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    Water has been restored after an 8-inch water main broke in West Hartford around 5 a.m. on Thursday.

    The main broke on Simsbury Road, or Route 185, which led to some road closures and buckling of the road at Tumblebrook Lane.

    Water was shut down to an 8-inch water main on Tumblebrook Lane, from King Phillip Road to Simsbury Road that was installed in 1954, and a 12-inch water main on Simsbury Road from 257 Simsbury Road to King Edward Road, which was installed in 1957. The water was restored as of 10 a.m.
     
    Three single-family homes near the intersection of Simsbury Road and Tumblebrook Lane were affected.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    A water main broke in West Hartford this morning and there are road closures.A water main broke in West Hartford this morning and there are road closures.

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    Firefighters responded to a fire at a vacant house in Danbury early Thursday morning.

    The fire department was called 47 W. Wooster St. at 1 a.m. and found flames coming from the second floor when crews arrived.

    The fire marshal was at the scene this morning to investigate.

    No injuries are reported.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Fire broke out at a vacant home in Danbury this morning.Fire broke out at a vacant home in Danbury this morning.

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    Back Lane in Wethersfield is closed after a car hit a pole and the road will remain closed for hours, officials said.

    Officials said a car hit a pole, which came down. Crews from Connecticut Light & Power are at the scene.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    A car hit a pole in Wethersfield this morning, closing a road.A car hit a pole in Wethersfield this morning, closing a road.

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    The town of Enfield is collecting money to help the surviving victims of a fire that killed four people and destroyed a duplex on Wednesday morning.

    A grandmother, her daughter, her grandson and a close family friend were killed when fire broke out at 38 South River Street on Wednesday and caused a partial collapse of the second floor, according to family members.

    The Town of Enfield Social Services Department is coordinating a fundraising effort to help provide for the surviving residents’ needs.

    Financial contributions can be made to the Enfield Food Shelf, Fire Relief Fund, and mailed to Social Services at 100 High Street, Enfield, CT 06082. They are asking for no household.

    The Red Cross is providing several nights in a hotel and funds for emergency food and clothing for the next few days, according to a Facebook post from the director of social services. Donations will help provide support until new permanent housing is found.

    Bill Stone, who identified himself as a family member, identified three of the people killed as Orise Handfield, a 59-year-old grandmother; her daughter, Cathy Armes, who was 34 or 35; Handfield’s grandson, 20-year-old Joshua Johnson; and Dahvie Cygan, a family friend.

    Friends and family members said Johnson’s brother, Richie Handfield, is being treated for burns. Three other people, including Johnson's mother, made it out safely and ran to a neighbor's house.


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

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    All public schools in Watertown are closed for the day because of a power outage at the high school, according to the superintendent.

    The schools were originally opening on a delayed schedule.

    Practices, games and activities are also canceled.


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    Route 4 in Burlington was closed for a while on Thursday morning after a car rolled over, trapping at least one person.

    Crews from Connecticut Light & Power responded because wires were down.

    Route 4 was closed between Mountain Spring Road and Punch Brook Road, but has since reopened.
     


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  • 12/11/14--05:55: Car Hits Pole in Rocky Hill

  • West Street in Rocky Hill was closed for a while on Thursday morning after a car hit a pole.

    The pole came down in the crash and West Street was closed between Gilbert Avenue and Main Street.
     


    West Street in Rocky Hill was closed for a while on Thursday morning after a car hit a pole.West Street in Rocky Hill was closed for a while on Thursday morning after a car hit a pole.

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    It’s a sad day for Norwalk Police after the death of a retired police service dog.

    Nomak died on Wednesday after a battle with myelopathy, a progressive spinal cord disease, according to the police department's Facebook page.

    He served the Norwalk Police Department from May 2006 until he retired in January 2012.

    In his six years of service, Nomak helped make several drug arrests in Norwalk and surrounding towns.

    In May 2007 Nomak and his handler, Officer Andy Kovlakas, were named the department’s officers of the month.

    After his years of service, Nomak spent his retirement with Officer Kovlakas and his family.



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

    Nomak served the Norwalk police department for several years.Nomak served the Norwalk police department for several years.

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    The renovations are complete and the new and improved service plaza on Interstate 95 North in Fairfield will open at noon on Friday.

    This will be the 19th of 23 Connecticut highway service plazas to be completely renovated.

    The improvements include free WiFi and backup power generators for use during a power outage, along with several green features.

    These include photovoltaic solar panels, which reduces dependence on traditional power sources; single-stream recycling; idle-reduction technology for tractor-trailers; water-efficient rest rooms; energy-efficient insulation and lighting; and state-of-the-art, super-efficient heating and air conditioning units.

    People stopping for a respite while traveling through the state can fill up the gas tank at ExxonMobil, grab a bite to eat at Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts or McDonald’s and shop at the Alltown Convenience Store.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation Cameras

    The renovated service plaza on Interstate 95 in Fairfield will open on Friday.The renovated service plaza on Interstate 95 in Fairfield will open on Friday.

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    We all love getting presents and some scammers are taking advantage of that by sending fake package delivery notifications that contain a virus capable of putting your personal and financial information at risk.

    The Connecticut Better Business Bureau put out a warning on Thursday with some tips on what to look for and not become a victim.

    In a typical case, an email will say that the company made one or more unsuccessful attempts to deliver a package, and that message will contain a link to what is supposed to be an invoice or shipping document. By clicking the link, you will download a virus that can sniff around your computer for personal and financial information.

    The Better Business Bureau warns that scammers often impersonate well-known shippers or steal the identities of popular retailers to appear more legitimate.

    If you really did miss a delivery, the driver will leave a ticket at your door to arrange for a later delivery or for you to pick up the package.

    Tips:

    • Watch for poor spelling or grammatical errors - Fraudulent email is often filled with typos and misspellings because many of them originate in countries where the scammers' knowledge of English is limited.
    • Ignore calls for "immediate action" - The con artists often claim that they have made multiple attempts to contact you and that if you don't act immediately, you will no longer be able to retrieve your package. Scammers create a false sense of urgency in an effort to get their victims to react on an emotional basis and let their guard down.
    • Don't always believe what you see -Just because an email might display a well-known company's logo or appear to come from a reputable source, it doesn't always mean that it's legitimate. Fake email addresses may vary somewhat from the real ones and it's easy for a scammer to copy and paste a company's logo or text into their message.
    • Don't be lured by cleverly-labeled links and attachments ¬-A good rule of thumb is to never click on any links or download files from unfamiliar email addresses. Remember that a hyperlink may not actually lead to where it's claiming to go. By right clicking on it and selecting "copy link address," you can paste the link in a text document to see its true destination.
    • If you are expecting a delivery and are concerned that there might be a legitimate delivery problem, contact the company directly using verifiable contact information, not the information contained in a suspicious email.

    What to do if your package disappeared:

    • If you placed an order online, BBB recommends keeping a copy of the order form and tracking number, and following the shipment until its final destination. Here is a checklist to help make sure your package is received by your intended recipients:
    • Insure all packages
    • Require a signature for delivery
    • Have packages delivered to a post office, UPS, FEDEX, or other carrier's facility
    • Ask a friend or neighbor to accept or pick up your packages
    • If allowed, ship packages to your office
    • Let recipients know that a package is on the way and when to expect it to arrive. Follow up to make sure it was received
    • If you think a package was lost or stolen:
    • Make sure that it's not a simple mistake such as the driver leaving the package out of sight
    • Ask a neighbor if they saw the delivery
    • Contact the shipper to verify the items were sent
    • If you believe your package was stolen, file a police report. If there have been numerous such thefts in your area, the police can be on watch to deter thieves.

    Get more tips at bbb.org/Connecticut.


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    A vigil to remember all victims of gun violence will be held this afternoon at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, DC.

    The Prayer Vigil for All Victims of Gun Violence, organized by Faiths United against Gun Violence, States United to Prevent Gun Violence, the Newtown Foundation, and Washington National Cathedral, is being held on the cusp of the two-year anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

    It will serve as the flagship vigil among more than 195 vigils in 35 states across the country this week.

    Rev. Matt Crebbin, senior minister of Newtown Congregational Church, will be offering the Prayer of Gratitude and Grace.

    Among those participating in the ceremony today are victims’ family members, community and organizational leaders, and interfaith leaders.

    The vigil will be held from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and it will be webcast live from the National Cathedral’s website at www.nationalcathedral.org.

    Twenty students and six educators were killed in the shooting at the school on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012.
     



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Washington National CathedralWashington National Cathedral

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    The body found in the trunk of a car in Montebello was that of the mom who vanished last week with her family, officials said Thursday, hours after her four sons were rescued and her husband arrested following a dramatic standoff along a San Diego highway overpass.

    Daniel Perez was taken into custody Thursday, after an Amber Alert search culminated in an hour-long standoff during which officials say he appears to have considered tossing one of his sons off the bridge.

    Deputies shot Perez with a bean bag and took him into custody, and his four boys were rescued unharmed, a day after the discovery of the body in the trunk of the family's car triggered the Amber Alert.

    That body was identified Thursday afternoon as that of Erika Perez.

    She and the rest of the family had been reported missing Tuesday and had not been seen since Dec. 5.

    Lojack Signals a "Hit"

    Relatives had reported the Perez family — Daniel, Erika and their four sons — missing to Montebello police Tuesday, four days after the family had last been seen.

    The next day, a woman's body was found in the trunk of a Honda Accord belonging to the family the next day. The body was later identified as that of Erica Perez.

    That discovery prompted an Amber Alert Wednesday for the missing children in the family's black 2014 four-door Toyota Camry, with the California license plate number 7FDS891.

    Investigators learned of the Camry and activated its lojack system Wednesday evening, Montebello police Lt. Julio Calleros said. They activated the system, and around 8:20 a.m. Thursday, the lojack signaled “a hit” in the Fletcher Hills area, officials said.

    As El Cajon police neared the Camry near Fayette and Vernon, Perez began driving away, police said.

    They pursued him for about 20 minutes along westbound Interstate 8 near State Route 67 and went north on State Route 125 to eastbound State Route 52, where he stopped on the transition road just before 9 a.m.

    Two of the boys in the car ran to police officers while a crisis negotiator talked with Perez, officials said. But when two armored BearCat vehicles surrounded the car, Perez got out and walked to the edge of the bridge.

    “When the children came out of the car, in a sense that forced our hand,” San Diego County Sheriff's Capt. Dave Moss said.

    Santee Standoff

    At least 10 police cars blocked the highway before specialized SWAT vehicles moved in. The law enforcement officers wore body armor and carried assault rifles.

    Several officers had their guns drawn from a nearby ramp at the interchange between two major routes north of El Cajon.

    A crisis negotiator with the El Cajon Police Department began talking with Perez on a cell phone.

    One at a time, the two older boys fled the car and ran toward officers.

    Then, after the BearCats moved in, Perez exited the vehicle holding the hand of one child and his phone.

    He walked to the edge of the ramp with another boy following him. Once at the side railing of the bridge, Perez paused for a second.

    “We were fearful, based on his statements, that he may try to throw the children off the bridge or himself so we had to take action at that point,” Capt. Moss said.

    Perez was shot once with a less-lethal bean bag gun then tackled to the ground by and taken into custody. He was not seriously injured. 

    The two children by his side were surrounded by deputies in SWAT gear and carried away.

    The four boys and their father were brought to the California Highway Patrol office following the standoff.

    Perez has not spoken since he was taken into custody, according to El Cajon Police Chief Jim Redmond.

    Perez is considered a person of interest in connection with Erica's killing in Montebello. He's also facing kidnapping charges, Calleros said.

    Lt. Calleros said the children were not harmed in the incident and will be reunited with family members.

    One deputy was injured in the standoff.

    In Santee, morning commuters were diverted as at least 10 police cars blocked the highway. Drivers along eastbound SR 52 were being diverted onto Magnolia Avenue and through the city of Santee. The area has reopened for traffic, officials said.

    In a post-incident briefing, the consensus among commanders was that the incident ended as well as can be expected.

    “These things often don’t end well,” said Redmond, who credited the cooperation and training shared between agencies in San Diego County for the positive outcome.


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

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  • 12/11/14--10:40: Derby Alderman Resigns

  • Derby Alderman David Lenart abruptly resigned from the board on Wednesday.

    “I write to inform you that, effective immediately, I hereby resign my position as a member of the Board of Aldermen. Thank you for the opportunity to serve,” he wrote in the brief note submitted to the clerk’s office on Wednesday night.

    The memo did not mention a reason for his resignation.

    Lenart, a Republican, represented the 2nd ward.


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    Bridgeport detectives are investigating two armed robberies on Wednesday night.

    The Florida Market at 1268 Pembroke St. was robbed just before 7 p.m. Employees told Officer Marlon Campo that two masked men entered the store. One had a gun and the other went behind the counter and took money from the register, police said.

    At 9:48 p.m., police responded to Pizza Valley, at 273 Lexington Ave. and employees told Sgt. Stacey Lyons and Officer Donald Bensey they saw an armed man in a hooded sweatshirt and black mask run toward the store, so they locked the security gate and ran to the back of the store.

    As the two men tried to force their way in, one of the employees yelled, “give me the gun” and the would-be robbers ran away without getting any money.

    No one was injured in either incident.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Bridgeport detectives are investigating two armed robberies on Wednesday night.Bridgeport detectives are investigating two armed robberies on Wednesday night.

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    The man arrested in connection with a Willington bank robbery is now also facing charges in Vernon after police say he held up another bank there.

    Joseph R. Cormier, 31, of Stafford, is currently in state custody for allegedly robbing a First Niagara Bank in Willington late last month. Police said he was driving with a 3-year-old child when he was taken into custody.

    He was arrested Thursday in connection with the robbery of the First Niagara Bank at 348 Hartford Turnpike in Vernon on Nov. 17 that prompted a lockdown at a nearby YMCA child care facility.

    Cormier has been charged with second-degree robbery and third-degree larceny in Vernon and was due in court Thursday afternoon.

    He was charged with second-degree robbery, second-degree larceny and risk of injury to a minor in connection with the Willington robbery.



    Photo Credit: Vernon Police Department

    Joseph Cormier, 31, of Stafford, is accused of robbing banks in Vernon and Willington.Joseph Cormier, 31, of Stafford, is accused of robbing banks in Vernon and Willington.

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    Police have arrested a convicted felon they say was involved in a gun battle in New Haven in October.

    According to police, 29-year-old Joseph Newton and at least one other person exchanged gunfire outside 14 Judson Avenue just before 10 p.m. Oct. 9.

    Two people drove off when plainclothes detectives approached, leading police on a chase onto Winthrop Avenue. One person got out and ran off near the intersection of Gilbert Avenue, firing a handgun at detectives who pursued him. Police said one of the detectives returned fire but none were hurt.

    Newton, who lives on Winthrop Avenue, was arrested Thursday at a local Day’s Inn. He was charged with criminal attempt to commit first-degree assault, criminal attempt to commit assault on a police officer, criminal possession of a firearm, unlawful discharge of a firearm and carrying a pistol without a permit.


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    More charges have been filed against a 77-year-old former daycare worker from Plymouth who was arrested over the summer, accused of kissing a girl.

    Plymouth police have charged John Wunsch with first-degree sexual assault, risk of injury to a minor and second-degree sexual assault. He turned himself in to police on Thursday morning and will be arraigned today.

    The court-ordered bond is for $250,000.

    In July, Wunsch was arrested and charged with felony risk of injury to a child. He pleaded not guilty in that case and is due in court on Dec. 12.

    "We deny the allegations. We maintain that there was no inappropriate contact the entire time that he was working at the daycare," defense attorney Matthew Dyer said in court Thursday.

    According to an arrest warrant for the July arrest, Wunsch was accused of kissing an 8-year-old girl on the lips on at least five occasions during an after-school program held at the Plymouth Center School on North Street.

    He split his time between the Plymouth Center School and the Terryville Learning Center. Dyer said Wunsch has resigned and has not had any contact with children since the first allegations surfaced.



    Photo Credit: Plymouth Police Department

    More charges have been filed against John Wunsch, 77, who was accused of kissing an 8-year-old on the lips during an after-school program in Plymouth.More charges have been filed against John Wunsch, 77, who was accused of kissing an 8-year-old on the lips during an after-school program in Plymouth.

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    A former Weston town employee and youth hockey coach is facing charges after collecting nearly $10,000 in disability benefits during a time when he claimed to be injured and unable to work but continued to coach, according to the state.

    Michael J. Schneider, 32, of Bethel, reported a work-related injury in September 2013 while serving as a seasonal grounds worker for the town of Weston Board of Education, according to the state Division of Criminal Justice.

    He was placed on temporary total disability and received $9,777 in workers' compensation benefits from September 2013 through January 2014, state officials said.

    During that time, Schneider was captured multiple times on video surveillance coaching youth hockey despite reporting that he couldn't work, according to the state. Officials said Schneider was paid for his coaching.

    According to state officials, Schneider lied to the Worker's Compensation Commission when asked if he had violated his work restrictions. He has since been laid off in Weston.

    Schneider was arrested Thursday and charged with one count of fraudulent claim or receipt of workers' compensation benefits, a felony.

    He's due in court Dec. 19 and could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

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    Police departments around the state are warning residents of an uptick in "distraction burglaries" during the holiday season.

    According to the Durham Police Department, the same man has targeted at least two homes in Middlefield, asking to enter the houses and take pictures for insurance purposes. When the residents asked the man for identification, he left.

    Police said it's likely a "distraction burglary" ploy, where a second suspect enters and steals from the home while the residents are busy with the first person.

    The man in question has been spotted driving a blue car resembling a Dodge Neon or Chevrolet, according to Durham police.

    Greenwich police are also asking residents to be on the lookout for suspicious activity.

    According to the police department, suspects claiming to be landscaping, utility company or water company workers have targeted elderly residents around the state. Some wear fake identification badges and carry radios to increase their sense of legitimacy.

    Residents are encouraged to be especially cautious during the holiday season and should refrain from opening their doors until confirming the identity of a stranger who shows up unannounced.

    Anyone who notices unusual activity is urged to call police.


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    A 19-year-old is facing assault charges after stabbing another person multiple times at a home in New London late last month, according to police.

    Police said Myesha Smith-Reyes, of Pearl Street in New London, stabbed the victim during an early morning fight Nov. 27. The other person suffered life-threatening injuries and was rushed into emergency surgery at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital.

    Smith-Reyes was also hospitalized for treatment of minor injuries.

    She was arrested Thursday with the help of Waterford police and charged with first-degree assault. Smith-Reyes is being held on $75,000 bond.
     



    Photo Credit: New London Police Department

    Myesha Smith-Reyes, 19, has been charged with assault in a violent stabbing that sent another person to the hospital with critical injuries.Myesha Smith-Reyes, 19, has been charged with assault in a violent stabbing that sent another person to the hospital with critical injuries.

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