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'No Kidding'; Sanders Refutes Clinton's Criticism of Him


Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday pushed back against criticism from Hillary Clinton that he did not do enough to bring his supporters to her in the 2016 general election, NBC News reported. 

Sanders chalked up the fact that some of his supporters during 2016’s Democratic primaries eventually voted for Donald Trump in the general election to “the nature of politics.” 

“People say not everybody who voted for Bernie ended up voting for Hillary, no kidding!" Sanders said on "Meet The Press."

He added, "That's what happens in politics."

The Vermont senator was responding to criticism that Clinton leveled at him in her new book and in recent media appearances that he didn’t do enough to bring his supporters to her side after their contentious Democratic primary for president last year.

Photo Credit: John Minchillo/AP

NASCAR Drivers, Racetracks React to Death of Ted Christopher


NASCAR fans across the country are mourning the death of champion Ted Christopher. 

Christopher was one of two people who died in North Branford plane crash on Saturday. The second victim was identified as the pilot, 81-year-old Charles Dundas. 

Plainville native Christopher captured 13 track championships and competed at every level of NASCAR during his career. In 2006, he was selected as one of the top 25 drivers in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series history.

On the Whelen tour and on New England short tracks, "Christopher was a throwback to NASCAR's roots," NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France said in a statement. "He was a tough racer's racer, and his hard driving style and candid personality endeared him to short track fans throughout the country."

Christopher's death brought tributes from others in the racing world.

"He was a legend," racecar driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. tweeted Saturday night.

"Absolute definition of a racer," racer Alex Bowman tweeted. 

Christopher was to have competed Saturday night at Riverhead Raceway in New York. Traffic officials planned a tribute to him by having his car driven for a ceremonial lap and a moment of silence from fans.

Other drivers and racetracks that knew Christopher took to social media to express their condolences: 

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Photo Credit: Getty Images
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A Look Back on Ted Christopher's NASCAR Career


Photo Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR

Unresponsive Teen Pulled From Pond in Fairfield


An unresponsive teen was rushed to the hospital after being rescued from Perry's Mill Pond in Fairfield on Saturday.

The fire department said they responded to the pond for a possible drowning at the pond at 6:10 p.m. on Saturday.

Witnesses told firefighters said one person was swimming with friends in the pond could not get to shore and slipped below the water's surface.

Fire crews began rescue efforts and found the teen submerged in approximately 15 feet of water by a police diver. 

Emergency crews immediately initiated advanced life support treatment. 

The patient was transported to Saint Vincent's Medical Center for treatment.

The victim's status and identity have not been released. 

Hurricane Jose Trending Further East


NBC Connecticut Meteorologists are continuing to monitor the very latest on the track of Hurricane Jose.

Jose is currently a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 80 mph and is located around 450 miles to the southeast of Cape Hatteras in North Carolina.

The latest track keeps Hurricane Jose further to the southeast of Connecticut. A track further away from Connecticut is good news it would mean less of an impact here in Connecticut. 

We're still forecasting some rain and wind with the highest wind gusts occuring in eastern Connecticut. 

We're still closely monitoring the latest model guidance and trends. Some of our computer models bring Jose closer to Connecticut than the current National Hurricane Center track while other models bring it further out to sea.

Right now the biggest impact looks to be high surf for areas of Rhode Island and New York. High surf advisories are in effect for coastal Rhode Island and Long Island.

This will also lead to dangerous rip currents at Rhode Island beaches. 

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CT Shoreline Preps for Effects of Hurricane Jose


People up and down the shore are taking notice of Jose, especially with the Tropical Storm Watch now in effect.

On the last weekend of summer, it was a calm Sunday at a marina in Branford.

Though some were thinking of what might develop here in a couple days.

“Play it by ear, waiting and seeing. It looks like it’s not going to be too horrible as long as (the wind) stays below 50 or 60 miles an hour,” John Nilsson of Branford, said.

Many are watching the track of Hurricane Jose which is churning in the Atlantic more than 600 miles south of our state.

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Later this week it could douse the area with rain and deliver wind gusts over 50 miles per hour in southeastern Connecticut.

At this point, boaters say it’s pretty much too late to pull vessels out of the water to beat the storm.

So now it’s a strategy of possibly tying things down to ride it out.

“Normally we just have to put extra lines. We don’t take them out of the water unless it’s going to be real bad,” Bob O’Donnell of Guilford, said.

Any approaching hurricane rushes back memories of when Irene and Sandy pummeled the area.

But even during those storms, people told us their boats ended up being fine here.

“It was a little nerve-wracking not being able to get down because this was all flooded, the parking was all flooded and there were a couple dumpsters floating around,” Lisa Nilsson of Branford, said.

Nothing like that is expected this time.

Boaters also tell NBC Connecticut the pilings seem to be well-grounded, helping prevent damage to their crafts during rough waters.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

MGM Plans Casino Facility in Bridgeport


MGM Resorts International is announcing plans to develop a casino in Bridgeport.

The planned casino, MGM Bridgeport, would be at Steelpointe Harbor in Bridgeport.

MGM company officials say the facility will bring jobs and increased revenue to Bridgeport, and will be funded through private investment.

The plans come after the state approved plans for a third casino in Connecticut in East Windsor, run by MMCT Venture, LLC, a joint venture of the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes.

MGM was opposed to that plan and has been pushing for an open commercial bid process. MGM is opening a new casino just over the Connecticut border in Springfield, Mass.

More details on the planned Bridgeport casino are expected at a press conference scheduled for 11 a.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Crews Battle Fire on South Main Street in Waterbury


Fire ripped through a Waterbury furniture store Monday morning, causing heavy damage and compromising the building.

According to Waterbury fire officials, firefighters responded to Discount Furniture at 1311 South Main Street around 6:30 a.m. The fire caused the roof and center of the building to cave in, and officials are concerned the front of the building may also be compromised.

Heavy smoke could be seen billowing up over the rooftops while crews worked to contain the fire.

No one was inside at the time of the fire and no serious injuries were reported.

Discount Furniture has been open for around 12 years, officials said. The building is likely a total loss.

Donald Thompson, who owns the building, said the owners of the furniture company, a father and son duo, rent from him and that there were a lot of mattresses inside the business.

A behavioral health clinic that is connected to the store suffered smoke damage but should be able to reopen Tuesday.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Photo Credit: Contributed Photo

Analysis: Political Comedy Scores Huge at Emmys


Stephen Colbert kicked off the Emmys Sunday with an old-school production number straight out of "The Music Man," a classic show about a con artist who hoodwinks Middle American townsfolk by spouting false promises about making life great.

"Everything's better on TV," he sang, sprinkling in lyrics about global warming, white supremacists and Russia.

Colbert even offered a surprise non-musical coda: a surreal appearance by deposed White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who spoofed his demonstrably false claims about the size of the audience for President Donald Trump's inauguration.

"This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys – period! – both in person and around the world," Spicer declared from behind a mobile podium seemingly plucked from Melissa McCarthy's sketches lampooning him on "Saturday Night Live."

After his stunt, Spicer told NBC4 Los Angeles that he hoped his former boss "found it humorous."

The multi-tiered spectacle marked vintage Colbert, who long ago proved himself the master of the ironic comedic con, where the audience is in on the joke, even if the joke may be on us. Colbert boldly reached higher Sunday, by ceding the top role to an in-absentia Trump, making the president both the star of the show – and its target.

"Hello, sir, thank you for joining us – looking forward to the tweets," Colbert said, addressing Trump.

It wasn't immediately clear whether the president watched the CBS broadcast, dominated in the late night comedy-filled categories by "SNL" and "Last Week Tonight," which likely rank among his least favorite shows.

But Trump's presence loomed.

Colbert cited Trump's past complaints of supposed Emmy-rigging he blamed for snubs of "The Apprentice," a springboard for his political rise. "I bet if he had won an Emmy, he never would have run for president. So in a way, this is all your fault," he told the Hollywood crowd that packed Los Angeles' Microsoft Theater.

Alec Baldwin later picked up that thread after winning an Emmy for his ongoing "Saturday Night Live" stint as Trump. "I suppose I should say, 'At long last, Mr. President, here is your Emmy,'" Baldwin quipped.

Even some of TV's top dramatic players – the dystopic duo "Westworld" and "The Handmaid's Tale" – got in on the humor game. Colbert performed with scantily clad dancers in "Handmaid's"-inspired garb. He doffed his tux for a filmed bit with "Westworld" star Jeffrey Wright.

"Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality?" asked Wright, reviving his Bernard Lowe character.

Colbert, nude except for a bow tie, responded: "Every day since November 8."

The "Late Show" host signaled from the start that he planned to play with reality Sunday: "I know the world outside is getting crazy, but look on the bright side: Television has never been better."

Colbert, with song, dance and pointed humor, fulfilled the promise of TV on its biggest night. No matter how many people wound up watching, Colbert demonstrated he's the real deal by helping us laugh at strange times while never letting us forget them.

Hester is Director of News Products and Projects at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is also the author of "Raising a Beatle Baby: How John, Paul, George and Ringo Helped us Come Together as a Family." Follow him on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Danny Moloshok and Phil McCarten/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images

50 Marijuana Plants Seized from Plainfield Home


The Plainfield Police Department uncovered a marijuana grow operation while responding to a reported domestic dispute Sunday.

According to police, they responded to 30 Marie Street around 1:30 p.m. for the call. When officers arrived they saw evidence of the operation and applied for a warrant.

Police seized about 50 marijuana plants, 50 pounds of marijuana, explosives, weapons and other equipment from the home.

Arrest warrants are pending, police said.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Police ID 2 Victims Killed in Head-On Crash in Farmington


Two people are dead and three other people have serious injuries after a head-on crash on Route 6 in Farmington late Thursday night.

Police said a Mazda 3 sedan and a Honda Accord collided head-on on the Colt Highway, near Reservoir Road, at 11:45 p.m. Four adults in the Mazda and one adult in the Honda all suffered injuries.

All five people were transported by ambulance to three area hospitals and one man was pronounced dead at John Dempsey Hospital shortly after being transported from the scene, police said. Police said a second person who was in the same vehicle died at the hospital. 

The deceased victims were both passengers in the Mazda and have been identified as 66-year-old Benoit Boislard, and 66-year-old Rejean St. Pierre, both of Quebec, Canada. Another passenger in the Mazda remains in critical condition at Hartford Hospital. The driver was treated and released.

The driver of the Honda was listed in stable condition at St. Francis Hospital.

Investigators said it appears the Honda crossed the double yellow line and collided with the Mazda, which was traveling in the other lane. The crash remains under investigation.

Anyone who has information about the crash or who witnessed it should call Detective Jason Hughes at 860-675-2461 or FPD Dispatch at 860-675-2400.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Stamford Woman Killed in Crash on Merritt Parkway


A Stamford woman was killed in a crash on the Merritt Parkway (Route 15) in Stamford Sunday morning.

Connecticut State Police said that 31-year-old Bianca Diaz was driving north on Route 15 between exits 35 and 36 around 9 a.m. when she somehow lost control of her car and crashed off the highway into a group of trees. Diaz suffered fatal injuries.

The crash remains under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Man Charged in Coventry KeyBank White Powder Incident


Coventry police have arrested a man accused of leaving a white powder substance in a night deposit box at KeyBank, which prompted a hazardous material response and forced the business to close for several days.

On May 13, the white powder and a note were found inside the deposit box of KeyBank at 3534 Main St.

Police, firefighters and a hazmat team responded and decontaminated the four employees who were exposed to the powder.

Officials said the powder posed no health threat, but testing was needed to determine exactly what it is. It was eventually identified as powdered sugar.

On Sept. 18, Robert Lein, 60, of Coventry turned himself in on charges connected with the incident when he learned there was a warrant for his arrest. He was charged with breach of peace.

Lein was released on a promise to appear and is due to appear in court on Sept. 26.

Photo Credit: Coventry Police Department

Fundraiser Held in Memory of Branford Boy


More than 200 people gathered in Branford on Sunday to help raise money for a foundation named in honor of a 10-year-old boy who drowned earlier this summer.

Ben Callahan drowned in July when he was swept into a culvert.

Now, his family is trying to turn their loss into some good.

“We’ve just been so blessed to have the support that we have,” said David Callahan, Ben's father.

Organizer Leon Rebmann knew if he called on the local motorcycle clubs there would be a good show of support. Two-hundred-fifty people from across Connecticut lined up to ride in memory of Ben.

“I think in times like this when it involves children, just people get really sensitive to that and they want to help out in any way, shape, and form they can,” Rebmann said.

Rebmann hoped to raise $5,000 in the first year, but an hour into the fundraiser he’d already exceeded that goal.

“I’m hoping to make 20 (thousand) now, maybe more if possible,” he added.

A fitting way to raise funds for a foundation named in Ben’s honor.

“Ben loved to be on motorcycles. We’d go anywhere, he’d be on the bike with his helmet on waiting and ready to go,” David Callahan said.

An energetic boy with the wavy brown hair, the middle child, was known as number two, to his family and friends. Scout Callahan said he misses his big brother’s laugh the most.

“When he laughed it would make me and my cousins laugh when we were around him. He was a really good athlete. He was a very nice person, and he was very fun," Scout Callahan said.

The foundation has already helped feed the hungry on the New Haven Green and will fund a Christmas party for foster kids this December. Ben’s family says his love for life lives on in these good deeds.

“There are days that we cry and there are days that really break your heart, but we’re enjoying the ten years we had with him,” David Callahan said.

Photo Credit: Callahan Family Photo

Meriden Man Killed in Motorcycle Crash


A 47-year-old Meriden man was killed in a motorcycle accident Sunday, according to Meriden police.

Police said that 47-year-old Edward Delucia was riding a 2002 Harley Davidson on Cook Avenue when he veered off the road and hit a curb near New Hanover Avenue. Police said Delucia was thrown from the motorcycle and suffered fatal injuries.

Witnesses told police that another motorcyclist may have been riding with Delucia, but left the scene before police arrived.

The crash remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact Officer Mark Gibbs at 203-630-6201.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Malloy Promises to Vet GOP Budget, but Vows to Veto It


Governor Dannel Malloy renewed his vow Monday to veto the Republican-backed budget that passed the General Assembly, but also promised it a “full vetting.”

Malloy has criticized this budget plan, saying it’s unbalanced and depends on unrealistic savings. But despite his criticism, it went on to pass the state House of Representatives.

The budget cuts agency positions across state government, requires teachers to contribute more to their retirement, and places caps on borrowing and spending.

It also includes major cuts to higher education.

UConn’s president said the university would receive $300 million in cuts over the next two years, leading to closing regional campuses and several academic departments, including UConn Health.

Sen. Len Fasano, (R–Durham), the top Republican in the Connecticut Senate, told NBC Connecticut that UConn was making empty threats and that the school can absorb the cuts.

The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities also said the major cuts would lead to higher tuition, cuts to programs and less financial aid.

The governor said while he was reviewing the budget, there were some key principles he was not willing to compromise on, including issues with pension funding, the amount of aid sent to Hartford, concerns over the state of ECS grant, and the cuts to higher education.

“That means that an eventual budget can and likely should include Republican ideas, even ones that I don’t like. And, if we want a bipartisan solution, Republicans will need to adopt some of the ideas from myself and other Democrats,” the governor said at a press conference Monday.

The budget proposes no new taxes and rejects the governor’s proposal to shift teacher pension costs to municipalities.

The budget will also reduce taxes for middle-income retirees by phasing in a tax exemption for social security and pension income.

It will also restore the entire $200 property tax credit for qualifying families

Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven) released a statement on the budget that read in part:

“Three Democratic senators and six democratic representatives have voted for a shortsighted Republican budget that decimates funding for UCONN and the Connecticut state universities and community colleges, wipes out scholarship assistance for low and moderate-income students, abandons our capitol city to bankruptcy, contains unachievable lapses, severely reduces the Earned Income Tax Credit for the working poor, and posits actuarial savings in state pension contributions by undermining collective bargaining while ignoring the likelihood that these projected savings will be struck down in litigation as an impairment of existing contacts.

“So much for the Republicans’ supposedly ‘responsible and realistic’ budgeting practices.”

Looney then went on to push for bipartisan negotiations in the hope of adopting a budget by Oct. 1.

Six Democrats representatives and three senators supported the bill.

Sunday, people held a rally at the capitol urging the Governor to sign the budget.

“It's responsible. Yes it's painful, but you know what? It's been painful to live in CT for the last decade or so. People are hurting,” said John Underwood.

“Many of the taxpayers in this state- they've had enough. They're leaving, businesses are leaving, we're not replenishing our youth, we're not getting the best and brightest to come here, we've had enough,” said Marianne Clark.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Chicago Records 500th Homicide for 2017: Report


Chicago has reached a bloody milestone amid a particularly deadly weekend that saw at least 10 people killed and 31 others wounded in shootings across the city.

The weekend killings lifted the city to more than 500 homicides for the year so far, according to data from the Chicago Tribune

Chicago police said that as of Sunday evening 490 homicides had been reported for the year, but the department's statistics don't include killings on area expressways, police-involved shootings, self-defense killings or death investigations.

Last year, which became of Chicago's bloodiest in decades, the city recorded its 500th homicide in late-August. 

At the start of this month, police touted a 47 percent drop in homicides from August 2016 to August 2017. 

The most recent fatality took place on Sunday night in the city's Chicago Lawn neighborhood. At approximately 8:20 p.m. in the 6000 block of South Richmond, three people were shot, and one, a 42-year-old woman, was killed when she sustained a gunshot wound to the head. 

A 37-year-old man was shot in the chest and was taken to Stroger Hospital in serious condition. A third victim sustained a graze wound to the nose, and refused medical treatment. 

The first fatalities of the weekend occurred on Friday night at approximately 8:35 p.m., when four people, including a pregnant woman, were shot and killed while sitting in a car in the 4700 block of South Fairfield Ave.

Three of the victims were documented gang members, and all were shot with a high powered rifle, according to police.

On Saturday, two more people were fatally shot, including a 21-year-old man that was shot four times while walking to his car in the 2500 block of West 58thStreet. He was pronounced dead at Mt. Sinai.

A 41-year-old man was one of at least three people killed on Sunday after he was shot in the face during an argument in the 2700 block of East 75th Street. A 30-year-old man was killed in a drive-by shooting in the 500 block of North LeClaire at 3:05 a.m., and a third victim, a 26-year-old man, was shot multiple times while riding in a vehicle in the 2400 block of South Western on Sunday afternoon.

    Ex-Wolcott PTO Treasurer Stole $88K from Accounts: PD


    The former PTO treasurer of the Alcott School in Wolcott is accused of stealing over $88,000 for personal use.

    Wolcott police said 54-year-old Jane Gargano turned herself in Monday after learning of a warrant for her arrest.

    According to police, the investigation began on May 10, 2017. Investigators traced back to 2012, when Gargano first became treasurer. According to police, over the years Gargano stole over $88,000 from three different Alcott School PTO bank accounts, through PTO checks, ATM transactions, and by stealing funds from fundraisers and charity events.

    Gargano was charged with first-degree larceny and six counts of second-degree forgery. She was released on a $20,000 bond and is due in court on Sept. 26.

    Photo Credit: Wolcott Police Department

    Trump Administration Wants to Increase CIA Drone Strikes


    When President Donald Trump visited CIA headquarters in the first weeks of his presidency, he toured the secure floor where agency officers direct drone strikes against suspected terrorists, current and former U.S. officials told NBC News.

    Impressed by what he saw, Trump conveyed to incoming CIA Director Mike Pompeo and the assembled agency officers that he wanted them to take a more aggressive posture, according to two current U.S. officials and one former official briefed on the visit.

    Soon afterward, multiple sources said, the CIA began carrying out drone strikes that might not have been authorized under the Obama administration, including in Syria, where the military has taken the lead on targeting militant leaders.

    The White House granted CIA officers more autonomy to decide on whether and when the U.S. can pull the trigger in various places around the world, including in Yemen, where the military carries out the bulk of the airstrikes, according to four U.S. officials who have been briefed on the agency's counterterrorism operations. The upshot is less micromanaging of targeting decisions by the White House, these officials say.

    Photo Credit: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File

    Alabama GOP Senate Candidate Uses Racial Slurs in Speech


    Roy Moore, the Republican frontrunner in next week’s special Senate election in Alabama, referred to "reds and yellows fighting" in a campaign speech, a video obtained by NBC News shows.

    Moore, the ultra-conservative former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, lamented racial divisions in his remarks on Sunday.

    "We have blacks and whites fighting, reds and yellows fighting, Democrats and Republicans fighting, men and women fighting," he said.

    "Red" and "yellow" are widely recognized as racial slurs.

    Photo Credit: AP Photo/Dave Martin, File
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