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    With the holidays quickly approaching, one group of women is making sure our troops overseas aren’t left empty handed.

    The group calls itself the “Dream Team Moms” and has worked with Connecticut police and a group called Give2TheTroops to make pillowcases and stockings, which are sent to deployed troops during the holidays.

    This year, the Dream Team Moms will be donating 372 stockings and 261 pillowcases, more than ever before, according to the Milford Police Department, which will be helping to distribute the gifts.

    For more information on Give2TheTroops and donation locations, visit www.Give2TheTroops.org.



    Photo Credit: Milford Police Department

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    The fire alarms at Hamden's library and senior center were discovered to be broken last week, and since then, a Hamden firefighter has been stationed at the building each day.

    Firefighters stay at the complex from about 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., as mandated by the state when there's no working fire system.

    “I'm glad that they're keeping everybody safe, but I hope they fix the system,” said Diana Henderson of Hamden.

    Hamden is investigating why the system hasn't working and how long it's been out of commission. Investigators are even going back to when the system was first installed in 2008 to get to the root of the problem.

    Chief Administrative Officer Curt Leng said the issue was discovered late last month when the town conducted routine checks of building and fire alarm systems. The resulting report showed numerous deficiencies with the fire system at the library, which Leng said was surprising since the system is relatively new.

    The town subsequently performed an evaluation to figure out what needs to be done to bring the building up to code. The New Haven Register reports that those modifications will cost about $70,000, and the current alarm company is figuring out what needs to be done to correct the problem. The original cost to install the system a few years ago was $170,000, according to the Register.

    Leng said he learned of the severity of the problem last week and that the final price of the repairs will be reported on Thursday.

    “It probably put people at risk for a few years, which we didn't know about it. Fortunately, nothing happened thank goodness,” said Manny Meltzer.

    Retired New Haven firefighter Bob Gilhuly said people shouldn't be too concerned that a fire would break out here.

    “In a building like this, they're not going to have that much of a problem with a fire,” he said.

    However, until the fire alarm system is fixed, a firefighter will continue to roam the hallways just in case. It's not clear how long it will take for repairs to be made.


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    Milford residents are upset about the city’s plan to build an affordable housing complex on Pond Point Avenue, and tonight they brought their concerns to a meeting at City Hall.

    The proposed complex includes 23 residential units and would be constructed at 86 Pond Point Avenue, a currently undeveloped area in the woods. Neighbors say they’re worried about water problems and traffic headaches. One neighbor told the Patch that the nearby intersection with New Haven Avenue is already dangerous, and that additional housing and more cars on the road could exacerbate that problem.

    Colberg LLC, the developer, attended tonight’s meeting to present to the city Planning and Zoning Board.

    According to the Path, some 35 signs have gone up along Pond Point Avenue to protest the development. The signs read “Save the woods,” “Stop Colberg LLC” and “Speak Up Nov. 19.”

    The city will not make a final decision tonight.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Torrington police are investigating the attempted robbery of a gas station on North Elm Street.

    Police said it happened Tuesday at the Sheerazi Gas Mart located at 454 North Elm.

    The store cashier reported that a man walked into the store around 7:45 p.m., grabbed the cashier’s arm and tried to make him take money out of the cash register, according to police.

    The two struggled and the suspect fled. Police said he got away in car traveling west on Migeon Avenue.

    He’s described as being a light-skinned black male in his mid-20s, wearing a dark jacket and multicolored green scarf over his face.

    Two employees were inside at the time of the incident. No money was taken and no injuries were reported.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact Torrington police at 860-489-2090 or call the anonymous tip line at 860-489-2065.



    Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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    Elián González says his experience in South Florida marked him for life, and he said his mother's death was a product of the Cuban Adjustment Act, according to a report published in a Cuban newspaper.

    Gonzalez was the sole survivor of a capsized boat that killed his mother and became a symbol of troubled relations between the United States and Cuba.

    “They were very sad moments for me, that marked me for life,” González said in Spanish during an event, according to the newspaper Girón. “I never had the possibility to have a moment to think about my mother, who died in the ocean as a product of Cuban Adjustment Act.”

    González, now 19, recalled the moments when at 5 years old he was rescued from the waters off Fort Lauderdale. He also said that his rights had been violated in the United States.

    After his rescue in 1999, the boy’s relatives living in the United States fought to keep the child, but his father and Fidel Castro ordered his return.

    González was returned to Cuba in 2000, after federal agents raided his relatives' home in Little Havana and seized the boy from a closet at gunpoint. He returned to Cuba two months later.

    Over the weekend, González asked President Barack Obama to free the five Cuban spies convicted of espionage in Miami.

    González also denounced Cuban exile groups like the Cuban American National Foundation and Alpha 66, calling them “terrorists organizations” and blaming them for keeping him from his family.

    But González said he was not alone, and mentioned Operation Peter Pan, in which thousands of Cuban children were sent from Cuba to Miami to escape the government of Fidel Castro.

    “Our struggle is not against the American people; it is against their government,” González said.

    More NBC6.com Stories:


     



    Photo Credit: AP

    In this April 22, 2000 file photo, Elian Gonzalez is held in a closet by Donato Dalrymple, one of the two men who rescued the boy from the ocean, right, as government officials search the home of Lazaro Gonzalez, early Saturday morning, April 22, 2000, in Miami. Armed federal agents seized Elian Gonzalez from the home of his Miami relatives before dawn Saturday, firing tear gas into an angry crowd as they left the scene with the weeping 6-year-old boy. As the ten year anniversary approaches, almost no one involved in the custody case that once polarized the nation wants to talk about Elian, who is now a teenager back in Cuba.In this April 22, 2000 file photo, Elian Gonzalez is held in a closet by Donato Dalrymple, one of the two men who rescued the boy from the ocean, right, as government officials search the home of Lazaro Gonzalez, early Saturday morning, April 22, 2000, in Miami. Armed federal agents seized Elian Gonzalez from the home of his Miami relatives before dawn Saturday, firing tear gas into an angry crowd as they left the scene with the weeping 6-year-old boy. As the ten year anniversary approaches, almost no one involved in the custody case that once polarized the nation wants to talk about Elian, who is now a teenager back in Cuba.

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    Bridgeport police have arrested a 60-year-old man accused of slashing a woman with a blade.

    Hershel Hamilton was taken into custody after police responded to the report of a possible stabbing in the area of Boston Avenue and Dover Street on Monday.

    The victim told police she knew Hamilton and had given him around. She said she had dropped him off at one place, but Hamilton asked to get back in the car and be dropped off somewhere else. The victim said she didn't want to do that and asked Hamilton to remove his things from her car, according to police.

    After Hamilton refused, the victim started taking his things out, and Hamilton started throwing bottles at the car. The victim was then cut by a box cutter, police said. Her injuries are not life threatening, police said.

    Hamilton faces charges of first-degree assault, reckless endangerment and breach of peace. His bond was set at $50,000.



    Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police Department

    Sixty-year-old Hershel Hamilton is accused of slashing a woman with a box cutter.Sixty-year-old Hershel Hamilton is accused of slashing a woman with a box cutter.

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    Two New Jersey men with handguns were arrested tonight after leading Bridgeport police on a chase, authorities said.

    Jonattann Lopez-Quinones, 25, and Rasheed Sharpe, 28, both of New Jersey, were approached by police following a motor vehicle violation on Crescent Avenue. When officers made their way toward the suspects' car, the two sped off, police said.

    The vehicle stopped on Connecticut Avenue and Lopez-Quinones jumped out and ran. Sharpe was attempting to break the passenger side window with a handgun and then also began to run, according to police.

    Both men were caught by police and are charged with firearm-related counts and other charges.

    Bond is set at $300,000 each.



    Photo Credit: Bridgeport Police Department

    Jonattann Lopez-Quinones and Rasheed Sharpe, of New Jersey, were arrested on gun charges after reportedly leading police on a chase in Bridgeport.Jonattann Lopez-Quinones and Rasheed Sharpe, of New Jersey, were arrested on gun charges after reportedly leading police on a chase in Bridgeport.

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    Two bodies have been found after a small plane with four people aboard crashed in the Atlantic Ocean about three miles off the coast of Fort Lauderdale Tuesday night, authorities said.

    The bodies of one man and one woman were located near the debris field from the Learjet 35, which is thought to be very large, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

    Coast Guard rescue crews were searching for the Mexican-registered Learjet 35, which took off from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport at 7:51 p.m., airport spokesman Greg Meyer said.

    Its last tower communication was at 8:20 p.m., he said.

    Two pilots and two passengers were aboard the aircraft, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said in an email.

    The plane's intended destination was Cozumel, Mexico, she said.

    Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue reported the aircraft left a large debris field, city spokesman Matt Little said in an email.

    An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Miami, two Coast Guard cutters and two small boats are on the scene, agency spokesman Lt. Commander Gabe Fomma said.

    Refresh this page for updates.

    More NBC 6 South Florida Stories:

     



    Photo Credit: NBC 6 South Florida

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    It was a case of “close but no cigar” for burglars who broke into a South Florida warehouse but didn’t get away with any stogies, authorities said.

    The suspects shinnied up a tree as they tried to get into Florida Distributors Inc.’s cigar warehouse in Tamarac through its roof at 2700 NW 55th Court early on Saturday, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said.

    They weren’t able to, but they rappelled down the building with a rope and used a stolen sheet metal saw to cut through a garage door, according to the BSO.

    Deputies, who were alerted by the security company watching surveillance cameras, approached the building just after 3:30 a.m. and saw a white Ford van speed off.

    Three suspects got away, but deputies apprehended Hermes Perez, 30, of Miami, who faces charges of burglary and possession of burglary tools, the BSO said. It wasn’t immediately known whether he has an attorney.

    The same business was hit by burglars on July 26, when suspects bent the rebar away from a ceiling vent and stole between $400,000 and $500,000 worth of cigars, the BSO said. Those suspects spent about two hours loading about 700 cases of cigars into three vehicles before they drove away in the middle of the night, the agency said.

    It’s unclear if the same group was involved in the new case, the BSO said.

    The warehouse owners had no comment.

    Authorities ask anyone with information to call Det. Jeremy Grant at 954-720-2225 or Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.

    More NBC6.com Stories:



    Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office

    Hermes Perez, 30Hermes Perez, 30

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    A hunter mistook his friend for a deer and fatally shot him, authorities said Tuesday. Prosecutors were considering whether to bring charges against the shooter. 

    The victim, Charles Bruce, 52, was a veteran volunteer firefighter for the Malverne fire department. He was killed on a weekend hunting trip with other firefighters in Westford, N.Y.

    Bruce was heading out of the woods late Saturday afternoon when another hunter in a tree stand about 60 yards away fired a shot that struck Bruce in the chest, said John Muehl, Otsego County district attorney. 

    The shooter has not been identified. A Malverne fire department spokesman described him as a former volunteer who was one of Bruce's best friends.

    "It's a difficult thing to kill your best friend," Muehl said. "But there is no excuse for shooting someone. I've been hunting all my life, and never once have I seen a man that looked like a deer."

    The district attorney now plans to review the case and will consider convening a grand jury that could bring criminal charges against the hunter.

    "I know he is heartbroken," Muehl said. "But he violated the first rule of hunting. You don't aim your gun at something unless you have positively identified it as a target."

    Black and purple bunting hung on the outside of the Malverne fire house Tuesday as colleagues mourned Bruce, a firefighter of 17 years. 

    He was described by department spokesman Dave Gildea as "very active guy" who loved hunting, running and smoking cigars.

    The father of two grown children, Bruce was also an electrician and had worked in many of the homes of his fellow firefighters.

    "It's just a terrible tragedy," Gildea said. 


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    Recently elected Brookfiend First Selectman William Tinsley says he will move forward with plans to take office Dec. 2 despite the charge of embezzlement he faces in Vermont.

    "I thought it would have been resolved more than a year ago," said Tinsley, a Republican. "I'm hopefui it'll be done soon and out of the way."

    Tinsley won the election this month by a 90-vote margin. The Democrats he beat want him to give up his victory and so do some voters who say Tinsley should have made his predicament clear.

    "I didn't know everything I needed to know," said Brookfield resident Mary Ruggiero. "I think it was extremely deceptive. He should now step down."

    Tinsley, on the other hand, denies the charges and says he's done nothing wrong.

    "The charges up there are false," said Tinsley. "I have a long record of public service and a clear record."

    Over the last three and a half years, he said, he's lost a business, a brother and a son.  Deeply in debt and protected from creditors under the bankruptcy law, Tinsley said he thought he would be exonerated of the March 2012 charges in Vermont before Election Day.

    "As every month went by, I would go back to get it resolved. I'm on somebody else's calendar," Tinsley said. "I'm thinking it's gonna get resolved, it's gonna get resolved, and it just never did. For example, I'm thinking it's gonna get resolved on the 26th of this month. I'm gonna show up. They have to show up."



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Brookfield First Selectman-elect William Tinsley says he plans to take office next month despite controversy surrounding the embezzlement charges he's facing in Vermont.Brookfield First Selectman-elect William Tinsley says he plans to take office next month despite controversy surrounding the embezzlement charges he's facing in Vermont.

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    When David Kyem wore his Halloween costume on campus at Central Connecticut State earlier this month, people who saw the mask over his face and the sword over his shoulder didn't know it was a costume.

    Richard Bachoo, the chief administrative officer at CCSU, said at an open forum Tuesday afternoon, "You really don't know what's going on until it's over."

    Bachoo made the decision to declare a campus emergency and bring in scores of heavily armed police and other emergency responders.

    "You can choose to do nothing, and then have the consequence of me standing here having a conversation in a much uglier light, or you can have the decision to carry out something and hope that it turns out well," he said.

    What he decided to carry out, however, was confusing to some of the 75 students and staff members who attended the hour-long forum. Students voiced their concerns and said they didn't know how to respond when the sirens sounded.

    Bobby Barriault, a senior who said he learned how to respond to emergencies as an intern at the State Capitol, wanted to know what Bachoo would do to make sure everyone on campus is aware of what to do in similar emergencies.

    "They didn't realize what to do," he said. "They heard the alarm over the loudspeakers, they knew something was going on over the cellphones. But they didn't know what to do."

    Bachoo said that nevertheless, the campus community responded appropraitely.

    "Even though people have said they didn't know what to do they did something, and they actually did the right thing," he said. "We actually had an individual that closed himself in the bathroom for over an hour and a half, til we tried to identify who we were and he could come out. So people knew at least instinctively."

    The English department secretary, Lisa Michaud, said she could hear the alarm over the loudspeaker but not the voice message that followed. She told Bachoo she used the internet to figure out what was going on and got her information from the media, not CCSU.

    The president of the local of the AAUP, the professors' union, Mary Ann Mahony, complained that since cellphones aren't allowed in many classes, many students and faculty didn't get the message. Central relied heavily on cellphone alerts to inform the campus as to what was happening.

    "There isn't a good way to communicate with faculty in the classroom," she said. "Many of us don't bring our cellphones to class in order not to have the distraction in class of the phone going off."

    Bachoo told her to leave her cell phone on going forward. He said authorities are fixing locks that didn't lock and shades that didn't shade. Bachoo added that school officials have told the department chairs how to respond to similar emergencies, and now they'll go department by department to clarify the protocol.


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    A man New London police arrested at 11 p.m. on Tuesday had a blood alcohol level that was more than four times the legal limit, according to a news release police.

    Police stopped Justin Hatch, 27, of Oakdale, after witnesses told reported that he hit three parked cars in the area of 108 Hawthorne Drive North, police said.

    When officers responded, Hatch was trying to flee the area, but they were able to take him into custody.

    His initial Breathalyzer test showed a blood alcohol level of .351 and a second test went up to .371, according to police.

    Those cars sustained between moderate and heavy damage.

    Hatch was charged with driving under the influence, released and is due in court on Dec. 4.

     



    Photo Credit: New London Police

    Police said Justin Hatch was drunk when he struck parked cars in New London.Police said Justin Hatch was drunk when he struck parked cars in New London.

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    A man who suffered life-threatening injuries after a porta-potty fire at a park in Maryland's Prince George's County has died.

    A Maryland State Police trooper saw the fire at 7 a.m. Tuesday in the 10100 block of Rhode Island Avenue in College Park, at the Sunnyside Neighborhood Playground.

    Fire officials say the trooper used fire extinguishers inside his cruiser to put out enough of the fire to pull the victim from the porta-potty.

    Fire crews arrived at the scene and extinguished the remaining flames.

    The man, who was in his early 20s, was airlifted to a burn unit in critical condition. He died Tuesday afternoon, police said.

    Authorities said it's possible that the fire started as a suicide attempt, but the investigation is ongoing.

    ALSO SEE:

     


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    A bull was shot and killed in Trumbull yesterday after it was on the loose for several hours.

    A viewer who spotted the 500-pound eight-month old bull sent in a photo and a video after spotting it.
    The Connecticut Post reports that the bull escaped from Monroe.

    Authorities tried to tranquilize the animal, but it ran off and was on the loose for hours, the Post reports.

    Students at Tashua School in Trumbull were kept at school for almost an extra hour because the bull was on the loose, the Post reports.  
     



    Photo Credit: John Collins

    A bull on the loose was shot and killed in Trumbull.A bull on the loose was shot and killed in Trumbull.

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    State police are looking for the man who robbed a Subway sandwich shop in Marlborough at knifepoint yesterday afternoon.

    The armed robbery happened at the sandwich shop located at 1 South Main Street and state police received a 911 call reporting it just before 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

    The cash register was opened when a man with a knife came in through the back door, pushed the cashier and store manager out of the way, brandished a knife and stole $60 from the register, police said.

    The store manager struggled with the man, who ran out the back door and to a vehicle that was parked near an adjacent business.

    Police said the store manager chased after him, but the robber managed to get away in an older four-door gold or rust-colored sedan.

    Witnesses said the license plate had black letters and numbers on a white background and the partial registration was EL942 or IE942, police said.

    One witness said the vehicle had a loud exhaust and was headed east on Route 66.

    Police found the knife where the man’s vehicle was parked.

    The Eastern District Major Crime Squad is investigating and anyone with information is asked to call Detective Sean Velazquez at 860-465-5456.

    No one was injured during the robbery. Police said the robber was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and a red scarf over his face.

     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut,.com

    Police are looking for the man who robbed a Subway at knifepoint yesterday.Police are looking for the man who robbed a Subway at knifepoint yesterday.

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    With the stroke of the governor's pen, Illinois on Wednesday became the 16th state in the nation to allow same sex couples to marry.

    Hundreds packed the University of Illinois at Chicago Forum to witness Gov. Pat Quinn sign the legislation -- SB10 -- on the desk Abraham Lincoln used to write his first inaugural address.

    “Love never fails, and I’m going to sign this bill," Quinn said.

    "I am a proud Illinoisan today," Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon said Wednesday, kicking off a line of speakers celebrating the signing. "Thanks to everyone in the state of Illinois for making this a land we can all be proud of. It's time to stop planning rallies and start planning weddings."

    Quinn took that sentiment a step further, urging other states to follow suit with marriage equality legislation.

    "We understand in our state that part of our unfinished business is to help other states in the United States achieve marriage equality," Quinn said. "We want to have a new birth of freedom across America, and love is not relegated to second-class citizen status."

    The Illinois Senate on Nov. 5 followed a long-awaited House vote to approve gay marriage in the state. The bill passed the House 61-54, obtaining the 60 votes needed for passage. The Senate passed it an hour later.

    "With the governor's signature, Illinois goes on record," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. "There is no straight or gay marriage. From now on there is only marriage in Illinois."

    Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka name-dropped GOP members of the House who voted for the bill this month, calling them "folks who were very brave in the Republican party who were there for you."

    "What a day for celebration!" Sen. Heather Steans said. "Today Illinois makes history."

    Bill sponsor Rep. Greg Harris received an especially thunderous round of applause and a standing ovation. He thanked a long list of supporters, from politicians and families to church leaders and businesses that helped make the legislation possible.

    "It has been a long and painful wait for many people," Attorney General Lisa Madigan said. "At its heart marriage equality is about the fundamentals of American principles of fairness and freedom, and it is about families."

    Just 14 states and the District of Columbia allowed for same sex marriage when both houses of the Illinois General Assembly approved the measure. Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed legislation just last week, making that state number 15.

    Illinois' law takes effect June 1, 2014, and is expected to increase business and tourism spending in the state. A 2013 study by UCLA's The Williams Institute said that allowing same-sex couples to marry in Illinois would generate up to $103 million in new spending in the first three years. The Illinois Office of Tourism has already beefed up its website to promote gay-friendly spots in Illinois.

    Cook County Clerk David Orr said his offices will be open on June 1, a Sunday, so gay couples can get their marriage licenses. In central Illinois, Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten said his office will be open, and in southwestern Illinois, Madison County Clerk Debra Ming-Mendoza said the office will open to issue marriage licenses June 2.

    Quinn signed civil union legislation into law in 2011. Since then, the governor's office said more than 6,000 Illinois couples have joined in a civil union. The bulk of them have been in Cook County.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Gov. Pat Quinn reacts after signing the same-sex marriage bill into law.Gov. Pat Quinn reacts after signing the same-sex marriage bill into law.

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    Police are searching for as many as seven people who police believe jumped a man, stabbed him several times and left him in critical condition in the middle of Capen Street in Hartford.

    Police received the 911 call around 2 a.m. and the attackers were gone by the time officers arrived.

    Rocks might have been thrown as well.
    Police believe they found the knife used in the stabbing in the street.

    The victim is in critical, but stable condition.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Police are searching for a group of people who attacked and stabbed a man in Hartford early this morning.Police are searching for a group of people who attacked and stabbed a man in Hartford early this morning.

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    A bicyclist suffered minor injuries in a crash with a school bus early this morning on Dixwell Avenue in Hamden.

    The crash happened around 7 a.m. this morning and the man who was on the bike suffered  minor injuries.

    No students were on the bus.
     


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    The Norwich Bulletin was locked down for about three hours after receiving a suspicious letter on Wednesday. 

    According to police, a letter was delivered to the building this morning threatening to spread the MRSA virus, which the author claimed to have. The Norwich Bulletin reports that the letter was hand written and included conspiracy theories.

    Police said the letter was also covered in an "unknown liquid substance," which raised suspicions.

    The Bulletin employee who discovered the letter brought it to the Norwich Police Department around 11 a.m. That employee, an officer and another police department employee were quarantined in the police department lobby, and the fire department was notified, police said.

    A hazmat situation was declared and the Norwich Bulletin building was locked down. The Bulletin offices were closed and authorities said the lobby of the police station was also blocked off, but the station was not locked down.

    Officials from the Norwich Fire Department, state Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection, Connecticut State Police, the FBI and the Uncas Health District responded to the scene, along with a U.S. Postal Inspector.

    Police said the quarantined people were "decontaminated" and the letter was taken away for testing.

    The scene was cleared around 2 p.m. and no injuries were reported.

    The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact Norwich police at 860-886-5561.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    The Bulletin officers were locked down because of a hazmat.The Bulletin officers were locked down because of a hazmat.

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