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    Fire officials are trying to determine the cause of a fire that damaged an East Windsor auto body shop Saturday night.

    Firefighters responded around 10:10 p.m. to a fire at a commercial building at Wagner Lane. Several companies responded including crews from East Windsor, Windsor Locks, Broad Brook and Enfield.

    No injuries were reported.

    According to Tolland County Dispatch, detectives from the Connecticut State Police Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit were requested to the scene.

    The Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.

    More details were not immediately available. Check back for updates.



    Photo Credit: @JackieEllis15

    Fire broke out at a commercial building on Wagner Lane in East Windsor around 10 p.m. Saturday.Fire broke out at a commercial building on Wagner Lane in East Windsor around 10 p.m. Saturday.

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    Sunday’s storm is causing some issues at Bradley International Airport.

    According to airport spokeswoman Alisa Sisic, approximately 20 percent of departing flights are canceled and 25 percent of arrivals are canceled, as of noon on Sunday. There are also some delays.

    Passengers with flights on Sunday or Monday should check with their airline before heading to the airport.

    Bradley is open and snow removal is underway.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Snowy conditions near Bradley International Airport on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017.Snowy conditions near Bradley International Airport on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017.

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  • 02/12/17--12:05: Snow Totals Feb. 12, 2017

  • NBC Connecticut is tracking snow totals throughout the state. Here's a look at totals as they come into the newsroom. Keep in mind that these are real-time, working numbers that will go up as the snow continues to fall.

    The following totals are as of 2 p.m. Sunday.

    • Cheshire 4.0
    • East Hartford 2.5
    • Enfield 3.5
    • Eastford 2.8
    • Chaplin 2.8
    • Moosup 2.5
    • Ashford 2.5
    • Danielson 2.0
    • Sterling 2.0
    • Putnam 2.0
    • Litchfield 4.0
    • Unionville 4.0
    • Wolcott 3.8
    • Prospect 3.2
    • Glastonbury 3.0
    • Shelton 2.5


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

    Connecticut will be flirting with the freezing line Sunday and temperatures will play a key role in snow/sleet totals.Connecticut will be flirting with the freezing line Sunday and temperatures will play a key role in snow/sleet totals.

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    Singer and jazz legend Al Jarreau died Sunday in Los Angeles, just days after retiring from touring, his manager told NBC News. He was 76.

    The singer was surrounded by family and friends when he died.

    "His second priority in life was music. There was no third. His first priority, far ahead of the other, was healing or comforting anyone in need," a statement on his website read, announcing his death.

    Jarreau was reportedly forced into retirement due to exhaustion. He was hospitalized in Los Angeles and then cared for by a medical team in the days leading up to his death, according to the Associated Press.

    Born in Milwaukee, Jarreau arrived as a jazz singer on the Sunset Strip in the 1960s, and rose to national fame through guest spots on "The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson'' and shows hosted by Merv Griffin, Dinah Shore, Mike Douglas and others.

    [[238430011, C]]

    He was featured singer on one installment of the first season of "NBC's Saturday Night Live,'' and in 1976 issued an album that made him an international star, "We Got By.'' Jarreau's first crossover hit in the U.S. -- "We're In This Love Together'' -- made him a stalwart on soft jazz radio stations across the country.

    But it was his theme song for the hit TV show "Moonlighting'' that may have been his most famous work.

    He died at 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning with his wife Sandy and son Ryan at his side, said his manager, Gordon.

    [[413530513, C]]

    In lieu of flowers, Gordon suggested mourners contribute in Jarreau's name to the Wisconsin Foundation For School Music.

    "Thank you Al, from all of us. You completed your ministry in a beautiful and gracious way. Godspeed… you’ve earned it," the statement on his website concluded.

    A small, private service is planned, said his manager, Joe Gordon.

    Condolences were pouring in on social media, including a tweet from funk diva Chaka Khan that read: "You were EVERYTHING jazz and beyond with an unrivaled improvisational genius."



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

    Singer Al Jarreau died Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, in Los Angeles, just days after retiring from touring, his manager told Ebony magazine. He was 76.Singer Al Jarreau died Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, in Los Angeles, just days after retiring from touring, his manager told Ebony magazine. He was 76.

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    In rallies across cross coal country, Donald Trump made a big, crowd-pleasing promise: He'd bring back the mining jobs, NBC News reported.

    "We're gonna open the mines," he said to big cheers in Charleston, West Virginia, as if the shuttered coal mines across eastern America's coal country could hit a switch and reinstate the jobs once he won the White House.

    But experts say despite Trump's election, those jobs aren't coming back.

    While regulation sped the shuttering of older coal mines in the last decade, experts say it was natural gas that turned the screws on the industry. Cleaner and cheaper, the natural gas market share is growing rapidly and putting as much — if not more — pressure on the coal industry as regulations.



    Photo Credit: AP

    Political signs are posted on the wall of a building in Williamson , W.Va., Friday, Nov. 11, 2016.Political signs are posted on the wall of a building in Williamson , W.Va., Friday, Nov. 11, 2016.

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    A large tree branch fell onto a home in Wilton during Sunday’s storm, causing significant damage, according to News 12 Connecticut.

    The station reports that no one was inside the home on Drum Hill Road at the time because it was undergoing renovations. No injuries were reported.

    Fairfield County was expected to see high winds Sunday into Monday.



    Photo Credit: News 12 Connecticut

    A large tree fell on a home on Drum Hill Road in Wilton during Sunday's storm.A large tree fell on a home on Drum Hill Road in Wilton during Sunday's storm.

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    A tractor-trailer carrying hazardous materials has crashed on Interstate 84 in Tolland, shutting down both sides of the highway and forcing evacuations of nearby homes.

    The accident happened near Exit 68, but state police said they have shut the highway down by Exit 67.

    The fire department and a hazmat team are responding to the scene.

    Some homes along Metcalf Road in Tolland are being evacuated, according to state police.  Residents there will be notified and assisted by first responders, state police said.

    There are no injures, state police said.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    A 46-year-old Brookfield woman died after she collided with another skier on Mohawk Mountain in Cornwall Saturday night, according to state police. 

    State police said they responded to 46 Great Hollow Road around 8:30 p.m. after two skiers collided. 

    When they arrived, troopers said an ambulance had already transported 46-year-old Lisa Kelly, of Brookfield, to Charlotte Hungerford Hospital. LifeStar then flew her to Hartford Hospital, where she died at 11:12 p.m.

    "Mohawk Mountain values the safety and well-being of its customers and an investigation that includes the Connecticut State Police is ongoing. The thoughts and prayers of Mohawk Mountain management, staff and Ski Patrol are with each person touched by this incident, especially this skier’s family, friends and loved ones," Mohawk Mountain said in a statement posted on its website. 

    State police said they are investigating. Anyone with information is encouraged to call state police at 860-626-1820.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Mohawk Mountain file photo,Mohawk Mountain file photo,

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    North Korea on Monday declared its ballistic missile launch over the weekend — its first since Donald Trump became president of the United States — a resounding success that will advance its U.N.-banned weapons program, NBC News reported.

    North Korea fired the medium- to long-range ballistic missile into the sea early Sunday, saying it was launched at a high angle to keep it away from neighboring countries. The South Korean military said the missile reached 340 miles.The state-run KCNA news agency added that leader Kim Jong Un personally supervised the test.

    U.S. Strategic Command, or STRATCOM, confirmed that it detected the launch at 5:55 p.m. ET Saturday (7:55 a.m. Sunday in Seoul). The missile was launched near the northwestern city of Kusong and splashed into the Sea of Japan.

    The United States, Japan and South Korea called for U.N. Security Council consultations, a U.S. official told NBC News on Sunday. A meeting was expected Monday afternoon.



    Photo Credit: AP

    In this May 10, 2016, photo, North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un watches a parade from a balcony at the Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang. The U.S. imposed sanctions on July 6, 2016, on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and 10 other top officials for human rights abuses in an escalation of Washington's effort to isolate the authoritarian government.In this May 10, 2016, photo, North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un watches a parade from a balcony at the Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang. The U.S. imposed sanctions on July 6, 2016, on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and 10 other top officials for human rights abuses in an escalation of Washington's effort to isolate the authoritarian government.

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    Terminal C at Boston's Logan International Airport was temporarily evacuated on Sunday night due to high levels of carbon monoxide, believed to be caused by a snow-melting machine, Massachusetts State Police said.

    A photo from the scene showed a large crowd of people huddled together in the cold outside the terminal. Massport said the pre-security areas of the terminal were evacuated around 6 p.m. "out of an abundance of caution" after a carbon monoxide alarm sounded.

    Massport released a statement following the evacuation. "The issue has since been resolved and the Terminal has returned to normal operation," it said.

    Police said the terminal was vented and reopened around 6:30 p.m.



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

    Evacuations are underway at Logan International Airport due to a carbon monoxide issue.Evacuations are underway at Logan International Airport due to a carbon monoxide issue.

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    Two people are being taken to the hospital after a plow truck and a van crashed in East Windsor. 

    Police said the crash happened on Route 5, at North Road, near the Comfort Inn. 

    Two people who were in the van sustained minor injuries. 

    No additional information was immediately available.



    Photo Credit: East Windsor Police

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    The snow that fell Sunday is affecting some flights at Bradley Airport this morning.

    Bradley Airport issued a travel advisory because some Monday morning flights are affected and they urge travelers to contact the airline they are flying on to check the status of flights



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Talcott Notch Road in Farmington is closed near Northington Way after a crash that brought down power lines. 

    No additional information was available.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    A tree took down wires on Talcott Notch Road in Farmington on Monday morning.A tree took down wires on Talcott Notch Road in Farmington on Monday morning.

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    Four people were arrested after gunshots rang out during a large fight in Cromwell early Sunday morning.

    Police said they received several 911 calls reporting a large fight outside Chicago Sam’s, at 51 Shunpike Road, at 12:40 a.m. Sunday and officers saw several people fleeing in the parking lot.

    Witnesses gave descriptions of the people involved and several surrounding police departments helped to quickly arrest three suspects.

    Twenty-four-year-old Sherron Barnes and 23-year-old Michael Bolton, both of Middletown, were charged with breach of peace and third-degree assault.

    Andrew Brown, 24, of Waterbury, was charged with breach of peace and interfering with an officer.

    While investigating, police arrested 28-year-old Michael Baecker, of Cromwell, and charged him with interfering with an officer.

    Police said they found evidence of gunshots but it does not appear anyone was hit by gunfire.

    Cromwell police and the midstate major crime squad are investigating.

    Anyone with information should call Cromwell police at 860-635-2256.



    Photo Credit: Cromwell

    From left to right: Andrew Brown, Michael Bolton, Sherron Barnes and Michael Baecker.From left to right: Andrew Brown, Michael Bolton, Sherron Barnes and Michael Baecker.

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    In Philadelphia’s darkest corners, traffickers are exploiting vulnerable kids for profit.

    “Human trafficking is modern day slavery,” said John Ducoff, executive director of Covenant House Pennsylvania, a youth homeless shelter that cares for about 50 survivors of sex trafficking each year. “Criminals will always find new ways to commit old crimes.”

    It's nearly impossible to pinpoint how many children in Philadelphia wind up victims of sex trafficking because there is no reliable data. In addition to those who stay at Covenant House, the shelter's staff says they've met far more victims during street outreach.

    “You want to believe it happens somewhere else, it’s somebody else’s kid,” said Hugh Organ, Covenant House's assistant executive director and chairman of the Philadelphia Anti-Trafficking Coalition. “It’s a third world country problem; it doesn’t happen here. But it happens here every day, and that’s the scary part and the sad part that people don’t want to take a look at.”

    Ducoff appears in a new documentary, "I Am Jane Doe," which takes a closer look at sex trafficking. Narrated by actress Jessica Chastain, the film -- which premiered on Feb. 10 -- follows mothers who have waged court battles against Backpage.com, an online classified ads service, over their daughters’ sexual exploitation. 

    “We know Jane Does, and we know young girls who have had these experiences,” Ducoff said.

    Sex trafficking affects all parts of the country, and the figures on hidden populations could be staggering because abuse often goes unreported, experts said. In Texas alone, 79,000 children could be victims of sexual exploitation, according to a recent University of Texas study

    "It’s difficult to pin down the numbers," said Melissa Torres, a research associate who co-authored the paper. "The same study should be done in other places, (because) you can’t solve a problem without having measured it."

    In Philadelphia, the city's proximity to highways and a major airport make it an attractive hub for traffickers. Survivors often tell Organ that they were trafficked along the I-95 corridor, from New York to Florida. Traffickers set up temporary bases at extended stay and micro-hotels near the airport, according to Christian Zajac, assistant special agent in charge at the FBI’s Philadelphia Division.

    “You can jump on and off a plane, and the hotel’s right there,” Organ said. “The amount of trafficking that goes on at those hotels by the airport is unbelievable.”

    Child sex trafficking is such a problem in Philadelphia that the FBI added a second task force to handle its local caseload.

    “We were getting pummeled with child sex trafficking tips that were coming in,” Zajac said.

    In 2016, the FBI's Philadelphia and Harrisburg field offices rescued 31 minors who had been trafficked, up from 26 in 2015 and 23 in 2014. 

    This month, four men were arrested on minor sex trafficking charges, and during a nationwide FBI sting in October 2016, 22 more around the Philadelphia area were taken into custody over a three-day period.

    But, Zajac said, “We’re not going to arrest our way out of this." 

    Survivors need access to housing, schooling and vocational training, and trafficking-related therapy during their early recovery, experts said. But Philadelphia’s service providers are struggling to meet the demand, according to Family Court Judge Lori Dumas, whose Working to Restore Adolescents’ Power (WRAP) Court connects trafficking survivors to resources in the area.

    “We don’t get a good grade on the report card for that,” Dumas said. “There are more services that need to be developed and made available to these young people. We don’t have enough.”

    How It Happens

    Kathleen M. Brown, who runs a rehabilitation program, Breaking the Cycle, recalled a trafficking survivor who at 14 was abducted, chained in a basement, and gang-raped for days. Her traffickers told her it was a privilege when she was finally allowed upstairs alongside others who were being forced to sell themselves.

    But Brown, who is also an associate professor of nursing at the University of Pennsylvania, said most youth sex trafficking is much subtler, and there’s a formula through which traffickers find their victims.

    Whether from Philadelphia or surrounding rural areas, many trafficked youths leave a hostile living environment. The young people are not involved in extracurricular activities because their parents won’t invest the time, Brown said. They usually aren't doing well in school, often because family tensions make it hard to apply themselves.

    “There [can be] a sexual component to whatever horrible thing is going on at home, so that by the time they leave their homes, they’ve already learned that their bodies do not belong to them,” Brown said. “This is something you give to other people, it’s not theirs. They’re a little bit surprised that anyone would want it.”

    Runaways, particularly those who leave repeatedly or who have been on their own for a month or more, are susceptible to becoming trafficking victims.

    “If you don’t have a place to stay, you gotta do what you gotta do,” Organ said. “There’s a term called survival sex -- sleeping with someone for a place to stay for the night. That’s a common thing that’s done.”

    Traffickers identify targets at malls, online or through personal connections. They “sell love,” offering children who are looking for a way to escape their homes an alternative, Organ said.

    “It’s the promise of a better life,” he continued. “It’s the promise of a job. It’s the promise of a place to stay. And by the time the kids realize what it really is, it’s too late. They’re caught up. Now, they have pictures of these kids. Now, they have threats. They know where the kid lives.”

    Once victims are introduced to trafficking, they're taught how to behave, how to dress, and how to make themselves look older, usually by another woman. They’re shown how to slip a condom on with their mouths and how to perform oral sex as a substitute for vaginal penetration.

    As a means of control, many traffickers pretend to be their victims’ boyfriends.

    “It becomes the first person to tell this girl that he loves her, that she’s beautiful,” Organ said.

    Especially among minors, relationships with traffickers often become violent, and victims are sometimes physically branded. One man in Philadelphia tattoos all of his girls with his name in an attempt to mark them as his, Organ said.

    “They’re dehumanizing these individuals and making them property,” he said. “And it really gets scary. We just talked to a kid the other day. We were trying to get her to come into the shelter, and she said, ‘I can’t now, because I belong to this guy for the next 48 hours.’" 

    Some warning signs to spot victims: Minors who are traveling between states or have multiple hotel card keys in their wallets. 

    While some victims still walk the streets, most are being sold online. Many were listed on Backpage.com before the company shuttered its adult services section in January. The classified ads service, which had faced lawsuits over an alleged connection to child sex trafficking cases, was held in contempt by the U.S. Senate for not providing information about plans to fight trafficking on its pages. 

    “The internet is the new street corner,” Organ said. “You can order up a kid no matter where you are.”

    According to Ducoff, traffickers are still selling their victims on Backpage, now in the dating section instead of under adult services.

    Liz McDougall, general counsel for Backpage.com, said the site shut down its adult sections under "pressure and coercion" from the government. She believes that was a mistake because with ads spilling across categories and sites, it's harder for law enforcement to track sex trafficking.   

    "Just as we predicted, shutting down our adult section didn’t make this content go away,” McDougall said.

    Even if Backpage were taken down completely, trafficking wouldn't disappear, Ducoff said. 

    “Human trafficking is much more than just one website," he continued. "It’s a massive industry, and it’s about aggressively attacking every link in the chain.”

    Demand for minors is high. Children are popular among men who are afraid of contracting sexually transmitted infections and who assume that kids are less likely to be diseased, according to a Congressional Research Service report released in January 2015. Researchers recommended that Congress make the legal punishment for men who target minors more severe.

    In Philadelphia, experts said that child sex trafficking victims range in age from about 12 to 17. Most are inching toward adulthood, but the preteens boast the highest price tag.

    “If they’re able to recruit someone who’s 12, or 13, or 14, those are very, very valuable,” Brown said.

    Once minors are indoctrinated into trafficking culture, it’s hard for them to get out, even after intervention, and many later return because they can’t imagine other possibilities. They know how to sell themselves, but they don’t have basic skills like managing money, cooking or shopping.

    “We don’t say saved, we say recovered,” Zajac said.

    Addiction and Trafficking

    Maria Guerrieri’s daughter, Lisa, was 21 when she disappeared. She came from an upper middle class family in Bucks County free of physical abuse, according to her mother. After high school, Lisa and her then-boyfriend started dabbling with heroin. She thought she could control her use, but a year later, it spiraled out of control.

    One January day, Lisa left home to stay in a hotel with a friend who was also addicted. They met a man, Enoch Smith, who offered them drugs for sex. Guerrieri said she searched everywhere for her daughter, but they were only reunited after Lisa was arrested for drug possession.

    Smith was sentenced to 40 to 80 years by the state, and is concurrently serving a 30-year federal prison sentence for trafficking children and distributing child pornography.

    After relapsing several times, Lisa has gotten sober and works as an advocate for recovery.

    Lisa's background was not typical for a trafficking victim, activists said, but her drug use was. Sometimes victims have experimented recreationally with drugs; other times, they’re already addicted when they meet their trafficker. Often, they turn to substance abuse while being trafficked to numb themselves to the sex and violence.

    “Internally, they know that this is not normal behavior,” Dumas said. “Even if they cannot articulate that, their brain is telling them that.”

    The addiction becomes a shackle in itself. By the time trafficked youths become reliant on drugs, there’s no need for coercion by their traffickers.

    “I haven’t met anybody that didn’t somehow have a connection with drugs,” Brown said.

    Kathleen Coll, a nun at Old St. Joseph’s Church of Philadelphia and executive director at Dawn’s Place, a haven for trafficking survivors, said that she does not accept women younger than 20 to the program.

    “The 18-year-olds who come are many times not ready to give up the life they have because they are addicted, in a way, to that life,” she said. 

    Almost all of the women at her shelter are drug- or alcohol-addicted, and they sometimes willingly return to prostitution so they can afford drugs. They see their trafficker as a dealer, Coll said.

    She remembered how one young woman tried to explain why she couldn’t overcome her addiction.

    “She said, ‘You don’t realize, I have a monster inside me that must be fed,’” Coll recalled. “So she went back to her pimp."

    ‘These Are Not Criminals, They Are Victims’

    Two years ago, state Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, a Republican who represents portions of Montgomery and Bucks counties, introduced legislation to protect trafficking victims under the age of 18 from criminalization. Instead of arrest and incarceration, they would be offered rehabilitation resources, including long-term housing, access to education and trauma therapy. Safe harbor laws have already been passed in 34 states to protect minors who are victims of trafficking.

    “It’s not a voluntary activity,” Greenleaf said. “These are children. They can’t even vote, but they can be a criminal.”

    His bill would have routed victims of child sex trafficking through the city’s Department of Human Services rather than the criminal justice system, but it faltered over cost concerns.

    Greenleaf plans to reintroduce the bill this year. 

    Despite the lack of safe harbor legislation, Philadelphia's police and FBI officers no longer arrest minors accused of prostitution.

    “These girls are victims," Zajac said. "When you’re under 18, there is no such thing as consent.

    “Philadelphia police used to be of that mindset where even though they’re 15, 16, 17 years old, it’s prostitution and they’re arrested. That has changed.”

    What's next?

    Though instances of sex trafficking continue to rise, Organ has seen improvements in how local officials are handling them. The training for law enforcement has gotten better, legislation has been introduced, and organizations around the city are providing some resources for survivors.

    “A few years back, [faced with] a human trafficking victim, I would have nobody to call,” Organ said.

    Child sex trafficking harbors unique psychological and logistical obstacles, and they’re hard to overcome. At Breaking the Cycle, Brown has a concrete definition of a success story: “There’s not a guy you’re dependent on, and you have a job that will take care of you. You have your children back.” 

    The probability of her “success” for survivors in recovery? She’s pegged it at one in 10.

    Dumas’ approach at the WRAP Court is more incremental, focusing on the day-to-day. The lives of the young people will be touched by trauma forever, but “it’s getting them to the point where they’re able to lead normal lives despite the trauma,” she said.

    “Every little step in the right direction toward normalcy or toward survivorship,” she continued, “that’s success.”



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

    File - Minor sex trafficking affects all parts of the country, but is especially present along major highways or near international airports.File - Minor sex trafficking affects all parts of the country, but is especially present along major highways or near international airports.

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    Wires landed on a bus transporting elementary school students along Spindle Hill Road in Wolcott this morning.

    Police said the a transformer blew this morning and wires landed on a bus heading to Wakelee Elementary School.

    There were five children on the bus at the time, according to police.

    An Eversource crew arrived on the scene and cut power to the lines.  They removed the wires from the bus.

    Police officers boarded the bus and learned the driver and all of the children were just fine. 

    The parents of the children were notified as a precaution,

    Fluids spilled from the transformer onto the snowbank and road, so Eversource is contacting the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to determine if it is hazardous.



    Photo Credit: Wolcott Police

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    Noodles & Company announced plans to close approximately 55 restaurants in the coming months. 

    The restaurant chain said the closures will help the company eliminate negative cash flow and improve overall performance. 

    Affecting roughly one in 10 of the 510 total company-operated storefronts, the locations being shuttered are ones that “significantly” underperformed compared to the company’s restaurant averages, according to the announcement. The company operates across at least 35 states and Washington, D.C., according to its 2015 annual report. 

    Many of restaurants that will be shut down were opened in the last two to three years in newer markets, the company said, although exact locations have yet to be released. 

    "We will be disclosing more information about affected restaurants in the coming weeks," a company spokeswoman said.



    Photo Credit: NBCWashington

    Noodles & Company on Duke Street in Alexandria, Virginia.Noodles & Company on Duke Street in Alexandria, Virginia.

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    Photo Credit: Meriden Police

    Police responded to the Stop & Shop at 485 Broad St. in Meriden around 3 p.m. Sunday to investigate an assault and found a 28-year-old man and his wife.Police responded to the Stop & Shop at 485 Broad St. in Meriden around 3 p.m. Sunday to investigate an assault and found a 28-year-old man and his wife.

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    An eroded emergency spillway in Northern California prompted the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people over the weekend, a surprise development that came after days of authorities' assurances that there was no danger.

    The Oroville Dam, the tallest in the nation, was not close to collapse, but its emergency spillway was in danger of caving in after a hole was discovered — the second spillway hole at the dam. The deterioration came as a surprise to Lori Spragens, executive director of the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO), because she said California is usually on top of inspecting its dams.

    Unlike with U.S. bridges, there is no one place that makes information on dam safety and conditions available to the public, giving anyone concerned about the safety record of their local dam a few places to check.

    “It’s not that easy to find out,” Spragens said. “Some states are good about posting [information], some aren’t.”

    In 2013, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the nation's 84,000 dams a collective grade of D, noting they average 52 years old, with more than 4,000 deficient dams.

    Dams can be owned by federal, state or local governments, along with public utilities or private agents, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. While there are federal dam safety guidelines, states are responsible for monitoring their respective dams, and would be the resource to call for information on any given dam in the state.

    States are not necessarily responsible for maintaining them, however. According to the ASDSO, about 64 percent of dams are privately owned. Private owners can include utility companies, farmers, mining companies and neighborhood associations. 

    State dam safety programs reported nearly 175 dam failures between Jan. 1, 2005, and June 2013, according to the ASDSO.

    One way to track down dam information is to use the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' dam search engine. Each entry provides basic information on the dam, as well as the agency responsible for its oversight and a government representative of the dam's area.

    Dams that are considered “highly hazardous” are monitored closely and are usually inspected about once a year, Spragens said. But sometimes, states simply don’t have the funding to keep up with the demands of eroding dams.

    “In most states, the resources are just not there,” she said.



    Photo Credit: AP, File

    In this Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, water flows down Oroville Dam's main spillway near Oroville, Calif. Officials have ordered residents near the Oroville Dam in Northern California to evacuate the area Sunday, Feb. 12, saying a In this Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, water flows down Oroville Dam's main spillway near Oroville, Calif. Officials have ordered residents near the Oroville Dam in Northern California to evacuate the area Sunday, Feb. 12, saying a "hazardous situation is developing" after an emergency spillway severely eroded.

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    NBC Connecticut Meteorologists have issued a First Alert for strong winds that could take down tree limbs and lead to power outages and the National Weather Service has issued high wind warnings until 6 p.m.

    Winds today will gust to 50 mph in parts of the state. 

    A peak wind gust of 53 mph was already recorded at Groton New London Airport. 

    The winds will settle down later this afternoon, here's a look at Future Wind Gusts at 5 this evening. 

    The strong winds are already leading to some isolated power outages. As of 2 p.m., Eversource is reporting nearly 8,000 outages. Click here to find an updated list of power outages from Eversource.

    United Illuminating is reporting around 1,600 outages. Click here to find an updated list of power outages from United Illuminating.

    Gusty winds will make temperatures feel much cooler than they actually are. Wind chill values will be in the low to middle 20s throughout the day.

    The weather for the remainder of the week will be tranquil with temperatures in the low to middle 30s which is near average. 



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

    Power crews work to restore power after high winds took down trees and wires along Ellewood Road in Berlin on Monday.Power crews work to restore power after high winds took down trees and wires along Ellewood Road in Berlin on Monday.

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