marco faces real danger, maybe even death." 

Senator Blumenthal flew in from DC Thursday to attend the rally and said the administration should focus on deporting those with dangerous criminal records, not people like Reyes. 

He said he's written to Homeland Security, requesting that they review the current policy. 

In response to critics who have said Reyes and others had plenty of time to find a path to citizenship, Blumenthal said that people like Reyes are often misled or misrepresented by attorneys who might have meant well but dropped the ball. 

"These folks made no effort to hide. They didn't run. They weren't concealing themselves. They were right there for ICE to see, and many reported to ICE routinely every year. And they thought the status quo would be fine," Blumenthal said. 

Reyes' attorney said they've filed a motion to reopen his old removal order to hopefully have a hearing on the case. If that takes place, they then hope to work on getting him permanent residency. 

Supporters said the father of three is a valuable member of the community who is also the sole provider for his family. 

"I really need my dad with me here because I can't do anything without him," Marco's daughter, 12-year-old Adriana Reyes, said. 

"We hope that the immigration department gives my husband another chance to stay in this country. He's not any criminal. He's always been a good person, a good father," Marco's wife, Fanny Torres Reyes, said. 

As time runs out, his family is hoping something can be done to keep him here and keep their family together. 

"Imagine if that was your family and you lost your dad because their dad could die any day in Ecuador," Marco's nephew, 9-year-old Oscar Villacres, said. 

Officials from ICE said that if Reyes doesn’t comply with the removal order, he'll be considered a fugitive and arrested when encountered. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
Browsing All 57608 Browse Latest View Live