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    A female student was found with a gun at Hartford Public High School on Friday and police said she will likely be charged and taken to the juvenile detention center.

    The school was placed on code yellow lockdown and officers responded to the school.

    Police said the student had a .45-caliber gun.

    No students have been hurt and the lockdown has been lifted.



    Photo Credit: Hartford Police

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    Eversource volunteers are making snow for the Special Olympic Connecticut Winter Games in Windsor.

    More than 200 athletes are expected to participate in cross country skiing and snowshoeing at the Windsor course on March 4 and 5.

    In preparation, volunteers set up about 1,000 feet of piping that carries water and compressed air to make the snow.

    The process takes thousands of gallons of water and ideal temperatures of 20 degrees Fahrenheit or colder with low humidity and dew point.

    "Rain is our archenemy. If I hear we could get one-two inches of rain it's going to be a real challenge. The rain just eats away at the snow way too quick," said Andy Ouellette, who volunteers as the head snow maker.

    The equipment has been ready to go since the beginning of January, but because it was so mild last month volunteers had to wait until the beginning of February to begin.

    Volunteers plan to work through the month of February, with the goal of having one to two feet of snow spread out on the course in time for the games.

    "If it's 5 degrees out and I'm freezing and I have a water leak, it makes it all worthwhile when you see the athletes on the weekend of the event. You can't help but do it," Ouellette said. 



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    A Southington man need some answers when he noticed signs of wear on his mattress shortly after its exchange guarantee had expired.

    Michael Sutkus bought his $1,737 mattress from Jordan’s Furniture one year ago.

    "Everything seemed fine," said Sutkus. "But after we’d been using it for a couple of months, it seemed like it was sagging. You couldn’t roll to the center because there’s this hump in the center."

    He said he noticed the sagging three months after buying it, roughly one month past his 60-day exchange window.

    "I wouldn’t expect to see a mattress that’s less than a year old look like that," Sutkus said.

    Last May, Jordan’s Furniture had an independent inspector take measurements of the bed. The inspector determined it didn’t have a defect.

    The company reached the same conclusion a few months later, when Sutkus reached out again.

    "We just didn’t feel like it was worth the money that we had spent," said Sutkus. "It wasn’t holding up."

    Even though Jordan’s had offered a topper, Sutkus emphasized his concerns were about the mattress' durability, not comfort. 

    The company was willing to work with the customer outside of its policy and give Sutkus a 50 percent refund, but he said it was still an $850 loss.

    "It just wasn’t going the way I thought it should go," said Sutkus.

    Jordan’s Furniture then agreed to make an exception in this case, and offered to extend their 60-day "Sweet Dream" exchange window, which Sutkus wasn’t previously aware of.

    Customers who ask about return or exchange information before purchasing may benefit in the long run. Additionally, those details are often available of the back of receipts for almost any purchase.

    Customers who are not totally confident about keeping a product may want to negotiate the return and exchange policies, or consider shopping around.

    Those policies should also include details regarding any additional fees or warranties.

    In Sutkus’ case, he’ll have to pay $149 to restock the mattress.

    "And I’m ok with that," said Sutkus. "I want to know that I’m spending the money and that it’s worth what I’m purchasing."



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    Hartford's XL Center has been pitched to be the temporary home of the New York Islanders. 

    "Recoginizing that many issues will complicate your decision making, we would nonetheless like to offer Hartford's XL Center as an option for your interim use," it read in a letter signed by Governor Dannel Malloy and Mayor Luke Bronin.

    It was reported that the Brooklyn's Barclays Center and the New York Islanders will be ending their contract, leaving the hockey team needing a new home. 

    "Hartford offers an NHL market with more Fortune 500 companies than many NHL cities including Columbus, Raleigh, Buffalo and Nashville," the letter reads. 

    The governor and city mayor note that Hartford was the home of the Whalers, "whose fan base is still ranked as one of the NHL's most energetic with the continued sale of items trademarked with classic green and blue logo."



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Andrew Ladd #16 of the New York Islanders celebrates his goal at 5:35 of the third period against the Buffalo Sabres at the Barclays Center on December 23, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.Andrew Ladd #16 of the New York Islanders celebrates his goal at 5:35 of the third period against the Buffalo Sabres at the Barclays Center on December 23, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

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    A seventh-grade girl expelled from her New Jersey school after her family sued to give her a chance to play on the boys basketball team, must be allowed to attend class, an appeals court judge ruled Friday.

    The decision comes a day after police, two priests and a deacon waiting outside St. Theresa's School in Kenilworth blocked basketball player Sydney Phillips and her sister from entering the building, igniting a social media firestorm.

    According to the order issued by Appellate Court Judge Amy O'Connor Friday, the 12-year-old Phillips and her younger sister, who had also been expelled amid the ongoing litigation, must be let back in school pending a hearing.

    Sydney Phillips' father, Scott Phillips, told NBC 4 New York he planned to take both girls to school Monday.

    Earlier this week, he had been told his girls were no longer welcome on the premises. 

    "They said that the children had been expelled, and that they were now trespassers," Phillips said.

    The two girls had been kicked out of school because Phillips filed a lawsuit in December to let his daughter Sydney play on the boys' basketball team; there was no girls' team this season at St. Theresa's.

    The Archdiocese of Newark cited the school's parent and student handbook, which says parents will be asked to remove their children from school if the parents name it in a legal matter or civil lawsuit. The Archdiocese said in a statement that Scott Phillips agreed to the handbook in writing last summer.

    Sydney didn't understand.

    "I just asked to play basketball and now I'm being expelled, it makes no sense at all," she told NBC 4 New York. "I don't want to go to any other school."

    A different judge ruled in January that the family could not prove that the girl had a legally established right to play basketball with the boys. Under the appellate ruling Friday, the Phillips' attorney has until Monday to file a legal brief and the school's lawyers have until Tuesday to respond. 

    Phillips admits he signed the handbook but never imagined things would go this far.

    Other parents at the school said they don't understand why the church would close its school doors to honors students. 

    "It's a shame it got so out of control," said parent Ryan Velez.

    Velez, like other parents, remembers signing the handbook, but, he said, "you don't always read what's in there ... but rules are rules." 

    NBC 4 New York attempted to reach the principal of St. Theresa's School Thursday but the office quickly hung up the phone. 



    Photo Credit: NBC 4 NY

    Sydney Phillips at St. Theresa's School in Kenilworth, New Jersey.Sydney Phillips at St. Theresa's School in Kenilworth, New Jersey.

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    Before you file your taxes you may want to check out these potential deductions. (Information source: IRS)

    Photo Credit: Getty Images/Caiaimage

    Looking for a new gig can be deductible. You may be able to get a small tax break for costs incurred while searching for a new job, including the costs of travel and lodging.Looking for a new gig can be deductible. You may be able to get a small tax break for costs incurred while searching for a new job, including the costs of travel and lodging.

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    Both Hamden Mayor Curt Leng and Quinnipiac University President John Lahey said Friday relations between the town and university are improving.

    Lahey presented Mayor Leng with a check for $1.4 million from QU for the town of Hamden for the fiscal year on Friday afternoon.

    “Quinnipiac and the town are on better footing right now than we have been in a very long time,” Leng said.

    Lahey credits the relationship he’s developed with Mayor Leng for turning the page and working on issues like residents’ concerns about rowdy students living off-campus.

    “Just a tremendous amount of cooperation and willingness on the part of this mayor to meet with us,” Lahey said.

    NBC Connecticut wanted to know how does the town plan to use the $1.4 million contribution.

    “They’re going to help our general fund,” Leng said, “so they’ll help our budget this year which is going to be terrific as we work to balance our budget.”

    The mayor added some of the money will pay for arts programs, concert series and town fireworks displays.

    “To have the university bring a financial contribution of this significance to the town is certainly appreciated and it goes to show that the university recognizes the town’s need for that assistance,” Leng said.

    “I hope our financial commitment each year will be able to increase as well,” Lahey said.

    Hamden will also receive about $3.1 million from the state for a payment in lieu of taxes because of QU’s presence in the town.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    AAA is giving out recipes for delicious "mocktails" to encourage safe driving over the Super Bowl weekend and other holidays. 

    "Wehn it's your turn to host the Super Bowl, St. Patrick's Day or any other celebration, you can throw a great party and avoid contributing to the tragedy of a drunk driving crash," AAA West Hartford said in a statement. 

    AAA West Hartford tells you to ask your guests to choose a designated driver, have a car key collection when guests arrive and to mix drinks yourself. 

    In addition, you should serve high protein foods such as cheese and meats because they stay in your stomach longer and slow down the rate of intoxication, AAA West Hartford said. 

    "It takes one hour to burn off the average drink, 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer and 1 1/2 ounces of liquor all contain about the same amount of alcohol," the company said. 

    Here's a list of some non-alcoholic cocktail recipes you can serve at a party:

    Pomegranate Spritzer

    • 1 Lemon for twist
    • 2 c. Ginger Ale, chilled
    • 1 c. Pomegranate Juice, chilled 
    • 1 c. Seltzer
    • Ice

    In a pitcher, combine ginger ale and pomegranate juice. Fill wing glasses with ice. Divide liquid among glasses, leaving room to top with seltzer. Peel lemon rind with vegetable peeler. Rub lemon twist on edge of glass and drop in. 

    Sangria

     

    • 2 c. Orange juice, chilled
    • 1 c. Unsweetened white grape juice
    • 1 c. Cranberry juice
    • 1 L. Lemon-lime soda
    • 2 c. Assorted fresh fruits like oranges in wedges, thinly sliced lemons and limes, seedless grapes sliced, sliced peaches and halved strawberries.

     

    Combine all ingredients in pitcher. Poor over ice in glass. 

    Bellini 

     

    • 2 oz. Peach or apricot nectar, juice or puree
    • Sparkling apple cider, chilled

     

    Coat the rim of a champagne glass with flavored sugar. Pour nectar, add the cider slowly until full. 

    Virgin Mary

     

    • 4 oz. Tomato juice
    • 1 dash of Lemon juice
    • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire
    • 2 drops Tabasco

     

    Fill large wine glass with ice. Add tomato juice, then rest of ingredients. Stir and garnish with a lime wedge. 



    Photo Credit: AAA West Hartford

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    Historic preservation advocates are working overtime to find out a way to keep the Reid & Hughes building in tact.

    But after glass fell from a window of the Main Street building in Norwich, some city leaders are saying it's definitely time for it to go.

    "Had a big storm come through and in the morning, a bunch of glass from one of the windows came out," said Ryan Thompson, Public Works Director for the City of Norwich.

    Thompson said up until about a week ago the windows seemed stable. It cost the city $3,500 in materials and labor to be preventative and board all of them up.

    Inside are more potential hazards the city already knew about, including a roof that collapsed.

    But Reid & Hughes is a historic building.

    "Would love to see all of them saved. This one is in bad shape," Thompson said.

    "It is going to one day fall in on itself and before that happens and someone gets hurt, the city has a responsibility," said Alderwoman Stacy Gould.

    Gould said the council voted 5 to 2 to bond up to $800,000 to take the building down. She said development plans have fallen through before.

    "Not leave an empty hole but maybe create a park or find someone who is interested in putting a new building they're on the site," she said.

    Susan Masse, vice president of the Norwich Heritage Trust said the building can be saved.

    She said the Women's Institute for Housing and Economic Development hopes to restore the building with 20 apartments and retail space. But they need a year or two to collect $6 million dollars for the project.

    A private investor also offered up $200-thousand dollars to help stabilize it.

    "I want to see people who live here walking on the streets, buying from the local stores," Masse said.

    The city council will have a chance to look at the proposal. If they move forward with the demolition, the state attorney general's office could file and injunction to stop it.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    A look at some of the key matchups for the Super Bowl between the Atlanta Falcons (13-5) and New England Patriots (16-2) in Houston:

    ___ 

    When the Falcons have the ball

    Atlanta led the NFL in points (540) by a wide margin, thanks to a career year from QB Matt Ryan, who along with WR Julio Jones are All-Pros. If that combination comes close to its production during the season and, in particular, the nine connections for 180 yards and two TDs in the NFC championship game against Green Bay, the Falcons will be difficult to stop. 

    While 2015 Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler will see plenty of Jones, New England schemes so well that fellow cornerbacks Logan Ryan and Eric Rowe, and safety Devin McCourty will be no strangers to Jones, either.

    If the Patriots can contain Jones, Atlanta wideouts Mohamed Sanu and Taylor Gabriel must come through in a big way. The Falcons don't have a lot of weapons at tight end, which means RBs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman will be keys in the passing game, too.

    Freeman rushed for 1,079 yards and 11 TDs, Coleman for 520 and eight, but this is a pass-first team. There's so much versatility, though, that the Falcons are capable of keeping the Patriots' D off-balance.

    New England coordinator Matt Patricia has players for specific roles on the line and behind it, though DE Trey Flowers is the top pass rusher. DEs Chris Long and Jabaal Sheard and LB Rob Ninkovich can do pretty much everything, while LB Dont'a Hightower is the leader of the front seven.

    Their matchups with a vastly improved Atlanta blocking unit led by C Alex Mack and tackles Jake Matthews, a Houston native, and Ryan Schraeder will be critical. Look for Patriots DTs Malcom Brown and Alan Branch to try to overpower the guards, especially Andy Levitre on the left side.

    ___

    When the Patriots have the ball

    One thing we know for sure: The Super Bowl environment won't be too much for QB Tom Brady, a three-time MVP in the game.

    As Brady seeks an unprecedented for the position fifth ring, he will use just about everyone except mascot Pat Patriot as receivers. The star in the AFC title game was newcomer Chris Hogan, who matched Jones' numbers and apparently was invisible to Pittsburgh defenders. He could wind up being a fifth or sixth option for Brady behind Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, rookie Malcolm Mitchell, and RBs James White and Dion Lewis.

    Even though his favored target, TE Rob Gronkowski is sidelined, Brady has developed a strong relationship with the backup, Martellus Bennett.

    Atlanta has no chance if it doesn't get pressure on Brady, especially up the middle so he can't set up for the throws he prefers. Make him throw too soon, or hit him relentlessly and Brady can have some issues. Then again, the guy has won seven conference crowns and makes everyone around him better.

    The onus is on NFL sacks leader DE Vic Beasley Jr., Tyson Jackson, Brooks Reed and veteran Dwight Freeney to get in Brady's face. Doing so is challenging considering the Patriots' underrated offensive line led by C David Andrews, RT Marcus Cannon and LT Nate Solder rarely lets Brady get bothered.

    Should Brady have time to throw, rookie LB Deion Jones and the entire secondary will be tested on every pass. A relatively inexperienced secondary of rookie S Keanu Neal, CBs Robert Alford and Jalen Collins could be in for a long day.

    Adding to New England's offensive prowess are RBs White and Lewis, mostly as receivers, and LeGarrette Blount, who scored 18 TDs rushing this season while running for 1,161 yards. 

    ___

    Special teams 

    Eric Weems gives the Falcons dependable returning on kickoffs and punts. He ranked sixth in punt runbacks (11.4 yards per) and would have ranked the same on kickoffs at 23.0 had he made enough returns to qualify. Matt Bosher is steady but punted only 44 times this season and only five times in two playoff games, which says a ton about the offense.

    Matt Bryant is in his 15th pro season, but has never been to a Super Bowl. His leg remains powerful at age 41, and he doesn't get nervous. 

    Veteran K Stephen Gostkowski is among the NFL's most reliable in all situations. He also still recalls missing a PAT in the conference championship game last year.

    P Ryan Allen ranked seventh in net average and the coverage squads are solid. New England is unafraid of using Edelman or Amendola on punt runbacks. Coverage man Matthew Slater is an All-Pro. 

    ___

    Coaching 

    Dan Quinn is a disciple of Pete Carroll and was Seattle's defensive coordinator when the Seahawks lost to the Patriots in the final minute two years ago. That defense handled Brady quite well for three quarters, then he torched it in the final period.

    Quinn won't be overwhelmed by the moment, and in Kyle Shanahan - the likely next head coach in San Francisco - Quinn has a reliable, innovative offensive coordinator. The way the approaches of Shanahan and Ryan melded this season has been impressive.

    Atlanta's defense figures to be more aggressive than was Pittsburgh's last Sunday at Foxborough. It's essential, so look for more man coverage and, definitely, more scheming to get pressure on Brady.

    Bill Belichick is tied with Chuck Noll for the most Super Bowl titles with four, and his 25 postseason wins are an NFL mark. He has taken the Patriots to seven Super Bowls of their record nine appearances, going 4-2.

    Belichick and his exceptional staff will find ways to limit the production of an opponent's best threat. Atlanta has many of those, but clearly Jones will be the target defensively, and Beasley will get the most attention when New England has the ball.

    The Patriots also will use plenty of no-huddle offense; will frequently alternate their running backs; and will stick with the game plan, especially on defense, far longer than some other teams.

    ___ 

    Intangibles

    The Falcons have not won an NFL title in their 51 seasons. 

    Quinn has the memory of the last-minute loss to New England two years ago as further incentive.

    It would be a great way to head into their new stadium later this year, as Super Bowl champions.

    For the Patriots, need we say more than "Deflategate?" The entire organization, not to mention nearly everyone living in New England, believes Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league had a vendetta against Brady and the team. Standing on the awards podium accepting the Lombardi Trophy from him would, to them, provide vengeance.



    Photo Credit: FILE - Getty Images

    ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 29: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots is congratulated by Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons after their 30-23 win at Georgia Dome on September 29, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 29: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots is congratulated by Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons after their 30-23 win at Georgia Dome on September 29, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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    A Syrian family is thanking those who made their new life here in Connecticut possible, even when it seemed in doubt this week because of President Trump’s travel ban.

    It was an extraordinary moment as U.S. Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal kneeled down to meet two refugee girls from Syria.

    Six days ago the girls and their mom were stuck in a Ukraine airport, unsure if they would ever make it to the United States to reunite with their father, Fadi Kassar.

    "I’m very happy," Kassar said with a wide smile.

    This was a dramatic change from when we first met the father in Milford on Saturday.

    It was hours after he learned his wife and daughters were denied boarding a United States-bound flight because of Trump’s travel ban. Kassar had not seen his family in more than two years.

    Kassar family’s story prompted outrage and action, including the help of Connecticut’s congressional delegation.

    Finally mom and the girls, ages 5 and 8, were given the okay to fly.

    On Thursday, they reunited with their father at New York’s JFK Airport.

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection granted an exemption since they were considered "en route" when the order took place.

    “It’s really bittersweet. How amazing is it to have these little girls here after everything they’ve gone through? But there’s so many little girls just like them who will never get to the United States,” Murphy said.

    Political leaders said they hope stories like this one convince the president to change his mind about the travel orders.

    For now, a community is welcoming a family ready to start a new life in the state.

    Murphy said he believes the bans are illegal and hopes the courts agree. If not, he wants Congress to act.

    Friday was also a fundraiser and people have given hundreds of dollars to help the family pay for their second set of airline tickets which were needed to fly here.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    A Connecticut woman said she has been trying to pay back her $23,000 debt, but the Social Security Administration (SSA) keeps losing her payments.

    “I am very concerned because I am trying to give money back to the government,” said Linda, who doesn’t want to use her last name.

    She said she mailed a check in in October of 2015, but it never reached her account with the SSA.

    “Two months later, I decided to call up the Social Security company and see where my check was and they told me they had no record of it,” said Linda. “They could not find it.”

    While showing NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters a detail folder of receipts and letters to the Social Security Administration, Linda explained that in December 2015, she delivered another $23,000 check to the agency’s Willimantic office in person. The SSA told Linda they lost that check too.

    Linda said she owes the SSA because she had started drawing social security when she was old enough to be eligible. However, she later decided to keep working, which means she had to pay the money back. When someone becomes eligible to draw from their social security, but decides to start working again, they have one year to file the change of status and pay back the money taken out of the account.

    For a third time, Linda said she went back to the Willimantic office in person with hopes of processing her payment, but several months later that third check hadn't been cashed.

    “I still have not heard anything about where my check is,” said Linda.

    NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters reached out to officials with the SSA who said they would make sure Linda’s fourth payment was actually processed.

    “She told me that they FedExed it overnight to a manger higher up in the Philadelphia office and she was going to handling it exclusively to get this settled,” said Linda. “Within two days that check was cleared through the bank.”

    Officials with the SSA said it should normally take up to four weeks to process a person's payment. They wouldn't talk to NBC Connecticut about why it took 14 months to accept Linda’s money.

    SSA spokesman, Steve Richardson, did agree to speak by phone about the payment system in general. He said the SSA doesn’t keep records of how many payments they lose but he thinks the numbers are low.

    “All indications on our end rather at our end say that there is a very small percentage of checks that may be not negotiated timely and again were are going to want to know about this so we can take action,” Richardson said.

    If you are trying to pay money back to the Social Security Administration, but payments are getting lost, they are suggest you contact their local office and ask for a manager.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    A refugee from Somalia, one of the countries impacted by Donald Trump's travel ban, is running for city council in Boston.

    "Boston has never had a candidate like myself," said candidate Deeqo Jibril, who recognizes she could be facing an uphill battle.

    As a refugee from Somalia, it's a battle she says is more important now than ever.

    "I unfortunately lost family to the civil war," she said. "We were the lucky ones to be here, and it's very disheartening that the chance I got, others are not getting now."

    Jibril was 12 when she and her mother arrived in Roxbury - she hasn't left since, and is now an American citizen. She's become an advocate for the refugee community, successfully encouraging families to start businesses.

    "Somali businesses are one of the fastest growing in Boston," Jibril said. "There are 17 in Dudley Square."

    In Roxbury, the district she would represent, the decision for a Muslim refugee to run is encouraging. But other voters say they're more concerned about what she will do for the community than her religion or background.

    Jibril will likely face tough competition. Candidates can't officially throw their hats into the ring until mid-April.



    Photo Credit: NBC Boston

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    Connecticut State Police say Route 20 in the area of Route 181 in West Hartland is closed for a serious car accident that occurred at around 4:30 a.m. on Saturday morning.

    As of 6:40 a.m. officers are still investigating the scene and the road remains shut down, police said.

    Police have not released any information on what injuries may have been sustained in the accident, but they have confirmed that a LifeStar helicopter responded to the scene.

    Check back for updates.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    Repair crews are on scene in Newington repairing a water main break at Pascone Place, MDC officials said.

    According to officials, the 12-inch water main, installed in 1961, was shut down at 2 a.m. on Saturday morning.

    Several local businesses and commercial properties located between Louis Street and 235 Pascone Place are affected by the shutdown but all were closed as of 4:45 a.m., officials said.

    Officials said repairs are expected to be completed between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. this morning.

    Check back for updates.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    A federal judge in Seattle has temporarily blocked President Donald Trump's travel ban. U.S. District Judge James Robart granted a temporary restraining order Friday at the request of Washington state and Minnesota that's effective nationwide. NBC's Pete Williams explains what could happen next.

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    What once was an old hillside farm is now a non-profit ski area open to all levels, and a training facility for Olympic and world champion skiers. But for retired Olympic gold medalist Barbara Ann Cochran, it's just home.

    "Dad said that he would drive by on Route 2 and look across at this land and just say oh that would make a nice little ski area someday," recalled Barbara Ann.

    And in 1961, Mickey Cochran bought the Richmond, Vt., property, transforming the land into backyard ski trails for his children and neighbors to enjoy and train on.

    "When we were in high school we would come home and we would go out after dinner a couple nights a week and train for two, three hours," Barbara Ann said.

    All of that training landed Barbara Ann on the 1972 US Olympic team and she brought home gold.

    Seven more Cochran relatives went on to train in the backyard, all making the US Ski Team and many going onto the Olympics. Two more family members are currently on the US Team, and hoping to make it to the 2018 games in South Korea.

    "I just made the world championship team yesterday which is kind of like the Olympics but on the odd years," explains Robby Kelley.

    As generations trained on the Cochran's hillside, their commitment to the community grew and in 1998, more than 35 years after it opened, the ski area was granted non-profit 501 (c)(3) status, the first ever non-profit ski area in the country. Now run by another family Olympian, Jim, Cohran's community commitment is stronger than ever.

    "Running it I just feel so indebted to the rest of my family for sure but also to the random people that come and pitch in and donate money and flip burgers or shovel snow or make snow," explains General Manager Jim Cocohran. "It really takes a village."

    But at the end of the day, this village provides affordable skiing and snowboarding in the Cochran tradition.

    "As the industry gets more expensive," says Barbara Ann, "We try and make it not so expensive so people can actually come and enjoy the experience of a winter wonderland here."

    And much of New England is looking like a winter wonderland, expect a mix of sun and clouds with seasonable temperatures if you're hitting the slopes this weekend.


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    A 20-year-old driver is dead and two passengers injured after a crash on Hope Street in Stamford early Saturday morning.

    Stamford police said they responded around 1:15 a.m. to Hope Street at Barnstable Lane for the crash. According to police, a 2002 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup, driven by a 20-year-old Stamford resident, was traveling north on Hope Street when the driver lost control and swerved into the southbound lane then hit a tree.

    The driver was killed, police said, and a 23-year-old male passenger is listed in critical condition at Stamford Hospital. A 20-year-old passenger was also treated for injuries and released from the hospital.

    None of the victims were publicly identified.

    The Stamford Police Department’s Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Squad is investigating. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 203-977-4712.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Stamford PoliceStamford Police

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    A Bridgeport man is dead after a rollover accident on Interstate 95 in Milford Saturday morning, according to state police.

    Police and firefighters responded to the accident on I-95 south near exit 36 around 5:30 a.m.

    According to police, the driver, Ricardo Junior Phagoo, 20, lost control of his vehicle and crossed out of his lane into the gore area of the exit 36 off ramp. The car struck a DOT light pole and a tree and rolled over, officials said.

    Phagoo was rushed to Bridgeport Hospital where he later died of his injuries, police said.

    Connecticut state police are investigating the crash.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    New London police arrested two people on robbery charges after the suspects allegedly robbed a victim at knife point on Broad Street early Saturday morning, according to police.

    Police responded to a 911 call reporting an armed robbery at the Ravi Mart on Broad Street around 3:20 a.m. The victim reported that the suspects fled ina Dodge pickup. A short time later officers spotted the vehicle traveling near 74 Connecticut Ave., police said.

    Police stopped the vehicle and the victim identified the occupants as the people who robbed him, police said.

    Randall Sowa, 52, of New London and Gloria Okoasia, of New London, were arrested. Sowa was charged with second-degree robbery, second-degree larceny, carrying a dangerous weapon, possession of drug paraphernalia, misuse of marker plates and operating an unregistered and uninsured motor vehicle. Okoasia was charged with second-degree robbery and second-degree larceny

    Both were held on $50,000 bonds.


    Randall Sowa and Gloria OkoasiaRandall Sowa and Gloria Okoasia

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