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    Norwalk police have arrested a European juvenile who is accused of retaliating against a local resident over something that happened in an online chatroom and prompting the SWAT team to respond.

    At 3:45 a.m. on Aug. 20, dispatchers in Norwalk received a call from someone who said he was an Army veteran on Kendall Court with several guns, police said. The call was from a blocked number.

    A few minutes into the call, the caller told dispatchers he was going to go open the door for officers at the scene, then there were what sounded like four gunshots, police said.

    When the Norwalk SWAT team responded, the actual homeowner came out and police realized the 911 call had been a hoax and didn’t come from the home.

    As the investigation continued, Detective Justin Bisceglie learned that a resident of the home had been communicating with a European juvenile in a chatroom and the suspect got angry, so he retaliated by initiating the swatting call, police said.

    Police have not released the juvenile’s name, but said he has an extensive hacking history and placed the call online, then routed it through other phone numbers to mask where it was coming from.

    Once they realized the suspect was outside of U.S. borders, police enlisted the help of the FBI, which was aware of the suspect and forwarded the information to the proper authorities, police said.

    The teen will not be brought to the United States, but has been arrested in Europe.

    Anyone with information about these incidents should call the Norwalk Police Department. You can call the police tip line at 203-854-3111, leave an anonymous tip online at www.norwalkpd.com or text tips by typing "NPD" and sending it to CRIMES (274637).
     


    Norwalk police have arrested a European juvenile who is accused of retaliating against a local resident over something that happened in an online chatroom and prompting the SWAT team to respond.Norwalk police have arrested a European juvenile who is accused of retaliating against a local resident over something that happened in an online chatroom and prompting the SWAT team to respond.

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    Phones have been ringing off the hook about Pilgrim, the cocker spaniel abandoned outside a Connecticut Humane Society shelter in Waterford last week, and he will be able to meet people interested in taking him home this Friday.

    Pilgrim was abandoned, left outside in freezing cold weather last Friday, and his fur was so badly matted that he could barely walk and the act of relieving himself made the problem worse.

    After learning about the deplorable condition of neglect, some local groomers from the Diesel Dog from Hamden and Oliver's Tails from Old Lyme came forward and shaved more than seven pounds of matted fur off Pilgrim.

    Now, Pilgrim looks like a new dog and the Waterford-East Lyme Animal Control posted on Facebook, from the perspective of the dog, addressing some of the many questions coming in to animal control.

    One was that Pilgrim is not ready to be adopted immediately. Animal control posted an ad in the newspaper, which is required by law. If no one comes forward in eight days, there is a chance that Pilgrim could be adopted.

    Staff members at animal control are also watching to see how Pilgrim behaves.

    In the meantime, members of the public are invited to stop by animal control on Friday to meet Pilgrim and fill out an adoption application.
     



    Photo Credit: Waterford-East Lyme Animal Control
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.

    Pilgrim looks like a new dog.Pilgrim looks like a new dog.

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    Police have arrested a man suspected of committing several armed home invasions in Hamden and restraining a woman during one of them.

    Jonathan Mills, 39, of Hamden, is accused of committing five home invasions between Aug. 18 and Sept. 26 and police arrested him on Nov. 21 as he appeared in superior court in Meriden.

    The first crime happened on Aug. 18 on Glemby Street. Police said Mills got in through an unlocked window, but left after the resident confronted him and no items were taken.

    On Sept. 15, Mills got into a Kaye Vue Drive home through an unlocked bathroom window and stole car keys and a remote control, police said.

    Soon after that home invasion, Mills went through a bathroom window of another home on the same street, police said.

    He was armed with a gun as he tied up the 26-year-old resident, who was sleeping, police said. he proceeded to rummage through the home and stole the woman’s car, electronic equipment and bank debit card, police said.

    On Sept. 25, Mills entered a Mix Avenue home through an unlocked slider door, pointed a gun at a woman and demanded money, police said. When the woman’s husband came home moments late and interrupted the home invasion, Mills left with the woman’s purse and other personal belongings, police said.

    On Sept. 26, Mills forced his way into a home on Blake Road and stole a television, police said.

    Mills was charged with two counts of home invasion, first-degree robbery, two counts of first-degree burglary, burglary in the second degree, two counts of third-degree burglary, unlawful restraint in the first degree and several larceny charges.

    He was arraigned at Meriden Superior Court on Nov. 21.
     



    Photo Credit: Hamden Police

    Jonathan Mills is accused of several home invasions.Jonathan Mills is accused of several home invasions.

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    A sinkhole opened up in West Hartford Center after a pipe burst Tuesday, prompting crews to cut water to nearby businesses while they made repairs.

    Emergency crews blocking the busy intersection of Farmington Avenue and LaSalle Road for hours starting at 12:45 p.m. Tuesday, when a police officer on patrol noticed the hole and distress cracks in the pavement near a crosswalk.

    The Metropolitan District Commission turned water off to businesses on LaSalle Road, between Farmington Avenue and Arapahoe Road, and staff members went door-to-door to every business on the street to inform them of the problem.

    Some businesses in the area closed early due to water problems, including the Starbucks on LaSalle Road, which posted a sign on its front door reading, "Due to work on the water supply, we will be closing today at 2:00 p.m. We will re-open as soon as possible. Sorry for any inconvenience!"

    The hole was patched up and water was restored as of about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.

    A sinkhole formed at the corner of Farmington Avenue and LaSalle Road.A sinkhole formed at the corner of Farmington Avenue and LaSalle Road.

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    A 38-foot boat caught fire at a marina in Old Saybrook on Tuesday morning while being shrink wrapped for winter storage, according to the fire department.

    Thirty-three firefighters responded to the Island Cove Marina at 47 Sunrise Avenue around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. Fire officials said the boat was on shore and caught fire while being wrapped for storage.

    The fire has been deemed accidental, according to the fire department. The boat was destroyed, but no one was injured.



    Photo Credit: Old Saybrook FIre Department
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    Albertus Magnus College in New Haven was locked down Tuesday afternoon after someone threatened the financial assistance office.

    The school posted an alert on its website, saying the campus at 700 Prospect Street was placed on lockdown and afternoon and evening classes were canceled as a precautionary measure recommended by New Haven police.

    A New Haven official said the incident started at the mayor's office in Hamden, where someone became aggressive and made a threat against the financial assistance office at Albertus Magnus.

    According to the New Haven mayor's office, a suspect has been taken into custody and the lockdown has been lifted.

    Police from Hamden, North Haven and New Haven Police are involved in the investigation.

    Check back for updates.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    New Haven officials are hoping that the incoming snow won't be anything spectacular, but the sign inside the Emergency Operations Center says it all: "Snow is coming, prepare now."

    “We'll prepare for 5 or 6 inches and we'll hope that we'll get 2 inches or nothing at all,” said Deputy Emergency Management Director Rick Fontana.

    There will most likely be a partial activation of the EOC, and the city is making sure all the DPW trucks are ready to go. The new trucks won't arrive until December, so the city is making sure others are available.

    “We'll have about 22 of our own trucks, but we'll also bring in about seven of the outside contractor vehicles,” said Fontana.

    If more than six inches of snow fall in the area, parking bans will take effect, and residents will be asked to clear cars from the streets.

    “We have a citywide alert. They should go on our website, make sure we have their phone number so we can call them and let them know when we're plowing their street, and if they have to move their cars,” said New Haven Mayor Toni Harp.


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    As the state gears up for its first major snowstorm of the season, Gov. Dannel Malloy is urging residents to avoid traveling Wednesday and rely on mass transit if possible.

    “Quite frankly, if you can complete your travel plans today, you’d be far better off than tomorrow, based on current forecasts,” Malloy said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

    \Malloy was joined by Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker, who said the state's trucks and snow blowers are ready to tackle more than a foot of snow if need be.

    Redeker said this snow event is significant not because of the projected snowfall, but because of the timing.

    "We want to be ready because a lot more people are going to be travelling and we want to give them the best trip possible," Redeker said.

    Connecticut is ready with a fleet of nearly 900 state-owned and contractor plow trucks, in addition to 112 front loaders to remove snow and 11 massive snow blowers.

    Equipment and crews sent to Western New York last week to help dig out after lake-effect snow blanketed the region are prepared to use their skills back in their home state.

    "They're back and refreshed and ready to go," Redeker said.

    Redeker said trucks will start treating roads before the storm and will also over-treat some sections of highway to prepare for the number of cars and trucks that are expected. He explained that crews will be strategic in where they prepare roads.

    "We will only be treating places we think based on temperature needed to be pre-treated," Redeker said. "As the storm materializes we’re going to be putting down material, as much as necessary to keep the roads clear.”



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    It's official - the Red Sox' offseason is off to a dynamic start.

    Boston officially announced the signing of third baseman Pablo Sandoval and former shortstop Hanley Ramirez on Tuesday.

    Sandoval's contract is worth $95 million over five years and contains a club option for a sixth year, along with a $3 million bonus. Ramirez will earn $88 million over four years, with a vesting option for a fifth year valued at $22 million, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

    Ramirez, who started his career in Boston, will play left field for the Red Sox, as many had speculated when the signing was first reported. He has not played the outfield in the big leagues.

    "I'm really happy to be back in Boston," said Ramirez Tuesday evening at a press conference. "Hopefully, I can finish my career here."

    The Red Sox traded Ramirez to the then-Florida Marlins back in 2005 in a blockbuster deal that sent Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell to Boston. The Marlins sent Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012.

    Sandoval, also known as Kung Fu Panda, spent his entire career with the San Francisco Giants. He was introduced Tuesday afternoon.

    "You want a new challenge. You want to start something new. And they gave me the opportunity to be here," said Sandoval. "To start my new challenge."

    Ramirez and Sandoval represent a potentially major offensive boost for Boston, but both come with question marks.

    Ramirez, who turns 31 in December, batted .283/.369/.448 with 13 homers last season, but was an MVP candidate just a year earlier, batting .345/.402/.638 with 20 homers. He is a career .300 hitter with an OPS of .873.

    Sandoval, meanwhile, hits free agency at the young age of 28. He batted .279/.324/.415 last year, hitting 16 home runs. He made two All-Star teams as a member of the Giants and has a career line of .294/.346/.465.

    Ramirez has a history of health problems, appearing in just 86 games during his excellent 2013 campaign and 92 back in 2011. While young and known as a solid defender, has had ongoing weight issues. He is listed at 245 pounds, but his weight has fluctuated throughout his time in the big leagues.

    A move to the American League could benefit Sandoval, as he could ultimately play as a designated hitter, eventually replacing 39-year-old David Ortiz.

    The Red Sox adding both players is surprising. The team was in need of a third baseman, with Will Middlebrooks hitting below the Mendoza line last year with an abysmal .191/.256/.265 line last season.

    But shortstop Xander Bogaerts was one of the top prospects in baseball going into his rookie season last year. While moving Ramirez to the outfield solves the infield logjam, it exacerbates an already-existing one in the outfield - he joins Yoenis Cespedes, Shane Victorino, Rusney Castillo, Allen Craig, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Daniel Nava in the mix.

    Needless to say, a trade is likely. Some of the team's outfield assets could be used to replenish starting pitching, the team's greatest need. Boston traded away Jon Lester, John Lackey and Jake Peavy before the trade deadline, and Clay Buchholz has been wildly inconsistent.

    Lester, now a free agent after a brief tenure with the Oakland Athletics, has been in talks to return to Boston. But the Giants, after losing Sandoval, are now reportedly showing interest in the lefty.

    As Comcast SportsNet New England's Sean McAdam notes, adding both players will make the Sox' offense "lethal." In one projected 2015 lineup, McAdam did not include Cespedes, Victorino or Craig, a testament to the depth.


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    Seven new businesses opened their doors in New Haven just in time for Small Business Saturday, when customers are encouraged to shop locally and support their neighbors.

    One of those businesses belongs to Stephen Clemente, who opened a branch of his olive oil store in New Haven as a homecoming of sorts.

    “I was born in New Haven, I was raised on Olive Street, ironically enough, so when Yale approached me about coming here to the shops at Yale, it was really an unbelievable opportunity,” said Clemente, owner of the Extra Virgin Oil Store.

    The new businesses are located in the Chapel Street and Broadway Districts and the city is setting them up for success.

    “Small businesses are more likely to be locally-owned. They're more likely to be supplied by other local businesses. They're more likely to have accounts at local banks and with local merchants, and they're more likely to have employees who live and shop locally,” said New Haven Mayor Toni Harp.

    To make it easier for people to shop small on Saturday, the Town Green District is paying the fees for 190 parking meters, so that customers don't have to.

    “So if you see a white bag that says 2 hours free parking, take advantage of it. Come on downtown, shop, the parking is on us for Small Business Saturday. We also have a free Saturday parking promotion at the Crown Street Garage,” said Win Davis, executive director of the Town Green District.

    New Haven is also hoping that road construction and paving in the area wraps up by Friday, so shoppers have an easy time getting in and around the city.


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    Cities around the country girded for another round of protests Tuesday, a day after a grand jury decided against indicting a white police officer, Darren Wilson, in the fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Missouri.

    In Philadelphia, demonstrators were already spilling over into the streets by Tuesday afternoon, chanting "Hands up, don't shoot," while activists in Chicago were planning to remain outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office for 28 hours in an act of civil disobedience. The group called on Emanuel to change what they said was a culture of racism within the Chicago Police Department.

    In New York City, protesters blocked access to the Manhattan side of the Lincoln Tunnel, one of the city's major transit arteries, during rush hour Tuesday evening. More than 500 protesters marched up Broadway and gathered peacefully in Times Square. They chanted "Hands up, don't shoot" and carried signs reading "We will not be silent." Around 200 protesters also gathered peacefully in nearby Newark, New Jersey.

    A Miami jury deliberating the fate of a woman accused of killing her husband's business partner was dismissed early in anticipation of a protest at the Miami courthouse.

    About 200 to 250 protesters in Los Angeles gathered at the interesection of Martin Luther King and Crenshaw boulevards Tuesday afternoon, forcing the closure of those roads. Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said he was hoping for a calmer day after Monday night's marches stopped traffic briefly on the 10 Freeway. Three arrests were reported overnight in Los Angeles.

    "I know that this isn't over," Beck said. "This is a wound of the nation that will not heal immediately."

    A car plowed through protesters in Minneapolis Tuesday afternoon, injuring one demonstrator, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported. Moments after the demonstrator was struck, a group of demonstrators jumped on the hood of the vehicle while others tried to free the demonstrator, a reporter said. The Minneapolis Police Department said they were continuing to investigate.

    Protestors had reportedly planned a solidarity rally and march for Michael Brown Tuesday near the Minneapolis Police Department's 3rd Precinct building.

    The announcement Monday night that the Missouri grand jury had brought no charge against Wilson in the Aug. 9 killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown sparked rioting in Ferguson and some unruly protests elsewhere.

    Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon vowed that the violence would not be repeated and said that the National Guard presence would be "ramped up significantly."

    "Last night criminals intent on lawlessness and destruction terrorized this community, burning buildings, firing gunshots, vandalizing storefronts and looting family businesses, many for the second time," he said at a Tuesday afternoon press conference in Ferguson. "I am deeply saddened for the people of Ferguson who woke up this morning to see parts of their community in ruins."

    Protesters had hurled bottles at officers near police headquarters, and flames engulfed at least a dozen businesses. St. Louis County police deployed tactical units and fired tear gas and smoke to break up the crowds. At least 150 gunshots were fired and a semi-automatic handgun was seized, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said at a news conference early Tuesday. 

    Sixty-one people were arrested in Ferguson on charges that included burglary and trespassing, The Associated Press reported. St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said early Tuesday that 21 were arrested in the city.

    "I'm disappointed I didn't see more peaceful protests out there," Belmar said. "What I've seen tonight is probably worse than the worst night we had in August."

    Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday that he had briefed the president in the Oval Office about the violence. He said they talked about the need to bring people together.

    "This is a difficult time for people in Ferguson," Holder said. "It's a difficult time for people in our country. I think this is an opportunity for us to find those things that bind us as a nation, to be honest with one another about those things that continue to divide us and to come up with ways in which we make this union even more perfect."

    Across the country, reactions ranged from marches that threatened to shut down busy streets to gatherings near national landmarks. Most remained peaceful, officials said.

    In California, large crowds marched through the streets of Oakland and Los Angeles. Demonstrators shut down Interstate 580 and the USC campus was placed on lockdown as demonstrators marched by.

    Angry protesters took to the streets of Philadelphia after the announcement, chanting "No Justice. No Peace. No Racist Police," and holding both arms in the air. Albeit loud in voice, they remained peaceful in actions as police trailed their march.

    A man was arrested after hurling fake blood on NYPD Chief Bill Bratton in New York's Times Square during a demonstration. Hundreds marched from Union Square to Upper Manhattan through traffic-clogged streets, with signs such as "Jail killer cops."

    At the Chicago police department's headquarters, several hundred people chanted "This is what democracy looks like," and carried photographs of those they said were killed by officers.

    Outside the White House, roughly 300 gathered for a peaceful demonstration, chanting "black lives matter." Some carried signs urging the demilitarization of police.



    Photo Credit: AP
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.

    A police car is set on fire after a group of protesters vandalize the vehicle after the announcement of the grand jury decision Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)A police car is set on fire after a group of protesters vandalize the vehicle after the announcement of the grand jury decision Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

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    The former E.O. Smith High School girls' soccer coach accused of sending a lewd video of himself to members of his team has been arrested on a tampering with a witness charge.

    Jeffrey Sirois, 57, of Lebanon, was arrested on Tuesday, posted a $5,000 bond and is due in court in Norwich on Dec. 11.

    In October, Sirois was arrested after he admitted to sending an inappropriate video to players on his team through the smartphone app Snapchat, according to police, and he pleaded not guilty to impairing the morals of a child, obscenity and breach of peace.

    According to the warrant for the arrest on Oct. 3, several of Sirois' team members were at a pizza restaurant in Mansfield when the message crossed one of their cellphones.

    The recipient and four other teens looked at the message together, then reported the incident to school officials, who in turn contacted police, the warrant says.

    Sirois told investigators he meant to send that video to his girlfriend but instead sent it to his entire Snapchat group, according to the warrant. Students said Sirois has sent them private Snapchats in the past but none that were obscene.

    School officials said they fired Sirois from his job after the allegations surfaced. His attorney said Sirois was suspended from other coaching jobs as well.

    “My client is profoundly remorseful that this is alleged to have occurred and we’re gonna get to the bottom of this and he hopes to get back to his first love in life which is soccer,” defense attorney John O’Brien said last month.

    According to the warrant for his arrest, Sirois was also ordered to stay off school grounds and have no "unsupervised contact" with anyone under the age of 16.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com/Southeast Soccer Club

    Jeffrey Sirois, the varsity girls' soccer coach at E.O. Smith High School, has been arrested and fired after allegedly sending an Jeffrey Sirois, the varsity girls' soccer coach at E.O. Smith High School, has been arrested and fired after allegedly sending an "improper video" to juvenile victims.

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    A popular New Haven hip hop artist accused of killing a Hamden man in his apartment on Circular Avenue last month has been charged with murder.

    Police and the U.S. Marshals arrested 38-year-old Nicholas Papantoniou, also known by his stage name "Nickel P," early Tuesday morning on Stonybrook Road in Stratford.

    Papantoniou is accused of shooting and killing 56-year-old Larry Dildy on Oct. 19.

    Police said Papantoniou and William Coutermash, 33, knocked on the door of Dildy's second-floor apartment that afternoon and got into a fight during which Dildy was shot.

    Members of the U.S. Marshal Service Connecticut Violent Fugitive Task Force, along with Bridgeport and Stratford officers, arrested Papantoniou around 5:45 a.m. Tuesday after a month-long investigation in an attempt to track him down.

    He was taken to Hamden police headquarters and charged with felony murder, home invasion, conspiracy to commit home invasion, conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery, criminal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and removing identification marks from a firearm.

    Coutermash was charged with felony murder after the shooting, although authorities consider him a conspirator and said Papantoniou is suspected of pulling the trigger.

    Residents familiar with the city's music scene say Papantoniou is a hip-hop performer who has played concerts in the area for years.

    "Nickel P's" public Facebook page says his "music and lyrics are the perfect example of art imitating life" and promotes his performances, including some at popular New Haven music venue Toad's Place.

    Police haven't released any information about the relationship between Dildy and the suspects but said the attack does not appear to be random.

    Court records show that Papantoniou has been previously convicted on drug, weapon and assault charges, among others. West Haven police are also working to arrest Papantoniou on unrelated assault charges.

    He was held on a court-ordered $1 million bond and is due in court Dec. 9.



    Photo Credit: Facebook/Hamden Police Department

    Nicholas Papantoniou, known by his stage name as Nicholas Papantoniou, known by his stage name as "Nickel P," has been charged in the murder of 56-year-old Larry Dildy, who was fatally shot at his Hamden apartment earlier this month.

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    A Catholic school and a lumber store are among those forced to clean up in Willimantic after being targeted with graffiti.

    Someone spray painted the tag "Silly Me" on at least seven different locations in town, including two behind St. Mary's Catholic School and one on the side of Willard's Lumber.

    Two more tags sit on concrete walls, a third marks the side of a house, and yet another one sits high up on an abandoned building.

    "I think it's horrible. I think they're defacing stuff with no meaning, it doesn't mean anything. I don't understand why they're doing it," said Willimantic resident Shane Ibarrondo.

    With the community outraged, especially over the vandalism at the Catholic school, Willimantic police say they're determined to track down those responsible.

    "My phone has been ringing most of the morning. People are concerned about this. I just want to make it clear this is not a hate crime at this point. It's just some basic graffiti that we've seen," said Cpl. Stanley Parizo of the Willimantic Police Department.

    If you have any information about who's responsible for the graffiti, give Willimantic police a call.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Firefighters rescued a puppy from a burning building on Main Street in Manchester after flames forced nine tenants from their apartments late Tuesday morning.

    Fire broke out around 11:30 a.m. on the third floor of the apartment building at 1077 Main Street. A passerby spotted smoke coming from the window and called 911, according to the fire department.

    Six residents were home at the time and made it out safely. Firefighters searched the building and found a puppy, which they carried to safety, officials said.

    Firefighters said the flames broke out in a third-floor hallway and crept into the walls and ceiling. Crews extinguished the flames and put out lingering pockets of fire.

    The third-floor common area suffered heavy damage from fire and smoke. Firefighters said the rest of the building sustained minimal smoke damage, and a retail store downstairs was able to reopen after firefighters cleared the scene.

    Nine residents – five men, four women and a 2-year-old girl – have been displaced while crews work to make repairs. The American Red Cross and Manchester Human Services Department are helping seven tenants find temporary housing.



    Photo Credit: Patrick Dooley

    Firefighters rescue a puppy from a burning building on Main Street in Manchester.Firefighters rescue a puppy from a burning building on Main Street in Manchester.

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    A tumbling coach in Fairfield is facing charges after sexually assaulting a teen, according to police.

    Police said Victor Marella, 24, brought a 14-year-old girl to his home on Stonewall Lane in Trumbull in January and took advantage of her. The teen reported the incident to Fairfield police.

    Trumbull police said Marella was the teen's tumbling coach at a Fairfield sports business at the time of the assault. The Fairfield Sun identifies the business as Sportsplex on Mill Plain Road.

    Marella turned himself in to police on Nov. 22 and was charged with second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor.

    He was released from custody after posting $50,000 bond and is due in court Dec. 2.

    Information on an attorney for Marella was not immediately available.



    Photo Credit: Trumbull Police Department

    Victor Marella, 24, is accused of sexually assaulting a teen while working as her tumbling coach.Victor Marella, 24, is accused of sexually assaulting a teen while working as her tumbling coach.

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    Connecticut joined the dozens of other states across the country in protesting the news that Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson will not go to trial in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.

    Students at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain demonstrated Tuesday. Some protesters spoke with U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy when he arrived on campus and argued that the Congress should have done more.

    Murphy countered by saying that the issue lies with neighborhoods, not Washington, and added that community policing is a possible solution.

    “I think it’s bigger than Ferguson. Ferguson is just the space that’s in the media right now,” said Don Sawyer, a professor of sociology at Quinnipiac University.

    Sawyer said the outrage surrounding the death of Brown was a tipping point for communities of color in the U.S. that have mainly white police officers patrolling the streets.

    “People talk about the issue of the predominantly white police force and the predominantly black neighborhood and the fact that they don’t match up, right?" Sawyer said. "And part of that is the relationship that people have with the police. If people have relationships with the police that are in their community and from their community, the reactions would be different, I believe.”

    Scot Esdaile, president of the NAACP’s Connecticut chapter in New Haven, condemned the violence that overtook Ferguson, where people looted stores and burned buildings Tuesday night.

    “We’re not surprised about the actual decision,” Esdaile said. “But, I extremely, extremely encourage people to protest. I think we need to protest in civil disobedience.”

    Esdaile added that what’s been seen on television doesn’t help any community recover.

    “I think that the anger that we feel, the disappointment that we feel we need to do in a constructive way. We don’t need to destroy our communities but we do need to be out in the streets letting America know and the world know that we’re not OK with this decision,” he said.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Some holiday travelers will be forced to change their plans as winter weather dumps several inches of snow on the state Wednesday.

    Passengers who want to change their flights as a precaution can do so free of charge if they're flying with one of the airlines listed below.

    • American Airlines/American Eagle: A representative told NBC Connecticut that flights affected by the Northeast Thanksgiving Storm will be allowed to change their flights free of charge. Travelers can check for qualifying locations online.
    • Delta Airlines: Even if your flight is not canceled, you can make a one-time change to your ticket without being charged if you are scheduled to travel to, from or through certain locations, including Connecticut.
    • JetBlue: Due to inclement weather forecasted to impact the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, we will waive change/cancel fees and fare differences for customers traveling to, from or through the destinations listed on the airline's website.
    • Southwest Airlines: Southwest doesn’t charge fees to swap tickets, but a fare difference could apply to customers who are making the changes on their own, according to an airline representative. During inclement weather, Southwest cancels flights in the areas where there will be the biggest impact, at which point a travel advisory will go into effect. Passengers can check their flight’s status online.
    • United Airlines: United Airlines has issued a waiver for travel scheduled for tomorrow for airports along the East Coast. The exception policy is available online.
    • U.S. Airways/U.S. Airways Express: Customers can change their flights free of charge if they are ticketed to travel to, from, or through Bradley or any of the airports listed here.

    Some airlines are not compensating customers for fare differences. Customers should check with their airlines to confirm that their flights qualify for free ticket transfers.



    Photo Credit: AP

    A departure board at the Philadelphia International Airport shows that US Airways Flight 796 to Tel Aviv has been canceled, Tuesday, July 22, 2014, in Philadelphia.A departure board at the Philadelphia International Airport shows that US Airways Flight 796 to Tel Aviv has been canceled, Tuesday, July 22, 2014, in Philadelphia.

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    With Connecticut’s first big snowfall approaching, winter festivities are kicking off in Hartford.

    Connecticut’s capital will once again host Winterfest, an outdoor experience that brings thousands together for the holiday season at Bushnell Park.

    “Every year Winterfest Hartford gets bigger and better,” Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra said in a statement. “Last year over 100,000 families enjoyed Winterfest and this year we expect even more."

    Free skating, skate rentals, and a learn-to-skate program held every Saturday are available throughout Winterfest, from Nov. 28 through Feb. 1.

    With music, arts programming and family activities to enjoy, nobody will be left in the winter blues.

    Free parking will begin at noon on opening day, according to Eric Boone, CEO of the Hartford Parking Authority.

    If you haven’t taken your child’s Christmas card picture yet, don’t fret! Free pictures with Santa will be available on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. from opening day through Dec. 21.

    The Bushnell Park Carousel will be closed during Winterfest 2014, as it is currently undergoing restoration.

    The public is encouraged to donate new or gently used hats, gloves and scarfs and bring them to the skate shack at the Bushnell Park skating rink anytime throughout the Winterfest season.

    In addition, monetary contributions can be made online.

    Skating Rink Schedule

    Black Friday: 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
    Daily: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

    Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

    Christmas Eve and Christmas Day: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
    New Year’s Day: 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m

    For a full schedule of events visit www.hartford.com.

    Parking Information

    Free parking is available on Elm Street from Trinity Street to Hudson Street, or on Trinity Street from Elm Street to Jewell Street.

    Parking is free on Nov. 28 starting at 12 p.m. and on weekdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 31 through Jan. 30.

    Additional free off street parking is available after 5 p.m. at the state parking lots located on West Street and along Capital Avenue, which gives the visitors easy access to the ice rink.

    As always, legal on-street parking in the city of Hartford is free after 6 p.m. on weeknights and all day on weekends.

    Parking restrictions from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Trinity Street will be lifted from Nov. 28 through Jan. 31. Restrictions will remain in effect on Elm Street and no parking will be available on Jewel Street.

    Additional paid off street parking is available at the ProPark surface lots located near Pulaski Circle.


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    A "significant" amount of airline fuel spilled at Bradley International Airport after a fueling tanker was struck by another vehicle at the gate, according to the state Department of Emergency Protection and the Connecticut Airport Authority.

    Airport Authority Executive Director and CEO Kevin Dillon said the tanker was struck at Gate 29 around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

    According to the DEEP, well over 50 gallons of airline fuel spilled when the tank ruptured.

    The Bradley Airport Fire Department, Airport Operations Center, DEEP and fueling company were called to the scene. Dillon said the fueling company is responsible for cleaning up the spill.

    No flight delays are expected as a result. Dillon said the situation is being treated as accidental.



    Photo Credit: NBCConecticut.com

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