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Conn. mayor grants reprieve to barber giving free cuts in city park

HARTFORD, Conn. - The mayor of Hartford, Conn., is allowing a barber to continue giving haircuts in a city park despite orders for him to leave from police and health officials.

A spokeswoman for Mayor Pedro Segarra says he is granting Anthony "Joe the Barber" Cymerys a special dispensation in light of his years of charitable work. The spokeswoman, Maribel La Luz, said Thursday the city will help Cymerys obtain a state barber's license if he likes.

Cymerys, 82, has been giving free haircuts to the homeless in exchange for hugs for 25 years at Bushnell Park. He says officials confronted him this week and ordered him to leave because he did not have a permit.

City officials say residents had expressed concerns about sanitation. 


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