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    By the time she decided to run, Harriet Tubman knew the forests and marshes of Maryland's Eastern Shore like the back of her hand. 

    She ran through the night, gravitating toward the peninsula's cold, still water. She could move quietly through it. Her father taught her how. 

    But after completing the perilous journey to freedom, Tubman realized she was alone. 

    "I had crossed the line. I was free, but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom. I was a stranger in a strange land," Tubman would later say. 

    Desperate to be reunited with her family, Tubman quickly got a job and saved money so she could rescue her friends and family personally. She returned to the Eastern Shore 13 times, bringing 70 slaves to freedom. 

    On Saturday, you can see a list of those names at the new Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center in Church Creek, Maryland.

    The visitor center is just one of 36 stops on the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, a 125-mile, self-guided driving tour through Tubman's native land. 

    'It Was Guerrilla Warfare'
    As you wander through the 10,000-square-foot visitor center, bronze-colored statues depicting scenes from Tubman's life are positioned throughout the exhibition space. 

    All are inspiring, but a piece recreating the Combahee River raid may stop you in your tracks. 

    [[415589403, R, 300, 150]]

    On the night of June 2, 1863, Tubman became the first and only woman to lead an armed assault during the Civil War. Working as a wartime spy, she helped guide three steamboats around Confederate mines. 

    Once the boats reached the shore, they sounded their whistles and attacked. 

    "It was guerrilla warfare, basically," said assistant park manager Angela Crenshaw. "They were flooding rice fields, they were blowing up plantations and they were emancipating people."  

    Hundreds of slaves ran for the shore when they heard the steamboats' whistles. Tubman later said she had never seen "such a sight."

    Tubman and the Union troops rescued 720 to 800 people that day, Crenshaw said. 

    The statue in the visitor center depicts that rescue, with Tubman leaning over the bow of a small boat to pull fleeing slaves out of the water. The scene is one you don't often hear about in the retelling of Tubman's life. 

    Despite her heroic efforts, Tubman didn't receive any payment for her service for years. 

    'I Had No Bed, No Place to Lie Down'
    Before she was known as the Moses of her people, Tubman was Araminta "Minty" Ross.

    As a child, Tubman was often loaned out to other slave owners and suffered unimaginable cruelties at their hands. At the Bucktown Village Store, she committed her first act of defiance and suffered a blow that nearly killed her. 

    While working for a nearby farmer, Tubman went to the store with the farm's cook to purchase some items. At the same time, a young slave who left his home without permission entered the store with an overseer in hot pursuit. The overseer ordered Tubman to hold the slave, but she refused.

    Angered, the overseer threw a 2-pound counterweight at the slave, but he missed and struck Tubman. The weight fractured her skull.

    [[415590013, L, 300, 200]]

    “They carried me to the house all bleeding an’ fainting. I had no bed, no place to lie down on at all, and they lay me on the seat of the loom, and I stayed there all that day and next,” Tubman later recalled, according to the byway's website.

    The injury plagued her for the rest of her life, causing symptoms similar to epilepsy. But that same injury gave her the "potent dreams and visions she claimed foretold the future," author Kate Larsen said in Tubman's biography "Bound for the Promised Land."

    "The sleeping disease is actually what made her very successful in her life, because she said when she would fall asleep God would speak to her," said Susan Meredith, who owns and operates the Bucktown Village Store with her husband, Jay.

    The Bucktown Village store is one of the stops on the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway. The store was once owned by Jay Meredith's great-great-grandfather, but Susan and Jay Meredith purchased it years later, renovating it and opening it as a museum. 

    "When we bought it, we made Maryland Life magazine as one of the top 10 places in Maryland in danger of falling down," Susan Meredith said, laughing. 

    Once the visitor center opens, the Merediths plan to open the store to guests Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

    'We Tell the Story'
    After stopping by the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, guests are encouraged to immerse themselves in Tubman's story by driving along the byway and visiting sites like the Bucktown Village Store.  

    "We tell the story, and then people go out and explore," Crenshaw said. 

    This weekend, re-enactor Millicent Sparks will embody Tubman while historian Tony Cohen leads a simulated Underground Railroad journey. Park rangers will also teach the games enslaved children plays. 

    “Harriet Tubman is a true Maryland treasure,” said Maryland Park Service Manager Dana Paterra. “Her path to freedom was wrought with peril but she persevered and overcame many struggles to become an American icon.”


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    White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was apparently distressed during Friday's briefing with the press. Or at least that's what many on social media joked he was signaling after taking to the podium with an upside down American flag pin on his lapel. 

    An upside down American flag is a universal symbol for distress. 

    "The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property," U.S. code says.

    The faux pas wasn't lost on the Twitterverse.

    About 10 minutes into the briefing and before he began fielding press questions, former "Apprentice" contestant and current director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison Omarosa Manigault came to Spicer's rescue, informing him up the lapel mishap.

    To be fair Spicer isn't the first high profile figure to have a mishap with a lapel pin. Last year then democratic Vice President hopeful Tim Kaine took fire for wearing a lapel pin depicting a flag that wasn't the American Flag. Instead it was a mini Service Flag, or blue star flag, honoring his son’s service in the United States Marine Corps.



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

    White House press secretary Sean Spicer talks to the media during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, Friday, March 10, 2017.White House press secretary Sean Spicer talks to the media during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, Friday, March 10, 2017.

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    The state is seeking information on a paving contractor with many complaints filed against him, the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) said. 

    The department is requesting information from anyone who has conducted business with Ossie McClellan Jr., a Norwich-area paving contractor accused of partially finishing jobs and damaging property, according to the DCP.

    “We are urging consumers to come forward with any information they may have about Mr. McClellan to support our ongoing investigation,” said Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan A. Harris, “We are working to conclude our investigation as quickly as we are able with the most complete information so we can do everything possible to help the consumers who have been harmed and hold McClellan accountable.”

    McClellan operates his business under the name Excel Paving or Excel Paving LLC and has been involved in 39 complaints with the DCP. He generally does area in the southeastern part of the state.

    The agency said McClellan does not hold an up to date registration. 

    The DCP said that McClellan generally starts work within a day of singing a new contract, however, he will leave equipment on patrons' homes for long periods of time without conducting additional work. The equipment has left oil stains on properties and damaged pavement because of how long they stay out.

    In many cases, consumers are left with only partially completed driveways. 

    McClellan is accused of starting work in cold months with temperatures that are not conducive to paving.

    The DCP also said that McClellan also has failed to obtain needed building and zoning permits. 

    Anyone wishing to file a complaint with the DCP is asked to fill out this complaint form. People may also email information, like contracts, proof of payment, copies of building permits and any correspondence or communications with McClellan to dcp.frauds@ct.gov.

    NBC Connecticut has reached out to McClellan for comment. 



    Photo Credit: Department of Consumer Protection

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    The annual New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade will go on as planned Sunday afternoon, even with temperatures expected to be near freezing.

    With two days to go until the parade, the Town Green Special Services District Ambassadors are working to keep the sidewalks as safe as possible.

    “Our team is really used to these type of conditions,” said Charlotte Eliscu, Director of Marketing for the Town Green Special Services District. “We work really hard, we kind of live for this to make sure the city is both clean and safe for everyone that comes down to visit.”

    New Haven Police are urging the thousands of people descending on downtown to bundle up from head to toe.

    “You kind of get wrapped up in the music and the marchers and the floats and you may not realize that your toes are starting to turn to icicles,” NHPD spokesperson David Hartman said.

    Marchers and spectators should watch out for black ice, Hartman added.

    “There are certainly going to be patches of it,” he said. “We can’t dry the streets.”

    The new Brother Jimmy’s BBQ on the corner of Crown and Temple streets is expecting a large crowd Sunday afternoon. Downtown bars could be extra packed because of the colder than normal weather for parade day.

    “We do have an officer right at the front door for that exact reason as well as a 15 person security staff detail to help keep everything going smoothly,” Blake Maynard, the general manager of Brother Jimmy’s, said.

    Police have a warning for people planning to celebrate with a couple Guinness pints or shots of Jameson.

    “You’re as, if not more, vulnerable because of thinner blood to be susceptible to serious cold temperatures,” Hartman said.

    Police suggest putting on boots and a warm pair of socks or two if you plan to watch the parade.

    In addition to 180 New Haven Police officers, there will be several AMR ambulances along the parade route. The parade begins at 1:30 p.m. at Sherman and Chapel streets.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    WikiLeaks surprised friends and foes of the U.S. government this week by releasing classified information that allegedly describes tools used by the Central Intelligence Agency to hack devices outside of the American border.

    The site’s news release called the leaks -- codenamed Vault 7 -- “the largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency.”

    “They were highly classified, and I think that their release did cause damage to U.S. national security,” said Nate Jones, director of the Freedom of Information Act Project at the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

    The whistleblower who shared Vault 7 “wishes to initiate a public debate about the security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyberweapons,” according to WikiLeaks. 

    Classified documents tend to relate to military action or intelligence. There are three types: confidential, secret, and top secret, each of which would cause “damage to the national security” of the United States on an escalating scale if released, according to Executive Order 13526, which details government classifications and was signed by Barack Obama in December 2009. When information is especially delicate, it may be assigned to a Special Access Program that limits its distribution even further.

    Jones noted that pretty much anything can be classified -- officials joke that they could classify a ham sandwich if they wanted. Something as benign as a diplomat’s private opinion on the day’s news could be confidential, he said.

    Even secret or top secret documents aren’t always hard-hitting.

     “A wiretap could be very, very, very highly classified, but it could just be a guy talking about his cat,” Jones said, because the method of collecting information is sensitive even if the intel is not.

    Though some of the WikiLeaks cache is classified, Joel R. Reidenberg, law professor at Fordham University and visiting professor at Princeton University, said its content shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone who follows the news.

    When the FBI gained access to the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone last year, it was clear the American intelligence community had developed the ability to circumvent cellphone security measures.

    But he believes that Vault 7 will still prove detrimental to American national security.

    “It reveals the scope of tools that the U.S. government has,” Reidenberg said. “In doing that, it’s providing information to adversaries about what we can and can’t do.”

    The WikiLeaks documents were misrepresented by the media at first, experts say. Some articles originally implied that the CIA had found ways to get into encrypted messaging apps, like WhatsApp and Signal. Instead, the documents show the CIA has been hacking into individual devices, from iPhones to smart TVs, according to the New York Times. 

    Such a slow and tedious process assumes the United States still lacks the technology to get into protected messaging systems, which enemies of the state now know.

    The leak also gives tech companies like Apple and Android the ability to fix their devices’ security loopholes so the CIA can no longer use the tools it’s developed. 

    Jones said that he wanted to know what companies like Apple and Android are doing to close the backdoors that had allowed the CIA to hack into their products.

    The agency has not authenticated the documents, and a spokesperson was unwilling to comment on the record.

    In a press release, a CIA representative wrote, “The American public should be deeply troubled by any Wikileaks disclosure designed to damage the Intelligence Community’s ability to protect America against terrorists and other adversaries. Such disclosures not only jeopardize U.S. personnel and operations, but also equip our adversaries with tools and information to do us harm.”

    The statement noted that the “CIA is legally prohibited from conducting electronic surveillance targeting individuals here at home, including our fellow Americans, and CIA does not do so.” 

    Reidenberg said that unlike the Edward Snowden leaks about the National Security Agency, from what he had seen and heard about Vault 7, there is no indication the CIA spied on U.S. citizens.

    Also unlike Snowden, WikiLeaks' Julian Assange is not an American, but an Australian who has actively sought to disseminate classified information about a government that is not his.

    “It is certainly an aggressive, hostile act against the United States because it’s designed to compromise the CIA’s ability to do its job,” Reidenberg said. 

    Jones took a more moderate tone.

    “I think that every disclosure has some harm and has some benefits, and you can’t just say that everything is wholly good or wholly bad,” he said.



    Photo Credit: AP

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks in a video made available March 9, 2017. Assange said his group will work with technology companies to help defeat the Central Intelligence Agency's hacking tools. Assange says WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks in a video made available March 9, 2017. Assange said his group will work with technology companies to help defeat the Central Intelligence Agency's hacking tools. Assange says "we have decided to work with them, to give them some exclusive access to some of the technical details we have, so that fixes can be pushed out."

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    Connecticut lost about 200 jobs total in 2016, capping of a year that saw Democrats lose their majority in the Connecticut Senate, and shed even more seats in the House of Representatives, as they argued the state economy was in better shape than was being reported.

    Overall, more than 4,300 government jobs were lost in 2016, compared to the creation of 4,100 private sector jobs.

    Gov. Dannel Malloy downplayed the bad news for the entire year, while also pumping up the 5,700 jobs created in January of this year.

    “We’ve recovered about 80,000 jobs since the end of the great recession, and were relatively flat last year some months up some months down but relatively flat,” the governor said Friday.

    Connecticut’s unemployment rate fell to 4.4 percent, below the national unemployment rate, but that figure was clouded, Republicans said, by the state being underwater in net job creation.

    “These numbers are truly pathetic,” wrote Republican President Pro Tem Len Fasano, who saw his caucus grow to 18, even with Democrats in the Connecticut State Senate during last year’s elections.

    He added, “Our Republican message to Connecticut taxpayers and businesses is: It doesn’t have to be this way.”

    Joe Brennan, with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, said while 2016 was a difficult year for the state, he said he’s looking ahead to 2017, and added that the January jobs figure was a great start.

    “We want to see that private sector growth,” Brennan said.

    He cautioned, however, that reductions to city and town budgets could end up being a kind of invisible business tax if property tax rates are forced higher.

    Brennan said, “They may not get it on one tax but they get it on another so we have to see if that comes out in a wash through the legislative process."

    One business that views 2017 as the year for serious growth and performance is F3 Technology Partners in West Hartford.

    The company specializes in data storage, and has made significant investments in cybersecurity and cloud computing.

    "I'd call it a good year,” said F3’s president Tom Colleary. “We got better people, we got better customers than we had in 2015 and we're set up now for future success.”

    Colleary said he was successful in recruiting new employees to his company in 2016, which he said led to serious gains in the new sectors the company pursued. Even though the revenue figures weren’t quite as high as they could have been, Colleary said, he views 2017 as a year where the company can reach new heights.

    "I'd call it a good year. We got better people, we got better customers than we had in 2015 and we're set up now for future success.

    “We expect to jump quickly," he said.

    As for doing business in what’s considered a high-tax state like Connecticut, Colleary said the state needs to do more to help small businesses. F3 Technology Partners has less than fifteen employees.

    Colleary said if the state devotes more time and effort to helping companies like his, then years like 2016 will only be in the rearview mirror.

    "This is where the future is. Both in small business and both in high tech so these are the type, we are the type of company that the state needs to pay attention to."



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    A help wanted sign is seen in the window of the Unika store on September 4, 2015 in Miami, Florida. The economy added 242,000 jobs in the month of February 2016.A help wanted sign is seen in the window of the Unika store on September 4, 2015 in Miami, Florida. The economy added 242,000 jobs in the month of February 2016.

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    Seven people, including three children, were transported to the hospital following a crash in Suffield on Friday. 

    Suffield emergency crews were called to the crash to Warnertown Road at 11:15 a.m.

    Two cars had collided with one another and the fire department had to use rescue tools to extricate a family of five in one of the vehicles, police said. 

    Six people, including the tree children all under ten years old, were transported to local hospitals for minor injuries.

    One 39-year-old man sustained serious injuries. 

    Warnertown Road was temporarily closed for two hours while police remained on the scene.

    The crash remains under investigation. 

    Anyone who witnessed this collision or was in this area before or at the time of the collision is asked to contact Suffield Police Department at (860) 668-3870.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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    It appears a solar company forced to take its panels off a roof after the homeowner complained to the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters in 2015 may have a tough time doing more business in Connecticut.

    BeFree Solar of Madison has signed a settlement that it cannot participate in a state program that reduced the price of a solar setup by almost 10 percent, putting it at a competitive disadvantage. This settlement came after a tense hearing almost six months ago.

    Several BeFree supporters attended a hearing by the Connecticut Green Bank, whose incentive and lending programs over the past five years have helped get funding for over 20,000 clean power projects in our state.

    "We negotiated a contract with BeFree and we found their cooperation excellent," customer David Newton told Green Bank board members.

    At the hearing the Green Bank outlined problems it had with BeFree. Those include a Killingworth man profiled by the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters, who said BeFree installed lower quality solar panels on his roof, and he wanted them removed.

    “In fact, but for an NBC Connecticut story, this issue would still likely be unresolved," CT Green Bank Attorney Brian Farnen said.

    BeFree insists the Killingworth case was an exception. It has told the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters, "There is a time lag between the signing of the contract and the installation of the solar panels because of the volume of people that have signed up. In that time frame, the original brand of solar panels can become unavailable and our contract allows the substitution of equipment. All homeowners are informed of this at the time they sign up."

    The Connecticut Green Bank explained the solar installation in Killingworth was just one of a host of problems.

    "It is beyond dispute, that BeFree improperly submitted packing slips to receive a working capital loan that they were not entitled to. In fact, they did this 66 times," Farnen said.

    BeFree co-owner Kapil Luthra put the blame on the Green Bank, accusing it of having a confusing, bureaucratic, paperwork loan process, “Throughout the Green Bank process, since 2012, they have forms that they never clearly fix.”

    Farnen responded, “Only one other contractor did not do it properly, which means, others...got it."

    In the end BeFree signed a settlement, agreeing not to participate in any more Green Bank programs. It also voluntarily surrendered its home improvement license last fall, and according the state licensing website, it has not been renewed. Neither the Green Bank or BeFree can comment further, as part of the settlement agreement.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    When Robert Stannard heard a loud bang and noticed the power go out, his customers told him a car had just smashed into a pole.

    Stannard immediately ran outside and realized time was running out for the people in the car.

    "There was a lot of smoke inside. The car window was up on the driver side, so I pulled the window until it broke," said Stannard, who owns Bobby's World of Cards & Comics. "I asked if there was anyone else in the car. I tried to open the door but couldn't get the door open."

    With the doors jammed shut on both sides, the National Guard veteran yelled for fire extinguishers and used them to suppress the flames. Around that time, Middletown Police arrived.

    "The fire started to get going again as we were there, and we began trying to get the individuals out of the vehicle," said Officer Nick Puorro said in an exclusive interview with NBC Connecticut.

    Officers Nick Puorro, Matt Freiman, Michael Pellegrini, Josh Ward, and Matt Tiano were the first officers on scene.

    Despite the intensifying flames, the thick smoke, and the danger of electric wires dangling above, the men rushed forward to help.

    "It happened so quick. My first instinct was to just get the passenger out," said Officer Pellegrini. "The smoke was very dense. We couldn't really see in there, so we just started reaching."

    Blinded by the smoke, the officers and Stannard managed to pull the driver and her passenger to safety.

    Police tell us both are expected to survive.

    Officers give credit to Stannard for his courage and quick thinking.

    "He was more than willing to sacrifice his safety," said Officer Freiman.

    Stannard credits the officers and other first responders for their actions.

    "I just did what anyone would do. I give those guys a lot of credit," said Stannard.

    Without all of them working together, the ending to Thursday night's crash could have ended in tragedy.

    "In that situation we have a job to do: try to save those people. And that's what we try to do," said Officer Puorro.

    "Someone's in trouble, you know, you help. There's nothing more to it than that," said Stannard.

    Officers Puorro and Freiman have been with the department for several years. Officer Pellegrini joined the force two months ago. All of them are back out on the job tonight.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    April, the giraffe who's captivated millions of fans around the globe as they monitor her fourth pregnancy, will allow her caretakers to enter her pen, but at a price, the upstate New York zoo live-streaming her pen said.

    Given her raging appetite, the mom-to-be demands a crunchy carrot before every vet visit as a "toll" to enter her stall for an exam.

    "Appetites have been strong!" The Harpursville Animal Adventure Park posted on Facebook late Thursday. "When our Vet stopped in today...Apil demands a "toll" before entering her stall for an exam!"

    Due to the extreme cold covering the tri-state this weekend, the giraffes will remain inside, but the zoo encouraged followers to sit tight, stay warm and relax.

    We may not have to wait much longer for the birth of her calf. The zoo said Friday morning that April's handlers were "elated to have captured the calf kicking out!" 

    "April continues to have us all on edge; when will it be - we just don't know!" the zoo wrote. "All physical signs show we are ready for 'launch sequence.' So, we continue to patiently wait."

    Keepers felt baby kicks, and viewers noticed an increase in tail-raising due to pressure from an unknown source. The long-necked beauty gave followers a special 18-inch message Friday — she playfully stuck out her purple and blue tongue for the camera.

    Tens of millions of fans across the world have been hooked to the live stream for weeks now as they wait for April to deliver. The mama giraffe “continues to progress,” the zoo said — though a winter storm and more “baby kicks” may make April a bit anxious in the coming days. 

    Watch the live stream below.

    April has had periods of edginess in recent weeks brought on by stretches of cold weather and her active calf, which was busy kicking away Thursday night, the zoo said. The zoo noted viewers may have noticed “increased tail raising” from April, likely due to the pressure of her growing baby.

    Nevertheless, April is in “great physical and mental condition,” and the vets who have been monitoring her say they’re pleased with her progression. 

    April's pregnancy was catapulted into global headlines late last month after YouTube briefly yanked the zoo's stream following complaints by animal activists that it violated the site's policies concerning "nudity and sexual content." Thousands upon thousands of commenters voiced their frustration on Facebook and YouTube, and the stream was restored within an hour or so.

    About 70,000 people were watching the YouTube stream by 8 a.m. Friday as April once again slinked over to her mate Oliver's pen, necking with him coyishly over the top as she swished her tail. 

    Jordan Patch, owner of the Animal Adventure Park, says the natural curiosity surrounding giraffes and their birthing process has been a huge factor in drawing crowds. 

    "I think the fact that she's a giraffe and she's a neat species that people are interested in, that's fostered a lot of the attention," he said. "The fact that you're gonna get to witness the miracle of birth from an animal that you really don't get to see give birth — that's neat."

    He added that April's pregnancy is not just live entertainment, but a teachable moment and source for education.

    Giraffe pregnancies last up to 15 months. Labor lasts anywhere from a few hours to a few days. The calf, which will be the first born at Animal Adventure Park, will be about 150 pounds and 6 feet tall at birth and up and walking in about an hour.

    The zoo said it will hold an online competition to name the baby giraffe once it's born.


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    Four people were displaced after a fire at a Milford housing complex Friday night.

    Fire officials said flames broke out at 75 Demaio Drive around 7:30 p.m.

    Nobody was hurt, but four units were damaged. The displaced residents will be relocated in the complex.

    Officials said the fire started because a tenant was cooking and left a stove unattended on the fourth floor.



    Photo Credit: NBCDFW.com

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    A de-icing truck tipped over after a collision with a plane at Logan International Airport Friday, injuring one person, according to the Massachusetts Port Authority.

    Alaskan Airlines says the bucket from the truck "came into contact with the left wing of AS Flight 769." The employee in the truck, according to the airline, was hospitalized.

    No one on the plane was injured, and the airlines canceled a flight from Boston to San Diego Friday night.

    "We're deeply sorry for the inconvenience this has caused our guests and we're working to fly a spare aircraft to Boston tomorrow morning to fly the 181 passengers to San Diego," the airline said in a statement.



    Photo Credit: NBC Boston
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    Spectators braved the cold for the Greater Hartford St. Patrick’s Day Parade Saturday morning.

    Temperatures are expected in the 20s and strong winds will make it feel like single digits. But that didn’t stop Tara Lutz of Cromwell from layering on the green and heading out to watch.

    "I've got three pairs of pants on, fleece leggings, a pair of jeans, and then fleece pajama pants. So, lots of layers, lots of green," she said.

    The parade typically draws a crowd of around 50,000 people, though it remains to be seen if the cold will affect those numbers.

    The city’s budget deficit put the parade at risk this year, but volunteers worked to find private partnerships to continue the tradition. After all that work, the weather threatened to cancel the parade, but organizers decided to move ahead as scheduled.

    "There's a big cost factor involved to just move the parade one week ahead that a lot of people don't realize," said Hartford Police Deputy Chief Brian Foley.

    Milford chose to postpone its parade one week due to the cold. Parades in New Haven and New London scheduled for Sunday are still on. 

    The Hartford parade begins at 11 a.m. on Capitol Avenue by the State Capitol, takes a left on Main Street, left on Asylum, left on Ford, and ends at the Memorial Arch.

    The following road closure are in place:

    At 9:30 a.m. road closures will be:

     

    • Capitol Avenue between Broad Street and Washington Street
    • Hungerford Street between Capitol Avenue and Russ Street
    • Oak Street between Capitol Avenue and Russ Street
    • Washington Street between Capitol Avenue and Buckingham Street
    • Trinity Street entire length Capitol Avenue exit ramp from I-84 East

     

    At 10:40 a.m. road closures will be:

     

    • Capitol Avenue between Broad Street and Main Street
    • Main Street between Buckingham Street and Church Street
    • Asylum Street between Main Street and Spruce Street
    • Ford Street entire length Conlin Whitehead Highway at Columbus Blvd. Exit (exit ramp will be open)

     

    For more information on the parade, click here.


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    The University of Connecticut and Town of West Hartford have agreed to extend the deadline to decide on the sale of the university’s West Hartford campus, according to a letter sent by school officials to the town manager.

    In the letter the university agreed to extend the “outside diligence date” from March 13, 2017 to May 1, 2017.

    The town requested the extension due to budget concerns and asked that the university give the town time to consider the purchase of property at Trout Brook Road and Asylum Avenue, currently owned by the university. The town is facing significant cuts to state aid and requested a date after the state budget is adopted to better assess their financial status.

    UConn granted the extension. University spokesperson Stephanie Reitz released the following statement on the situation.

    “UConn is glad that the process is on track and we hope it concludes in a way that's mutually agreeable to the town and university. We've always believed that the town is the best entity to control this large, centrally located piece of property. We will review proposals from other interested buyers if this transaction doesn't work out, but our priority continues to be reaching a successful agreement with the town.”



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    The Chicago River was dyed green Saturday to kick off St. Patrick’s Day celebrations across the city.

    Now in its 55th year, the annual tradition draws hundreds of thousands of spectators to downtown Chicago ahead of the city's St. Patrick's Day parade. [[415820863, C]]

    The event began at 9 a.m., when members of the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers union started to dump a secret concoction off the sides of their boats.

    It takes more than 45 pounds of the environmentally friendly vegetable dye to color the water, using a powdered formula that begins orange before it mixes with the water to turn the river bright green. [[415947073, C]]

    Legend has it that the green water connects Chicago to Ireland, as it flows into the Illinois River, the Mississippi River, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, all the way into the Irish Sea.

    The dye typically lasts about five hours before fading away, meaning it will stay bright green for the 2017 St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which steps off at 12 p.m. on the corner of Columbus Drive and Balbo before continuing north to Monroe. 



    Photo Credit: NBC Chicago

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    Eleven people were displaced when fire ripped through two buildings in Ansonia Friday night.

    Ansonia Assistant Fire Chief Michael Eheman confirms crews responded around 10:30 p.m. to a building on the corner of Liberty and 4th Street. One structure was fully involved and the fire spread to a second house next door.

    Seymour and Derby responded mutual aid to assist.

    Eheman said that no injuries were reported, but the weather caused issues for firefighters. When crews first arrived, the hydrant was frozen, limiting immediate access to water. Additionally, the wind and cold kept causing equipment and gear, including the firefighters’ clothing, to freeze

    The first building, a three-family home, is likely a total loss, according to fire officials. The second building, a two-family home, sustained substantial damage as well.

    It took about 90 minutes to get the fire under control and crews worked through the night on overhaul.

    The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

    415951013

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    Fire heavily damaged a building at the corner of Liberty and 4th Street in Ansonia Friday night.Fire heavily damaged a building at the corner of Liberty and 4th Street in Ansonia Friday night.

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    New London police have arrested a woman accused of stabbing someone with a samurai sword.

    Juanita Bentley, 51, of New London, faces charges of first-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree breach of peace.

    Police said that around 11:45 p.m. Friday they responded to 70 Farmington Avenue for a reported disturbance. When they arrived the victim, who was not identified, told police that he and Bentley were having an argument and Bentley told the victim to leave. When the victim didn’t move fast enough, Bentley took a decorative Samurai sword from the wall and stabbed the victim as he left.

    The victim ran away and called 911.

    The victim was treated for non-life threatening injuries to the back and arms at the hospital.

    Bentley was held on a $10,000 bond.


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    The Somers Fire Department responded to an active fire in the area of 91 Colton Road Saturday morning, according to the Tolland County Mutual Aid Fire Service.

    Fire officials said crews responded to the two-alarm fire just before 7:30 a.m. As of 7:45 all occupants of the building were reported to be outside, officials said.

    Multiple fire crews from Enfield are responding with mutual aid, according to officials.

    Officials said Eversource is also responding to the scene.

    Check back for updates. 



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    The City of Miami Police Department arrested one of their own officers Saturday.

    Officer Jose R. Acosta was arrested following an internal affairs investigation. The investigation began following complaints from witnesses that Acosta allegedly robbed victims during traffic stops.

    City of Miami Deputy Chief of Police Luis Cabrera confirmed the arrest on Saturday.

    City of Miami Police Department conducted a joint investigation with Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office on Friday which resulted in Acosta's arrest, Chief Cabrera said at a briefing Saturday afternoon.

    Acosta was charged with one count of Armed Burglary of a Conveyance and one count of Armed Grand Theft, said Cabrera. Acosta was hired in May 2016; he is now "relieved of duty without pay, pending termination," Cabrera continued.

    All participating agencies in the arrest will be holding a full news conference on Monday at 2 p.m.



    Photo Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
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    The Illinois House adopted a resolution last month designating October of this year as “Zombie Preparedness Month.” 

    The living-dead-legislation, sponsored by Democratic state Rep. Emanuel Chris Welch, encourages Illinoisans to learn about natural disasters and take steps toward stockpiling three days worth of emergency rations. 

    “I am told that if you are prepared for zombies, then you would be prepared to deal with a natural disaster like tornadoes, blizzards, natural disasters of any kind,” Welch said on the House floor in February. “You would have proper food storage, you would’ve identified a place where you would go for shelter and you’d be prepared for a natural disaster.” 

    Before opening the floor up to other lawmakers, Rep. Lou Lang noted that the resolution “awakened various zombies in the chamber.” 

    State Rep. Steven Andersson jokingly asked Welch which zombies the state is defending against, citing monsters from a pair of television shows. Andersson noted that zombies from “Z Nation” are fast and smart, while zombies from “The Walking Dead” are slow, but overpowering. 

    “I’m talking about preparation for all zombies,” Welch responded. “If you’re prepared for all zombies, you’re prepared for a natural disaster."

    Rep. Grant Wehrli, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, said he appreciates the resolution's good humor and aim, noting that the measure is a “good thing.”

    “It’s not when things go well that we need a plan, it’s when things go off the rails,” Wehrli said.

    Additionally, Rep. William Davis asked why the state was equating natural disasters to a zombie apocalypse, which typically means a cataclysmic, “end of the world” event. He pressed the resolution's sponsor on whether this was a fair comparison. 

    In response, Welch said the goal was to use the allusion to grab and direct Illinoisans' attention to a worthy cause. 

    Meanwhile, Rep. Jeanne Ives slammed members of the Illinois House for focusing on “fun and games,” instead of the state’s ongoing budget impasse.

    “This bill is incredibly misplaced at a time when our budget is in such dire straits,” Ives said, pointing to the state’s struggling economy. 

    “This may sound like fun, but if you’re really concerned about disaster, the natural disaster that’s happening in Illinois is all economic and it’s all our doing," she added. “And actually with the right policies in places, we can change this disaster into a real benefit. So let’s get to work on the real stuff instead of bills like this." 

    At the end of the floor debate, Welch also called for budget action, stressing the importance of his resolution. 

    “If we need to do something like Zombie Preparedness Month to get people’s attention to an important issue like preparing for a natural disaster, then so be it,” he said.

    The Illinois House adopted a resolution Thursday designating October of this year as “Zombie Preparedness Month.”
    The measure, sponsored by Democratic state Rep. Emanuel Chris Welch, encourages Illinoisans to learn about natural disasters and take steps toward stockpiling three days worth of emergency rations.
    “I am told that if you are prepared for zombies, then you would be prepared to deal with a natural disaster like tornadoes, blizzards, natural disasters of any kind,” Welch said on the House floor Thursday. “You would have proper food storage, you would’ve identifeid a place where you would go for shelter and you’d be prepared for a natural disaster.”
    Before opening the floor up to other lawmaker Thursday, Rep. Lou Lang noted that the resolution “awakened various zombies in the chamber.”
    State Rep. Steven Andersson jokingly asked Welch which zombies the state is defending against, citing monsters from a pair of television shows. Andersson noted that zombies from “Z Nation” are fast and smart, while zombies from “The Walking Dead” are slow, but overpowering.
    “I’m talking about preparation for all zombies,” Welch responded. “If you’re prepared for all zombies, you’re prepared for a natural disaster."
    Rep. Grant Wehrli, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, said he appreciates the resolution's good humor and aim, noting that the measure is a “good thing.”
    “It’s not when things go well that we need a plan, it’s when things go off the rails,” Wehrli said Tuesday.
    Additionally, Rep. William Davis asked why the state was equating natural disasters to a zombie apocalypse, which typically means a cataclysmic, “end of the world” event. He pressed the resolution's sponsor on whether this was a fair comparison.
    in response, Welch said the goal was to use the allusion to grab and direct Illinoisans' attention to a worthy cause.
    Meanwhile, Rep. Jeanne Ives slammed members of the Illinois House Thursday for focusing on “fun and games,” instead of the state’s ongoing budget impasse.
    “This bill is incredibly misplaced at a time when our budget is in such dire straits,” Ives said, pointing to the state’s struggling economy.
    “This may sound like fun, but if you’re really concerned about disaster, the natural disaster that’s happening in Illinois is all economic and it’s all our doing," she added. “And actually with the right policies in places, we can change this disaster into a real benefit. So let’s get to work on the real stuff instead of bills like this."
    At the end of the floor debate, Welch also called for budget action, stressing the importance of his resolution.
    “If we need to do something like Zombie Preparedness Month to get people’s attention to an important issue like preparing for a natural disaster, then so be it,” he sa


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