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  • 01/15/14--09:26: I-91 in Windsor Reopened

  • All lanes of Interstate 91 in Windsor were as closed because live wire was down on the roadway, according to Connecticut state police.

    Only the shoulder of the northbound side of the highway was getting by, but the road has reopened.

    Connecticut  Light & Power responding.

    Police said the wires snapped. There was no crash.
     



    Photo Credit: Christina Boling

    All lanes of Interstate 91 in Windsor were as closed because live wire was down on the roadway, according to Connecticut state police.All lanes of Interstate 91 in Windsor were as closed because live wire was down on the roadway, according to Connecticut state police.

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  • 01/15/14--11:44: Politicians Read Mean Tweets

  • Politicians are used to constituent backlash and constant zingers on social media.

    Some of the tweets are outright insulting and nasty, but that didn't stop some lawmakers from having fun with them by participating in a new segment, “DC Mean Tweets,” where they read these comments aloud in front of the camera.

    “Paul Ryan has such pretty blue eyes, sometimes it’s easy to forget he’s Satan incarnate,” Paul Ryan said while reading a tweet from @RagBagUSA.

    Produced by NBC News partner Now This News, the segment was inspired by Jimmy Kimmel’s “Mean Tweets” series, in which celebrities read scathing tweets about themselves.

    “We decided to try the concept on a different kind of celebrity,” the video says in an introduction.

    The first three examples, featuring Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), ran on Now This News on Tuesday and quickly went viral.

    Swalwell clearly had fun with one tweet, carrying on an imaginary conversation about playing quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers after a tweeter accused him of hearing voices.

    Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn) also appears in one of the segments. He cheerfully reads a tweet from @libertyreeman: “I can’t decide whether you are stupid or willfully deceitful. Can you help me out?"

    Ryan didn't want voters to think their comments, however harsh they may be, aren't valued. Afer “DC Mean Tweets" began making its rounds, he tweeted: "Your feedback is always appreciated!"
     



    Photo Credit: AP

    In this file photo, Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks during a campaign event at Youngstown State University, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, in Youngstown, Ohio.In this file photo, Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks during a campaign event at Youngstown State University, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, in Youngstown, Ohio.

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    Some North Texas hospitals are so overwhelmed with flu patients that they have run out of available rooms to admit them, medical officials say.

    “It’s a very serious situation,” said J.R. Labbe, a spokeswoman for John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. “Our beds are full. It’s pretty dramatic.”

    In Dallas, the director of emergency medical services also said hospitals are very, very full.

    “Our hospitals are pretty much near capacity,” Dr. Paul Pepe said. “There is concern we haven’t hit the peak yet.”

    In Tarrant County, 10 of 19 hospitals reported capacity issues – from no room in intensive care units to backups in emergency rooms, according to a summary reviewed by NBC DFW. Still, officials stressed that hospitals remain open and are able to care for seriously ill patients.

    But Labbe said JPS is asking patients with simple flu symptoms to consider going to emergency clinics or doctor’s offices for treatment. At the hospital, she said, some patients are waiting in the crowded emergency room for a bed to become available.

    Pepe said some hospitals would go on divert status, meaning ambulances would be turned away. But so many hospitals are so busy, he said, none can divert patients because they would have nowhere to go.

    In Fort Worth, the board overseeing emergency care has not allowed hospitals to go on “divert” status for several years because it overwhelms other hospitals, said Medstar spokesman Matt Zavadsky.

    Not all hospitals are sounding the alarm.

    Megan Brooks, a spokeswoman for Texas Health Harris Methodist Fort Worth hospital, said the facility is not full and is accepting patients.



    Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

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    A wall collapsed in Meriden this morning, forcing dozens of people out of their apartment building and several businesses out of their shops.  

    The wall collapsed at 82 Main Street might be weather-related.  
     
    Water behind the brick façade froze, bricks came tumbling down and the wall collapsed enough for fire and building officials to become concerned about the entire structure, so they evacuated the businesses on the bottom floor and the 18 occupied apartments on the top floors.

     “A pretty-good sized chunk of the back of the building had fallen away.  In talking to some of the occupants, it appears it could have happened as early as 6 o’clock this morning,” Chief Ken Morgan, of the Meriden Fire Department, said.

    While the problem might have started as early as 6 a.m., the fire department was alerted to the problem after 9:30 a.m.

    Crews got people out as soon as they saw the damage.  

    The building will remain closed until a building engineer comes and finds out if it is safe to be occupied.

    Business owners, like Ellen Parks, owner of Dynamic Hair, were able to take a few supplies with them, but they could be out of this building for days, if not longer.
     
    Morgan said this isn’t the first time the department has responded to this building. They were also there right before Christmas and a study is being done.

    “In the past, we’ve had some concerns with the building,” Morgan said. “ We’ve been working with the building owners to have an engineering study done.  We have not gotten the results of that building study done yet.”

    Officials did not find the building unsafe then, but tenants said they’ve been complaining about issues for years.
     
    “They were going to fix it. We used to call them and everything and nothing was done,” Lisa Quintana, a former tenant, said.
     
    Premiere Property Management took over the building about four to five months ago and said it can’t speak to the years of complaints, but it was addressing current ones and plans were in the works to repair the gutters, fire escape and the back wall.

    “It was a problem.  We did bring some engineers out so they could give us a report and what we’d find in that back wall. We were going to start the project very soon, but I guess these damages beat us to the job,” Gabriel Mulero, a property manager with Premiere Property Management, said.
     
    The property manager doesn’t know what will happen now.

    Tenants are being put up in nearby hotels for the time being and were able to get some of their belongings out of their apartments, but don’t know when they’ll be able to go back home.

    “They told us that they don’t know yet.  They have to get a structural engineer to come look at it,” Luis Gutierrez, a tenant, said.
     
    Tenants said they will have a meeting with property management again tomorrow afternoon to go over the situation and expect to be out for a few days, if not longer.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    A man who tried to save a friend who fell into the Chicago River while trying to retrieve a cell phone Monday, is speaking out about the ordeal that killed two of his friends.

    Ken Hoang, 26, from St. Paul, Minn., was swept away after climbing over the fence on the 400 block of East Water Street shortly after midnight.

    Quoc-Viet Phan Hoang and a 21-year-old woman fell into the water while trying to help Hoang. The woman's body has not been recovered and recovery efforts were suspended Tuesday afternoon due to inclement weather conditions.

    Quoc-Viet is recuperating at Presence Saint Joseph Hospital-Chicago, and released a statement Tuesday thanking everyone for their "prayers and support," particularly Luis Bertrand, who came to his aid and called 911.

    “I lost two good friends,” Hoang said in the written statement. “It’s not easy seeing your friend drift away and having one die in your arms. I have never felt so helpless in my life. This situation is very emotionally difficult and out of respect for the families involved I would like to leave it at that.”

    Hoang is scheduled to be released from the hospital on Wednesday.

    An autopsy conducted Tuesday found Ken Hoang drowned, and listed alcohol toxicity as a secondary factor, the medical examiner’s office said. His death was ruled an accident.


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  • 01/15/14--09:01: Target's Free Monitoring

  • Target has announced how shoppers can enroll in a free credit monitoring and identity theft protection program in the wake of a massive data heist.

    The retailer will offer the service for one year, according to Target's site.

    The announcement comes after Target revealed on Friday that the massive security breach during the holiday shopping season may have affected up to 110 million of its customers and included more kinds of confidential information than previously disclosed.

    The company said last month that about 40 million credit and debit cards may have been affected by the breach that occurred between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15.

    But Target followed up by saying an ongoing investigation into the hack found that names, phone numbers, email and mailing addresses for 70 million customers were also compromised. Some of the stolen information belonged to customers who had shopped at stores before the holiday season breach occurred.

    A Target spokesman told NBC News that some overlap exists between the two data sets.

    "I know that it is frustrating for our guests to learn that this information was taken and we are truly sorry they are having to endure this," Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer for Target said in a statement. "I also want our guests to know that understanding and sharing the facts related to this incident is important to me and the entire Target team."

    The hack could become one of the largest data breaches ever for a retailer, surpassing an incident uncovered in 2007 that saw more than 45 million credit and debit cards stolen from T.J. Maxx and Marshalls customers. 



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    A Target store is seen on December 19, 2013 in Miami, Florida. Target announced that up to 110 million of its customers had their personal information compromised.A Target store is seen on December 19, 2013 in Miami, Florida. Target announced that up to 110 million of its customers had their personal information compromised.

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    The commissioner of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is stepping down and returning to his job at Yale University.

    When Gov. Dannel Malloy appointed Daniel Esty in March 2011, Yale granted him a three-year leave of absence from his tenured position to take over the state agency.

    “I am proud of all we’ve accomplished on the environmental and energy fronts with the hard work of a skilled and dedicated agency staff and the active support, engagement and guidance of Governor Malloy,” Esty said in a statement.  “In sum, our efforts have made Connecticut a national leader when it comes to innovative approaches to both environmental regulation and energy policy.”

    Esty will leave his DEEP office on Feb. 3 and return to Yale to resume his work as the Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy and Director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and the Center for Business & Environment at Yale.  

    You can read his resignation letter here. http://www.governor.ct.gov/malloy/lib/malloy/2014.01.15_esty.pdf

    “As the first Commissioner of a state agency that took on expanded responsibilities, Dan Esty led the way in integrating and reinvigorating our approach to environmental regulation and energy policy and building a strong foundation for 21st century action,” Malloy said in a statement. “During the three years he served as Commissioner, innovative and breakthrough programs were put in place to successfully address long-standing environmental and energy challenges.  In addition, steps were taken to lighten the burden of electricity costs, an issue that has created real problems for our families and businesses.  I thank Commissioner Esty for all he has done in working closely with me to build a stronger future for Connecticut and I wish him all the best upon his return to his duties at Yale.”

    Esty has written and edited several books and articles on environmental policy issues and the relationship between environmental and corporate strategy.

    He has also served in a variety of senior positions for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as practicing law in Washington, DC.  He also served as an energy and environmental policy advisor on the 2008 Obama Presidential campaign and was a member of the Obama Presidential Transition Team.

    Malloy will announce a successor in the coming weeks.

     



    Photo Credit: Connecticut DEEP

    Daniel Esty stepping down as DEEP commissioner to return to job at Yale.Daniel Esty stepping down as DEEP commissioner to return to job at Yale.

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    Some firefighters came to the rescue of a trapped deer today.

    The deer was pinned between a fence and a utility pole, according to a Facebook post and Tweet from Hamden Professional Firefighters Local 2687.

    Crews from the second platoon used hydraulic spreaders to make the adorable rescue.



    Photo Credit: Hamden Professional Firefighters Local 2687

    Some firefighters came to the rescue of a trapped deer today.Some firefighters came to the rescue of a trapped deer today.

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    Ice is causing slippery conditions on the road ths morning and parts of the state are dealing with dense fog.

    CHECK SCHOOL DELAYS HERE

    Crashes have been reported on Interstate 84 in Plainville, Farmington and Tolland, on Interstate 691 in Meriden and Interstate 95 in Greenwich.

    One person involved in the rollover crash between exits 68 and 67 on I-84 in Tolland was transported to Rockville Hospital, according to John Littell, the director of public safety, emergency management director and fire chief.

    Another vehicle rolled over on I-84 west by exit 69 in Tolland. One lane is shut down and a patient being treated at the scene and will be transported to the hospital.

    Meadow Road in Farmington is closed from Garden Street to Red Oak Hill Road and is expected to last through the morning commute. A pole and wires are down.

    The DOT has more than 100 trucks out treating the highways.

    SIGN UP FOR SCHOOL CLOSING AND DELAY ALERTS HERE

    Download our weather app to get updates wherever you are whenever you want them.

     


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    This year’s flu season has seen a rise in hospitalizations and deaths across the country. Although the season typically reaches its peak in January and February, this round has already seen fatalities in several states. Experts urge that it is not too late to get a flu shot.

    The predominant flu strain affecting the country is H1N1. Back in 2009, an H1N1 pandemic killed over 200,000 people worldwide. Swine flu is not expected to pose a similar danger this time because the current flu vaccine includes protection against H1N1. But the CDC warned that the 2013-2014 season will be most dangerous to young- and middle-aged adults, as it was in 2009. By contrast, common seasonal influenza victims are children and those over the age of 65.

    As of early January, the CDC documented 2,622 influenza-related hospitalizations for the season.

    In order to properly protect yourself from the rising rate of flu-related sickness, here are five things to keep in mind for a safe and healthy season:

    Get a flu shot, even if you already got one last year
    This year’s vaccine contains the most up-to-date protection against the circulating strains, including H1N1. An old flu shot will not protect you for a new season. There are also different types of vaccinations available for those with allergies. The flu vaccine finder on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ flu website is a good tool to find the nearest location that fits your need.

    Practice proper hygiene
    Wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based cleanser after you go to the bathroom, cough, or sneeze. Don’t think that antibacterial gels will be a good substitute. A gel is only a worthy replacement for hand-washing if it is made from over 60 percent alcohol, ethanol or isopropanol, Dr. Roshini Raj said on “Today.”

    Avoid touching your phone too often in between washes
    Your phone could be a magnet for germs, especially if it’s a touchscreen, NBC DFW reported. Try a disinfectant every once in a while to remove those unwanted pathogens.

    Learn how to recognize the symptoms
    If prevention doesn’t help you avoid catching the flu, noticing symptoms early on is your best chance for ensuring proper treatment and recovery. Common symptoms include a cough, fever, sore throat, headache, fatigue, and muscle pains. If you think you may be coming down with the flu, see your doctor immediately. Dr. Keri Peterson warned on “Today" that even if you’ve already gotten the flu, you may be susceptible to a different strain.

    Do your research
    Check out the WHO, CDC, NIH and other trusted websites for more tips to avoid catching the flu. You can also use Google’s Flu Trends map to track the level of influenza nationally and locally.



    Photo Credit: Stock Image

    If prevention doesn’t help you avoid catching the flu, noticing symptoms early on is your best chance for ensuring proper treatment and recovery.If prevention doesn’t help you avoid catching the flu, noticing symptoms early on is your best chance for ensuring proper treatment and recovery.

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    New Haven police are looking for three men who committed a violent home invasion and robbery last night, pointed a gun at children and assaulted their father before locking him in the trunk of his own car.

    Police responded to a home on Stevenson Road at 11:27 p.m. and the 38-year-old homeowner relayed the violent events, police said.

    The victim said he was home with his 2-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son when he heard footsteps and a masked man with a handgun demanded money.

    The victim said he handed over the cash he had and two other men entered the room.

    When the victim told the men he did not have any more money, one of the intruders pointed his gun at the man’s children, police said.

    The intruders beat the homeowner with a pistol and he insisted that he did not have more money, but then said he had cash in his car.

    The intruders then brought the two children into the bathroom before taking their father to the garage, police said.

    The victim then gave the intruders cash and the men locked him in the trunk of his car.

    After a few minutes, the victim freed himself from his car.

    Police are looking for three men.

    One tall man had an average build. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and a black face mask and was carrying a handgun.

    Another man was 5-feet-9 and thin. He was wearing a red hooded sweatshirt.

    The third man was husky and in his early thirties. He wore a gray hooded sweatshirt and carried a revolver.


    A 17-year-old was shot during attempted robbery on Dixwell Avenue in New Haven this morning, according to police.A 17-year-old was shot during attempted robbery on Dixwell Avenue in New Haven this morning, according to police.

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    Police are searching for the people who stole hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel, a generator and a quad with a GPS unit from the construction site of a new elementary school in Prospect.

    According to police, two people unlocked the gate and entered the construction site at 75 New Haven Road/Route 69 in Prospect on Saturday evening and Monday morning.

    The suspects siphoned 800 gallons of diesel fuel and stole an 1800-watt generator and a red quad with a $48,000 GPS mounted on the front, according to police.

    Police said tire tracks show they were driving a pickup truck and that there was no trailer attached.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact the Prospect Resident Troopers Office at 203-758-6150 or State Police at 203-393-4200.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

    This quad was one of several items stolen from a construction site in Prospect.This quad was one of several items stolen from a construction site in Prospect.

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    Firefighters are responding to a fire at 107 Oakwood Avenue in West Hartford.

    According to officials at the scene, the fire broke out in the living room of a first-floor apartment. The fire was quickly contained, and other two apartments in the building filled with smoke but were otherwise unharmed.

    Occupants were evacuated and first-floor residents have not been allowed to reenter. The extent of damage is unclear.

    The cause of the fire is unknown.

    No additional information was available. 


    View Larger Map

     


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    A Bridgeport woman is facing charges after allegedly showing up at her boyfriend’s home and stabbing him the chest, police said.

    According to police, 25-year-old Evelyn Smith, of Hancock Avenue, went to her boyfriend’s house on Ortega Avenue around 7 a.m. Wednesday and stabbed him with what may have been a kitchen knife when he answered the door.

    Police said Smith then tried to get into the house and go upstairs to speak with one of her boyfriend’s relatives. He blocked her entry so she turned and fled, banging her fists against cars in the driveway on her way out, authorities said.

    Smith was taken into custody and found with three kitchen knives in her coat pocket, according to police.

    The victim, Smith’s 26-year-old boyfriend, was taken to Saint Vincent’s Medical Center for treatment of non-life threatening injuries, police said.

    Smith was charged with second-degree assault.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    The JCPenney in Meriden is among 33 “underperforming” stores around the country that will shutter their doors by May, resulting in some 2,000 job cuts, according to a release from the company.

    Affected stores will continue to sell their merchandise over the next few months and will close by May, company officials said. Employees whose jobs are cut will receive separation benefits packages, if eligible.

    The Meriden store, located at Westfield Meriden on Lewis Avenue (formerly the Meriden Square Mall), is the only Connecticut location affected. A full list of closing stores can be found here.

    Plans to open a new JCPenney store in Brooklyn, N.Y. will remain underway, according to the company.

    JCPenney said the closings are expected to generate $65 million in annual savings, beginning in 2014. 


    View Larger Map



    Photo Credit: AP

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    A convicted felon and former student at the New Horizons School in New Haven is facing charges after police said he showed up at the school with a gun in his pocket and asked to speak to the principal yesterday.

    Police said 21-year-old Maurice Keys, of Glade Street in West Haven, approached a security guard and asked to speak with the school principal just after 11 a.m. Tuesday.

    The security guard patted him down outside the entrance and felt a handgun in Keys’ pocket. When questioned, Keys told the security guard it was an electronic device, but turned and fled before making it through the metal detector, according to police.

    The security guard contacted police, who found Keys outside a home on Greenwich Avenue. He struggled with the officers who confronted him but was finally arrested, police said.

    Keys is a convicted felon and was charged with possession of a weapon on school grounds, criminal possession of a pistol, criminal trespassing and interfering with police.

    Police said Keys frequently visited the school and made no threat. He left before passing through the school’s metal detector.

    The school was mostly empty at the time of the incident because students had been dismissed around 11 a.m. on a testing schedule.



    Photo Credit: New Haven Police Department

    Maurice Keys, 21, a former student at the New Horizons School in New Haven and convicted felon, showed up at the school with a gun in his pocket, according to police.Maurice Keys, 21, a former student at the New Horizons School in New Haven and convicted felon, showed up at the school with a gun in his pocket, according to police.

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    Police officers and firefighters worked together to save a dog that had fallen through the ice in Waterford on Wednesday.

    Waterford officers were dispatched to Alewife Cove near Eastneck Road after someone reported seeing a dog on the ice, around 2:50 p.m. When they arrived, they found the dog had fallen through the thin layer of ice on the cove.

    According to police, Officers Todd O'Connell and Matt Fedor commandeered a boat and had it ready for firefighters from the Goshen and Jordan Fire Departments.

    Firefighters Bob Swanson and Jake Reagan put on protective gear and went into the icy water to rescue the pooch.

    The firefighters loaded the dog into the boat and brought it ashore.

    New London animal control officers took the dog to be checked out, but the animal appeared to be OK, police said.

    Though the dog had tags, it was not clear if the owner had been located.



    Photo Credit: Waterford Police

    Police officers and firefighters worked together to save a dog that had fallen through the ice on Alewife Cove in Waterford on Wednesday.Police officers and firefighters worked together to save a dog that had fallen through the ice on Alewife Cove in Waterford on Wednesday.

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    LifeStar and state police are responding to Ski Sundown in New Hartford after a skier fell from a ski lift Wednesday evening.

    That person has not been identified. The extent of injuries are unclear.

    No additional information was immediately available.

    Check back for updates.


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    Two suspected thieves are facing burglary charges, accused of breaking into a Bridgeport home and stealing, jewelry, electronics, other valuables – and beer.

    A neighbor alerted police after noticing two men breaking into a home on Columbia Street through a side window on Tuesday, authorities said.

    Police said 25-year-old Jesus Figueroa, of Bridgeport, and 22-year-old Marcos Colon, of Stratford, stole a coin-filled piggy bank, a football, laptop, television, digital camera, jewelry and beer, then fled.

    Officers found the suspects carrying the stolen items on Ridge Avenue, according to police.

    They were charged with burglary, criminal trespassing, criminal mischief and possession of burglary tools.


    Bridgeport police said two people broke into a home on Columbia Street and stole valuables and beer.Bridgeport police said two people broke into a home on Columbia Street and stole valuables and beer.

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    Route 4 has reopened in Burlington after a garbage truck brought down wires, according to the state police.

     

    The road was closed for several hours at Post Office Road while crews worked to make repairs and clear the scene on Wendesday.

    The bucket on the bucket truck was up when the operator was driving and it became entangled in wires, police said. Wires came down on the truck, but the driver was not injured.

    Officials said two utility poles were down, along with a transformer that was leaking fuel.

    Crews from Connecticut Light & Power and hazardous material crews responded to the scene.

    Crews from the Department of Transportation are setting up a detour onto Upson Road and expected Route 4 to remain closed for several hours. 



    Photo Credit: @amesamatic

    Route 4 in Burlington is closed at Post Office Road after a crash, according to a Tweet from state police.Route 4 in Burlington is closed at Post Office Road after a crash, according to a Tweet from state police.

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