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    The mayor and police chief in Hartford are condemning U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents who they said posed as police officers to try to detain an undocumented woman earlier this month.

    Mayor Luke Bronin and Chief James Rovella said ICE agents attempted to lure a an undocumented woman to the city's public safety complex building on March 12 so they could detain her.

    Bronin said two ICE agents arrived in the lobby with "no visible indication of their affiliation with ICE." The agents were wearing clothing that said "POLICE" on it, appearing to try to "create the impression that they were, in fact, local police."

    "When FBI shows up, their apparel says FBI, when DEA shows up, it says DEA," Bronin said in a statement. "In this case, you have ICE agents that say police and there is no visible identification." 

    Bronin said that if immigration officials had a "very good reason" to detain the woman they should work with city's police department, which would be willing to partner with them to keep the community safe.

    However, Chief Rovella noted, it is misleading when ICE agents identify themselves as police and can damage the relationship that local officers have with the community.

    “To protect our community, our police and other public safety officers need to foster a relationship of trust with all of our residents,” Bronin added. “Our police officers have worked hard to build that trust, and for ICE agents to present themselves as local police will undermine the hard work our department has done.”

    The woman did not show up to meet the immigration officials and it is not clear what happened to her.

    Immigration officials have employed similar tactics in California, The Los Angeles Times reported. In an exchanges captured on video and released by ICE, an immigration official in Los Angeles is seen knocking on a door and identifying himself as a police officer conducting an investigation.

    In another incident, according to The Times, an undocumented father was detained near his daughter's school in Highland Park minutes after dropping her off. Cell phone video of Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez's arrest by ICE agents wearing jackets the said "POLICE" was widely-shared on social media and prompted city leaders to pen a letter to the directors of the immigration services urgining "in the strongest possible terms that ICE immediately cease this practice in our city."

    The letter, cosigned by Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Atty. Mike Feuer and City Council President Herb Wesson, mirrored concerns raised by Rovelle and Bronin. The officials said the practice undermines decades of work by the Los Angeles Police Department to build trust within the city’s large immigrant community so that those in the country illegally can report crimes and offer information to police without fear of deportation.

    A spokesman for the Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance said the group feared actions like this after President Donald Trump, whose administration has vowed to crack down on immigration, took office.

    In a statement Monday, CIRA accused ICE of employing “deceptive tactics for a long time, ripping families apart at front door steps, or while paying for traffic tickets at courthouses, or anyplace anyone would otherwise consider a safe environment.”

    “But impersonating a police officer in order to detain and deport an undocumented immigrant is a new low, even for ICE. These attacks on our communities sow distrust, confusion and chaos. These are terror tactics, plain and simple,” CIRA said.

    The organization is calling for the state to strengthening the Connecticut Trust Act, which they said would provide some protections for undocumented residents. 

    The Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has not responded to requests for comment.



    Photo Credit: Hartford Police

    Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said two ICE agents dressed as regular police officers and attempted to arrange a meeting at the Hartford Public Safety complex with an undocumented person on March 12.Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said two ICE agents dressed as regular police officers and attempted to arrange a meeting at the Hartford Public Safety complex with an undocumented person on March 12.

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    No one was hurt when flames broke out at a home in West Hartford early Tuesday morning.

    West Hartford police confirmed that fire crews responded to 1617 Boulevard shortly after midnight. The fire appears to have started on the porch.

    Police said no one was home at the time and no injuries were reported. The fire is under investigation.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    The porch at 1617 Boulevard in West Hartford caught fire overnight Tuesday.The porch at 1617 Boulevard in West Hartford caught fire overnight Tuesday.

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    The United States has not struck fear into North Korea, foreign ministry officials said Tuesday, according to state news agency KCNA. That's despite America's warnings that pre-emptive military action is on the table in response to the North's growing nuclear program.

    "If the businessmen-turned-U.S. authorities thought that they would frighten [North Korea], they would soon know that their method would not work," the ministry said, according to the agency.

    The ministry added that the North's government "has the will and capability to fully respond to any war the U.S. would like to ignite."

    NBC News reported the comments come after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday that an elevated weapons threat from the North "would be met with an appropriate response."



    Photo Credit: AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File

    In this May 10, 2016, file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves at parade participants at the Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea.In this May 10, 2016, file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves at parade participants at the Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea.

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    Some Hamden neighbors are banding together once again, trying to battle a developer's plan to build nearly 300 apartments on the narrow and winding Rocky Top Road.

    Residents said there was some activity on the proposed work site in recent days, adding to their concerns.

    "We heard the chainsaws going in the backyard there," said George Longyear, a longtime Hamden resident. He said he walked into the woods behind his home and took photographs of several freshly cut trees. He said the tree removal was to make way for large drilling equipment to be brought in.

    Hamden's Inland Wetland Commission recently ordered a Geo-hydrology study to be conducted on the 18-acre proposed work site located between Shepard and Sherman Avenues. A developer is attempting to build a 288-unit luxury housing complex just off of Rocky Top Road.

    “That’s just a taste of what it’s going to be like when they start excavating the entire ridge," said Roberta Mack, who resides on nearby Rainbow Court.

    Rocky Top Road area neighbors came together on Monday night to discuss how to stop - or at least slow - the plans of the developer, Mountain View Estates, LLC.

    “Rocky Top Road is not wide enough or big enough to handle these kinds of trucks and equipment," said neighbor Frank Esposito.

    Defending against the development has residents focused on the Inland Wetlands Commission, which will analyze the results of the Geo-hydrology testing before deciding to push the project forward any further. The next commission meeting is set for April 5 at Hamden Town Hall.

    On several occasions over several weeks, NBC Connecticut has requested comment from the developer about the concerns neighbors have. On Monday, a staffer at the developer's offices in Orange said questions would be answered. However, as of Monday night, no responses had been received.


    The proposed 288-unit luxury housing complex just off the top of Rocky Top Road in Hamden.The proposed 288-unit luxury housing complex just off the top of Rocky Top Road in Hamden.

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    The Delta Gamma fraternity council said it would be closing the Epsilon Pi sorority chapter at the University of Connecticut following the death of a member of the sorority was struck by a fire department vehicle in October as she was returning home from a fraternity party.

    In February, six members of the Kappa Sigma fraternity -- Patrick Callahan, Matthew Moll, Austin Custodio, Dominic Godi, Dylan Morose and Jonathan Polansky -- were arrested and charged with various counts, including permitting a minor to illegally possess alcohol and sale or delivery to minors.

    On Monday, the fraternity announced that the UConn chapter of the sorority will close, only weeks after these arrests. 

    "New information discovered during a recently university investigation into an unregistered event, coupled with repeated policy violations over the last several years, led Council to the decision to close the chapter indefinitely," Delta Gamma wrote in a statement. 

    Jeffny Pally, 19, of West Hartford, was coming home from a fraternity party early on the morning of Sunday, Oct. 16 and sat on the ground with her back against a garage bay door at the UConn Public Safety Complex at 126 North Eagleville Road in Storrs when the fire department received a call for service around 1:15 a.m., according to police.

    When the bay door Pally was leaning against opened, she fell back onto the ground and a fire department Chevy Tahoe leaving the bay drove over Pally, according to police. Crews from the fire department found Pally around an hour and a half later, when they returned from that call and state police said they were called at 2:48 a.m.

    Officials from the medical examiner's office determined she died of blunt injuries to her torso and head and classified her death as an accident.

    As police investigated, they learned that the fraternity and sorority got together to build a float for the homecoming parade and then there was an off-campus party where alcohol was provided, according to court documents.

     

    “The tragic death of a new member greatly affected Delta Gamma Fraternity and caused
    Council to reflect on the member experience at Epsilon Pi,” said Fraternity President Stacia
    Rudge Skoog. “The decision to close a chapter is never easy, but Council strongly feels it
    is in the best interest of the chapter and University of Connecticut community.” 

    “The tragic death of a new member greatly affected Delta Gamma Fraternity and caused Council to reflect on the member experience at Epsilon Pi,” fraternity president Stacia Rudge Skoog said in a statement. “The decision to close a chapter is never easy, but Council strongly feels itis in the best interest of the chapter and University of Connecticut community.” 

     

    Jeffny was a sophomore majoring in allied health and aspired to be a nurse, according to the university. The 19-year-old worked as a resident assistant and was joining the sorority.



    Photo Credit: Facebook and NBCConnecticut.com

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    On August 21, 2017, the sun's shadow will sweep across North America as millions revel in a rare total solar eclipse, NBC News reported.

    It's the first one to grace the continental United States since 1979 and the first to run from sea to shining sea since 1918.

    The roughly 75-mile strip of darkness will race from southwest Oregon to South Carolina at about 1,700 mph, bringing a sudden drop in temperature drop and the sight of the sun's seldom-seen corona.

    The corona could hold the key to understanding space weather that can threaten astronauts in the International Space Station and power grids on Earth, so a group of scientists is heading to Salem, Oregon, in August to train their equipment on the brief solar event.



    Photo Credit: AP, File

    A total solar eclipse is seen from an aircraft over Patna, India, Wednesday, in this July 22, 2009, file photo. On August 21, 2017, Americans will be able to see the first total solar eclipse to stretch across the country since 1918.A total solar eclipse is seen from an aircraft over Patna, India, Wednesday, in this July 22, 2009, file photo. On August 21, 2017, Americans will be able to see the first total solar eclipse to stretch across the country since 1918.

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    Serious injuries are reported in a crash on Route 9 South in Old Saybrook on Monday. 

    A car and a tractor-trailer collided at 8:40 p.m. and firefighters, local police, state police as well as paramedics from Middlesex Hospital responded.

    One person was taken to the hospital.

    No additional information has been released.



    Photo Credit: Old Saybrook Fire Department

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    As Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch enters his first day of questioning in the Senate, whether he's confirmed depends upon the support of several Democratic senators who are embroiled in partisan fighting over the politics of the high court, NBC News reported.

    Democrats' concerns and hard feelings after Republicans blocked Barack Obama's nominee to the open seat could lead to an explosive fight on the Senate floor. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., one of Gorsuch's most outspoken critics, has said that the nominee must prove that he would truly act independently from the president.

    If Republicans can't get 60 votes to confirm him, they may enact the so-called "nuclear option," a procedural move that would blow up Senate rules to pass President Donald Trump's nominee.

    NBC News took a look at the major factors at play.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Judge Neil Gorsuch (center) at the first day of his Supreme Court confirmation hearing with Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA, left) and Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) on Capitol Hill March 20, 2017, in Washington, D.C. Gorsuch was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy left on the court by the February 2016 death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)Judge Neil Gorsuch (center) at the first day of his Supreme Court confirmation hearing with Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA, left) and Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) on Capitol Hill March 20, 2017, in Washington, D.C. Gorsuch was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy left on the court by the February 2016 death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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    British Prime Minister Theresa May said that President Donald Trump was "being a gentleman" when he was photographed holding her hand during May's January visit to the White House, NBC News reported.

    "We were about to walk down a ramp, and he said [the step down the ramp] might be a bit awkward," May told Vogue.

    The hand-holding was panned as awkward by the British press.

    A former U.K. cabinet minister described optics suggesting May was being led along by the U.S. president as "disastrous."



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    British Prime Minister Theresa May and U.S. President Donald Trump walk along The Colonnade of the West Wing at The White House on January 27, 2017 in Washington, D.C.British Prime Minister Theresa May and U.S. President Donald Trump walk along The Colonnade of the West Wing at The White House on January 27, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

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    Food trucks and food truck parks could be coming to some industrial districts in West Hartford.  

    A proposed town ordinance would allow food trucks on certain streets in industrial districts. 

    They would be required to adhere to health codes, just like brick and mortar restaurants. 

    Town council will hold public hearing at 6:30 p.m. March 28 in Room 314 of Town Hall. 



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Food trucks may be coming to some areas of West Hartford if town officials approve a new ordinance.Food trucks may be coming to some areas of West Hartford if town officials approve a new ordinance.

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    One of Christianity's holiest sites has been restored to its former glory, and just in time for Easter, NBC News reported.

    After a yearlong restoration, the Jerusalem tomb that Christians believe is where Jesus was buried and resurrected is finally free of a cage-like structure that's propped up the walls for 70 years.

    The Holy Edicule, inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, is also free of years of accumulated soot after work by the team that restored the Acropolis in Athens.

    "Now you can see the colors, the texture of the stone, you can see the letters of inscriptions, the frescos, the different styles of mural paintings," restorer Antonia Moropoulou. "So here is a monument that was worshipped through the centuries and will be worshiped forever."



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The tomb of Jesus Christ is seen in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on March 21, 2017, in Jerusalem, Israel. Greek archaeologists have been working since June 2016 to restore the tomb, believed to be the place where Jesus Christ was buried and then resurrected from after his crucifixion. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)The tomb of Jesus Christ is seen in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on March 21, 2017, in Jerusalem, Israel. Greek archaeologists have been working since June 2016 to restore the tomb, believed to be the place where Jesus Christ was buried and then resurrected from after his crucifixion. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

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    Grove Street in Manchester is closed for a police investigation, police confirmed.

    No other details were immediately available. Check back for updates.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Manchester police on scene at an investigation on Grove StreetManchester police on scene at an investigation on Grove Street

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    Windsor Locks police have arrested an East Windsor man accused of pointing a fake gun at another driver after fleeing the scene of the accident.

    Michael Fisher, 48, faces charges of first-degree threatening and breach of peace, as well as motor vehicle charges.

    According to police, Fisher rear-ended another driver at the intersection of Route 75 and Schoephoester Road around 8 p.m. Monday. The victim reported that when he got out of his vehicle to look for damage, Fisher drove off.

    The victim then followed Fisher and tried to stop the suspect from escaping by blocking Fisher’s vehicle with his own. Fisher then allegedly got out of his own car and pointed what appeared to be a black handgun at the victim, demanding the victim move his car.

    Police ran the information on the suspect vehicle and identified Fisher as the owner. They found Fisher at his home in East Windsor along with a black replica pistol, which was in plain view on the couch, police said. The victim identified Fisher as the person who pointed the gun at him.

    Fisher was held on a $50,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.



    Photo Credit: Windsor Locks Police Department

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    Police are asking for help to find a 63-year-old Plainfield woman who has been missing since Saint Patrick’s Day.

    Laura Russo has been missing since Friday and might be driving a silver 2016 Hyundai with Connecticut plates 662UDZ, according to the Silver Alert issued for her.

    Russo is 5-feet-2 and has gray hair, blue eyes.

    Anyone who sees her should call Plainfield police at 860-564-0804.



    Photo Credit: Silver Alert

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    The University of Connecticut has permanently expelled the Kappa Sigma fraternity following following the death of a student who was struck by a UConn fire department vehicle in October as she was returning home from a fraternity party.

    In February, six members of the Kappa Sigma fraternity -- Patrick Callahan, Matthew Moll, Austin Custodio, Dominic Godi, Dylan Morose and Jonathan Polansky -- were arrested and charged with various counts, including permitting a minor to illegally possess alcohol and sale or delivery to minors.

    Jeffny Pally, 19, of West Hartford, was coming home from a fraternity party early on the morning of Sunday, Oct. 16 and sat on the ground with her back against a garage bay door at the UConn Public Safety Complex at 126 North Eagleville Road in Storrs when the fire department received a call for service around 1:15 a.m., according to police.

    When the bay door Pally was leaning against opened, she fell back onto the ground and a fire department Chevy Tahoe leaving the bay drove over Pally, according to police. Crews from the fire department found Pally around an hour and a half later, when they returned from that call and state police said they were called at 2:48 a.m.

    Officials from the medical examiner's office determined she died of blunt injuries to her torso and head and classified her death as an accident.

    As police investigated, they learned that the fraternity and the Delta Gamma sorority got together to build a float for the homecoming parade and then there was an off-campus party where alcohol was provided, according to court documents.

    On Tuesday, UConn announced that the fraternity announced that the UConn chapter Kappa Sigma had been expelled from campus and will not be given the opportunity to reorganize. Typically, fraternities and sororities are given a chance to reorganize after several years if they follow certain steps, but UConn decided not to extend that privilege.

    School officials said there has been “a pattern of behavior and organizational culture that has been dangerous to the members of the group as well as those associated with it.”

    NBC Connecticut has reached out to Kappa Sigma for comment.

    UConn did remove Delta Gamma, and the national Delta Gamma fraternity council confirmed it would be closing the Epsilon Pi sorority chapter at UConn on Monday. Delta Gamma was not permanently barred from the university may have the opportunity to reorganize down the road.

    Jeffny was a sophomore majoring in allied health and aspired to be a nurse, according to the university. The 19-year-old worked as a resident assistant and was joining the sorority.



    Photo Credit: Facebook and NBCConnecticut.com

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    Cameras rolled as two pranksters rode their horses through a Walmart in southwest Houston, Texas, over the weekend. One of the riders said they were just trying to make people smile. "I wasn't trying to hurt nobody," Woody Fields said. Walmart called the stunt reckless. KPRC's Jennifer Bauer reports.


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    Whoops — Sen. Lindsey Graham killed off U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Tuesday morning.

    "Justice Alito passed away in February," the South Carolina senator said as he questioned President Donald Trump's nominee for the vacancy on the high court, Judge Neil Gorsuch.

    Graham's comment came as he addressed the controversial decision by Senate Republicans not to consider former President Barack Obama's pick for the court, Judge Merrick Garland. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell argued in March 2016 that the American people should have a voice in the process.

    There had already been three primaries by then, Graham said.

    "The campaign season in my view was afoot," he said.

    There was only one problem: Alito of course is very much alive.

    Graham meant Justice Antonin Scalia, who died on Feb. 13 last year. 

    He soon realized his error and said he had to correct the record. "Bad news, bad mistake," he said.

    For Gorsuch's part, the second day of his hearing went more smoothly, as he declined to comment on difficult topics Democrats pressed him on, including Trump's campaign promise to ban all Muslims from entering the United States.

    And he declined to respond to a question about the Judiciary Committee's handling of Garland's nomination.

    "I can't get involved in politics and there's judicial canons that prevent me from doing that," Gorsuch said. "I think it would be imprudent."

    In a lighter exchange with Gorsuch, Graham praised Trump's choice. He said he had been worried about whom the "Celebrity Apprentice" reality star would pick. 

    "Maybe someone on TV," Graham joked.



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

    Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. questions Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch during the committee's confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 21, 2017.Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. questions Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch during the committee's confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 21, 2017.

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    Donald Trump's business, The Trump Organization is in violation of New York City law, NBC News reported.

    Trump Tower at 725 Fifth Avenue, where President Trump and first lady Melania live and where his two eldest sons work in offices, is not registered this year with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development, a spokeswoman for the department confirmed on Tuesday.

    Property owners of certain residential buildings are required by law to register annually by Sept. 1, but Trump Tower’s registration expired in 2016 and The Trump Organization never renewed it.

    Failing to register can result in a fine of up to $500, and revokes some of the rights usually enjoyed by property owners. Calls and messages to a spokeswoman for The Trump Organization were not immediately returned to NBC News.



    Photo Credit: FILE-Getty Images

    A file photo of the Trump Tower skyscraper at 5th Avenue and 56th Street from 2013 in New York City.A file photo of the Trump Tower skyscraper at 5th Avenue and 56th Street from 2013 in New York City.

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    Glastonbury police have arrested a 17-year-old girl suspected of assaulting and robbing an elderly man in Glastonbury in September.

    Police were called on Sept. 16 to investigate after the victim was robbed and assaulted in his home the day before, police said.

    The 17-year-old Vernon girl is the third person charged in the case. Police previously arrested 21-year-old Isaiah Riggins, of Hartford, and 25-year-old Sean Callahan, of East Hartford.

    All three were charged with home invasion, first-degree burglary, second-degree robbery, third-degree assault, assault of an elderly person, fifth-degree larceny, disorderly conduct and conspiracy.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Tax time is here and Connecticut residents pay some of the highest state and local taxes in the country.

    Connecticut comes in 46 out of 51 when it comes to tax rates by state, according to a study by WalletHub.com

    WalletHub puts the average annual income in the United States at $54,286 and the average home value at $178,600.

    Using that data, Connecticut comes in 46th, with median annual state and local taxes at $7,361.

    However, adjust for the median household in Connecticut, and the annual state and local taxes for the median household here are actually $10,155.

    Compare that to Tennessee, where your state and local taxes for the median household in the state would be $3,566.

    When adjusted for the cost of living, Connecticut ranks 50 out of 51, coming in ahead of last-place New York and ahead of Hawaii.

    The states with the lowest overall tax rates (from low to high) are: 

    • Alaska
    • Delaware
    • Montana
    • Wyoming
    • Nevada
    • Tennessee
    The states with the highest rates (from high to low) are:
    • Illinois
    • Nebraska
    • Wisconsin
    • New York
    • Rhode Island 
    • Connecticut

    The study also finds that Connecticut residents pay almost 26.5 percent more than the United States average.

    According to WalletHub, Connecticut also has some of the highest cigarette taxes.


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