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Moderate to Heavy Rain Tomorrow Afternoon & Evening


NBC Connecticut Meteorologists are forecasting moderate to heavy rain to move into the state Monday afternoon.

In addition to the heavy rain there is also a slight chance of a brief thunderstorm.

Monday will feature mostly cloudy skies early with scattered showers in the morning. Widespread showers will begin to overspread the state as early as 11 a.m. 

Rain will be falling statewide by 3 to 4 p.m. with the heaviest rain coming down after 5 p.m.

Take a look at First Alert Future Radar at 5:30 in the evening which shows moderate to heavy rain falling for the ride home from work.

Weather model guidance has had a difficult time determining where the center of low pressure will track. The track of the low is extremely important in determining how much rain will fall in the state. A track closer to the state will bring in the heaviest rain. 

We're forecasting 1 to as much as 3 inches of rain Monday afternoon through early Tuesday morning. 

Areas that receive the heaviest rain have a slight risk of isolated flash flooding.

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Major Paving Project Soon Underway in New Britain


A massive road project expected to get underway in New Britain on Monday was postponed by the rainy forecast.

The city plans to redo or repair sections of 72 streets, though some drivers say the improvements are long overdue.

Tyler Bedrosin’s Harley was no match for potholes like the one on Apple Tree Hill.

“I hit it. I felt it real hard. I bottomed out on the front end,” Bedrosin said.

Bedrosin says that blow flattened his tire and bent the rim.

“So I had to go buy a new one, $1000 rim for a Harley,” Bedrosin said.

Other drivers share similar stories of seeing and feeling roads falling apart.

“The alignment is off, ruined. It’s so off my wheel is shaking all over the place,” Katie Lattarulo of New Britain, said.

Lattarulo says she’s been told she’s going to have to spend hundreds of dollars for an alignment and new tires.

“When you’re a single teacher, you know, that’s a lot of money,” Lattarulo said.

“We hear their concerns and that we are working hard like this,” Robert Smedley, New Britain City Alderman, said.

Smedley says the city is about to embark on an ambitious plan: repaving sections of 45 streets throughout the city. Another 27 will have parts sealed to help them last longer. In total, about 19 miles of pavement will be worked on.

“It’s about $2.1-million that will take place over the next few months that will help improve some of the worst city roads,” Smedley said.

The city says the money came from setting aside cash and through grants.

And one of the roads on the list for a repaving is Apple Tree Hill, which was welcomed news for Bedrosin and his Harley.

“Finally it would be nice, you know. Hopefully this doesn’t happen to anyone else,” Bedrosin said.

Work downtown will take place at night to be less of a disruption to businesses, while other areas will take place during the day. Milling is expected to start Monday, with the entire project lasting about eight weeks.

The city hopes to do more of this in the future.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Police ID Tree Worker Killed After Being Struck by Tree Limb


A Harwinton man is dead after a tree limb hit him in the head during a work-related accident in Windsor Friday.

Police said they received a call around noon after the man, who was working for a tree company, was injured on private property on Bloomfield Avenue.

He died from the injuries he sustained, police said. The victim has been identified as 33-year-old Shawn Varley.

According to police, Varley was working on behalf of J&J Lumber Corp. of Dover Plains, New York.

OSHA has been called in to investigate.

No additional information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Northwestern Professor Arrested in Slaying Due in Court


The Northwestern University professor arrested last week during a cross-country manhunt following a "gruesome" stabbing in Chicago will appear in court in California Monday, authorities said.

Wyndham Lathem, 42, was arrested in the state on Friday, as was University of Oxford employee Andrew Warren, 56. Both were in police custody in Oakland, California following a days-long, multi-state manhunt, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said, citing the U.S. Marshals Service.

Lathem is scheduled to appear in court Monday morning, but it was not clear when a hearing would be held for Warren. Police expect both men will ultimately be returned to Chicago "where they will be interrogated by CPD homicide detectives." 

The two were wanted in connection with the killing of 26-year-old Trenton H. James Cornell-Duranleau, who was found dead on July 27 inside an apartment building in Chicago's River North neighborhood. 

Officials said Cornell-Duranleau was discovered stabbed to death around 8:30 p.m. on the tenth floor of the Grand Plaza Apartments on State Street, where police said Lathem lives. 

Lathem's attorney, Adam Sheppard, told the Chicago Tribune the professor was "hopeful" before his Monday hearing, adding that they "hope his role in the matter, ultimately, will lead to innocence." 

Lathem is an associate professor of microbiology and immunology at Northwestern University's medical school, where he has worked for 10 years. He was placed on administrative leave and banned from entering Northwestern campuses, university spokesman Alan Cubbage said Wednesday after warrants were issued for his and Warren's arrest.

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

Both men disappeared after Cornell-Duranleau, a hairstylist and Michigan native, was found dead, authorities said. Guglielmi said the crime scene was "gruesome and the victim was savagely murdered."

The Chicago Tribune reported that 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 said a knife with a broken blade was found in the trash in the kitchen, and another knife was located near the sink.

The pair of suspects was spotted on surveillance video leaving the property after the incident, authorities said. Police said the men later drove to Lake Geneva and donated $1,000 to the Lake Geneva Public Library in the victim's name. 

Lathem also sent a video message to family members and friends after the killing, according to police, allegedly apologizing for his involvement in the crime.

Police did not release the video footage, saying it was "integral to any future interrogation efforts," adding that the people who received the video had been interviewed by U.S. Marshals. 

Ed Ferrell, a spokesman for the U.S. Marshals office, said Warren was arrested in San Francisco, while Lathem surrendered at the federal courthouse in Oakland after communicating with authorities. 

"Both individuals will be held accountable for their actions and we hope [Friday's] arrest brings some comfort for the victim's family," Guglielmi said in a statement last week. "We are also thankful that this did not end in further tragedy."

Lathem was booked in the Alameda County Jail in Oakland, California, and Warren was booked into the San Francisco County Jail, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

Photo Credit: Alameda County Sheriff's Office

Google Engineer's Anti-Diversity Memo Ignites Heated Debate


A Google engineer ignited a firestorm of controversy this weekend after writing and releasing an internal memo criticizing the tech company's diversity programs.

The memo argued that men are biologically better fit to work in the tech industry and be leaders in the workplace and characterized Google's gender equality efforts as misguided.

The memo went public after it was sent out Friday to Google to more than 40,000 employees. Then, when employees started tweeting about it Saturday, it started to attract a lot of attention.

In May, Google said publicly it had to improve the company's diversity programs and close pay gaps between men and women. Seventy percent of the company's tech-sector employees are men.

One Google employee responded to the memo with a tweet: "That garbage fire of a document is trash, and you are wonderful coworkers who I am extremely lucky to work with."

Another employee wrote: "Imagine working at Google, getting paid all that money, just to spend your time writing a disgusting manifesto and sending it to your peers."

Danielle Brown, Google's new vice president of diversity and inclusion, responded, saying, "We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company. ... We’ve continued to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul."

The man who wrote the memo also sounded off this weekend, saying there is sexism at work, but he added that some ideas are "too sacred to be honestly discussed" at Google.

He said the company needs to be more open to conservative ideals.

Kym McNicholas, community director of Extreme Tech Challenge, sent her thoughts to NBC Bay Area via email Sunday.

"I wouldn't give this engineer anything more than a reality check," she said. "It shows he feels threatened, and that's his own insecurity coming out." 

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file

'Trump Effect' Hits Workplace Morale: HR, Leadership Experts


President Donald Trump's leadership style could be affecting workplace behavior on a large scale, NBC News reports.

HR and leadership experts say a "Trump effect" has permeated through corporate America, with reports of cursing in the office, lying about resume details and spreading rumors about co-workers on the rise.

Unethical behavior can hurt productivity and affect workplace morale, the experts say. A survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute in April found that 46 percent of workers said their relationships with colleagues have deteriorated since the 2016 election.

"Trump is serving as a negative kind of role model," said Seth Spain, an assistant professor of organizational behavior and human resources at the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University. "They see his behavior, they see that it worked, it was effective, and use that as a model."

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File

Trump, Blumenthal Clash on Twitter Over Russia Investigation


President Donald Trump again took aim at Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal (D) on Twitter Monday morning, criticizing Connecticut’s senior senator for passing judgment on the Russian collusion investigation and claiming that Blumenthal had little right to do so because of a previous controversy.

Trump’s tweets appear to reference comments the senator had made about the investigation into possible Russian collusion during the presidential election. Blumenthal has said that special counsel must look into all financial dealings involving the Russians and the Trump campaign.

Trump fired back, trying to paint Blumenthal as untrustworthy based on an incident during Connecticut’s 2010 senatorial election.

"Never in U.S.history has anyone lied or defrauded voters like Senator Richard Blumenthal," Trump tweeted.

Blumenthal became embroiled in controversy when he ran against Linda McMahon for one of Connecticut’s U.S. Senate seats in 2010 – based off comments he made in 2008 suggesting he served in Vietnam.

A New York Times investigation found that Blumenthal received at least five military deferments from 1965 to 1970 and records show he enlisted in the Marine Reserve -- a move that "virtually guaranteed that he would not be sent to Vietnam," according to the Times.

Blumenthal acknowledged that he may have misspoken about his service record at the time the report came out, but denied lying about it. 

Blumenthal responded to the president's tweets by calling them "bullying" and said that the issue isn't about him, but rather the integrity and independence of the Special Counsel.

This is not the first time Trump has used the Vietnam scandal as a vehicle to disparage Blumenthal, who has been an outspoken critic of the president. When Blumenthal called for an independent special prosecutor after Trump’s firing of former FBI director James Comey, Trump tweeted that Blumenthal “devised one of the greatest military frauds in U.S. history.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images/ NBC
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Pilot Injured in Danbury Plane Crash Dies


The pilot of a small plane that crashed near Danbury Municipal Airport last month has died.

The family of 63-year-old Mark Stern said he died Thursday of injuries sustained in a private plane crash on July 30.

A celebration of Stern's life will be held at the Norwalk Inn at 99 East Avenue in Norwalk at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Two other people were also taken to the hospital after that Cessna 172S crashed after taking off, just before 10:30 a.m. Authorities have not officially released any of the victims’ names.

The FAA and NTSB are investigating what caused the crash.

Danbury Mayor to Undergo Surgery to Remove Brain Cyst


Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton will be undergoing brain surgery to remove a cyst doctors discovered during a recent check-up, the mayor’s office announced Monday.

In a letter, the Republican mayor shared the news and said his doctors expected him to make a full recovery.

“We are confident that the removal of the cyst will be a one-time procedure without the need for additional surgery or medical intervention,” he wrote.

The mayor will undergo the surgery this week at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and is expected to return to work within a few weeks.

“As Mayor, I have the responsibility to be a steward of the public trust,” Boughton wrote. “It is with that sentiment in mind that I wanted to share this turn of events with you all.”

The 53-year-old Boughton has been the mayor of Danbury for eight consecutive terms, the longest serving mayor in the city's history. In April, he announced that he was exploring a possible run for governor. He failed to win the Republican nomination in 2010 and 2014.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

School Counselor Charged with Sexually Assaulting Students


A former counselor at a school for children with emotional, psychological and learning vulnerabilities had been arrested on accusations that he sexually assaulted students.

Connecticut State Police said that 26-year-old Michael Capozzi was arrested Monday as a result of an investigation into a sexual assault at the Arch Bridge School at Wellspring in Bethlehem, a private special education school for students grades 1 through 12.

According to police, the investigation began when two female students, ages 15 and 16, reported that they’d been sexually assaulted by a milieu counselor in June of 2016.

Milieu counselors are professionals trained to work with clients with emotional and behavioral difficulties.

As a result of the investigation, State Police arrested Capozzi on Monday. He is charged with second-degree sexual assault, fourth-degree sexual assault, promoting a minor in an obscene performance, and risk of injury to a minor.

He was held on a $75,000 bond.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Manpower, Overtime a Concern for New London Police Union


The president of the New London Police Union said there is a manpower shortage and officers being forced to work overtime can impact how efficient police are on the street.

Police union president Todd Lynch said when an officer has to work a double shift, it’s not as effective as a fresh cop stepping in. Some volunteer to work the additional shifts, others are forced to. But he said there needs to be more officers to fill the gaps.

The weekend of July 15 required 268 man hours of police overtime, according to an August update posted on the police union’s website. While many officers did volunteer for the additional shifts, “six officers had to be ordered in for a double shift instead of being home to be with families when the (department) ran out of volunteers to cover shifts.”

Acting Police Chief Peter Reichard said he knows his officers go above and beyond. Some volunteer to work additional shifts, others work private duty jobs on their time off. Reichard said he works to fill the shifts on the street with a certain number of officers to ensure public safety.

At times, that means officers are “ordered in” when manpower is down. Officers are often asked to fill in when co-workers are on vacation, injured, sick, participating in state-mandated training or military leave, according to Reichard.

But “ordering in” officers “ebbs and flows” from day to day and shift to shift, Reichard said. Officers are entitled to take time off, like everyone else, he added. But when vacation kicks in July 1, he said he tends to see more people take the time. When the school year starts, the number of people taking off tends to wind down.

The City of New London passed an ordinance in 2014 – which current Mayor Michael Passero helped champion – to hire at least 80 officers on the police force. They haven’t reached that number, yet, and Lynch said it’s taxing to fill the void.

Reichard said he too wants more officers, but right now the department is funded for 70 sworn officers. Currently, 68 positions are filled. The chief position and a patrol officer are the two open jobs. Reichard said someone should be filling the patrol officer role at the end of the month.

With both the state and city budgets in flux, it’s not possible to bring in more officers right now, according to Reichard. He said when he started at the department in 2012, there were around 85 officers. About three and a half years ago, there were less than 60, he said.

“If the resources are there to hire more officers, I’m happy to hire more officers,” Reichard said.

The goal is still to increase staffing, Mayor Passero said. Once the state budget is settled, the goal is to add a K9 officer, increasing the sworn officer count to 71, he said.

“Everything we do in the city is with minimal resources. Public safety is most important,” Passero said. “Public safety comes first.”

Passero said that a portion of the overtime officers work is private duty work, for which they volunteer. While that money comes from the overtime budget, the third parties who request the services reimburse the city for the costs.

The goal is to cut down on overtime overall, Passero said.

The budget for Fiscal Year 2018 is anticipating a loss of $2.5 million from the state.

In the most recent police union contract, there was a negotiated provision that gave all officers an additional 12 to 15 days off per year, Passero said.

The police union contract expired June 30. A new one is under negotiation.

State Police Arrest Man in Shelton Road Rage Incident


Connecticut State Police arrested a 30-year-old Ansonia man after a road rage incident on Route 8 southbound in Shelton Saturday morning.

According to police, the incident began with an altercation between the suspect, identified as Mark Wingster, and another individual just before 9 a.m.

Wingster’s charges include assault on a police officer, resisting or interfering with an officer, reckless driving, risk of injury to a child, and breach of peace.

Bond is set for $10,000 and Wingster is scheduled to appear in Derby Superior Court, Monday Aug. 21 at 9 a.m.

This case is still under investigation. Anyone with information regarding this case should contact State Police Troop I in Bethany at 203-393-4200.

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Teen in Viral Cornell Acceptance Video Dies During Visit


A Cornell University-bound teen from the Bronx, whose acceptance video to the Ivy League school went viral, drowned while swimming in the Ithaca Falls gorge, officials said.

Winston Samuel Perez-Ventura's body was found in the gorge by a New York State dive team Saturday evening, Ithaca police said. 

Perez-Ventura was in Ithaca for an on-campus pre-freshman summer program at Cornell, said Ryan Lombardi, vice president for student and campus life. 

He drowned while swimming in Fall Creek, Lombardi said. 

"He was an exceptional person who would have contributed greatly to our university community," Lombardi said. 

Perez-Ventura planned to study at the College of Architecture, Art and Planning, Lombardi said.

In December, Ventura's high school, Democracy Prep Public Schools in Harlem, posted a video on Facebook of the senior, clad in a Cornell sweatshirt, reacting to his early acceptance. Cornell shared the video on its official Facebook page and it quickly went viral. Perez-Ventura would have been the first person in his family to attend college. 

Photo Credit: Ithaca Fire Department
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Save Big Bucks on Back-to-School During Tax Holiday: BBB


While several stores offer back-to-school deals throughout the summer, the Connecticut Better Business Bureau says wait until the state’s tax holiday to capitalize on savings.

Every year various retailers in the state of Connecticut exclude sales tax on items under $100, which can provide some much-needed relief before school starts.

According to BBB, families will be able to keep extra cash in their pockets when looking for new shoes, summer or winter clothing, and accessories such as belts and ties among others.

This year, Connecticut’s sales tax exclusion week will start on Sunday Aug. 20, and will last through Saturday, Aug. 26.

The main takeaway is this tax break will be useful for everyone in the family—according to BBB spokesperson Howard Schwartz, “The list of eligible apparel is both impressive and somewhat out of the ordinary. In essence, there is something for everybody.”

In addition, the BBB offers several tips for saving money preparing for the fall which include avoiding impulse buys, creating a budget, hunting for coupons and student discounts, and ordering online through free shipping.

A general list for which items are eligible for tax exemption is available here.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Scott Olson

Hamden Man Ran Over Girlfriend with Pickup: Police


Hamden police have arrested a man accused of running over his girlfriend with a pickup and slapping her 11-year-old son in the face.

Michael Cancel,49, of Hamden, was arrested after an incident Sunday afternoon.

According to police, Cancel got into a verbal argument with his girlfriend, which escalated. Cancel allegedly pushed his girlfriend, slapped her 11-year-old son, and pushed the son’s 12-year-old friend before getting into his Dodge Ram pickup and driving across the lawn.

Police said Cancel hit his girlfriend with the truck and ran over her leg. The victim was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital for treatment.

A short time later Cancel got into an accident in West Haven, and West Haven police turned him over to Hamden.

Cancel was charged with first-degree assault, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and risk of injury to a minor. His bond was set at $50,000 and he is scheduled to appear in court Monday.

Photo Credit: Hamden Police Department

Customer Finds Metal in Stew Leonard's Imitation Crab Meat


Stew Leonard’s pulled its imitation crab meat from the shelves after a customer at the Danbury store reported finding metal shards in the product Sunday, according to a statement from the company.

A spokesperson for Stew Leonard’s said the product was immediately pulled from the shelves and it was all checked for foreign objects, but none were found.

The company said while this appears to be an isolated incident, they are working with their supplier to determine what led to the contamination in the first place. The supplier also inspected a sample of 60 cases of the imitation crab meat from the same lot, and found nothing amiss.

Any customers who purchased the imitation crab meat or Stew Leonard’s seafood salad will a sell-by date of Aug. 12, 2017, can return the product for a full refund.

“The health and safety of our shoppers remains our top priority,” the company said in a statement.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Success Story: Teddy the Barbershop Dog


In South Windsor there’s a celebrity who spends his days at Paulie’s Professional Barber Shop. Just below the front door bell of the barber shop, there is a doggy in the window - he’s a star named Teddy.

“He's a barber dog,” said the barber shop owner, Paulie Lachance. It’s a title Teddy the dog takes very seriously.

Along with a trim or shave, customers get a haircut companion. Tom Aiello said that’s one reason he loves to stop by.

“I think it's fantastic! He's one of guys, team members,” said Aiello.

Teddy is a terrier mix who joined the team and shop owner Paulie Lachance’s family back in October of 2013. However, his story wasn’t always a happy one.

“He came from Tennessee. They said he was emaciated, he weighs 55 pounds now, they said he was like 39...skin and bones, eating mice. They said someone threw him out of a car. He was just wondering around a field eating whatever he could and somebody found him,” said Lachance.

Teddy went to a foster family in Connecticut, who happened to be one of Lachance’s clients.

“I told him I had always wanted a shop dog, and the guy almost fell out of the chair. He's like, I got the perfect dog for you,” said Lachance,

Fate and an adoption event brought the two together.

“He has been the best addition to my business and my personal life,” said Lachance.

Lachance credits Teddy with keeping his business booming. He said nine out of 10 people are at his shop to see Teddy, and the haircut is just a bonus.

“People walk by the shop every day and honestly just make their way in here just to say hi to the dog,” said Nick LaRusso, an employee at the barber shop.

The barbers at a Paulie’s Professional Barber Shop admit Teddy is tough competition. He takes his tips in treats, has the most clients and is pretty much famous.

“He is a celebrity! I joke all the time that I am going to run him for mayor and I think he could win,” said Lachance.

Elected official or official barber shop dog, there is no doubt this pup is proof that a rescue animal can reach new heights and our hearts.

“You got all the love you can handle and you are saving a life,” said Lachance.

If you’re interested in opening your heart and home to a rescue animal, join NBC Connecticut in clearing the shelters on August 19. Click here for more information.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Chicago Sues Justice Dept. Over Sanctuary City Funds Threat


Chicago filed a federal lawsuit Monday against the U.S. Department of Justice over efforts to block funding to sanctuary cities.

The lawsuit, filed just after 10 a.m., specifically names Attorney General Jeff Sessions and aims to keep him "from imposing sweeping new conditions on an established federal grant program." 

That program "has for years provided crucial support for law enforcement in Chicago and other cities," the suit states, and new conditions would directly interfere with Chicago's ability to remain a sanctuary city, meaning one that opts not to cooperate with certain parts of federal immigration enforcement.

"Neither federal law nor the United States Constitution permits the Attorney General to force Chicago to abandon this critical local policy," the complaint claims. 

Ed Siskel, head of the city’s law department, said the suit is "not about politics" but about "protecting the constituional rights of the residents of the city of Chicago."

"We are bringing this legal challenge because the rhetoric and the threats from this administration embodied in these new conditions imposed on unrelated public safety grant funds are breeding a culture and a climate of fear within the communities in our city and it is important that we make very clear to them and all the residents in the city of Chicago that we are going to fight and stand up for our values as a welcoming city," Siskel said outside the courthouse Monday. 

Chicago's mayor announced the lawsuit during a news conference at City Hall Sunday alongside Siskel, as well as Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who highlighted the importance of federal resources in combatting the city's violence. 

“Chicago is a welcoming City and always will be, and we will not be blackmailed by President Trump's Justice Department," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a released statement. "Forcing us to choose between our values and our Police Department’s philosophy of community policing is a false choice, and it is a choice that would ultimately undermine our public safety agenda." 

Sessions, however, said the city's stance makes "all of us less safe." 

"By protecting criminals from immigration enforcement, cities and states with so-called 'sanctuary' policies make all of us less safe," Sessions said in a statement. "We saw that just last week, when an illegal alien who had been deported 20 times and was wanted by immigration authorities allegedly sexually assaulted an elderly woman in Portland, a city that refuses to cooperate with immigration enforcement.

"By forcing police to go into more dangerous situations to re-arrest the same criminals, these policies endanger law enforcement officers more than anyone," the statement continued. "The Department of Justice is committed to supporting our law enforcement at every level, and that's why we're asking 'sanctuary' jurisdictions to stop making their jobs harder."

The Justice Department also noted that in 2016, more Chicagoans were murdered than in New York City and Los Angeles combined. 

"So it's especially tragic that the mayor is less concerned with that staggering figure than he is spending time and taxpayer money protecting criminal aliens and putting Chicago's law enforcement at greater risk," the Department wrote. 

The Justice Department released its application for the 2017 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) on Thursday, a program Emanuel said Chicago has used in the past for various public safety initiatives, including the purchase of SWAT equipment, police vehicles, radios and tasers. Last year, the City received $2.3 million in Byrne JAG funding, according to the mayor.

However, this year’s application includes provisions requiring local governments to allow the U.S. Department of Homeland Security access to any detention facility to meet with and inquire about the citizenship of anyone believed to be undocumented, and to give federal authorities 48 hours advance notice before releasing someone who is wanted on immigration violations, as conditions to receive funding – both changes in the program’s requirements from years past.

The city's lawsuit argued that the Justice Department cannot make grants contingent on these requirements because they would "effectively federalize local detention facilities" and violate the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution in requiring detainees to be held beyond the timeframe in which they would otherwise be eligible for release.

The DOJ's shift in requirements is part of President Donald Trump’s administration’s efforts to crack down on sanctuary cities, the term used for jurisdictions that do not comply with federal requests to detain undocumented immigrants who have been arrested on charges unrelated to their immigration status and turn them over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for possible deportation.

Trump signed an executive order in January to block federal grants to sanctuary cities, an action that a judge blocked in April, ruling that the president could not set new conditions on spending approved by Congress - an argument included in the City of Chicago's lawsuit. 

However, Sessions has moved to intensify the crackdown on a number of occasions, most recently sending letters to four cities informing them they would be ineligible to receive resources under a new crime-fighting program unless their police departments show proof of compliance with the DOJ’s new rules.

In March, Sessions said sanctuary cities' policies are "designed to frustrate the enforcement of our immigration laws" – a claim that Emanuel has refuted, repeatedly defending Chicago’s "Welcoming City" ordinance.

"Chicago’s Welcoming City ordinance promotes public safety by ensuring that no city resident, regardless of their status, is afraid to cooperate with law enforcement, report criminal activity to the police, serve as a witness in court, or seek help as a victim of crime," a spokesman for Emanuel said in a statement.

"I've always seen Chicago as a welcoming city," Emanuel said in response to Sessions' comments in March.

"It welcomed my grandfather 100 years ago, we continue to welcome entrepreneurs, immigrants, and I would just say think of it this way: Half the new businesses in Chicago and the state of Illinois come from immigrants, nearly half," he added. "Half the patents at the University of Illinois come from immigrants, and so we want to continue to welcome people, welcome their ideas, welcome their families to the city of Chicago, who want to build the American dream for their children and their grandchildren."

"Chicago was built on the back of immigrants and our future is hitched to the wagon of immigrants who come to the city," Emanuel continued. "I would say that the approach of penalizing cities, cities that are driving the economy, driving the energy of the United States – and they do it because we bring people of all different backgrounds to work together – that's just the wrong approach."

Chicago is not alone in its immigration policies, as more than 200 jurisdictions nationwide have declared sanctuary status, including New York City, Los Angeles and more, with some expected to follow Chicago in filing suit. 

The city hopes to have a decision on the suit before the Sept. 5 deadline and officials said they do not anticipate the litigation "will cost the city any additional resources." 

Potential Bomb Threat Reported in Willington: Troopers


State troopers are investigating a reported bomb threat in Willington on Monday.

The reported bomb threat was called into Connecticut State Police at 2:45 p.m and troopers responded to the scene at a truck stop off exit 71 on Interstate 84.

The truck stop employees "made the decision" to evacuate the building, police said. 

An investigation is underway with the help of state police K9 units.

Check back for updates. 

Philippines' Duterte to Tillerson: 'I Am Your Humble Friend'


Rodrigo Duterte, the brutish leader of the Philippines, said he was Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's "humble friend in Southeast Asia" after the two leaders met Monday, NBC News reported.

The pair discussed the Philippines' fight against ISIS-linked militants on one of the country's islands, for which the U.S. is supplying resources like training, drones and military aircraft.

Although Duterte has faced intense criticism for his deadly human rights record, Tillerson said there was "no big contradiction" in providing the Philippines with military assistance.

Duterte's comments mark a stark change from his previous interactions with the U.S., including one instance in which he told former President Barack Obama to "go to hell."

Photo Credit: Bullit Marquez/AP Photo
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