<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2016 http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.com en-us Sun, 14 Feb 2016 09:46:10 -0500 Sun, 14 Feb 2016 09:46:10 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Brutal Cold Grips Connecticut]]> Sun, 14 Feb 2016 07:45:45 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/cold+temps.png

Exceptional cold gripped Connecticut Sunday morning with temperatures as low as -18F in Litchfield County. At Bradley Airport the mercury dipped to -12F making this the coldest temperature since 1996. In Bridgeport the temperature hit -5F making this the coldest morning since 1984 and the third coldest temperature recorded at Sikorsky Airport. 

The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill warning for the entire state today.

Wind chills are dropping near -30F Sunday morning which can result in frostbite in as little as 15 minutes. 

Temperatures will remain brutally cold through the day Sunday with wind chills well below zero and temperatures remaining in the single digits for most of the state through the afternoon. 

Monday should be dry, but a storm will be on Connecticut's doorstep come Tuesday.

Unfortunately for people and businesses that depend on snow, this storm doesn't look like a classic Nor'easter.

Snow will likely change to sleet and plain rain as temperatures rise into the 40s on Tuesday.

Temperatures will remain in the 40s on Wednesday with a blend of clouds and sunshine.

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<![CDATA[Gas Outage Affecting Heat in Berlin During Brutal Cold]]> Sun, 14 Feb 2016 08:59:32 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/cold+temps.png

Some Connecticut Natural Gas customers in Berlin do not have heat on this brutally cold Sunday morning began of a defective regulator, which is affecting getting natural gas to some customers.

The affected houses are on Farmington Avenue, Lower Lane, Worthington Ridge, Hudson Street, Overhill Drive,  Fernstead Lane and Walden Court.

Berlin Police said Eversource has found the problem and it will be fixed soon.

Eversource will need to send a representative to each affected home to purge the gas line and residents are asked to have someone home to allow them to do that.

Everyone else in the family can go to McGee Middle School, which is open as a warming center.

This outage is happening as exceptional cold grips Connecticut, with temperatures as low as -18F in Litchfield County.

At Bradley Airport the mercury dipped to -12F making this the coldest temperature since 1996. In Bridgeport the temperature hit -5F making this the coldest morning since 1984 and the third coldest temperature recorded at Sikorsky Airport.

The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill warning for the entire state today.

Wind chills are dropping near -30F Sunday morning which can result in frostbite in as little as 15 minutes.


Temperatures will remain brutally cold through the day Sunday with wind chills well below zero and temperatures remaining in the single digits for most of the state through the afternoon.


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<![CDATA[Dems, GOP Battle Over Next SCOTUS Pick]]> Sun, 14 Feb 2016 09:17:03 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/supreme-court-GettyImages-187128584.jpg

The death of Justice Antonin Scalia has set up an important, controversial question: Should President Obama, in his last 10 months in office, be allowed to appoint a justice who would likely create a liberal majority on the Supreme Court?

The Supreme Court has long been divided between five justices appointed by Republicans and four by Democrats.

If Obama appoints a fellow Democrat to replace the deeply-conservative Scalia, he would tip the Court's balance, giving the liberals an advantage that could endure well beyond the president's tenure.

But Republicans, including five out of six GOP presidential candidates at Saturday's GOP debate in South Carolina said Obama should either not nominate a justice and leave the decision for the next president, or the Senate should block any pick.

The importance of this potential nomination fight explains why the reaction in the wake of Scalia's death quickly become very political and divided along partisan lines.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Truck Fire Closes I-84 East in Tolland]]> Sun, 14 Feb 2016 09:11:00 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/tollandtruckfire84.jpg

Interstate 84 East in Tolland is closed after a large tractor-trailer carrying frozen chickens caught fire.

The Tolland Fire Department and state police responded to the area of exit 67 for a fully involved truck fire.

The truck caught fire around 2:30 a.m.

State police are diverting traffic off the highway at exit 67 and said the highway will be closed until at least 10 a.m.

The truck was carrying chickens from Mountaire Farms in Millsboro, Delaware.

The driver of the truck was not hurt in the crash.

<![CDATA[Hartford Police Offer Shelter to Those Sleeping Outside in Cold]]> Sat, 13 Feb 2016 23:33:26 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/overpass+web.jpg

A potentially life-saving mission was underway in Hartford this weekend. Police made sure no one spent the night outside in the extreme cold.

“No one should be left out in the cold. These are bitter, nasty conditions,” says Lt. Gabriel Laureano from Hartford Police.

That’s why Laureano and his team ventured out with temperatures around zero.

They were canvassing the city and the first stop was an I-84 overpass. It’s one of the places known as a spot for people who are homeless to camp out. And sure enough there was a man perched above.

“Bud, you’re shaking! It’s freezing,” Laureano yelled to the man.

The man said his name is Eugene and he was reluctant to leave. Minutes ticked by and after a lot of convincing he finally climbed down for offers of a warm refuge and water.

It had been days since the 64-year-old had eaten.

The officers stopped at Burger King and used their own money to buy Eugene burgers and fries.

Then it was off to the Hartford Rescue Mission. For at least one bitter night, Eugene had somewhere warm and safe to sleep.

“I’m not going to forget about it. This isn’t a one-time thing for me with him. We got to make sure we find him something,” says Laureano.

At last check, Hartford police found eight people on Saturday night and took them to the warming centers or friends' homes. Officers promised to stay out searching as long it took to make sure everyone was off the streets.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Connecticut Politicians React to Passing of Justice Scalia]]> Sat, 13 Feb 2016 20:14:12 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Scalia1.jpg

Connecticut politicians are reacting to the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Senator Richard Blumenthal released the following statement:

“I am saddened by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. The son of an immigrant, dedicated public servant, acerbic wit, and gifted writer and orator, Justice Scalia lived a uniquely-American life. I respected his intellect and patriotism. My thoughts are with his wife Maureen and their entire family.

My hope is that the President will promptly nominate someone with strong intellect and integrity who can win bipartisan support. I will work vigorously as a member of the Judiciary Committee to achieve confirmation.”

Blumenthal is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee

Gov. Dannel Malloy tweeted the following statement Saturday evening:

“Justice Scalia served the Court – and the nation – honorably. While we may have disagreed politically, what is unquestionable was Justice Scalia’s dedication to America. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Justice Scalia was 79 years old. He was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 and was the longest-serving current justice on the High Court.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Presidential Candidates Respond to Scalia's Death]]> Sat, 13 Feb 2016 22:38:08 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/debate-moment-of-silence.jpg

The 2016 presidential candidates Saturday reacted with surprise and sadness to the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, but that soon gave way to a debate over his succession.

Even before President Barack Obama vowed Saturday evening to nominate a successor "in due time," Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ben Carson had called for the next U.S. president to make that decision.

Cruz took to Twitter to call Scalia "an American hero."

"We owe it to him, & the Nation, for the Senate to ensure that the next President names his replacement," Cruz said.

Cruz said at a Republican debate in South Carolina later that the "Senate needs to stand strong" against confirming Obama's pick. Cruz, a former clerk to then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist from 1996 to 1997, made the case that conservatives were at risk of losing the Supreme Court for a generation.

Donald Trump, who tweeted that Scalia's death was "a massive setback for the conservative movement and our country," also called for a fight over Scalia's successor.

"Delay, delay delay," he said during Saturday's debate.

On Facebook, Ben Carson said that Scalia's "towering intellect and trenchant wit has characterized the deliberations and decisions of the high court."

"Given the dire condition our democracy currently finds itself under Obama's lack of leadership, I call on the Senate to stop any attempts to fill this crucial seat until We The People elect a strong Constitutionalist this November," Carson wrote.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio argued that holding off on a nomination would not be unprecedented.

“In fact it's been over 80 years since a lame duck president has appointed a Supreme Court justice,” he said.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich also argued against a pick before the general election. He said he hoped Obama would nominate someone with "unanimous approval" but he didn't think that would happen.

Jeb Bush conceded during the debate that the president "has every right" to nominate who he wanted, but he doubted that person would be a consensus pick.

Bush earlier called Scalia "a brilliant defender of the rule of law."

The Democratic candidates also weighed in before the Republican debate.

Senator Bernie Sanders sent along his thoughts to Scalia's family and colleagues, "who mourn his passing."

Hillary Clinton, the last major candidate to release a statement online, sent her thoughts and prayers to Scalia's family, but also castigated Republicans for urging Obama to leave the seat open.

"The Republicans in the Senate and on the campaign trail who are calling for Justice Scalia's seat to remain vacant dishonor our Constitution," she said. "The Senate has a constitutional responsibility here that it cannot abdicate for partisan political reasons."

--Daniel Macht contributed to this article 

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Trump Slams RNC for 'Deceptive' Fundraising Email]]> Sat, 13 Feb 2016 16:25:17 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/TrumpSouthCarolina-AP_446723142501.jpg

Donald Trump criticized the Republican National Committee Saturday for “illegally” using his name in a fundraising email sent to party supporters, NBC News reported.

In a press release and a series of tweets, the GOP frontrunner accused the RNC of “deceptive Washington tricks,” saying he never authorized the use of his name to fundraise.

"The RNC, which is probably not on my side, just illegally put out a fundraising notice saying 'Trump wants you to contribute to the RNC,'" his campaign said. "The RNC does not treat me well and then they use my name, without my knowledge, to raise money for themselves." Trump said much the same in a tweet from his personal account.

The RNC did not respond to MSNBC’s request for comment, but communication director Sean Spicer told CNN that the email was in response to a star poll that allows supporters of all candidates to contribute to the “presidential trust.” 

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Cuba Returns Missile Mistakenly Sent in 2014 to U.S.]]> Sat, 13 Feb 2016 15:36:21 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/HellfireMissile-GettyImages-503831582.jpg

American officials said Saturday that Cuba returned a dummy U.S. Hellfire missile that was mistakenly shipped to the country in 2014, NBC News reported.

The weapon was an inert training missile that was sent from Europe, where it was used in a NATO training exercise. Officials had been trying to recoup the missile for several months, according to the Associated Press. 

While it didn’t contain explosives, there were concerns that Cuba cold share technology with American advisories like North Korea or Russia.

The Hellfire is a laser-guided, air-to=-surface missile that weighs about 100 pounds.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[State Police Seize 400 Bags of Heroin From Killingly Home]]> Sat, 13 Feb 2016 13:23:37 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/killinglydrugmugs.jpg

Two men were arrested after state police seized 400 bags of heroin from their home in Killingly on Friday.

According to state police, Francisco Fraustro, 39, and David Desjardin, 32, were using their home to store, process and sell heroin.

Once state police entered the home, they located Fraustro, Desjardin and several other individuals. Police seized 400 bags of heroin pre-packaged for sale, approximately $1,300, several bags of synthetic marijuana, a digital scale and five cell phones.

Fraustro and Desjardin were arrested without incident and were charged with Possession of Narcotics, Possession of Narcotics with Intent to Sell, and Operating a Drug Factory.

Fraustro was additionally charged with Narcotics Outside the Original Container.

Both were transported to the Troop D Danielson barracks and where they were held on $75,000. Both are to appear at the Danielson Superior Court on Tuesday.

State police say this is the third time Fraustro has been arrested for the sale of heroin in the last five months.

State police are asking anyone with information regarding the illegal sale of narcotics to call the Troop D anonymous tips line at 860-779-4950.

<![CDATA[John Lewis Clarifies Comments on Sanders' Civil Rights Participation]]> Sat, 13 Feb 2016 13:19:46 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/JohnLewis-AP_845681499037.jpg

Rep. John Lewis on Saturday clarified comments he made earlier this week saying he had never met Bernie Sanders during the civil rights movement, NBC News reported.

"I was responding to a reporter's question who asked me to assess Sen. Sanders' civil rights record. I said that when I was leading and was at the center of pivotal actions within the Civil Rights Movement, I did not meet Sen. Bernie Sanders at any time," Lewis said in the statement.

Lewis also clarified that he crossed paths with Hillary and Bill Clinton in the South in the 1970s, and not during his time as chairman of the SNCC in the 1960s.

On Thursday, Lewis, along with members of the Black Congressional Caucus, supported Hillary Clinton in the Democratic race.  

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Al Shabab Claims Responsibility for Plane Bomb]]> Sat, 13 Feb 2016 12:09:55 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Somalia-Plane-Explosion-GettyImages-507985404.jpg

Islamist extremist group al Shabab has claimed responsibility for the bombing of a passenger jet earlier this month in Somalia, NBC News reported.

In a statement on Saturday, the group said the explosion targeted Western intelligence officials and Turkish NATO forces on a plane bound for Djibouti on Feb. 2. The bomb went off shortly after takeoff, blowing a hole in the fuselage and sucking out the suspected instigator.

The bomb was meant as “retribution” for acts against Somali Muslims.

The plan, according to al Shabab, was to destroy the entire plane, but it failed. The group has vowed to continue such attacks.  

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[ISIS Fighters Seize Homes, Shave Beards ]]> Sat, 13 Feb 2016 10:10:32 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/217*120/AP_817556148506.jpg

ISIS fighters are seizing civilian homes and even shaving their beards to take cover from Western airstrikes, according to Syrians who have fled militant occupied territory.

Many jihadist fighters are moving out of state buildings in Raqqa to blend into the community and avoid detection by drones, NBC News reported. Civilians say ISIS fighters will knock on doors and take over rooms or whole houses. Anyone who refuses entry may be executed.

ISIS may also be taxing citizens to make up for the hole in its finances created by coalition attacks on occupied oil refineries.

"They have introduced new taxation for cars," one civilian said. "There are now fines for crossing red lights. All the motorbikes now have new plates with the ISIS title on. Most of these new charges have come in the last three months."  

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Man Arrested After Firing Shots into the Air]]> Sat, 13 Feb 2016 09:48:33 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/ANDRES.png

A West Haven man has been arrested after police say he shot several rounds into the air after altercation with his friends.

Police responded to 22 Eagle Place around 10:30 p.m. last night after they received multiple calls reporting gunshots in the area.

When they arrived, they located Andre Morales, 38, outside of  the home. While he was being questioned, Morales lied to police then took off and led them on a short foot chase.

When Morales was taken into custody, he admitted to police that he had gotten into an argument with two of his friends and fired off several shots into the air outside of his house.

Morales' 9mm Ruger and some ammunition were seized from the home. The gun was legally registered to him.

Morales is charged with interfering with police, illegal discharge of a firearm, reckless endangerment and breach of peace. He was held on bond.

<![CDATA[Extreme Wind Chill for Midwest, Northeast]]> Sat, 13 Feb 2016 10:44:45 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/PolarVortex-AP_968687082427.jpg

Brutally cold air sent temperatures plummeting to “life-threatening” lows across the Midwest and Northeast Saturday, with millions of Americans warned of dangers, NBC News reported.

The arctic blast is being driven by the cold air system — a polar vortex — that sits around the North Pole year-round, with the biggest danger being from frostbite, according to the Weather Channel.

Forecasters warned that wind chill readings could drop “below minus 30 degrees by Saturday night.” Sunday morning is likely to be the coldest for many, but it won’t be until Tuesday until temperatures reach normal levels for many.  

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Crews Battle Fire in Naugatuck]]> Sat, 13 Feb 2016 08:52:04 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/naugyfireedit.jpg

The Beacon Hills Fire Department is battling a fire at a town house complex.

According to the Naugatuck Police Department, the fire broke out around 6:30 a.m. at 39 Horton Hill Road.

 The fire department was working for hours in the frigid temperatures to put the flames out.

Erin Bailie and her sister called 9-1-1 after seeing smoke billowing out of their neighbor's basement. She says the fire then spread quickly to their unit, causing a total loss.

"It's either laughing or crying because you have nothing left," Bailie said. "So I'm not really sure what to do."

Bailie said her neighbor went back into the home several times looking for his dogs. He was taken to the hospital for possible smoke inhalation. His mother was also transported.

Their conditions are not know at this time.

Photo Credit: Naugatuck Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Suspected Norovirus Outbreak at Avon Old Farms School]]> Sat, 13 Feb 2016 14:44:32 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/norovirus-dengeric.jpg

Classes at Avon Old Farms Schools have been cancelled after a group of students presented with symptoms of norovirus, according to school officials.

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that causes the stomach and intestines to become inflamed according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms include stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. There is no specific treatment for norovirus, but sufferers are advised to drink plenty of fluids. For more details on norovirus visit the CDC website.

Robert Orenstein, the school’s Chief Financial Officer, confirmed to NBC Connecticut that approximately 15 percent of the boys' preparatory school’s students exhibited symptoms of the virus. The school has approximately 400 students and houses them on campus when school is in session.

Orenstein said in an email that families were given the option of having their sons travel home for the weekend to lower their chances of contracting the virus, or for the boys to remain on campus under the care of school health professionals. Extra nurses were called in to the school's health center, and also to the dormitories to attend to any students too sick to make it to the health center.

"The health and well being of our students and the adults who work here is our highest priority," Orenstein said.

The school cancelled classes originally scheduled for Saturday and Monday. Some sporting events, and several other school activities were also cancelled or postponed.

In addition to cancelling campus events the school is taking several steps to prevent the virus from spreading.

Lenore Severni APRN, Director of the Health Center addressed the community Friday morning to go over tips to avoid contamination.

Housekeepers are working extra hours to clean and disinfect the campus, and food services has temporarily suspended self-serve food stations.

Healthy students are expected back on campus by Monday evening. Parents of students exhibiting symptoms are encouraged to keep them home until they have recovered.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Albright Didn't Mean to Condemn Women Supporting Sanders]]> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 22:01:46 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Madeleine+Albright+Sanders.png

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said on Friday that she regretted the way her support for Hillary Clinton was perceived, NBC News reported.

"I have spent much of my career as a diplomat. It is an occupation in which words and context matter a great deal. So one might assume I know better than to tell a large number of women to go to hell," Albright said in an op-ed published in the New York Times, in which she renewed her call to women to support each other.

Albright said earlier that “there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other,” a line she has used many times in the past.

During the Democratic debate on Thursday, Clinton shrugged off the comment and said she is running on her own experience.  

Photo Credit: NBC News]]>
<![CDATA[Man Helps Solve Own Disappearance]]> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 20:18:02 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/160212-edgar-latulip-larger-yh-1022a_828608684cca8b71cca091f66e86fbef.nbcnews-ux-600-700.jpg

A man missing nearly 30 years has been found alive, living just 80 miles away from where he disappeared. He had reportedly been suffering major memory loss due to a head injury.

Edgar Latulip vanished in September 1986 from a group home in Kitchener, Ontario. He was 21. According to local news reports at the time, Latulip, who had developmental delays, was being treated after attempting suicide.  

In January of this year, Latulip told a social worker in St. Catherines, Ontario, that he had a flashback and remembered his name.

Photo Credit: Waterloo Regional Police Service/NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Ohio Machete Attacker Watched by FBI 4 Years Ago]]> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 21:19:29 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/OhioMacheteAttack-AP_297086039208.jpg

The Ohio man who attacked four restaurant patrons with a machete and was later killed by police was under the attention of the FBI, NBC News reported.

Agents watched Mohamed Barry four years ago for making radical comments, but moved on, officials said. They did not elaborate on the nature of the radical comments.

Barry, 30, attacked patrons at Nazareth Restaurant and Deli in Columbus on Thursday. He was shot and killed by police after a chase following the rampage.

The survivors of the attack were identified as William Foley, 54, Neil McMeekin, 43, Gerald Russell, 43, and Debbie Russell, 43.

Police are still unclear as to what motivated the attack.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Extreme Cold Threatens Valentine's Day Business]]> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 19:05:22 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/cat+flowers+web.jpg

With Valentine’s Day on Sunday, love is in the air this weekend. What's also in the air are the coldest wind chills of the season, and it's impacting the holiday weekend.

This weekend The Flower Box in Wethersfield will make more than 400 flower deliveries and the orders keep piling up.

But getting them to their destination on time isn’t the only thing they worry about. Keeping the fresh flowers alive in the frigid temps is also a major concern.

“If you’re just walking from the car to the house just that 30 seconds is enough to kill a flower,” Said Paul Thaller.

The flowers are all wrapped in cellophane to stay warm and delivery drivers hope someone will be home for the delivery. Otherwise, the flowers will come back to the shop and delivery drivers will have to try again later.

The dropping temperatures this weekend are also keeping some folks inside.

“With movies. We have lots of movies,” said Latasha Patrice of Hartford.

Restaurants like Vito's Pizzaria in Wethersfield aren't stopping their Valentines weekend plans. They've created a special menu with tasty deserts, like their berry Tiramisu.

“It’s going to be so warm and cozy in here I encourage people to come out and enjoy. Don’t hibernate! Come out and enjoy the beautiful Valentine’s weekend. This is where we live. Might as well enjoy it and embrace it! Have a good time!” said owner Carol Maffucci.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Fishermen Say Cold Offseason is Part of the Job]]> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 19:11:41 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/doug+cold+web.jpg

The water temperature beneath the Gold Star Bridge is 40 degrees, but this weekend it won't matter what the temperature is. If you get wet, the water will freeze in a flash.

So while there's sunshine on the water off Noank in Groton, what isn't on the water is boats.

"You take as much work as you can get and put it inside to do it during the offseason," said Rick Brown in Noank Shipyard.

This is very much the offseason for people who work on the water.

"Everybody likes to have the warm weather and be on the water, that part of it, but the other side of it is you gotta pay your dues in the wintertime of it," said Brown.

Even though the snow's piled high on shore, there still are times people just have to be on the water.

Brown said, "It goes with it, you're outside, it's fresh, fresh air, it's fun, it's what we do. It's not for everybody."

There is still demand for seafood in the winter, which means there are still fisherman going out to get it. Traps work underwater year-round, and Brown says the cold won’t keep him out of work.

“There's heaters, heat cords, you know, and you gotta just man up and go do your job,” Brown said before laughing. “It beats the alternative.”

Another fisherman who didn't want to go on camera says it's lucrative to get out there in winter. He said what might be an $800 job in summer can pay $5,000 in winter.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Campers Brave Cold to Raise Money for Colchester Fuel Bank]]> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 19:10:36 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/justin+cold+web.jpg

For the next two frigid nights, Colchester Police Officer Rob Suchecki and three other men are sleeping in tents on the Colchester Green.

“Right now pretty sparse, we’ll set up two cots up in there,” Suchecki said, showing NBC Connecticut his tent.

The forecast with the wind chills near 30 below zero is not stopping the 7th annual “Freezin for a Reason,” which raises money for the Colchester Fuel Bank and helps the less fortunate heat their homes.

“There are too many people that are forced to keep their thermostats at 50 degrees because they can’t afford to heat their homes and buy medications or groceries,” said Fred Brown, another one of the men camping out in the cold.

“It’s a small thing to do for me to help other people,” Suchecki said.

Other outdoor events such as the annual Winterfest at New Britain’s Walnut Hill Park took precautions to help keep parents and their children safe. Organizers provided two warming buses and set up a fire pit.

“It’s cold, but not cold enough to shut us down,” said Eric Barbieri, the director of New Britain’s Parks and Rec, “so we’re happy that we’re Friday and not the really brutal stuff tomorrow and Sunday.”

The brave men camping out in the brutal cold in Colchester have a large supply of wood to keep their fire burning.

“I would rather be safe than sorry, I’m fond of my fingers, but we’ve taken precautions,” Brown said.

The men say they’re hoping the extreme cold will help them reach their fundraising goal of $10,000. They have raised $42,000 during the previous six events, Brown said.

“People aren’t going to come out if its 60 degrees, we’re just four guys getting away from our wives for the weekend if that’s the case,” Suchecki said.

“However, if it’s minus 30 degrees, 40 with wind chill, they’re going come out and donate more,” Brown said.

For how you can donate online, visit the organizer's Facebook page.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Bundy Recorded Message to Last Oregon Holdout]]> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 17:53:08 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AmmonBundy-AP_724216155937.jpg

Ammon Bundy made a jailhouse recording to convince the last holdout in the standoff at an Oregon wildlife refuge to surrender Thursday, NBC News reported.

"Please come out of there and let us work this out," Bundy told David Fry in the audio message, which was provided exclusively to NBC News by Bundy's attorney.

The attorney said the FBI played the recording to Fry, who threatened suicide. He was the last of the occupiers taken into custody.

Twenty-five people have been indicted on federal charges for taking over the bird sanctuary.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Congress Approves Permanent Internet Tax Ban]]> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 16:51:23 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/InternetTaxBan-GettyImages-509586236.jpg

The U.S. Senate passed legislation on Thursday placing a permanent ban on states’ taxing Internet access, NBC News reported.

The bill was approved with a 75-20 vote. It would toughen enforcement of U.S. duties on foreign goods and would ban some taxes on digital goods and services, according to Reuters.

"Most Americans pay $0 in taxes to connect to the Internet. And thanks to a bill that passed today, you will never have to pay taxes just to get online, or pay more taxes for goods and services just because they're bought online," Democratic Senator Ron Wyden said in a statement.

The legislation doesn’t address better enforcement of state sales tax collections on Internet purchases. Separate legislation could be considered by Congress later this year.

The measure will go to President Barack Obama for signing into law.

Photo Credit: CQ-Roll Call,Inc.]]>
<![CDATA[Dog Named Mayor of Reno for a Day ]]> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 16:37:40 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/everett_DOG.jpg

There are no fat cats in this town.

Reno, Nevada appointed a four-legged mayor of the town on Thursday for the day. Mayor Everett, a Newfoundland- Lab mix, was adopted two years ago from Nevada’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelties to Animals (SPCA). According to the group, Everett’s owners attended their annual charity event, “An Affur to Remember," where they were the highest bidders for the mayoral prize.

Mayor Everett spent the day doing what any good statesman would do; he participated in many photo shoots around town with the escort of a limousine.

After his dutiful dog day, he received a retirement package of a dog bed, a bowl and 60-pounds of dog food from the Executive Director of the animal rights group.

It is unclear whether Everett will seek reelection.

Photo Credit: City of Reno]]>
<![CDATA[Officers Killed by Gunfire Jumps Compared to Last Year]]> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 16:21:47 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Jason+Moszer.jpg

Eight on-duty police officers have already been killed by gunfire this year, including five this week, NBC News reported.

The five were shot in Colorado, Maryland, North Dakota and Georgia. The most recent was Officer Greg Barney, who was shot Thursday at an apartment complex in Riverdale, Georgia. He was serving a “no-knock” warrant, when the suspect ran and opened fire, striking the 25-year veteran.

Only one officer was shot dead between Jan. 1 and Feb. 11 last year, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. A total of 13 officers were killed in this time period last year; most of them traffic-related. That’s compared to 11 officers killed so far in 2016. 

Photo Credit: Fargo Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Donald Trump Threatens 'Birther' Lawsuit Against Ted Cruz]]> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 18:39:59 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Ted-Cruz-Donald-Trump-GettyImages-505043546.jpg

Donald Trump has long questioned whether Sen. Ted Cruz, who was born in Canada, is eligible to be president. Now, Trump is threatening to sue Cruz over it.

Trump maintains Cruz may not be a natural born citizen, one of a few qualifications to be president     listed in the Constitution. Trump tweeted Friday he has standing to sue Cruz over the issue. 

Cruz has defended himself from the "birther" claim that he's disqualified from the office, including in a presidential debate in January. 

But Trump's latest remark, coming after a week of negative campaigning between the candidates, is the first time he's threatened to take action over it.

"If @TedCruz doesn’t clean up his act, stop cheating, & doing negative ads, I have standing to sue him for not being a natural born citizen," Trump tweeted Friday afternoon.

There was no immediate response on Ted Cruz's Twitter feed, and his campaign did not reply to a message requesting comment.

The president must be a "natural born citizen,"  35 years old and a 14-year resident of the nation, according to Article II of the Constitution. The 25th Amendment establishes the two-term limit.

Cruz was born a U.S. citizen because his mother was an American living in Canada. Some constitutional scholars – and Trump – have questioned whether the circumstances of Cruz's birth meet the "natural born citizen" requirement.

A veteran attorney in Houston, Cruz's hometown, has already challenged the senator's eligibility in a federal court, one of several suits brought against Cruz.

At the Jan. 17 debate, Trump suggested Cruz voluntarily submit the question to the court system, saying "there's a big question mark over your head." Trump said he wouldn't sue, but Democrats surely would if Cruz became the Republican nominee for president.

But Cruz countered that he was born a citizen, and that two Republicans born outside of the country had already run for president, including John McCain.

"I'm happy to consider naming you as vice president," Cruz quipped at the time. "And if you happen to be right you can get the top job at the end of the day." 

Harvard Law professor Einer R. Elhauge wrote in a January op-ed that Cruz is ineligible to run, based on a straight reading of the Constitution, but said a fixed rule should be implemented to clarify.

In an interview Friday, Elhauge said it's unlikely Trump would have standing to sue the Cruz campaign in federal court, because "federal standards are pretty narrow."

"A candidate would have to have a unique injury to them in order to sue," he said.

But the rules for standing in state courts are broader, he said, so "any candidate or voter can challenge" Cruz.

Now that the field of Republican contenders has narrowed to six, each candidate may constitute a threat to the others' vote totals, and therefore a "unique injury," according to Elhauge. Trump would probably need a state election official to speak up for his claim.

Professor Rick Hasen of the University of California at Irvine told NBC News that it would be unlikely that Trump would have standing in a direct case against Cruz, but that he could sue election officials for allowing Cruz on the ballot.

"And certainly if Cruz were excluded from the ballot by a registrar who said Cruz is ineligible, Cruz would have standing to sue over that," Cruz said.

Patrick Smith contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: File – Scott Olsen/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Video Captures Frightening Moment Car Hits Woman on Highway]]> Sat, 13 Feb 2016 22:07:41 -0500 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Car_Hits_Pedestrian_in_East_Hartford_1200x675_621987907677.jpg

A West Haven woman is lucky to have suffered only minor injuries when a car skid off the highway and into her in East Hartford, Conn. late Monday afternoon.

A man who stopped his car to help her had a camera running on his dashboard it is caught the entire nail biter of a scene.

It happened just after 4:30 p.m. on Monday where Interstates 384 West and I-84 West merge.

The video show the woman’s car stopped against the wall on the side of the highway, facing the wrong direction, as she stands outside of it when the man pulls up behind her to help.

As he walks toward her, a Toyota Corolla skids off the highway, directly at the woman.

State police said the woman suffered only minor injuries and she was taken to Hartford Hospital. The driver of the car that hit her was cited to failure to maintain lane.