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  • 01/27/15--13:22: Flores Twins Sentenced

  • Two Chicago twin brothers who provided unprecedented testimony against one of the world’s most dangerous drug cartels were sentenced to 14 years in prison Tuesday.

    In announcing his sentence, Judge Ruben Castillo paid special attention to the sheer volume of drug trafficking for which Pedro and Margarito Flores were accused.

    "Even though I am not going to sentence you to life, you are leaving here with a life sentence," said Castillo. "Every time you start your car, you have to wonder will that car start or will explode."

    The Flores brothers left a life at the top of the drug world to begin secretly cooperating with federal investigators in 2008. Both men made comments in court thanking the government for allowing them to come forward, and they apologized for their criminal actions.

    "Because of the timing of their cooperation, which was at the height of their criminal conduct, they were able to work with law enforcement to record actual co-conspirator conversations and put authorities in a position to seize substantial quantities of narcotics in real time as part of the conspiracy," U.S. Attorney Zach Fardon said.

    Margarito Flores told the judge Tuesday he was "ashamed."

    "I'm embarrassed. I'm regretful," he said.

    His brother Pedro said he was there to "take full responsibility for my life, all the drug trafficking."

    Prosecutors later Tuesday are expected to announce new charges the ruthless Sinaloa cocaine cartel, led by notorious drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera.

    While the two brothers faced possible life sentences, the government asked that they be sentenced to a term of 10 to 16 years, calling them "extraordinary witnesses" who provided "unparalleled assistance" in helping to bring down not only "El Chapo,"  but the leadership of a second cartel and the dismantling of their own Chicago-based cocaine organization.

    "The defendants jointly decided to dissolve their criminal enterprise and cooperate with the government," prosecutors wrote in a recent court filing. "Debriefing them took six months of nearly daily sessions."

    As a result, 54 defendants were charged in 2009 alone, and prosecutors say some of the cases where the two provided assistance remain so sensitive they still cannot be revealed.

    Included in the brothers’ cooperation was the secret recording of more than 70 conversations with cartel members, including two sessions with the elusive “El Chapo” himself. During that time, they enjoyed such favored status with the notorious cartel leader, that they were able to negotiate a reduction in price for their Sinaloa cocaine, from $55,000 to $50,000 per kilo.

    Guzman is in custody in Mexico, following his spectacular arrest last year. There are questions whether he will ever be extradited to face charges here in the United States.

    Described by the Justice Department as “the most significant drug traffickers in Chicago’s history,” prosecutors said the Flores brothers began their cooperation knowing it put them at grave risk.

    “The Flores brothers (and their families) will live the rest of their lives in danger of being killed in retribution,” they wrote. “The barbarism of the cartels is legend, with a special place reserved for those who cooperate.”

    As a result, extraordinary security was planned for Tuesday’s sentencing.

    Indeed, over the protests of the government, the brothers’ father returned to Mexico in 2009, and within days he was kidnapped and presumed killed.

    During their career, the brothers are believed to have been responsible for the importation and distribution of, at minimum, over 70 tons of cocaine, through elaborate transportation schemes which began with planes, boats, and submarines as the drugs left Columbia, entering the United States and making their way to Chicago via a system of stash houses, warehouses, and vehicles with hidden compartments.

    “They created massive economies of scale,” prosecutors wrote, noting that here in Chicago the Flores' workers were responsible for the distribution of “ton quantities of cocaine and the laundering of more than $1 billion.”

    “The government must consider the extreme danger associated with physically producing the brothers in any venue outside their protected custodial locations,” prosecutors said. As a result, their expected appearance in court Tuesday will mark the first public appearance since their incarceration over six years ago.


    Pedro and Margarito FloresPedro and Margarito Flores

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    Three people wearing ski masks and armed with at least one gun stole gold nuggets from San Francisco's Wells Fargo History Museum Tuesday morning after they rammed an SUV into the building's entrance.

    Police said that at least 10 ounces of gold were stolen, valued at about $10,000.

    The robbery took place at about 2:30 a.m. at 420 Montgomery St., where the glass front of the building was left shattered and swarms of police officers were surveying what happened and what was stolen, a police investigator told NBC Bay Area.

    A dark Chevy Suburban was towed away just before 7 a.m. Officer Grace Gatpandan said that the three suspects had ditched the SUV, their faces covered, and held the security guard at gunpoint before taking the gold nuggets from a display case.

    The trio took off in a second vehicle, described as a four-door sedan. Gatpandan said she does not know if this getaway car was waiting for them with another driver inside or if it was strategically parked somewhere. She said the Chevy was stolen from San Bruno.

    Kevin Woodsford, who was on the scene afterwards to replace the glass, has been inside the building before. He noted that the museum has lots of "valuable stuff and antiques you probably can't replace."

    "It's pretty crazy," he said. "It's a bold job to pull off."

    The museum honors Henry Wells and William Fargo, who founded their financial services company in 1852. The museu's website prominently advertises gold nuggets as one of its featured attractions.

    In a statement, Ruben Pulido, a Wells Fargo spokesman said: "We’re disturbed this happened to the Wells Fargo History Museum, but are grateful no team member was harmed. Additionally, the historic stagecoaches on site were not damaged." He vowed the museum would soon reopen.

    Police said they have made no arrests but did not there have been several smash-and-grabs recently in the city.

    In November, burglars drove a car into the Chanel store off Union Square. Two weeks ago, two men backed a U-Haul van into the Patagonia store near Fisherman’s Wharf.

    “It does not appear that these were related,” San Francisco police spokeswoman Officer Grace Gatpandan said.

    NBC Bay Area's Mark Matthews contributed to this report.



    Photo Credit: Josh Keppel
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    An SUV sits inside the Wells Fargo Museum in San Francisco after police said a trio of armed suspects rammed it into the building and stole gold nuggets. Jan. 27, 2015An SUV sits inside the Wells Fargo Museum in San Francisco after police said a trio of armed suspects rammed it into the building and stole gold nuggets. Jan. 27, 2015

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    A drone captures the scene of Monday’s storm hitting New York City.

    Photo Credit: Jonathan Harper/@JBH1126

    A drone captures a bird's eye view of New York City after a snow storm.A drone captures a bird's eye view of New York City after a snow storm.

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    An elderly Trumbull resident suffered a heart attack while shoveling snow Tuesday during the Blizzard of 2015, according to city officials.

    Trumbull police said the 80-year-old resident collapsed in the snow around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. A family member performed CPR while waiting for emergency officials to arrive. Officers took over CPR, gave the man oxygen and used a defibrillator, according to police.

    The man was taken to St. Vincent's Hospital for treatment. Police have not released any information on his condition, but The Connecticut Post reports that the man has died.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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    A former California Highway Patrol officer who secretly sent himself and his colleagues nude photos of arrested women from their cell phones will spend three years on probation but will be spared jail time.

    Sean Harrington, 35, pleaded no contest Tuesday morning to two felony charges of unauthorized access to a computer and copying computer data for secretly sending himself the photos of DUI suspects.

    His plea deal means he'll avoid jail time but will receive three years of formal felony probation and a 180-day suspended jail sentence. He must also speak at a community violence solutions class to tell everyone what he did, prosecutor Barry Grove said.

    If Harrington had gone to trial, he could have faced up to three years and eight months in prison if convicted on all counts, Grove said.

    "You had a person who was in a position of public trust. We as the public gave him a certain amount of power," Grove said. "He violated that  public trust, he abused his power, and now no longer forevermore is allowed to be a police officer. He will be a convicted felon for the rest of his life."

    Harrington had been working out a plea agreement with his high-profile defense lawyer Michael Rains for months.

    Rains said Tuesday he thinks Harrington received a harsher sentence than anyone who wasn't a law enforcement officer would have, despite potentially facing prison time for the felony charges.

    "I think if this would have been a case where it was not a police officer but some other citizen who didn't have a criminal record, it would have been a misdemeanor case," Rains said.

    He said because of Harrington's position of authority, prosecutors insisted on felony charges.

    Rains said he thinks Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Terri Mockler recognized that Harrington had taken steps to take responsibility for his actions, including swiftly resigning once criminal charges were filed rather than forcing the CHP to take lengthy steps to terminate him.

    The judge "wanted him to benefit from education that simply putting him in jail or making him wear an electronic bracelet never would have given him," Rains said. "I think the judge was thoughtful in the sentence she imposed, and I ultimately appreciate it as his lawyer."

    The deal on Tuesday is a change from when Harrington pleaded not guilty in November. Since his arrest on Nov. 3, 2014, Harrington has been out on bail, and in November, Rains had told NBC Bay Area that he was working out the plea deal and that the charges didn't "warrant custodial time."

    Harrington was charged with stealing nude photos from the  cellphones of two arrested women, but prosecutors said he admitted during interviews to stealing photos from women's phones four to six times during the last few years and fowarding them to colleagues.

    The case, first reported by the Contra Costa Times, was blown open in October 2014, after a 23-year-old San Ramon woman said half a dozen nude and semi-nude selfies had been secretly sent from her phone to an unknown number traced to Harrington.

    Harrington had forwarded the messages from his phone while the woman was in county jail after a DUI arrest in San Ramon in the early hours of Aug. 29, investigators found, after they obtained search warrants for him.

    Further investigation revealed that Harrington had previously stolen private photos from the phone of a 19-year-old DUI suspect arrested in Livermore on Aug. 6 while she was in the hospital and forwarded them to his own.

    DUI charges against both women have been dropped.

    Neither of the other two CHP officers to whom Harrington had forwarded the photos, Robert Hazelwood and Dion Simmons, face charges.

    Bay City News and NBC Bay Area's Mark Matthews contributed to this report.



    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

    Former CHP Officer Sean Harrington surrenders to authorities on Nov. 3 2014.Former CHP Officer Sean Harrington surrenders to authorities on Nov. 3 2014.

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    The owner of a fake Bay Area furniture store was arrested on charges of running an illegal and deceptive operation where none of the chairs and tables were for sale – they were part of a front, authorities said, for growing $2 million worth of pot plants in the back.

    Phuc Nguyen, 39, of Gilroy, owner of Gilroy Furniture & More, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of stealing electricity and illegally growing more than 1,000 marijuana plants, according to Santa Clara County Sheriff's Sgt. Kurtis Stenderup.

    It was not immediately clear if Nguyen were being represented by an attorney.

    Nguyen's arrest inside the shop, in the 7500 block of Monterey Road, was the culmination of a monthslong investigation by the sheriff's Marijuana Eradication Team and Gilroy police, authorities said.

    His arrest came after a related arrest earlier this month, Stenderup said, when Tuan Dan Nguyen, 50, was allegedly caught with 320 pounds of marijuana plants valued at $700,000 in a warehouse on Tomkins Court. That find led investigators to the faux furniture store.

    Gilroy Furniture & More purported to be a furniture store, with an array of couches, tables and chairs flanking the front of the store. The store was decorated with colorful flags and vases of flowers. But Stenderup said none of the furniture was for sale.

    “We don't see a lot of storefront operations with a large-scale illegal enterprise going on in the back,” Stenderup said. “I think in the movies and on TV they like to think it happens all the time, but in reality, we just don't see that level of sophistication."

    In the back of the shop, officers found more than 1,000 marijuana plants and more than 50 pounds of processed marijuana valued at more than $2 million. Stenderup added that Nguyen had allegedly bypassed the electrical meter to get $80,000 worth of illegally obtained water and light for the plants, which were not up to code, creating a huge fire hazard.

    Nguyen is being held on $200,000 bail.

    NBC Bay Area's Robert Handa contributed to this report.



    Photo Credit: Santa Clara County Sheriff
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    Some of the 1,000 marijuana plants growing inside Some of the 1,000 marijuana plants growing inside "Gilroy Furniture & More," which the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office said is a fake furniture store. Jan. 22, 2015

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    A 61-year-old woman has been arrested after police say she attacked her 60-year-old neighbor with a snowblower during the blizzard Tuesday in Arlington, Massachusetts.

    The victim's foot was lacerated when officers arrived around 4:30 p.m., police said. They arrested Barbara Davis, with whom the victim was involved in an ongoing dispute.

    Davis is charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and mayhem. She is also charged with violating a harassment protection order the victim had previously filed against her.

    The victim's injuries were treated, but are considered minor.

    Davis was ordered to be held on $35,040 bail. She will be arraigned in Cambridge.



    Photo Credit: Arlington Police

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    Police are searching for the masked man who held up a Family Dollar store in Bristol as the blizzard was moving out Tuesday evening.

    According to police, the suspect entered the store at 59 North Main Street around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and told workers he had a weapon.

    He stole a cash register and got away on foot, police said. The suspect was wearing dark clothing and a ski mask.

    Anyone with information is urged to call Bristol police at 860-584-3000.


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    A highly recruited Stanford University swimmer is accused of raping someone on campus and will be formally charged next week, authorities say.

    Brock Turner, 19, a Stanford freshman and former high school state champion in Ohio, faces five felony charges, including rape of an unconscious and intoxicated woman, Santa Clara County prosecutors said late Tuesday afternoon.

    Police say two cyclists saw him assaulting a victim in the early morning hours of Jan. 18, stopped the attack and chased down Turner. The victim was not a Stanford student, authorities said. 

    It was unclear if Turner had a lawyer. Attempts to reach his family for comment were not immediately successful.

    Stanford spokeswoman Lisa Lapin said Turner has "voluntarily withdrawn his registration as a Stanford student" and is no longer allowed on campus.

    The alleged attack took place near some student housing and the Kappa Alpha fraternity house, but there is no indication the fraternity is at all involved in the investigation, Lapin added.

    Professor Michele Dauber has been pushing the university to do more when it comes to sexual assaults on campus.

    "This is the kind of case that would be impossible to sweep under the rug," Dauber said. "We had eyewitnesses and the police were called in."

    Turner is set to be arraigned Feb. 2. If convicted on all counts, he could face up to 10 years in prison.



    Photo Credit: GoStanford.com

    Brock TurnerBrock Turner

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    For first lady Michelle Obama, just a few hours in Saudi Arabia were enough to illustrate the stark limitations under which Saudi women live.

    Joining President Barack Obama for a condolence visit after the death of the King Abdullah, Mrs. Obama stepped off of Air Force One wearing long pants and a long, brightly colored jacket — but no headscarf.

    Under the kingdom's strict dress code for women, Saudi females are required to wear a headscarf and loose, black robes in public. Most women in Saudi Arabia cover their hair and face with a veil known as the niqab. But covering one's head is not required for foreigners, and some Western women choose to forego the headscarf while in Saudi Arabia.

    As a delegation of dozens of Saudi officials — all men — greeted the Obamas in Riyadh, some shook hands with Mrs. Obama. Others avoided a handshake but acknowledged the first lady with a nod as they passed by.



    Photo Credit: AP

    President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama participate in a delegation receiving line with new Saudi Arabian King, Salman bin Abdul Aziz, fith left, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015.President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama participate in a delegation receiving line with new Saudi Arabian King, Salman bin Abdul Aziz, fith left, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015.

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    An FDNY lieutenant found and rescued a puppy that had been missing for five months near the department's training facility on Randall's Island and reunited the pooch with its owner.

    The dog, Burt, had been missing from its Manhattan home since Aug. 20. Burt's owner papered hundreds of blocks, including 90 in one night, according to a Facebook page dedicated to finding him, over the months that followed to no avail. Then the owner got a call from Lt. Dave Kelly with the FDNY's training bureau.

    "It was so crazy," said owner Lauren Piccolo of Harlem. "I was sitting at home trying to prepare for the storm, and I got a call from someone on Randall's Island, of all places, that he had seen a whippet and he had been seeing this whippet over the period of a couple of weeks."  

    According to the department, Kelly noticed the dog rummaging for food at night on the grounds of the training facility. He tried to feed it in hopes he could get near enough to corral the animal, but the whippet -- looks similar to a greyhound -- kept eluding him.

    On Monday, as the dangerous snowstorm bore down on the region, Kelly set a trap using food and a dog cage and snagged Burt. He scoured social media for leads and found the Facebook page, then was able to reunite him with his "ecstatic" owner, the FDNY said.

    Burt turned 1 in November. Piccolo said the pup has been tired from his long journey, but seems healthy. He was headed to the vet for a checkup Tuesday afternoon. 


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    Significant flooding and at major seawall breaches were reported across several coastal Massachusetts communities Tuesday, as a crippling snowstorm continues to slam the region. 

    Police in Marshfield, one of numerous Massachusetts communities dealing with flooding, confirmed that a major seawall breach from high tides in the morning and evening, which caused structural damage to homes, with several being condemned.

    The entire island of Nantucket is without power as the flood waters rise.

    One resident said the flooding in Marshfield is the worst he's seen in the 15 years he's lived there. The breach was reported on Bay Avenue. 

     

    In Nantucket, the National Grid said high winds are causing a major issue, as is the salt spray.

    "It's normal for them to have flooding during a Nor'easter but it's not usually this bad," Dave Fronzuto, of Nantucket Emergency Management, told NBC News. "The long duration of the storm is what's really hurting them."

    Fire crews were reportedly trying to rescue one resident whose home was surrounded by water and downed power lines.

    There are preliminary reports that a portion of the seawall at Hummarock Island in Scituate has collapsed as well.

    On Martha's Vineyard, Oak Bluffs, Beach Road at Heart Haven is closed to Edgartown due to high winds and flooding. In Vineyard Haven, State Road in both directions is closed due to high winds and ocean splash over.

    Massachusetts State Police said Quincy Shore Drive inbound between Furnace Brook and Fenno Street in Quincy is closed because of flooding, as is Morrissey Boulevard both ways between Freeport Street and UMass-Boston.

    There were also reports of flooding in Newburyport.



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

    A portion of the seawall in Marshfield, Massachusetts, has collapsed due to the storm.A portion of the seawall in Marshfield, Massachusetts, has collapsed due to the storm.

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  • 01/28/15--04:30: I-91 Crash Cleared

  • A crash in Hartford caused delays on Interstate 91 north Wednesday morning and has since cleared.

    The right and center lanes ere closed near exit 33, but the lanes have reopened and traffic is moving through.

    There is no word on any injuries.



    Photo Credit: DOT

    A crash in Hartford is causing delays on Interstate 91 north.A crash in Hartford is causing delays on Interstate 91 north.

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    Whether because of changing pressure or the stress associated with an impending storm, more pregnant mothers tend to give birth during severe weather events, and the Blizzard of 2015 was no exception.

    “Typically, we do about 10 deliveries a day here at Hartford Hospital,” explained Elizabeth Deckers, medical director of Labor and Delivery at Hartford Hospital. “Yesterday, we did 15, with 11 of them being between the hours of 5 p.m. and 7 a.m.”

    Those hours more or less coincided with the heaviest period of snowfall, which was most intense overnight Monday into Tuesday. Hospital employees stayed overnight at Hartford facilities and maternity wards were fully staffed.

    A spokesperson for Hartford Hospital said natural births aren't the only deliveries to increase in frequency during adverse conditions.

    “We contacted two families who were scheduled to deliver today, one by Caesarian and one by induction of labor, and asked them to come in a day early,” said Amy Schroder, manager of Labor and Delivery at Hartford Hospital.

    One of those early deliveries – baby Emanuel Elijah Soloman – came into the world at 1 p.m. Tuesday, and his grandmother said she's just happy everyone is safe and healthy.

    “I’m glad it’s over because I was concerned that she was going to go into labor during the storm because she was having contractions prior to coming to the hospital,” explained Dahlia Williams, of East Hartford.

    Another pregnant mom from Farmington spent 45 minutes in the car navigating whiteout conditions but managed to safely deliver her baby at the Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain.

    "We actually prayed that we would know for sure, like, having a sign – are we supposed to go out in this weather? – and my water broke, so we figured it was time," said Sarah Browning, who gave birth to baby Graham two-and-a-half weeks early.

    Browning said her husband, a pastor at the New Hope Baptist Church in Torrington, called 911 to ask if it was safe to drive to the hospital. Emergency dispatchers advised them to try making the trip and call back if they got stuck.

    The Brownings made it to the hospital around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday. Baby Graham was born about seven hours later, at 8:50 a.m. He weighs 5 pounds, 11 ounces.

    "He's a little bugger and I can't believe he did this to us," Browning said with a laugh.

    A total of 14 babies were delivered during the storm at St. Francis Hospital, compared with nine on an average day.

    All moms and babies are doing well.



    Photo Credit: Hartford Hospital

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    Two people were hospitalized after a shooting in Hartford Tuesday night.

    Police responded to investigate reports of shots fired at 330 New Park Ave. at 9:21 on Monday. Simultaneously, two gunshot victims arrived at Hartford Hospital, police said.

    Officers discovered shell casings and cash in front of Sports Deli, near the initial shooting site reported at 359 New Park Ave.

    Both victims are in stable condition, police said.

    No arrests have been made at this time.

    The shooting remains under investigation.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Bradley International Airport has reopened after shutting down during yesterday's overnight blizzard.

    However, about 25 percent of flights remain canceled on Wednesday, according to airport officials.

    Southwest Airlines, Delta Airlines and US Airways flights to Tampa and Fort Myers Florida, Baltimore, Maryland, Raleigh/Durham and Charlotte, North Carolina and Pittsburgh Pennsylvania were canceled Wednesday morning. There were seven cancellations listed as of 7:36 a.m.

    An inbound Southwest Airlines flight from Baltimore, Maryland is canceled that was supposed to land at 8:20 a.m., as well as an incoming JetBlue Airways flight from Washington D.C. that was scheduled to land at Bradley at 10 a.m.

    Check with your carriers for more information about the status of your flights.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    The scene at Bradley International Airport on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2015.The scene at Bradley International Airport on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2015.

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    There was no U.S. mail service in Connecticut, Massachusetts or Rhode Island on Tuesday due to the blizzard, but it will resume on Wednesday, according to U.S. Postal Service spokesperson Christine Dugas.

    The postal service is asking residents to clear a path to the mailbox and to treat the path or any steps and icy walkways with salt or sand to make it safe for mail carriers to resume delivering mail.

    "For curbside boxes, customers must clear enough snow for the carrier to be able to drive up to the box, place the mail inside and pull safely away from the box without backing," Dugas said in a news release.



    Photo Credit: Moment Editorial/Getty Images

    Postal delivery truck in Los AngelesPostal delivery truck in Los Angeles

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    While it's back to business at usual in some parts of the state Wednesday, 10 Connecticut National Guardsmen remain in Stonington, where it could take days to dig out after blizzard dropped 20 inches of snow in the town.

    Schools are also canceled again in Stonington and hundreds of schools statewide have either closings or delays.

    The National Guard was deployed on Tuesday to move snow from the shoreline streets of Stonington, one of the hardest-hit areas of the state where snowfall lingered Tuesday night.

    Capt. Michael Petersen of the U.S. Army National Guard said soldiers brought in engineer equipment, including bucket loaders, to move mounds of snow 8-10 feet high.

    The guardsmen were dispatched after town equipment broke down Tuesday in the middle of the job, while some streets remained impassible.

    Stonington First Selectman George Crouse said he expected cleanup to last up to 20 hours after the Blizzard of 2015 moved out, leaving behind up to 2 feet of snow and heavy financial implications in its wake. Some parts of eastern Connecticut had as much as 30 inches of snow.

    "This is not a normal snow," Crouse said. "We are eating up almost our entire budget."

    But even after the National Guard helps with the heavy lifting, financial constraints will still pose a problem. Crouse said he hopes the town can qualify for funding through FEMA.

    "I've lived on the shoreline since I was 6 and I do not remember a storm of this magnitude," said Stonington resident Martha Slater.

    Stonington isn't the only shoreline community getting some help. Four plow trucks from Bridgeport were sent to New London to help clear clogged-up streets.

    "It's nice that they could come lend a hand from elsewhere," said New London resident Alex Schroeder. "We all should do the same, lend a hand, get it done faster."



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    While it's back to business at usual in some parts of the state Wednesday, 10 Connecticut National Guardsmen remains in Stonington, where it could take days to dig out after blizzard dropped 20 inches of snow in the town.While it's back to business at usual in some parts of the state Wednesday, 10 Connecticut National Guardsmen remains in Stonington, where it could take days to dig out after blizzard dropped 20 inches of snow in the town.

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    Connecticut residents continue to dig out after the Blizzard of 2015 dumped up to 33 inches of snow on the state and hundreds of schools are either closed for the day or opening late.

    Students at the University of Connecticut campuses in Storrs and Avery Point will return to class today, beginning at 10 a.m., while all other UConn campuses will operate on normal class schedules.

    Eastern Connecticut took the brunt of the storm, with the highest snow totals recorded along the shoreline and Rhode Island border in New London and Windham counties.

    The highest snow totals of the state were recorded in Thompson, which received 33.5 inches, according to the National Weather Service. Putnam, Moosup, East Killingly, Lisbon, Colchester, Norwich, Groton all received more than 2 feet of snow.

    Many parts of western Connecticut, on the other hand, saw single-digit accumulations, as the heaviest band of snow veered east. More information on snow totals is available here.

    While flurries will slowly taper off, the cold will linger, with temperatures dipping down into the single digits on Wednesday.

    While several schools are closed for the day, this is the first day back to work for many after Gov. Dannel Malloy lifted a statewide travel ban at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

    More than 600 state Department of Transportation crews and the state's fleet of 15 super snow blowers have been working around the clock to clear roads since Monday, but the governor urged caution on the roads because of any lingering snow or ice.

    While the highways and many of the Malloy also asked residents to help clear fire hydrants and storm drains and make sure snow is not blocking vents for heating and hot water systems.

    While residents of many towns are able to get around, the Connecticut National Guard has been deployed to Stonington, one of the hardest-hit areas of the state, and Bridgeport is sending four snow trucks to New London to help the city dig out.

    The next chance of snow is during the morning commute on Friday



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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    More than 2 feet of snow blanketed cars in Stonington.More than 2 feet of snow blanketed cars in Stonington.

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    A 31-year-old man was shot in the shoulder while he tried to run away from would-be robbers on Hamilton Street around 5:30 p.m., police said. It is one of two shootings within around half an hour in the city.

    The victim was the one who called police around 5:30 p.m. to report he’d been shot, police said.

    When police responded to his Hamilton Street apartment, the victim told them that he’d been walking on his street when two masked men approached and demanded he victim give them money, but he said he hadn’t any.

    When the victim turned away and ran, one of the would-be robbers shot him, police said.

    Police spoke with witnesses who confirmed there had been a single gunshot in the area.

    The victim’s injuries are not life-threatening and there is no further description of the perpetrators.

    The other victim was shot in the hip after a dispute with two people just after 5 p.m. and later arrested at the hospital when he was found with drugs, police said.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    A 31-year-old man was shot in the shoulder during an attempted robbery on Hamilton Street around 5:30 p.m., police said. It is one of two shootings within around half an hour in the city.A 31-year-old man was shot in the shoulder during an attempted robbery on Hamilton Street around 5:30 p.m., police said. It is one of two shootings within around half an hour in the city.

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