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    A Brooklyn middle school has been temporarily shut down after a window caved into a classroom Monday afternoon.

    The 10-foot by 10-foot window fell into a classroom at Intermediate School 201 in Dyker Heights, which has been under construction for more than a year.

    “It vibrated a little bit,” said sixth-grader John McIntyre, who was in math class a few doors down. “A lot of people were freaking out.”

    No students or teachers were injured, and the cause of the collapse has not yet been determined.

    The FDNY has posted a vacate order, forcing students to move to a new building. Fire chief Rich Tarkenton says the order will be lifted once authorities determine the rest of the windows are safe, which should be by later this week.


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    Street lamps are out on Interstate 95 from West Haven to New Haven and I-91 up exit 3, state police said.

    The cause is unknown.

    No further information was immediately available.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Wild thunder rumbled and vivid lightning lit up the skies in Connecticut early Tuesday morning, sparking some fires and causing power outages.

    The Burlington fire marshal is investigating whether the storm played a factor in a fire that destroyed a barn and a 1999 Porsche on Punch Brook Drive.

    A stove fire on Tuesday morning that caused minor damage at 24 Rossi Road in Torrington might have been related to the storm, officials said.

    Lightning also struck a chimney at 52 Deepwood Drive in Madison Tuesday morning, but didn't cause much damage. Fire crews responded, but cleared the scene quickly.

    There were hundreds of outages on Tuesday morning, including to 512 United Illuminating customers in East Haven and 100 in Manchester, but much of the power has been restored.

    Did you hear the thunder and see the lightning?

    Tell us if it caused any weather-related issues near you and send us your storm photos to shareit@nbcconnecticut.com.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Wild thunder rumbled and vivid lightning lit up the skies in Connecticut on Tuesday morning, sparking some fires and causing power outages.Wild thunder rumbled and vivid lightning lit up the skies in Connecticut on Tuesday morning, sparking some fires and causing power outages.

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    MDC crews expect it will take hours to repair a water main break in Hartford that has closed Farmington Avenue down to one lane in the area. 

    The break happened just before 1 a.m. at the corner of Farmington and Sisson avenues and it is affecting about seven businesses and two multi-unit apartment buildings between that intersection and the Burger King on Farmington Avenue.

    Crews broke ground to fix the damage and found a 20-inch break to a main that was installed in 1870.

    MDC originally said the water main break should be repaired in the next two to three hours, but then said four to six hours of additional utility work are necessary and it will likely be early afternoon before the main is repaired and water is restored.

    The road bed there is concrete and not asphalt, so that has been slowing down the process to access the break.

    Eversource needs to check their lines and possibly make a repair before they can finish up.

    Check back for updates.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    MDC crews are working to repair a water main break in Hartford Tuesday morning and one lane of Farmington Avenue is closed down to one lane in the area.MDC crews are working to repair a water main break in Hartford Tuesday morning and one lane of Farmington Avenue is closed down to one lane in the area.

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  • 04/21/15--05:24: Fire at Cornwall House

  • A fire broke out at a house at 344 Cream Hill Road in Cornwall Tuesday morning.

    Several area fire departments responded for mutual aid.

    There is no word on injuries.

    Cream Hill Road was closed as fire crews responded.

    No further information was immediately available.


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    A teen mother and her 27-year-old boyfriend are facing charges after police found evidence that her 3-year-old son was abused in West Haven.

    Police arrested Steven Lopez, 27, and Monika Laskowska, 19, in connection to injuries that Laskowska's son, 3, suffered. Lopez was charged with third-degree assault and both face a risk of injury to a child charge.

    The two are dating and live together at 78 Homeside Avenue in West Haven, police said. Lopez is not the child's father, according to police.

    Police launched an investigation in February after doctors who treated the boy determined abuse was the cause of his injuries.



    Photo Credit: West Haven Police Department

    A teen mother and her 27-year-old boyfriend are facing charges after police found evidence that her 3-year-old son was abused in West Haven.A teen mother and her 27-year-old boyfriend are facing charges after police found evidence that her 3-year-old son was abused in West Haven.

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    A barn storing antique cars, including a 1999 Porsche, on Punch Brook Drive in Burlington was destroyed by fire early Tuesday morning.

    A neighbor who woke up during the thunderstorm looked out the window, saw the barn at 34 Punch Brook Road on fire and called the fire department around 3:30 a.m. on Tuesday, officials said.

    It's too early to tell if weather caused the blaze, but the fire marshal is looking into it.

    The fire chief said that the old barn, which had been restored, was completely engulfed in flames when crews arrived. As of 5:21 a.m., thick smoke was still billowing. 

    No one was inside at the time and no one was hurt, but the barn has been deemed a total loss.

    Area departments responded and provided mutual aid to shuttle in water with tankers and help put about 1,000 gallons of water on the fire every three minutes.

    The fire marshal is looking into the cause of the fire, including whether weather was a factor.



    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.

    This 16-year-old Porsche was destroyed in the fire this morning.This 16-year-old Porsche was destroyed in the fire this morning.

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    Police are responding to a single-car crash at a Madison Henny Penny, located near the intersection of Route 1 and Route 79.

    The road is open and no information was immediately available.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Madison PoliceMadison Police

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    Want to be in a movie? If so and you are an Edgar Allen Poe enthusiast, here's one casting call you won't want to miss this weekend right here in Connecticut.

    Synthetic Cinema International needs extras for a masquerade ball scene in its upcoming film "Tell-Tale Lies," a modern day take on Poe's classic story, "The Tell-Tale Heart." The production crew is filming this portion of the film in Pomfret, Connecticut and is looking for volunteer background actors.

    The movie will star Beau Mirchoff (MTV's "Awkward," "I Am Number 4"), Alexa PenaVega ("Nashville," "Machete Kills," "Spy Kids"), Renee Olstead (ABC Family’s "The Secret Life of the American Teenager," "Still Standing," "Unfriended"), Michael Willett (MTV's "Faking It," "G.B.F."), John Heard (who plays Kevin's father in "Home Alone" and stars in "Big" and "Awakenings") and Sean Patrick Thomas ("Barbershop," "Cruel Intentions," "Save the Last Dance").

    Extras will be needed to work from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. the next morning on Friday, April 24 and Saturday, April 25. You must be 18 or older to participate.

    While extras won't be paid, they will be given raffle tickets and five people will win prizes both nights, including big screen television sets, BluRay players, Apple TVs, iPod Minis, DVD collections, T-shirts and more. Ticket holders must be there to collect on their prize.

    Extras will have the opportunity to be featured in the movie, meet stars and have some free food.

    You can sign up to be an extra at www.syntheticcinema.com/telltale-lies-extras.

    Information is also available on that website for hair, make-up and attire. The production company will call people who sign up to confirm their participation.


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    A Torrington teen killed in town on Friday died of stab wounds to the head, neck, torso and extremities, according to the medical examiner's office.

    The death of Holly Aeschlimann, 19, of Torrington has been ruled a homicide.

    The office of the chief medical examiner in Farmington said that Aeschlimann died of sharp force injury of head, neck, torso and extremities.

    Heather Birden, 20, also of Torrington, has been identified by police as the suspect, but she still has not been charged yet.

    Police received a disturbance call at 1:12 a.m. on Friday in the area of Prospect and Hungerford streets, responded and learned from a passerby that Aeschlimann had been injured and taken to Charlotte Hungerford Hospital.

    Authorities later learned she has died from her injuries, police said.

    Multiple people who spoke with NBC Connecticut indicated that there was bad blood between the victim and the suspect and police said there's been an ongoing history between them. Friends told NBC Connecticut that Aeschlimann was riding her bike in the area when she was attacked by another young woman with an axe to grind and a knife in her possession.

    Birden is not being charged as of yet, police said, but was arraigned Friday in Bantam Superior Court for an active arrest warrant issued by the Winchester Police Department for an unrelated case from Aug. 7. She was charged with assault in the second degree, reckless endangerment and breach of peace in that case. Friends said that the other case also involved a stabbing, but that is not confirmed with police. Birden was also charged with violation of probation.

    While friends aren't sure how or when the feud between the victim and suspect started, they said the two had scuffled about a year ago.

    "I guess she was trying to get back at her for something that happened, that she started," Thomas Farr, Aeschlimann's cousin, previously said.

    Their latest dispute was apparently about a man.

    "I know that Heather liked the guy, but I know that Holly was just hanging out with him," Maddie Brown, another friend of Aeschlimann's said.

    Three friends were with Aeschlimann at the hospital, Brown said.

    The investigation in the stabbing is ongoing and the Connecticut State Police Major Crime Squad is assisting.

    No additional information has been released.

    There was an impromptu gathering on Friday night in Aeschlimann's memory and there was an organized vigil on Sunday.



    Photo Credit: Facebook and NBC Connecticut

    The community gathered to share memories of Holly Aeschlimann, 19, of Torrington, who was stabbed to death.The community gathered to share memories of Holly Aeschlimann, 19, of Torrington, who was stabbed to death.

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  • 04/21/15--14:00: David Ortiz Suspended

  • David Ortiz will appeal Major League Baseball's decision to suspend him one game and fine him, MLB confirmed Tuesday afternoon.

    The Red Sox slugger was penalized for making contact with the home plate umpire while arguing a swinging strike call on Sunday against the Baltimore Orioles.

    The umpire ejected the designated hitter from the game.

    Ortiz is batting .220/.340/.390 with a pair of homers through the first 12 games of the season.

    Because he is appealing the decision, Ortiz will be available to play Tuesday night against the Tampa Bay Rays, as well as in all other games that start before the process concludes.



    Photo Credit: AP

    File PhotoFile Photo

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    The state Department of Social Services tried to bring legislators up to date this morning on its new phone system, hoping the ImpaCT system will mean just that – impact – for clients who now have to wait on the phone to get through to DSS for hours.

    “Four or five hours,” said Lucy Potter, an attorney with Greater Hartford Legal Aid who watched the presentation. "I've had clients who've called repeatedly, waiting 20 minutes at a time and just giving up, not realizing you really do have to wait over an hour, often."

    DSS provides food stamps and Medicaid to residents in need of them.

    The DSS officials at the presentation admitted the present system has troubles. Commissioner Roderick Bremby even told the forum he has identified the "root cause."

    "That is, the notices that the system provides are old. They're not easily read or understood. Once people get those notices, we see a spike in the number of calls coming in," he said.

    So, the ImpaCT system is supposed to mean DSS will get fewer calls and fewer confused clients worried about losing their government aid. However, Impact doesn't go online for more than a year.

    “What we're looking for,” said Potter, the advocate for the poor, “is for people to be able to get through to the worker before then.”



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    The state Department of Social Services is closed so exterminators can go through the building after several employees had bug bites.The state Department of Social Services is closed so exterminators can go through the building after several employees had bug bites.

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    Route 190 is closed between Park Road and Taylor Road in Enfield after a car struck a pole Tuesday afternoon, and police said they expect the road to remain shut down through rush hour.

    Police said minor injuries have been reported but the pole is sheared off. Crews from Eversource Energy, formerly Connecticut Light & Power, arrived on scene shortly after 4 p.m. to begin repairs.

    Traffic is being diverted up Taylor Road.

    Enfield police said they expect the detour will impact rush hour traffic.


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    State police are investigating three minor incidents of arson in South Windham over the weekend.

    Connecticut State Police spokesman Sgt. Shane Hassett said someone set three fires on South Windham Road on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

    No one was hurt and the structures involved sustained only superficial damage, Hassett said.

    It's not clear if police have identified a suspect. The state police Major Crimes Unit is investigating.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    With a bipartisan vote, the General Assembly's Planning Committee has approved a proposal that would allow Connecticut's two Native American tribes with casinos to operate as many as three more facilities in the state.

    The measure includes provisions that would allow towns and cities to have the ultimate say as to whether they want a casino. Local residents would vote on the issue.

    "It's about local control," said State Sen. Cathy Osten, a Democrat from Sprague who chairs the committee and supports the casino bill as a way to protect the industry's jobs in Connecticut. "We want cities and towns to decide for themselves what they think is best for them."

    The town council in Windsor has already passed a measure essentially telling casino operators they're not welcome in the historic town.

    "We just don’t think it fits in with the town, fits in with our economic plan," said Mayor Donald Trinks, a Democrat. "We’re looking for sustainable, viable economic growth."

    Officials in Enfield are considering identical legislation to prevent a casino from being built on that side of the Connecticut-Massachusetts border.

    Osten expects other municipalities to make their positive opinions known very soon.

    "I expect in the next two or three weeks that we will see towns that are voting to support casinos within their town’s borders," Osten said.

    In addition to the issue of local control, the casino measure includes language that would prohibit the state of Connecticut from providing incentives to build future casinos.

    Supporters of the bill say the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes operate multi-million-dollar operations and hardly need any help from Connecticut taxpayers.

    “I don’t think they need any state aid," Osten said. "That’s just a fact, and so I don’t think we need to put state aid into something that doesn’t need state aid."


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    Three homicides in less than three weeks in New Haven and all of them unsolved. It's an issue police say is taxing to not only them, but the community.

    • April 6: Store clerk Sanja Patel, was found gunned down inside his Citgo gas station on Forbes Avenue.
    • April 19: The body of 16-year-old Jericho Scott was found outside his home on Exchange Street.
    • April 20: Lyndell Moore was found shot in his car on the corner of Orchard and Charles Street.

    “Really, this has been a tough last couple of days,” said Officer David Hartman, spokesperson with the New Haven Police Department.

    It's been so tough, Hartman said most of the New Haven Police Department is on at least one of these cases.

    They've spent long hours investigating, hoping for tips to solve what happened to the victims.

    "If you have a homicide one afternoon and you have all of your detectives working and up for 18 hours and they’re ready to go home and there’s another homicide, they’re not going home. They’re going right out to the next one," said Hartman.

    So why the violent crime lately in New Haven? James Newman, pastor of Freedom Missionary Baptist Church, said he believes it all comes down to the community.

    “We’ve got to stop turning our heads we’ve got to live up to the responsibility that it’s up to me," said Newman.

    Police officials say the issues stem from residents’ questionable decisions that could possibly lead to someone getting hurt.

    "The issue is gun violence, the issue is people getting assaulted and people getting killed. One can imagine the difference between homicide and assault is standing one inch to the left or one inch to the right," said Hartman.


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    A four-acre park and playground in Bridgeport’s East End is about to get a major makeover.

    Mayor Bill Finch announced Tuesday that the city will soon begin transforming Johnson Oak Park, as well as the grounds of the adjacent Jettie S. Tisdale Elementary School.

    Approximately $350,000 was awarded to fund the Bridgeport project as part of a new competitive federal grant program through the Land and Water Conservation Fund called the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership.

    In total, eight cities across the nation will receive about $3 million to help construct and enhance parks and other outdoor recreation facilities in disadvantaged neighborhoods, according to the National Park Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior. Funding will come from offshore oil and gas royalties.

    Several Bridgeport school children were able to add their input as plans for the park’s new design were coming together.

    "The plan is in place that the children designed themselves, which to me is the most exciting part," said Finch. "Imagine you went to a school, and in 20 years, you could come back to a playground with your children and say, 'I helped make this playground.'"

    The project, which will include a new playground and ball fields, will be completed in phases over the next three years. The first phase includes a picnic grove, spray pad and a fitness zone.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Gov. Dannel Malloy and prison administrators toured and touted a new correctional facility in Enfield designed to help inmates re-enter society and decrease their chances of returning to custody.

    The new "Reintegration Center" provides inmates with classes and instruction.

    “We want our men to be able to shake hands with someone when they’re meeting someone new," said John Tarascio, the Warden at the Willard-Cybulski Correctional Institution. "We want them to understand the impact of their crimes on their victims. We want them to secure a job and be responsible citizens of the state of Connecticut."

    The center was dedicated Tuesday and was paid for within the existing Department of Correction budget. It currently houses 100 inmates but will eventually reach its capacity of 600 inmates.

    There are also plans to provide for a similar female facility at a different prison.

    Vendors involved with the center include job placement professionals and community colleges.

    Prisons Chief Scott Semple told the audience that the "Second Chance" initiative being pushed by the Malloy administration is meant to be a common sense approach to prison and its role as a rehabilitator for inmates.

    "Please know that this is not a soft-on-crime approach," Semple said. "This is a smart-on-re-entry approach."

    Malloy said the center is a way for the state to reverse years of inefficient corrections programs that failed to reduce the rates of recidivism.

    “We became more engaged in building prisons and permanent punishment than we were in permanent reform," he said.

    He added that prisons in some cases should in fact be more short-term depending on the inmate.

    "We should not be in the business of perfecting people’s criminal skills and, unfortunately for some individuals, that’s what happens when they’re institutionalized," he said.

    Prisoners must apply for the program and all participants are selected by a committee.

    Correction Department officials allowed a pair of hand-picked inmates to meet with reporters. Andrew Phillips is serving three years for his third DUI conviction and is involved in the program.

    Even though he worked as a small business owner for many years, he says the reintegration center has been very helpful.

    "It's nice to get reminders," Phillips told reporters in the cafeteria.

    Serafettin Senen will be eligible for release in February of next year after serving five years for selling narcotics. When he heard about the opportunity, he jumped at the chance to sign up.

    "Already, I’ve taken a job development workshop which teaches you how to deal with employers and how to interview; what to say, what not to say; how to carry yourself. I graduated that. So there’s more programs like that I want to take," Senen said.

    On whether he thinks the classes have helped him develop skills for the outside world, Senen said, “I know it will. It’s already been helping me to understand.”


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    The day after Cromwell residents voiced their concerns about plans to open a group home for men with mental illnesses, the town mayor is asking the home to find a new location.

    Residents and town officials packed into the Cromwell Town Hall on Monday night to discuss the group home at a public forum.

    The home, which would treat up to six men at 5 Reiman Drive, would be located in a school zone, and neighbors worried for the safety of their children.

    "The majority of the concerns centered around the close proximity of this residence to Cromwell Schools and the makeup of the neighborhood, which contains a number of children and teenagers," the mayor's office said in a statement Tuesday.

    Although Gilead Community Services, the company that will run the group home, defended the safety and location of the facility on Monday night, the mayor wasn't convinced.

    "Because of the lack of information provided by Gilead and DEHMAS based on the concerns by those in attendance, Mayor Enzo Faienza is officially and publically [sic] requesting, on behalf of the citizens of the Town of Cromwell, that Gilead consider relocating to a more suitable location," the mayor's office said.

    Dan Osborne, chief executive officer of Gilead Community Services, said he has no official comment on the mayor's request.


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    A 75-year-old man convicted of sexually assaulting two children over a period of several years has been sentenced to five years in prison and 10 years of special parole.

    Kenneth Baker, of Old Simsbury Road in Granby, learned his fate in Hartford Superior Court on Monday. Police said he sexually assaulted two juveniles whom he knew.

    Baker was arrested in June 2014 and charged with two counts of first-degree sexual assault, one count of second-degree sexual assault, one count of third-degree sexual assault, three counts of fourth-degree sexual assault and 14 counts of risk of injury to a minor.

    He was convicted of two counts of illegal sexual contact in February of this year, according to online court records. The offenses date back to July 2007.



    Photo Credit: Granby Police Department

    Kenneth Baker, 75, of Granby, has been charged in the ongoing sexual assaults of two juveniles. Police said he knew the victims.Kenneth Baker, 75, of Granby, has been charged in the ongoing sexual assaults of two juveniles. Police said he knew the victims.

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