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Thief Steals All Four Tires Off Car

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Monday mornings the last thing anyone wants to worry about is how to get to work. But this morning a thief put Shannon Long's work day up on blocks.

"I was coming out for work this morning and I came out and my car looked all cockeyed so I walked over and I noticed that all four tires were taken. It was all jacked up," she said.

Her 2015 Toyota Camry was on a jack and a stack of plastic trays, in the lot outside her home at Pebblebrook Apartments. The car had lost its wheels but she didn't lose her cool.

"It's not the property manager's fault or anything like that. They have people, they have cameras and lights and everything, so it's a well lit area so it's not anybody's fault," she said.

It is the only vehicle the Pebblebrook property manager knows of to suffer this kind of theft.

"Unfortunate incidents happen everywhere no matter where you are so it could happen here," said Stephen Mullins. "It could happen anyplace else. I just encourage people to be vigilant and be aware of their surroundings and park in a place where it's well lit."

Shannon Lord does have insurance. New Britain police are investigating. She may not be pointing fingers but she's wondering why her car.

"It definitely surprises me but I guess nothing surprises me in this world anymore," she said.

Plane Makes Emergency Landing at JFK, Sparks Brake Fire

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An Aer Lingus plane had to return to Kennedy Airport to make an emergency landing Monday evening when it experienced problems with its hydraulics on one of its brakes, authorities say. 

The Boeing 757 had taken off for Shannon, Ireland just after 7 p.m. when it reported a hydraulic failure, as well as landing gear door problems and no flaps, the Port Authority said.

It returned to Kennedy Airport to make an emergency landing, and as it did so, it came in faster than normal onto runway 22 left, Port Authority said. The brakes overheated and may have sparked a fire in the landing gear compartment. 

The fire to the brakes was extinguished by emergency responders, and the passengers were shuttled back to the terminal by Port Authority buses. 

The plane was being connected to a tug to be removed, Port Authority said. 

It's not clear how many passengers were on board; no injuries have been reported. 



Photo Credit: Patrick Dyer Wolf

Quinnipiac Issues Cease and Desist Order to Fraternity

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Quinnipiac University has issued a cease and desist order to one of its fraternities, Sigma Phi Epsilon, over allegations about its initiation process for pledges.

“The university issued a cease and desist order to Sigma Phi Epsilon over the weekend while it investigates allegations regarding the fraternity’s process for new members,” Lynn Bushnell, vice president for public affairs at Quinnipiac said in a statement. “We have zero tolerance for any behavior which threatens the safety and security of any member of the university community.”

The nature of the allegations that prompted the cease and desist order is unknown.

No further information was immediately available.

Firefighters Use Facebook to Cheer Up Cancer Patient, 4

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Firefighters are known for banding together during times of adversity. Now, they are turning to Facebook to help one of their biggest fans overcome a life-threatening disease.

4-year-old Christian Reynoso is learning to drive. A motorized mini jeep is the latest gift the Hamden toddler has received as he fights leukemia.

“And it just made his entire day yesterday,” Christian’s mother Kate Annunziato said, “I don’t think I’ve seen him with more energy since when he got that.”

Annunziato’s son has always loved firefighters.

“Whenever we go past the fire house, he just wants to look in and whenever we see firefighters in the grocery store he wants to say hi,” she said.

After learning about Christian’s diagnosis in August, Branford Fire Captain Joe Petrosino snapped a photo of his department’s brand new fire truck. He posted it to Facebook, creating the Fire Trucks for Christian page.

“The reason for starting it was while he was having his treatments that he can just scroll through and if it makes him happy for 10 minutes, it was worth it,” Capt. Petrosino said.

Within weeks, the Facebook community page has nearly 7,300 likes.

“I thought that it would be Branford, Guilford and New Haven,” he said, “never thought it would go worldwide.”

But Capt. Petrosino stopped counting at 1,500 pictures.

Now, browsing through all these photos of fire trucks from across Connecticut, the country and the world is something Christian can look forward to each day during his aggressive chemotherapy for the next seven months.

“We try to look at them at night when it is time to go bed and I’ll tell him what state,” Annunziato said, “and I don’t think he fully understands how far away these trucks are coming from but it is amazing.”

This Saturday there is a fundraiser and raffle for Christian from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Regal Beagle at 422 State St. in New Haven.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Takata Air Bag Recall Expands to 7 More Companies

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Seven more companies including electric car maker Tesla Motors could be facing recalls because they use air bag inflators made by Takata Corp., according to letters they received last week from U.S. safety regulators, NBC News reported.

So far about 23.4 million Takata driver and passenger air bag inflators have been recalled on 19.2 million U.S. vehicles sold by 11 different companies, including Honda and Fiat Chrysler. The inflators can explode with too much force, spewing metal shrapnel. At least eight people have died worldwide and hundreds have been injured because of the problem.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sent letters to Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar-Land Rover, Suzuki, Tesla, Volvo Trucks, Volkswagen and Spartan Motors seeking information on which models have Takata inflators. 



Photo Credit: File--AP

Infant, Pregnant Woman Shot

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A pregnant woman and her mother were killed, and an infant and two men were wounded in a shooting in Chicago's Back of the Yards neighborhood on Monday, police said.

The family was coming back from an outing when a barrage of bullets were shot in the 5300 block of South Aberdeen just after 7 p.m, police said. The 11-month-old suffered a gunshot wound in the shooting and was taken to John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital in stable condition.

Two women, a 46-year-old and a 23-year-old, were taken to Mt Sinai, police said. Deputy Chief Eugene Roy said at a Monday evening press conference that the two had died.

The 23-year-old was the mother of the infant, and the 46-year-old was the grandmother of the child, police said. 

Family said the 23-year-old, identified by family as Patricia Chew, was two months pregnant.

Two 25-year-old men, one with gunshot wounds on both legs and another with wounds unknown, were taken to Mt. Sinai hospital, police said.

"You have an innocent family coming home from a family outing," Roy said. "In a second, two generations of that child's family were wiped out."

No suspects are in custody in the shooting, police said.

The shooting comes after a violent weekend in Chicago that left four people dead and at least 52 others injured, The weekend before that saw eight people killed and at least 45 others were wounded, reportedly making it the city's most violent two-day weekend since Father's Day 2013.

Crime Drops in State for 2nd Consecutive Year

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According to the most recent FBI crime report, Connecticut saw one of the more significant drops in violent crime in the United States.

Overall, violent crime is down by 9.7 percent compared to last year. For the second straight year, the state saw such a a decrease as violent crime was down more than 10 percent for 2013.

"We're hitting it out of the ballpark" said Gov. Dannel Malloy who announced the new figures at a press conference at State Police Headquarters in Middletown.

For some historical perspective, Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner Dora Schriro said, “Connecticut’s violent crime rate in 2014 is the lowest since 1974. Our property crime rate is the lowest since 1966.”

According to the data, Connecticut led the nation among states with more than 1.3 million people when it came to the reduction in violent crime. Murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults all saw decreases in 2014.

Gov. Malloy was asked about the recent spike in homicides in Hartford and said even though the Capital City may have seen an uptick for 2015, it can't be misinterpreted as a trend.

"There’s no way to ignore what’s happened in Hartford" Malloy said. "But listen, what’s happened in Hartford is not playing out in other municipalities.”

Budget Cuts Threaten Medicaid

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Community Health Centers in Connecticut could see the true impact of state budget cuts the governor and his administration announced 10 days ago.

Doug Bruce, chief of medicine at the Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center in New Haven, said his facility might see more Medicaid patients if federal reimbursements are cut and more private doctors in Connecticut refuse to take Medicaid patients.

“Every doctor has to pay the light bill. Everyone has to pay for the building, so if you’re going to see two patients for the same problem, one patient has Medicaid and the other has private insurance, the economics of it drives the better remuneration,” he said.

Bruce said such decisions stress resources at community health centers and clinics for people who need healthcare services.

“Patients ask, 'Why can’t I see my provider who I’ve seen every year for however many years?' Well, there are all of these new patients coming in. I can’t presume why those patients are sending them in our direction but frequently it’s been one of reimbursement,” Bruce said.

The Medicaid issue is significant because the budget cuts the Malloy administration announced struck Medicaid the hardest, at more than $60 million.

According to some estimates, the figure is far higher because those Medicaid cuts cause the state to be disqualified for federal matching funds.

The governor defended the cuts on Monday and added that the rescissions are responsible given current fiscal conditions affecting the state's investment performance.

“I would say that the last 90 days on the stock market have been extraordinary and any state that’s not taking that into account is making a mistake" Gov. Dannel Malloy said on Monday. "We are certainly taking it into account which is why I announced the first round of rescissions."

Republicans criticized the governor on Monday, saying he's using the stock market as a scapegoat for a budget that he knew wasn't in balance when it was passed back in June.

“They knew they were out of whack" said Sen. Len Fasano, (R-Durham), the top Republican in the Connecticut Senate. "I thought it was going to be January, February, not the first three months.”

Fasano said the governor and top Democrats have refused to admit the state has a budget problem that goes far beyond expenditures and revenues.

“I think it’s egos. I really do. I think it’s the inability to say, I messed up."

Malloy pointed out that spending growth has been slower under his administration than previous governors, many of whom include Republicans.

The governor also said more budget cuts "are a very real possibility."

Democratic Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey criticized the GOP's call for a Special Session to look at the budget and make changes and said  Fasano and Republicans were "not responsible" because any changes could simply be trimmed at a rate of 5 percent by the governor.

Sharkey said he wants to come up with a group of alternative to the governor's cuts and is looking forward to seeing proposals from Fasano and his GOP colleagues.



Photo Credit: Getty Images

Car Hits, Seriously Injures Pedestrian

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A pedestrian in his 50s is recovering in the hospital from life-threatening injuries after a car hit him in a Meriden intersection.

Meriden police responded to the intersection of West Main and North First streets at about 3 p.m. on Monday to investigate a reported crash involving a vehicle and pedestrian.

Police discovered a man, about 50, on the ground with injuries to his head and upper torso.

Ismael Ramos, 19, was driving eastbound on West Main Street when he hit the pedestrian near the North First Street intersection at about 1:43 p.m. , police said.

An ambulance took the injured pedestrian to Midstate Hospital and then LifeStar airlifted him from there to Hartford Hospital to be treated for life-threatening injuries. There is no word on his condition.

Police are not releasing the man's name until family is notified.

Meriden police interviewed witnesses. The department's accident reconstruction unit continues to investigate the crash.

Police ask anyone with information to call Officer Chris Rodriguez at 203-630-6299 or Lt. Thomas Cossette at 203-630-6256.

CCSU Neighbors Sound Off On Noisy Party Problem

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It was standing room only at Central Connecticut State University Monday night as campus and city officials listened to concerns from the community about parties they say have gotten out of control.

Those who live near the school say the crowds have become so rowdy in the Belvidere neighborhood that some students have been arrested and neighbors are angry.

“Just imagine from 10:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. 75 to 100 kids decide that in front of your house is an acceptable place to go drinking,” Krista Tulisano said.

Tulisano has had to call the cops as many as three times in a week, which is why she showed up to the meeting filled with frustrated residents. They say part of the problem is that police do not give out enough tickets to those behind the partying problem.

“Treat them like adults not children,” Maria Johnson, who lives near the school said. “Don’t just knock on doors, give them the tickets. This is crazy.”

The CCSU Campus Police are working with the New Britian Police Department to address the issues. The city has added extra patrols on popular party nights and the school is launching several campaigns to remind students to be respectful.

“Sometimes you have to continue the course of education to remind students certain things are acceptable and certain things are not acceptable,” CCSU Chief Administrative Officer Dr. Richard Bachoo said.

The school is also considering a student neighborhood liason program that could help keep the off-campus situations from escalating.
 

Cop Busts Some Moves in Epic Dance Battle

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The police officer who challenged a New Britain man to a dance battle Saturday says he's out to change lives.

New Britain Police Officer Matt Sulek was on duty at the Car Show downtown when Tyler Robert Johnson's dance moves inspired him to ask to join in.

"He came over and he's like wanna have a dance battle and I was, yeah no problem," said Johnson. "You know he was really nonchalant about it. Very chill guy."

Sulek stunned Johnson with what he could do.

"Was he stunned?" asked Sulek. "I was stunned too by his moves. What he did was phenomenal too. I had to show him some type of move to show him what I was capable of."

Sulek wants to show young people that it's OK not to be afraid of police officers.

"By doing stuff like this this is how you can change a life," he said. "This is how you can get into their lives and maybe make them better, show them what they're capable of."

Johnson teaches dance when he's not on duty with the National Guard. He thinks the dancing cop shows how policing should be done, "getting more in touch with the community like how he did with me," he said.

This dance battle does have a winner, police community relations in New Britain, and the mayor of New Britain knows it.

"Hey, there's nothing wrong with having a little fun," New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart said, "and cops are people too and I think this is a real great way to show that to the community."

Johnson says he has another video that's drawn 300,000 views on the Internet. Thousands of people are bound to see this video, and Sulek hopes they do.



Photo Credit: Tyler Robert Johnson

Residents Displaced After Car Crashes Through Stratford Home

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Residents of a Stratford home are displaced after a pickup truck driver crashed through their house late Monday afternoon.

The pickup truck struck the building at the garage, crashing through the entirety of the home through the living and dining rooms, exiting the back of the 2483 Nichols Avenue home. The accident happened close to 4:30 p.m.

No one was home at the time of the incident, officials from the local fire union said on Facebook. Three of four people who live in the house had left to return a movie they rented, coming home to the significantly damaged house.

The driver was transported to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries and has since been released. No one else was in the car.

The cause of the crash is unknown and remains under investigation.

Stratford's building official condemned the house.



Photo Credit: Stratford Professional Firefighters IAFF 998 Facebook Page

Mars Shows Strong Signs of Flowing Water: Researchers

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A new study provides the "strongest evidence yet" of salty water that flows on Mars, and a NASA scientist said the discovery suggests that it's "possible for there to be life today" on the Red Planet, NBC News reported.

"Our quest on Mars has been to 'follow the water' in our search for life in the universe, and now we have convincing science that validates what we've long suspected," said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator at NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C.

Researchers from Georgia Tech investigated streaks that flow across parts of the planet during warm seasons.

The source of the liquid is not known, researchers said.

Speculation on details of the Mars mystery before NASA's official announcement on its "major science finding" had spawned jokes across social media about "The Martian" star Matt Damon, Mars candy bars and more.



Photo Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
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Americans Are Angry About the Country's Direction: Poll

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Americans are angry and think the country is going in the wrong direction, according to a new poll by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal. 

A relative majority of adults feel angry because the American political system seems to be working for those with money and power.

And more than half of Americans - 55 percent - say that something upsets them enough that they'd carry a protest sign for an entire day if they could.

The one hitch: The public is divided over the source of this anger.

Still, there is some optimism from the public when it comes to the economy. Fifty-three percent of Americans say they're "confident and optimistic" about their own financial situation over the next year, versus 45 percent who are "worried and uncertain."



Photo Credit: AP

Clinton's Not-So-Subtle Message to Sanders

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Even though the first Democratic presidential debate is just two weeks away, frontrunner Hillary Clinton isn’t engaging with opponent Bernie Sanders, NBC News reported.

Clinton hasn’t even mentioned Sanders’ name while on the campaign trail, but did point out some of his weaknesses in an interview with NBC/MSNBC's Chuck Todd.

"Well, I'm not in any way going to criticize Sen. Sanders," Clinton told Todd in an interview for the new MSNBC show "MTP Daily." "And he's running a great campaign and I respect that."

During the interview, Clinton said Democratic lawmakers have lined up behind her, not him.



Photo Credit: AP

Man Breaches Security For Pope

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A former New York City firefighter carrying five bullets and marijuana breached security at JFK Airport and drove onto the tarmac in order to give Pope Francis his business card, according to a criminal complaint filed against him.

Chris Cannella, 39, followed a United Nations motorcade into JFK around 6 p.m. on Saturday and flashed his retired FDNY badge at a security check to get onto the tarmac, the document says.

Cannella was allegedly driving a black Chevy Tahoe similar to the SUVs used by the NYPD and the United Nations.

The retired firefighter was stopped by detectives as he sat outside a second checkpoint and asked why he was following the motorcade. Cannella allegedly said he wanted to give the pope his business card and that he wanted to meet with world leaders to affect change.

Cannella also explained to officers that the Secret Service had let him in at a previous checkpoint, and he showed them a cellphone video of him driving through the checkpoint, the court document says.

Upon further investigation, Port Authority police found a 9mm magazine containing five hollow point rounds of ammunition in the trunk of his car and a plastic bag containing marijuana and a marijuana cigarette in the car’s cup holder, the complaint says.

Cannella also allegedly later tore apart a chair in an interrogation room and threatened an officer with the broken pieces.

He is charged with criminal impersonation, criminal mischief, unauthorized possession of a pistol and/or revolver/ammunition, firearms ammunition feeding device, criminal trespass and unlawful possession of marijuana. It was unclear if he had an attorney.



Photo Credit: Getty Images

National Coffee Day Deals and Freebies

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Getting out of bed in the morning can be tough without a strong cup of joe so why not celebrate National Coffee Day with a free or inexpensive cup of coffee.

You can get your coffee fix here:

Dunkin Donuts: Free medium hot or iced dark roast coffee. One per guest, and available at participating locations only.

McDonald’s: A free small hot McCafe coffee at participating locations only.

Krispy Kreme: Free small coffee and original glazed donut.

Whole Foods: Stores nationwide are offering 12-ounce cups of coffee for $0.25 through September.

Cumberland Farms: Text FREECOFFEE to 33733 to get a free coffee coupon for use on National Coffee Day (9/29) only.

First Responders Mourn Slain EMT

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Hundreds of first responders gathered in mourning of a former EMT who police said was murdered in Shelton.

Thomas Infante, 53, of Shelton, has been arrested, accused of killing his 52-year-old wife, Lisa Infante, who is also the mother of their four children. 

Police said Thomas and Lisa Infante were in the process of going through a divorce and he's accused of shooting her during an argument on Sunday night. 

Community members gathered at a vigil on Monday night in Lisa's memory and several EMTs were among them, including Chief Mike Chaffee of the Echo Hose Ambulance Corps, where Lisa Infante used to volunteer.

“Lisa was a big part of our family. There’s a large hole in our heart right now," Chaffee said. "....You see people in their worst and best of times and you try to help them make sense of it. Right now we're kind of feeling that."

Authorities started investigating when they received a call around 9:30 p.m. about a suspicious death and responded to 7 Hickory Lane, where they found Lisa Infante.

Police said two of the couple's four children were home at the time of the shooting.

"I know that her children meant the world to her," Chaffee said.

Thomas Infante fled the scene and police issued an alert for him on Monday afternoon, saying he was a person of interest in the case. He was believed to be in a red 1995 Chevrolet Blazer with Connecticut plate 92CF64, and should be considered armed and dangerous.

At 2:30 p.m., police said Thomas Infante turned himself in to Shelton Police and was arrested, charged with murder and held on $500,000 bond. 

“There’s plenty of speculation, but you don’t know exactly what sparked this or caused it," Chaffee said.

Lisa Infante was a volunteer at Echo Hose Ambulance Corps and bunting now hangs on the building. A flag has been lowered to half staff and flowers have been placed out front.

"Your heart just sinks to your feet. Nothing, nothing can describe that feeling until you’ve felt it," Chaffee said. "....Obviously, a big hole in our heart and in our organization with Lisa not here anymore.”

Those who knew her said she was an emergency medical technician for more than a decade. 

Thomas Infante is due in Derby Superior Court on Tuesday.



Photo Credit: Shelton Police and NBCConnecticut.com

Dog Attack Victim Breaks Silence

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A woman who was viciously attacked by dogs last year is speaking out for the first time.

Disturbing images barely depict the amount of damage that's been done to 57-year-old Lynne Dennings. The Dec. 3 attack was so horrific Lynne says doctors didn't think she would survive it. While working as a caretaker for an elderly woman in this Plainfield home, police say she was mauled by two of their Rottweilers.

“The fact is a woman got hurt and two dogs lives are in the balance so it’s very unfortunate for both sides,” said a neighbor.

One neighbor who didn't want to show her face on camera tells NBC Connecticut those dogs were a nuisance, often found roaming the area. After the attack six dogs were removed from the home, but four have since been returned.

“I haven’t seen anybody or the dogs out at all so we haven’t had any problems,” said the neighbor.

We heard them barking when we went to the home, hoping to talk with the owners who were both released on bond, but their property was lined with no trespassing signs. Just when we were about to leave one of them drove out, but the woman refused to stop for me.

Jenna Allen and her boyfriend Corey Beakey were finally charged with the attack nine months later and had an appearance in Danielson Superior Court Monday morning.

The victim wasn’t there but we caught up with her at home. Dennings didn’t want to comment on camera but says this nightmare has changed her life forever. Despite the physical and emotional scars she says she is blessed to be alive and has a long road to recovery.

There was a continuance in the case for a plea scheduled for Nov. 3. This Thursday there is a court appearance to determine if the two dogs will be put down.

Dozens Participate in Convoy of Caring

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Dozens of trucks are hitting the road on Tuesday morning for an annual campaign to feed the hungry in the Greater Hartford area.

Several companies in the food industry are taking part in the 21-mile drive from Rocky Hill to Foodshare's distribution center in Bloomfield in an effort to demonstrate their commitment to fighting hunger in Greater Hartford.

This is the 13th anniversary of the convoy, which serves as a visual reminder to all of the challenges 137,000 residents who go hungry struggle with every day.

Adirondack Beverages, Bakery On Main, Big Y, Bozzuto's, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Burris Logistics, C&S Wholesale, Coca Cola, CT Food Association, Domino's Pizza, The Farmer's Cow, Freshpoint, Frito Lay, Garelick Farms, Geissler's, Guida Dairy, HPC Foodservice, Howley Bread Group (Panera), New England Dairy Council, Ocean State Job Lot, Pepsi Beverages Co., Polar Beverages, Price Rite, Sam's Club, ShopRite, Stop & Shop, Thurston Foods, Sysco, Walmart and Whole Foods are all participating in the convoy.

Since 2000, food industry companies have donated the equivalent of more than 108 million meals.

Officials from Foodshare said 73 percent of the food it distributes comes directly from the companies’ in-kind donations, so every dollar donated results in three meals.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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