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    The United States is on the verge of ending its Syria discussions with Russia over continued bombing of the besieged city of Aleppo, Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday, NBC News.

    The U.S. and Russia have been trying to negotiate a cease-fire in the war-torn nation, but Kerry said "the bombing of Aleppo right now is inexcusable" and that around 400 civilians have been killed there in the last eight days.

    "I think we're on the verge of suspending the discussion because it's irrational in the context of the type of bombing taking place," Kerry said at an event in Washington, D.C. sponsored by the Atlantic magazine.



    Photo Credit: AP

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, U.N. special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, center, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, arrive for a press conference following their meeting in Geneva, where they discussed the crisis in Syria, Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. Kerry is now threatening to end cease fire talks.U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, U.N. special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, center, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, arrive for a press conference following their meeting in Geneva, where they discussed the crisis in Syria, Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. Kerry is now threatening to end cease fire talks.

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    Election systems in more than 20 states have been targeted in hacking attempts — far more than had been previously acknowledged — a senior Department of Homeland Security official told NBC News Thursday.

    The "attempted intrusions" targeted online systems like registration databases, not the actual voting or tabulation machines that will be used on Election Day. The official described much of the activity as "people poking at the systems to see if they are vulnerable."

    And intelligence officials tell NBC News there is now "no doubt" the Russian government is trying to influence the election.

    FBI Director James Comey told a congressional hearing this week that he is taking the threat to election systems "extraordinarily seriously," and urged states "to make sure that their deadbolts are thrown and their locks are on."



    Photo Credit: Fairfax Media via Getty Images, File

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    The Department of Public Health commissioner declared a public water supply emergency for four Fairfield towns as drought conditions persist.

    Dr. Raul Pino, DPH commissioner, signed the order on Thursday, declaring a temporary 30-day public water supply emergency for Greenwich, Stamford, Darien and New Canaan.

    The declaration was requested by Aquarion Water Company (AWC) to allow the company to divert water from other sources of supply to the four Connecticut towns, which are facing "substantial depletion of their public water supply as a result of ongoing drought conditions," the announcement said. 

    "This is not a step that the Department of Public Health takes lightly or frequently, but it is clear that despite water conservation efforts taken by Aquarion and its customers, diversion of water from other areas in Aquarion’s water supply in addition to continued mandatory water conservation measures is necessary to avert a much larger water crisis in these towns," said Pino.

    Pino is encouraging all Connecticut residents to conserve water during this prolonged period of dry weather. 

    During the order, AWC will be prohibited from adding new customers without DPH approval, continue mandatory outdoor watering bans, provide weekly public notifications on water supplies for affected towns, perform a water audit of its top 20 largest water users, assist users identifying ways to reduce usage and provide weekly reports to the DPH and local health departments.

    The order will remain in effect for 30 days, but AWC can apply for additional 30 day extensions, up to a maximum of 150 days.


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    For the first time in 34 years, USA Today's editorial board declared sides in a presidential race, calling Trump “unfit for the presidency,” NBC News reported. 

    The board encouraged voters to “resist the siren sound of a dangerous demagogue.”

    The editorial made it clear, however, that it was not endorsing Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton for president.

    Other historically-conservative newspapers have denounced Trump, including The Detroit News, Arizona Republic, The Cincinnati Enquirer, Dallas Morning News and Houston Chronicle. For most, it was the first time they would not endorse the Republican nominee.

    Trump blasted the papers in a Friday morning tweet: "The people are really smart in cancelling subscriptions to the Dallas & Arizona papers & now USA Today will lose readers! The people get it!"



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a rally on Sept. 29, 2016 in Bedford, New Hampshire. For the first time in 34 years, USA Today's editorial board declared sides in a presidential race.Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a rally on Sept. 29, 2016 in Bedford, New Hampshire. For the first time in 34 years, USA Today's editorial board declared sides in a presidential race.

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    The engineer aboard the NJ Transit train that plowed through walls at the century-old Hoboken Terminal Thursday morning has no infractions, medical episodes or criminal history, sources familiar with situation told NBC 4 New York.

    Three sources said that according to a preliminary review, engineer Tommy Gallagher had no "red flags" in his history prior to the crash that killed one woman and injured 108 others.

    Preliminary reports suggest the crash was either accidental or caused by operator error, law enforcement officials said. They stressed that it is early in the investigation. 

    The National Transportation Safety Board has been called in to conduct an inquiry into the crash.

    Gallagher was seriously injured in the crash but was released from the hospital. He has been cooperating with authorities, according to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. 

    NTSB Vice Chairwoman T. Bella Dinh-Zarr said investigators will be interviewing him. 

    Gallagher's father told NBC 4 New York he wasn't sure about the condition of his son until after he saw a breaking news banner on TV telling him that the train's operator had survived.

    "We're very upset with this whole matter," the man said.

    The engineer's father said that the man had been with NJ Transit for 19 years and had also served as a station master, a part-time track worker, and accident investigator. He said his son is a dedicated worker who doesn't call in sick.



    Photo Credit: AP/NBC 4 NY

    Thomas Gallagher (inset), the engineer in the fatal New Jersey Transit train crashThomas Gallagher (inset), the engineer in the fatal New Jersey Transit train crash

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    Furious Phoenix officials published a letter to Donald Trump on Thursday night, demanding his campaign ad showing city police officers be taken down immediately. 

    The ad, titled “Movement,” shows Trump meeting with a number of people, including police. The Phoenix cops in the promotion had no idea they were being filmed, Phoenix City Attorney Brad Holm said, NBC News reported.

    Holm condemned the video, writing in the letter that the ad “unmistakably and wrongfully suggests that Phoenix and the officers support or endorse Mr. Trump’s campaign.”

    While the National Fraternal Order of Police, the largest police union in the country, endorsed Trump’s campaign, it is illegal for individuals in public service positions at the local, state and federal level to engage in political activities of any kind.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    In this file photo, Donald Trump speaks with Polish-American community members at the Polish National Alliance in Chicago on Sept. 28, 2016, in Chicago, Illinois. He is being accused of filming uniformed cops in Phoenix and using them in his commercial without permission.In this file photo, Donald Trump speaks with Polish-American community members at the Polish National Alliance in Chicago on Sept. 28, 2016, in Chicago, Illinois. He is being accused of filming uniformed cops in Phoenix and using them in his commercial without permission.

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  • 09/30/16--03:59: DOT Reducing Rest Area Times

  • The state Department of Transportation is changing the hours at several rest areas across the state.  

    Beginning Sept. 30, the rest areas will no longer be open 24 hours a day. The new hours will be: 

    8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

     

    • Interstate 84 Willington
    • Interstate 84 Southington
    • Interstate 91 Wallingford
    • Interstate 91 Middletown
    • Interstate 95 North Stonington 

     

    7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

     

    • Interstate 84 Danbury 

     

    Drivers will still be allowed to park in rest areas, but the buildings with restrooms inside will be locked. A porta potty at the rest area is Southington will still be available for use. 

    DOT officials said they will save $2 million per year because they will no longer have to staff the buildings around the clock. 

    Some drivers were unhappy about the change. 

    “I think it’s going to be very inconvenient. Personally, I don’t want to use the porta potty,” said Julie, a Morristown, New Jersey resident who frequently travels to Maine. 

    “It’s pretty hard for us as drivers to pull into these places and not be able to use the restrooms,” said Ruly Castaneda, a truck driver from El Paso, Texas. 

    Castaneda, who was delivering pumpkins from New Mexico to a church in Connecticut, said finding ample parking at other rest areas or gas stations is difficult. 

    “I tried parking over at the TA and I was unable to because there’s not enough space,” said Castaneda. 



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Clinton police have arrested a dad who is accused of driving drunk with his two young children in the car and causing a head-on crash. Officers who responded to the scene also found what appeared to be an open container of alcohol in the cup holder, according to police. 

    The crash happened around 5:15 p.m. Thursday at Central Avenue and High Street, or Route 81 and investigators said 46-year-old Daniel P. O’Brien, of Guilford, crossed the yellow line and caused the crash. 

    O’Brien’s 2-year-old and 7 month-old children were in car seats and didn’t appear to be injured, but were transported to a hospital to be evaluated. Then they were given to their mother, who was not involved in the crash. 

    Daniel O’Brien appeared to be highly intoxicated, according to police who noticed an open container of what looked like liquor in the center console cup holder. Police said they also found a partially consumed bottle of liquor by the driver’s seat. 

    O’Brien was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated, drinking while driving, two counts of risk of injury to a minor and failure to drive in the established lane. 

    He was held on a $10,000 and is due in court today. 

    Police said they also notified the state Department of Children and Families.



    Photo Credit: Clinton Police

    Daniel O'Brien is accused of driving drunk with his two young children in the car.Daniel O'Brien is accused of driving drunk with his two young children in the car.

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    Tech companies are trying to help parents breathe easier knowing that their newborns are doing just fine. Devices like the "Owlet Bootie" can track your child's breathing, making sure you know if anything happens. "So, if a baby stops breathing in the middle of the night, an alarm will go off," says Ben Fox Rubin of CNET. Rubin admits that he was skeptical before trying some of the devices on his own children, but soon found that every parent can use a little help on the side.

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    Eleven Connecticut farms received beef from a Massachusetts slaughter house at the center of a multistate E.coli outbreak.

    The Centers for Disease Control said the E. coli outbreak that has sickened several people is likely linked to beef products from Adams Farms Slaughterhouse in Athol, Massachusetts. 

    According to the U.S. Department of Agricultures’ Food Safety and Inspection Services, the following Connecticut farms received meat from Adams Slaughterhouse:  

     

    • Campbell Farm Stand, 1 Campbell Road in Griswold
    • Devon Point Farm, 93 Pulpit Rock Road in Woodstock
    • Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm, 227 Ekonk Hill Road in Moosup
    • Hayes Dairy, 151 East Street in North Granby
    • Maple View Farm, 198 Salmon Brook St. in Granby
    • Ox Hollow Farm. 222 Judds Bridge Road in Roxbury
    • Stonyledge Farm, 58 E Clarks Falls Road in North Stonington
    • True Love Farm, 122 Thomaston Road in Morris
    • Valley View Farm, 257 Orcuttville Road in Stafford Springs
    • Vincent Farm, 355 Westminster Road in Canterbury
    • Whippoorwill Farm, 189 Salmon Kill Road in Lakeville

     

    Officials from the state Department of Public Health said they are working with farmers markets to determine if any beef, veal and/or bison meat vendors at the markets have had any animals processed at the Adams Slaughterhouse in Athol, Massachusetts. 

    Officials from the state Department of Public Health urge consumers and retailers who still have left-over beef, veal or bison products purchased from local farmers’ markets or directly from a farm in Connecticut to check the USDA plant code number printed on the label to verify whether or not the product was processed by Adams’ Slaughterhouse #5497 and is included in this recall.

    Consumers who do not have access to the original packaging can contact the farm or retailer where they purchased the meat directly to ask whether or not their product is included in the recall.

    An E. coli infection can cause severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting and a fever. Most people get better within five to seven days.

    Some infections are very mild, but others are severe or even life-threatening.

    If you have already consumed the recalled product and believe you have developed symptoms of illness, call your physician for follow-up.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Truelove FarmTruelove Farm

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    An autopsy report reveals two sisters who were found dead while vacationing on a tropical African island had died from fluid in their lungs, a condition commonly known as acute pulmonary edema.

    Police in the Republic of Seychelles released the findings Friday morning after the bodies of 37-year-old Annie Korkki 42-year-old Robin Korkki were found last week inside their villa at the Maia Luxury Resort.

    Results showed Robin Korkki, who lived in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood and worked downtown as a trader, died of acute pulmonary edema caused by excess fluid in the lungs. Her sister, Annie Korkki, of Denver, died of the same condition, according to the autopsy, in addition to cerebral edema listed as a contributing cause. Cerebral edema is a swelling of the brain.

    On their own the causes of death do not reveal much about how the sisters died, NBC News reports, but a pending toxicology report may be the key to uncovering it.

    Seychelles police spokesman Jean Toussaint told NBC News officials hope to learn more from a toxicology report currently being processed at a lab on the island of Mauritius, about 1,000 miles away from the resort where the sisters were found.

    The autopsy determined there were "no visible signs of injuries found on the bodies," Toussaint added.

    Earlier this week their brother, Chris Korkki, told NBC 5’s affiliate station KARE that their family had been given no information on how his sisters suddenly died on what was supposed to be a “dream vacation.”

    "It's all very surreal," said their brother, Chris Korkki, who lives in the suburbs of Minneapolis where the sisters grew up. "We don't know very much. Our family is still very much in shock. We're devastated."

    He told The Associated Press he, his mother and brother have traveled to Seychelles for answers and to make arrangements to bring his sisters' bodies back to the U.S.

    The sisters and self-described best friends had been traveling for a month and just two days from when they were scheduled to return home when they died.

    "They were frequent travelers both domestically and internationally," he said. "They were kind and generous and compassionate, and were wonderful people that had a positive impact on a huge number of people."



    Photo Credit: Chris Korkki

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    Last year, Claudette Cook and her husband decided to start a family, but they knew they'd have to deal with a few bumps in the road.

    Now, she's a mother for the first time, after her 60th birthday.

    "Isaiah came out first, and Isaac came out second," said Claudette Cook.

    Claudette beat all the odds, giving birth to fraternal twins Sunday night.

    "I cried. I was like, you know, you look at TV and you see other people in the delivery room and you're like, oh my goodness. And, it was me. So, joy, it was so sweet," Claudette told us while holding her husband, Ross's hand. "Everything changed in that moment. Once they're born, your life changes."

    Isaac and Isaiah were born on Sunday night, each five pounds, almost a month before Claudette's due date.



    Photo Credit: WFIE

    Claudette Cook is a new mom for the first time at 60-years-old, with two new bundles of joy to keep her busy.Claudette Cook is a new mom for the first time at 60-years-old, with two new bundles of joy to keep her busy.

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    Twenty-three giant panda cubs made their public debut at a panda base in Southwest China on Thursday, offering the cutest scene one can imagine. The baby pandas, aged one to four months, were all born at the Chengdu research base of giant panda breeding this year. This year, experts from the base also witnessed the birth of another four pandas overseas, raising the total number of base's newborn pandas to 27, a rare record since the establishment of the base. The number of this year's newborn pandas at the base has almost doubled that last year. experts attribute this to the improvement in breeding technology. Among the 27 newborn pandas there are ten pairs of twins, accounting for 74 percent of the total. Since its establishment nearly 30 years ago, the base has bred 176 giant pandas, the world's largest artificially-bred giant panda population.

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    Crews are working on fixing a broken 6-inch water main on Townley Street, near the intersection of Atwood Street, according to MDC. 

    The main was installed in 1931 and it was shut down at 8:45 a.m., according to MDC. 

    Six apartment houses and multi-family houses on Townley Street, from Atwood Street to Willard Street, are affected and repairs are expected to take between five and seven hours. 

    They should be completed between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., according to the MDC.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    At least two people were arrested after tensions flared in a small San Diego suburb Thursday night as demonstrators gathered for a third night of protests over the shooting death of an unarmed black man.

    Police said between 50 to 75 protesters blocked traffic at the intersection of Broadway and Mollison, yards from the parking lot where Alfred Olango was fatally shot by an El Cajon officer.

    Frustrated motorists tried to drive through the crowd and some, angry over blocked traffic, got out of there car to confront protesters. The confrontation became heated and some protesters broke car windows and in one case pushing a man off his motorcycle, police said.

    The exchange prompted police and sheriff's deputies in riot gear to move in closer to the protesters. Law enforcement officials ordered the crowd to disperse at approximately 8 p.m. 

    According to police, protesters began throwing water bottles and beers cans at officers and refused to leave. Officers on scene then deployed pepper-spray balls.

    A 19-year-old man and a 28-year-old man were arrested for taking part in an unlawful assembly. Their names were not released.

    The Thursday evening protests were a shift from activity during the day, when a few small groups were congregating near the Broadway Plaza Shopping Center where Olango was shot dead Tuesday afternoon. 

    A family member called police to help Olango as he was undergoing, what was described as an emotional breakdown, but shot him when he pulled out an electronic cigarette device and took a "shooting stance." He died later that evening.

    On Wednesday large crowds marched through El Cajon streets, chanting "no justice, no peace," in mostly peaceful protests. In the evening, demonstrations became heated and several protesters on Wednesday night threw water bottles at a car, and a news photographer had his camera forcibly taken from him, police said.

    Thursday afternoon, the site of a shooting had become a memorial filled with handwritten signs paying tribute to Olango and calling for justice.

    In a statement, El Cajon police said they continue to support the community’s right to voice their opinions in a peaceful manner.

    A group of religious leaders who met on Thursday called on the community to join together to create one peaceful voice.

    “If we go and loot, if we go and tear neighborhoods, we’re in the same position they are,” said Pastor Russell Bowman of Righteous Living Ministries. “So we’re trying to gather around those emotions and calm the storm before it actually breaks out.”

    Several protests have been planned for the weekend and a march is scheduled to take place at an area college next month. A demonstration led by local religious leaders will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday in downtown El Cajon at the Prescott Promenade.

    A second rally on Saturday is planned for 3 p.m. at the San Diego Convention Center.

    Next month, a third event, called a “March for Reparations,” is scheduled for Oct. 15 at 11 a.m. at San Diego City College.



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

    Police arrest a protester who tried to stand his ground after an unlawful assembly was declared on a street near the site where an unarmed black man, Alfred Olango, 38, had been shot by police earlier this week on September 29, 2016 in El Cajon, California.Police arrest a protester who tried to stand his ground after an unlawful assembly was declared on a street near the site where an unarmed black man, Alfred Olango, 38, had been shot by police earlier this week on September 29, 2016 in El Cajon, California.

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    John Alston, a deputy fire chief in New Jersey, hopes to become the next fire chief for the city of New Haven and was getting ready to head to Connecticut on Thursday to meet with a committee about his appointment when tragedy happened not far from his New Jersey town and he had to jump into action.

    Alston, the deputy fire chief for special operations in Jersey City, New Jersey, said he was getting ready to leave for New Haven when the horrific train crash happened at the nearby Hoboken Terminal.

    “I jumped back in the car, got on the radio, and started ordering assets,” Alston said.

    Alston arrived at the scene and helped take command as the initial operations chief.

    First responders faced many challenges, he said.

    “That type of rescue, the massive size alone, dealing with heavy equipment, structural damage, electrical hazards, water hazards, and multiple people seeking help, the initial challenges for the first 10 to 15 minutes were great,” Alston said.

    Alston has served that New Jersey community for 30 years and rose through the ranks, responding to several tragedies, including 9/11.

    His experience caught the eye of New Haven Mayor Toni Harp, who picked him to lead the fire department after a nine-month search.

    “His noticeable service and extensive knowledge cover the broad range of what New Haven absolutely needs in a fire chief,” Harp said.

    Alston got the OK from a committee he met with on Thursday, but still needs approval from the Board of Alders.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Like the old adage, “It takes a village to raise a child,” the same could be said about the staff that supported the 2016 NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert has announced that the entire staff of Quicken Loans Arena will receive a championship ring, along with the team.

    Typically, the rings are only for the winning team’s players and coaching staff, but the franchise wants to acknowledge "The Q" staff. From vendors to seat ushers and security guards, those behind the scenes of the team for every home game of the season are getting to partake in the glory.

    The arena has over 1,000 full and part-time employees. The conservative estimate for distributing the rings to all employees is over $1 million. 

    The report was confirmed by the Cleveland Plain Dealer earlier this week. The paper reported that the rings received by the arena staff will not be the same diamond-covered rings that are given to the Cavs team, but they will nonetheless be tokens for the staff who can say they worked for the 2016 champions.

    This idea follows the Lake Erie Monsters' announcement to award all employees rings after they clinched the American Hockey League's Calder Cup in June. The Monsters also play at Quicken Loans Arena. 

    The Cavaliers rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors to win the series in June. They were the first team to ever come back from a three-game deficit to win in seven. It was the first championship win for the franchise and the first win for a Cleveland-based team since 1964.



    Photo Credit: NBAE/Getty Images

    In this file photo, Dan Gilbert owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers gives a speech during the Cleveland Cavaliers Victory Parade And Rally on June 22, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers announced that the supporting staff of the Quickens Loans Arena will also receive a version of the championship rings.In this file photo, Dan Gilbert owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers gives a speech during the Cleveland Cavaliers Victory Parade And Rally on June 22, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers announced that the supporting staff of the Quickens Loans Arena will also receive a version of the championship rings.

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    Universal Studios Florida was hit by a power outage Friday, prompting the Orlando Fire Department to help remove passengers from two rides, NBC affiliate WESH reported

    The Orlando Fire Department said on Twitter that the outage impacted the Transformers and Men in Black rides and there were "no reports of distress." 

    Eleven people were taken off the Transformers ride in a "routine rescue," and OFD was "checking elevators for anyone who may be stuck," the department wrote in a follow-up tweet. 

    The park-wide outage was reported before 10 a.m. and Transformers riders were still being helped off an hour later, WESH reported. 

    Universal's Islands of Adventure did not lose power, the station said.

    Comcast Corporation is the parent company of both Universal Orlando and this site. 



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

    In this Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, file photo, park guests relax at Universal Studios City Walk in Orlando, Florida.In this Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, file photo, park guests relax at Universal Studios City Walk in Orlando, Florida.

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    Police responded to Stafford Middle School on Friday morning after a staff member found a knife at the school, according to state police. 

    They said there was no threat and there was no evacuation or lockdown. 

    One trooper and one constable are at the scene to investigate.


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    Police are searching for three men who robbed a convenience store at gunpoint in Stratford last week and investigators are reaching out to the public for help to identify the robbers.

    Two men robbed the 24/7 store at 1607 Barnum Ave. at 2:30 a.m. on Sept. 22, pointed a gun and demanded the store employee hand over money, according to police.

    Another man was on his cell phone when he went into the store and might have acted as the lookout.

    All three people fled the scene together with $600 from the store and a fourth person was driving, police said.

    No one was hurt during the robbery.



    Photo Credit: Stratford Police

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