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    A gas station in Waterbury just lowered the price for a gallon of regular unleaded to under $2.

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    The mother of a 19-year-old suburban Chicago man facing a terrorist charge had strong words for ISIS and groups like it: "Leave our children alone."

    Zarine Khan spoke to reporters after her son, Mohammed Hamzah Khan, entered a not guilty plea to charges he tried to join Islamic State militants in Syria. An indictment returned by a federal grand jury last week alleged he attempted to provide "material support to a terrorist organization."

    "The venom spewed by these groups and the violence committed by them find no support in the Quran and are completely at odds with our Islamic faith," Zarine Khan said, referencing the recent attacks in Paris. 

    "We condemn this violence in the strongest possible terms. We condemn the brutal tactics of ISIS and groups like it. And we condemn the brainwashing and recruiting of children through the use of social media and the Internet," she said, adding: "And we have a message for ISIS, [Islamic State leader Sabah] Baghdadi and his fellow Social Media recruiters: Leave Our children alone."

    Mohammed Khan lived with his parents in Bolingbrook but has been in custody since his October arrest at O'Hare International Airport. 

    A conviction carries a maximum 15-year prison sentence. Khan's attorney said his client appeared to have fallen under the influence of Islamic State propaganda but has also described the government's case as weak.

    A follow-up court appearance was scheduled for March 3.


    Mohammed Hamzah KhanMohammed Hamzah Khan

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    Hamden police have arrested an 18-year-old woman and a 15-year-old girl in connection with a brutal assault that sent another teen to the hospital in November.

    Police responded to Dixwell Avenue and Arch Street on Nov. 24 to investigate an assault and robbery and found a 19-year-old woman, naked from the waist down, sitting in someone’s car, police said.

    The victim said she had been meeting with an acquaintance, Keyasia Bell, 18, of Hamden, on the Farmington Canal line, when another person approached her from behind, punched her in the head, knocked her to the ground and “punched and kicked” her in the face, police said.

    Police said the attack was “vicious.” The victim’s cell phone, sneakers, pants and undergarments were removed, her eyeglasses had been broken and her eyes were swollen shut.

    The victim was somehow able to stagger away and over to a New Haven resident who allowed her to sit inside her vehicle until police came, police said.

    When emergency crews responded, the teen was transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital to be treated for serious facial injuries, as well as injuries to her neck and arms.

    Police obtained arrest warrants for Bell and two juveniles and have made two arrests.

    On Jan. 8, Bell turned herself in to police custody. She was charged with second-degree robbery, third-degree assault and second-degree larceny. She was arraigned in Meriden Superior Court later on Jan. 8.

    On Tuesday, a 15 year-old Hamden resident turned herself in to police custody and was charged with second-degree robbery, third-degree assault, second-degree larceny and conspiracy.

    She was transported to the Juvenile Detention Center in Bridgeport and is scheduled to appear in Juvenile Court in New Haven on January 22.



    Photo Credit: Hamden Police

    Keyasia Bell is accused in a brutal attack on another teen.Keyasia Bell is accused in a brutal attack on another teen.

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    A Delta Air Lines flight with 146 passengers aboard returned to Los Angeles International Airport Tuesday after what officials described as "a potential systems issue" that developed shortly after departure.

    Delta 2116, a Boeing 757, left LAX at about 8:30 a.m., bound for Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The plane arrived back at LAX at about 9:35 a.m.

    Details regarding the issue were not immediately available. The plane "landed safely without incident" and taxied to a gate.

    Delta released the following statement: "The crew of Delta flight 2116 from Los Angeles to Minneapolis/St. Paul followed procedures to return to Los Angeles International after a potential systems issue was observed. The aircraft landed safely without incident and taxied to the gate under its own power."

    The airline was working to "reaccomodate" passengers as technicians investigated the problem.

    Refresh this page for updates on this developing story.



    Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

    A Delta flight returned to Los Angeles International Airport Tuesday Jan. 13, 2015 after reporting mechanical problems en route to Minneapolis.A Delta flight returned to Los Angeles International Airport Tuesday Jan. 13, 2015 after reporting mechanical problems en route to Minneapolis.

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    Dave Matthews Band will be making a stop Hartford this June during the summer tour.

    DMB will be at Xfinity Theater in Hartford on Friday, June 12 for one-night only.

    The 2015 North American tour will kick off on May 13 in Austin, Texas and each show with have two full sets, according to a news release from Live Nation.

    Tickets will go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 13, but they will go on sale online this Thursday at 10 a.m. for members of the DMB Warehouse Fan Association.

    Citi card members will have access to presale tickets beginning February 9. 

    Dave Matthews Band is doing several shows in the region this summer.

    On June 9, they will be at Nikon at Jones Beach Amphitheatre in Wantagh, New York. On June 10, they will be at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey.

    On June 13, they will be at XFINITY Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts and two shows are planned, June 26 and 27, at Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, New Jersey.

    The tour ends Sept. 13 in Phoenix, Arizona.
     



    Photo Credit: Alex Matthews

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    Police and water company crews are responding to a leaking water main at the intersection of Grove Street and New London Turnpike in Glastonbury.

    New London Turnpike is closed in the eastbound direction from Main Street to Grove Street while repairs are underway.

    It's not clear if any residents have lost water or how long it will take to fix the leak.

    Check back for updates.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Positivity and inclusiveness, not exclusivity, is the West End Blend way.

    That is evident not only in the size of the 11-piece up-and-coming Hartford-based band, but also in the fusion of art it incorporates into its music – self-described as an “Afro-beat,” funk, dance and “jam collective,” also drawing from jazz, hip hop and other art forms. The group is nominated for best new band and best song for the upcoming New England Music Awards.

    Drummer Sam Horan, 24, of Guilford, and guitarist Jesse Combs formed the group in November of 2012 when most of the band members were living within a few blocks of each other and attending the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz at The Hartt School in Hartford.

    “We basically had this vision of creating a band where we can just kind of let loose and have fun and kind of have no egos attached to anything that’s going on. And we saw a lot of other talent around us, whether it be dance, art, painting, graffiti, poetry, everything,” Horan said after the band played its original song “What It’s All About” on NBC Connecticut News Sunday morning. “What we wanted to do is create a band where we can use all of it and have anyone come and join us in a collaborative effort.”

    Jazz is a main layer in the group’s musical blend, but singer Erica Bryan, 22, of New Haven said that each artist in the group brings their own “flavor,” from R&B and soul to hip hop and funk.

    “Anything that gets people dancing,” Horan said.

    Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Biggie Smalls, Steely Dan and Diana Ross are just some of the musicians and bands who inspire their music and whose songs they cover when they’re not performing their own.

    “We kind of go through the eras of groovy music,” Horan said.

    Sometimes artists can be selective about who they perform with in the music industry, but Horan said West End Blend doesn’t turn anyone away from playing with the constantly growing band. The band is “breaking the cliques” and “welcoming all forms of art and ideas," he said.

    It’s that inclusive and open mindset that puts the blend in the Hartford West End band’s style and its brand, according to Bryan and rapper Tangsauce, 23, of Hartford. Its logos, posters and band art, painted by a group member, draw in the visual arts.

    West End Blend keeps it positive and accepts any ideas, but one thing the group stays away from is profanity.

    “You can get a message across without that, you know?” Bryan said.

    Plus, Tangsauce said the clean lyrics keep their music “radio-ready.”

    The band released a three-song EP, or a sampling of its music, called “What It’s All About” in September, titled after the hit song nominated for “best song” in the New England Music Awards.

    “We have about four or five different songwriters in the band right now,” Horan said, including Bryan and the band’s keyboardist, saxophonist, bassist and artist, and everyone gets a chance to write music. “It contributes to the blend aspect of it all.”

    Rehearsal allow for creative freedom in the band’s process of making music.

    “We just kind of start to jam and see what happens from there,” Bryan said.

    And for the band, that’s what it’s all about.

    West End Blend is working on recording its debut full-length album. They’ve also collaborated with several different groups and are hoping to do a lengthy tour in the future.

    West End Blend's EP is available for purchase on the group’s website westendblend.com and westendblend.bandcamp.com, where you can also find more information about the group and its upcoming performances.

    Other members of the group include Alex Heaton and Andrew Cusanelli on percussion, Tom Sullivan on bass, Paulie Philippone on keys, Mike Dipanfilo on guitar, John Mundy on trombone, Mike Bufando on trumpet, Mike Oehmen on tenor sax and Vicky Medieros on baritone sax.

    Correction: West End Blend originally told NBC Connecticut the band is performing at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford at the end of January, but the venue reached out to say that hasn't been finalized and that the event is private. The story has been edited to reflect the update.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Hartford-based band West End Blend is nominated for two New England Music awards.Hartford-based band West End Blend is nominated for two New England Music awards.

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    Stratford police arrested a drunken man who they said was making threats and had a semi-automatic firearm in his back pocket when officers responded to Hard’s Corner Café around 2 p.m. on Jan. 10.

    When police responded to the café at 1886 Main Street for a report of an intoxicated person threatening to harm someone, they found Kevin Leslie, 48, of Stratford, standing outside the bar.

    Police said he appeared to be intoxicated and was speaking on a cell phone.

    As officers approached him, they saw the gun in Leslie’s back pocket and secured him, as well as the weapon, police said.

    According to police, Leslie was overheard speaking on the phone, threatening to kill someone after he was in an argument with a family member.

    Leslie was charged with second-degree threatening, possession of a firearm while intoxicated, illegal possession of a high-capacity magazine and breach of peace.

    Police said they conducted a risk warrant and seized several other firearms from Leslie. All the guns were properly registered.



    Photo Credit: Stratford Police

    Kevin Leslie was arrested in Stratford.Kevin Leslie was arrested in Stratford.

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    A Torrington teen has been charged with igniting two fires on Summer Street that caused $100,000 worth of damage in October, according to police.

    Police said a 15-year-old boy set fire to industrial trailers owned by carpet company Mohawk Industries on Oct. 6 and Oct. 16. Flames destroyed two 40-foot box trailers and damaged two others at the former Hendey Machine Company site.

    The teen was arrested Jan. 8 and charged with two counts of third-degree arson, two counts of first-degree criminal mischief and two counts of third-degree trespassing.

    He's being held at a juvenile detention center.


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    Greater Hartford Jewish organizations are holding a com unity memorial in West Hartford Wednesday as they mourn the lives lost in a string of recent terrorist attacks in Paris, France that also claimed the lives of 17, including four in the French Jewish community who were laid to rest on Tuesday, according to a news release.

    The leaders of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, Mandell JCC of Greater Hartford and the Jewish Federation Association of Connecticut wrote that they are "devastated" by the fatal acts of violence and the "deadly siege at the Hyper Cacher kosher market."

    "We join together with the global Jewish community, and the people of France, to honor all those who died in these attacks," the organizations said in a news release.

    Wednesday marks the first day of "shiva," or a week of mourning, and the public is invited to light a candle or pray to remember the victims at Wednesday's memorial and "show your support against all acts of terror, hatred and bigotry."

    The event runs from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Mandell JCC Chase Gallery at 335 Bloomfield Ave. in West Hartford.



    Photo Credit: NBC 7

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    Windsor police are looking for a person of interest in a bank robbery that happened Saturday and they have released some new surveillance photos from a nearby business.

    The photos show a man in a dark jacket and a black hat and police said they believe he might be "related" to the armed robbery at First Niagara Bank in Windsor on Jan. 10.

    Windsor police responded to a 911 call reporting a robbery at First Niagara Bank, at 2133 Poquonock Ave., at 9:18 a.m. on Saturday.

    Two people with handguns demanded money from bank employees and fled the scene in a getaway car, police said. According to police, they peeked in a window in the back of the bank to scope it out before going in, police said.

    No one was injured in the robbery and police are continuing to search for the people invo.

    No one has been arrested, Windsor police are continuing to search for the people involved and they are offering a reward for anyone who provides information leading to an arrest.

    The photos released show a slim man, about 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds, who was wearing a dark leather jacket, black jeans and a gry hooded sweatshirt. The other is about 6 feet tall with a medium build and likely weighs about 160 to 180 pounds, police said. He was wearing a dark, hooded sweatshirt and light pants.

    Both men had handguns, wore black masks and fled in what was likely a small gray or bronze Mercedes sedan with tinted windows, according to police.

    This person in the photos is "known to associate" with David Johnson of Enfield, who East Windsor Police arrested on Saturday in connection with an unrelated bank robbery, police said.

    The man in the surveillance photos is considered armed and dangerous. 

    Police ask anyone with information on who he is or where he is should call detectives at 860-519-6421 and 860-519-6422 or the main routine Windsor Police Department line at 860-688-5273. Any tips will be kept confidential, police said.


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    Interstate 95 southbound has reopened in Stonington after a car fire prompted police to block off the highway between exits 91 and 90 late Tuesday afternoon.

    No additional information was immediately available.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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  • 01/13/15--15:53: Food Pantry Donations Drop

  • Some area food pantries are feeling the pinch because donations have dropped off after the holiday rush.

    At the Town of West Hartford Food Bank, many shelves are bare. They're in need of cereal, canned goods, peanut butter, jelly, and much more. While donations are down, demand for food hasn't dropped at all, said Suzanne Oslander of the West Hartford Human Services Department.

    "We've never seen it quite like this before," said Oslander.

    She says demand for food has grown steadily over the years.

    "Since the recession hit we've significantly increased the amount of food. It wasn't all that long ago we were giving out about 700 bags of food a year. Now we're giving out over 5000 bags so that's quite an increase."

    Russ Pound has volunteered at the food pantry for 20 years.

    "I've seen it grow over the years that's for sure," said Pound. "Just keep sending the food in. We'll sort it and date it and everything else and take it from there."

    Other places are also feeling the crunch.

    At the Town of Newington Food Bank, workers say they have a good supply of food but other items are in great need.

    "Laundry detergent, household cleaning products, shampoo, deodorant, soap, paper towels and toilet paper," said Carol LaBrecque, of the Newington Human Services Department.

    Food pantries typically see a decline in donations after the holiday season.

    "People think of us from September through December then it kind of dwindles in the early part of the year and then again it dwindles through the summer," said LaBrecque.

    Both food banks stress they're thankful for all of the donations they do receive.

    "We're very thankful to everyone who has given. We can't do it without the community's support," said Oslander.

    Both the West Hartford and Newington food banks are accepting donations.


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    Police have identified the man killed when his truck crashed into a tree and burst into flames in Bristol over the weekend as 56-year-old Nelson A. Thibeault.

    According to police, Thibeault, of Bristol, was driving his Ford Ranger pickup truck northbound on Stafford Avenue around 6:20 p.m. Sunday when he veered off the side of the road near Jewel Street and hit a tree 30 feet from the pavement.

    Neighbors tried to help Thibeault out of the truck when it caught fire, but smoke and flames kept them back.

    Thibeault's cause of death is listed as smoke inhalation, according to police. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said he was traveling alone and no one else was hurt.

    Officials said gasoline leaked from the truck and entered a nearby storm drain.

    The Department of Energy & Environmental Protection was notified and responded to the scene. A private contractor was contacted and responded to contain the spill. Fire and DEEP officials determined there was no danger to the immediate neighborhood. 

    The police department's Serious Traffic Accident Reconstruction Team is investigating. Thibeault's death is considered an accident.

    Anyone with information about this crash should contact the Bristol Police Department Traffic Division at 860-584-3030. 



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Their jump shots may need a little work, but a group of fourth graders from West Haven used their math skills to figure out the shooting percentage of each person taking foul shots during an out-of-the-classroom learning experience at the University of New Haven.

    “One player has been shooting the basketball and then we tally up how many he has made, and then we put how many he has made into fraction form, and then after we put it into fraction form, we put it into decimal form,” said student Albert Kyle Dinaisip.

    Sponsored by the University of New Haven's women's basketball team, the "Class at the Court" program brings 500 fourth graders to campus for hands-on learning in language arts, science and math.

    “The connection between the sports and the mathematics is huge for them, especially since they're going outside the classroom to learn it, will make it a little more meaningful,” explained Yevgeniya Rivers, the Math Zone Director at UNH.

    The program also provides real-world application of what students are learning in school.

    “A lot of them are doing fractions now in school, so in terms of curriculum, it lines up really nicely with what they're doing in the classroom,” said Rivers.

    The elementary school students also got a taste of what it's like to be on a college campus and what it would take for them to one day be a part of the UNH community.

    “I think it's really fun to go look around, and see all the different places here,” said student Jennifer Castellanos.


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    The Norwalk Police Special Victims Unit is investigating the disappearance of a 16-year-old girl who has been missing for almost a month and police are asking for help to find her.

    Police said Karen Vanessa Chirino was last seen in Norwalk on December 15. She might be in the Bridgeport area with a man, according to the missing person report from police.

    Norwalk Police ask anyone with information on Vanessa’s whereabouts to call the Norwalk Department of Police Service at 203-854-3113.

    You can also call the Norwalk Police Tip Line at 203-854-3111, submit a tip online and text an anonymous tip by typing "NPD" into the text field, followed by the message, and sending it to CRIMES (274637).


     



    Photo Credit: Silver Alert

    Karen Vanessa Chirino has been missing for a month.Karen Vanessa Chirino has been missing for a month.

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    After becoming the new owners of the property where Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza lived with his mother, Newtown selectmen want to have the house demolished.

    Newtown Selectman William F. L. Rodgers (R)  said that the board is recommending to the Legislative Council that the "vacant home of the 20-year-old man who carried out the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings be torn down."

    The Legislative Council approved acquiring the 36 Yogananda Street house in December as a title transfer with no cost to the town. It's the home where Lanza killed his mother, Nancy before he murdered 20 young children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School and then ultimately took his own life on Dec. 14, 2012.

    First Selectwoman Patricia Llodra previously said that there was "no exchange of money for the property."

    The colonial home, built in 1998, was assessed at $366,540 in 2012, according to town property records. It belongs to Nancy Lanza's estate.

    Ryan Lanza, the heir to the estate, authorized the deal of deeding the property to town, the Hartford Courant reported. The home has not been lived in since the Sandy Hook tragedy, the newspaper said.

    It's unclear what the town envisions for the property, but one thing's for certain. Many Newtown residents want the house torn down, as well.  One idea that has floated around is to transform the property into a park or nature preserve, but there are no definitive plans at this time.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 19:  Police tape stretched across the front yard of the Lanza residence on December 19, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. Adam Lanza reportedly shot his mother Nancy Lanza last Friday before he killed 26 others, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)NEWTOWN, CT - DECEMBER 19: Police tape stretched across the front yard of the Lanza residence on December 19, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. Adam Lanza reportedly shot his mother Nancy Lanza last Friday before he killed 26 others, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

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    If you rely on home heating oil to keep your house warm on these cold January days, you're probably a little relieved when you see your bill.

    “This is a very exciting time for people who heat with oil. We are about a dollar ten a gallon less today, than we were a year ago today,” said Chris Herb, President of the Connecticut Energy Marketers Association.

    According to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Production, the average price for home heating oil in January 2014 was $3.99 a gallon. This year, it's $2.81.

    “Basically in November, OPEC decided not to cut production, and typically they do that when they see prices falling. Instead, Saudi Arabia principally decided they were going to fight in the marketplace against cheap North American crude oil, and so what we've seen is people are paying less in their homes in Connecticut,” explained Herb.

    That means happy customers for companies like Apple Oil in West Haven.

    “They have a little extra money, and the prices have dropped,” said Apple Oil Company owner Sam Livieri.

    Residents not celebrating the lower prices are those who locked in their rates last year.

    “Last summer, when we thought that $3.49 was a good price, many, many customers locked in with that price. The state law is that we have to buy their oil and hedge the market ahead of time so we have it on hand in case the oil goes the other way,” said Livieri.

    Until that oil is used, Apple Oil is legally bound to keep that price locked-in. However, the company is trying to keep customers happy.

    “In the spring, or in another month or so, we may be able to void some of those contracts,” said Livieri.


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    There was no criminal activity involved in the fire that killed a Bristol man Monday afternoon, according to police.

    The town fire department is still working to figure out what happened in a unit at Redstone Hill Commons, and they're getting help from the state fire marshal's office.

    The cause and origin of the fire have not been determined, according to fire officials.

    The man who died was in his 60s. His name has not been released as authorities are still trying to make an official identification, fire officials said.

    It's the second deadly fire in Bristol in less than a month. In late December, two people died in a house fire on High Street.
     



    Photo Credit: Tyler Jankoski

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    The imagery was exactly what Gov. Dannel Malloy was looking for as he walked the aisle of a brand new train car making its way from Springdale to New Canaan as part of the Metro-North New Canaan Branch on Tuesday afternoon.

    The governor said it represents the future of what Connecticut transportation will look like if the state makes all of the necessary investments.

    “What we have to do is unwind the damage that has been done by underinvestment over two generations in transportation in Connecticut," Malloy told reporters during a press conference on the platform ahead of the train's arrival.

    The state spent $2.2 million apiece on 380 rail cars them that will be integrated into the railroad over the next four years. The new cars present a welcomed upgrade along the branch lines.

    Rep. William Tong, a Democrat from Stamford, said he's completely behind the governor and his transportation overhaul and said it's telling that the plan is so detailed as to include some of the smaller Metro-North stations.

    “This New Canaan quarter, this line, this is our lifeline to Connecticut’s economy and it’s our lifeline to maybe the most important economic center in the world, New York City,” Tong said.

    Republicans are also on board with the governor's vision.

    "I absolutely agree with him on this issue," said Rep. Tom Odea, of New Canaan. "The transportation system is strangling the economy and I think if we improve our infrastructure on transportation we will see it increase in the jobs as long as we make our state better for economic growth.”

    Republicans and Democrats have said they want to discuss paying for what will surely be a multibillion dollar project eventually.

    "We have to talk about easing taxes and making this a more business friendly state," Odea said.

    Malloy has said he wants to have a "comprehensive" discussion about the state's transportation needs before the topic of how to pay for it is addressed.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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