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    Young Olympic hopefuls are honing their Taekwondo skills in Farmington as the competition heats up in Rio.

    On Wednesday night, the women’s 49kg and men’s 58kg medal matches begin at 7 p.m. 

    Ceana Rodriguez will be one of the many people glued to the television watching.

    Rodriguez started Taekwondo at age five and has since won numerous international competitions in Korea, Germany and Canada.

    “My dream is to go to the 2020 Olympics and I am so close to it,” said Rodriguez. “I have always had this vision of walking through big doors and everybody screaming.”

    Rodriguez is one of the dozens of students enrolled at the Olympic Taekwondo Academy in Farmington.

    Head Master Kiye Cho teaches his students the techniques of breaking, form and sparring.

    “It is all about teamwork and working together,” said Ezra Mendes of Burlington.

    Those skills helped Gavin Engels win two gold medals recently at the National Championships.

    “It was pretty good getting them, but I did have to work hard to get them. Master Cho helped me all along the way,” said Gavin Engels of Avon.

    Master Cho is a two-time world champion. He says he enjoys watching Taekwondo on the Olympic stage as much as his students.

    “It is very exciting to watch because Taekwondo is getting changed and now they are using electric sparring gear,” said Master Cho.

    Despite there only being a few days left to take the Olympics in, the training will not end for hopefuls like Rodriguez. She will continue making sacrifices hoping to make it in 2020.

    “Skipping school dances, not doing regular teenage activities, so complete dedication and training every single day,” said Rodriguez.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    Less humid weather has arrived, but it won't last forever.

    While tomorrow also features a good amount of sunshine, there can be a shower. Temperatures will be in the middle 80s.

    There could be another shower Friday, then more clouds move in this weekend.

    Both weekend days will start with fog and low clouds, then some sun breaks through. Temperatures will be in the lower 80s.

    It will gradually turn more humid heading into Sunday, before the humidity drops off again next week.

    Finally, more seasonable weather arrives early next week. Temperatures will struggle to hit 80 degrees starting Monday!


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    The Connecticut Department of Transportation is holding hearings for the public to comment on proposed fare increases for the New Haven commuter rail line, including the New Canaan, Danbury and Waterbury branches, as well as Shore Line East, CTtransit and CTfastrak. 

    The proposed increases for the New Haven Line to go into effect on Dec. 1 and would be combined with a 1 percent previously scheduled fare increase to go toward purchase of the new M-8 rail cars that the state put into service beginning in 2010.

    The proposed increases for CTtransit and CTfastrak go into effect on Dec. 4.

    The standard one-way fare on the statewide CTtransit services would go up 25 cents, from $1.50 to $1.75, and the express bus fares and other pre-paid fare types would rise a proportional percentage, according to DOT.

    The public is encouraged to email comments to the DOT at dot.farecomments@ct.gov or through the DOT’s website.

    You can also mail comments to:

    Comment on Fare Changes

    Bureau of Public Transportation
    2800 Berlin Turnpike
    P.O. Box 317546
    Newington, CT 06131-7546

    The comment period closes September 15, 2016.

    Following are the dates, times and locations of the public hearings:

    Old Saybrook
    Thursday, Sept. 1, Old Saybrook Town Hall, 302 Main St. -- 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

    Hartford
    Wednesday, Sept. 7, Hartford Public Library, 500 Main St. -- 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

    Meriden
    Tuesday, Sept. 13, Meriden City Hall, Council Chambers, 142 East Main St. --11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    Waterbury
    Tuesday, Sept. 13, Silas Bronson Library, 267 Grand St. -- 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

    Stamford
    Wednesday, Sept. 14, University of Connecticut Stamford Campus Auditorium, One University Place -- 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

    New Haven
    Thursday, Sept. 15, New Haven Hall of Records, Room G-2, 200 Orange St. -- 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Hillary Clinton attacked Donald Trump Wednesday over his tax plan, which the Democratic presidential nominee says would help the wealthy at the expense of investments in education, infrastructure and healthcare.

    Two days after Donald Trump was in Ohio to lay out his foreign policy plan, Clinton touted her economic proposal at Marshall High School in Cleveland and criticized Trump’s plan to repeal the estate tax because the $4 billion that the Republican nominee would receive could be put to better use helping Ohioans.

    Clinton's speech is a part of a coordinated effort by her campaign in key battleground states to emphasize how tax breaks for the wealthy proposed by Trump “would come at great cost to much-needed investments in infrastructure, education, health care, and other priorities.”



    Photo Credit: NBC

    Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign rally at John Marshall High School in Cleveland, Ohio, on Aug. 17, 2016.Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign rally at John Marshall High School in Cleveland, Ohio, on Aug. 17, 2016.

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  • 08/17/16--10:48: Tax Free Week Aug. 21-27

  • Tax-free week is coming up in a couple weeks and that means savings for people buying clothing and shoes.

    Clothing and footwear costing less than $100 will be tax-free from Sunday, Aug. 21 to Saturday, Aug. 27, with some exceptions.

    Dresses, employee uniforms, jeans, rain jackets, shoes, sneakers, work clothes and more will be exempt.

    Certain types of boots, handbags, jewelry, sports helmets, sports uniforms and more are not.

    Click here to see what’s exempt and what’s taxable. 

    For items costing $100 or more, sales tax is calculated on the full purchase price.

    “The ‘tax holiday’ has become a staple of Connecticut’s back-to-school shopping season. Many retailers schedule sales to coincide with sales tax-free week, which helps shoppers save even more money because sales tax is applied after the use of any coupons or discounts,” Commissioner Kevin B. Sullivan, of the Department of Revenue Services, said in a statement. “So while the price of an item may start above the $100 taxable threshold, after discounts are applied, it becomes less than $100 and is not subject to sales tax that week.”

    The state expects about $4.5 million in sales and use tax exemptions during the August “tax holiday” week.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images/Scott Olson

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    Hartford firefighters have successfully used the antidote for heroin overdoses, Narcan, 136 times and counting since November. 

    Narcan has brought heroin users back to life nearly 80 percent of the time Hartford firefighters have used it, according to the executive officer, Capt. Raul Ortiz. 

    "As a firefighter, you're tasked with that responsibility to save lives," he said. "Doesn't matter how we do it. 

    Eighty percent of firefighters' calls in Hartford these days are medical. 

    "We're getting 2-4 calls every day of overdoses," Ortiz said. 

    Narcan's just one more supply line item in the budget and one more tool for them. 

    "From high angle rescues to technical rescues, trench rescues, hazardous materials, fires as well as medical calls and motor vehicle extrications, we're all encompassing - we do it all," he said. 



    Photo Credit: Adapt Pharma

    Narcan 4 mg nasal sprayNarcan 4 mg nasal spray

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    Russia took a scornful swipe at the United States on Wednesday, defending its use of Iranian air bases to launch air strikes on Syria and suggesting State Department officials should "check their logic and knowledge" over the issue, NBC News reported.

    On Tuesday Mark Toner, Deputy spokesman for the State Department described Moscow's use of Iranian facilities as "unfortunate, but not surprising" and said the U.S. was looking into whether Russia's move violated a U.N resolution, which prohibits the supply, sale and transfer of combat aircraft to Iran

    A spokesman for Russia's Ministry of Defense responded Wednesday and said the resolution only covered the use of warplanes "inside Iran."

    Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, also pointed out that the U.S. was using a Turkish air base to support its own airstrikes in Syria and Iraq.

    "We would suggest they consider the answer to the simple question: whether there is at least one article of the U.N. Charter, Security Council resolution or bilateral U.S.-Syrian treaty allowing the bombardment of Syrian territory by drones and planes from the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, or any other foreign air bases."



    Photo Credit: File--AP

    In this photo made from the footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official website on Friday, Oct. 9, 2015, a bomb is released from Russian Su-34 strike fighter in Syria.In this photo made from the footage taken from Russian Defense Ministry official website on Friday, Oct. 9, 2015, a bomb is released from Russian Su-34 strike fighter in Syria.

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    A Philadelphia Daily News columnist has been left "mortified" after the paper mistakenly printed a photo of Simone Biles alongside her story about Gabby Douglas in Wednesday's edition.

    Ronnie Polaneczky penned a column about the onslaught of mean comments Douglas has been receiving on social media during the summer games in Rio.

    The piece was the Daily News' cover story, and when readers opened to the column, they found a large photo of Biles, mid-leap, smack in the center of the copy. A caption reads: 'Gabby Douglas: Olympic gold medalist, need we say more?'

    "It makes you want to bash your head against a wall," Polaneczky told NBC10. "I'm mortified."

    In the piece titled "She Can Vault Over the Vitriol," Polaneczky writes directly to Douglas, celebrating the young, gold-winning Olympian, saying the negative comments mean she's doing well.

    Douglas has described the online hate messages about her facial expressions, her hair and how she stood during a rendition of the national anthem as "really hurtful."

    Polaneczky doesn't handle the paper's layout or choose which photos are used. But she said she's trying to figure out how the mixup happened.

    A photo of Biles also appeared in the online story Wednesday morning. It was quickly changed when the mistake was noticed, Polaneczky said.

    The Philadelphia Daily News, like other newspapers across the country, has been saddled with declining circulation and ad revenue. There have been several rounds of layoffs amid a series of ownership changes. The paper's newsroom staff recently underwent a merger with those at the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philly.com.

    Last year, the Daily News laid off five of its seven full-time news copy editors.

    A combined copy desk handles editions of the Inquirer and Daily News.

    In a tweet, Michael Days, editor of the Daily News, apologized for the mistake.

    Polaneczky hopes people still read the column even after seeing the photo, adding that she's a huge admirer of Douglas.



    Photo Credit: NBC10
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    Whoops! The Philadelphia Daily News mistakenly ran a photo of Simone Biles next to a column about fellow gymnast Gabby Douglas. The paper apologized.Whoops! The Philadelphia Daily News mistakenly ran a photo of Simone Biles next to a column about fellow gymnast Gabby Douglas. The paper apologized.

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    A 60-year-old Meriden man is in critical condition after he was struck in a hit-and-run last night and police found the suspected driver hiding in a closet after a witnesses jotted down the license plate of the fleeing car.

    Police responded to Lewis Avenue in Meriden, near the tennis courts, at 10:22 p.m., to investigate and found Stephen Mahoney, 60, of Meriden, partly in the road with head, neck and leg injuries.

    Mahoney was transported to Hartford Hospital and he is listed in critical condition, according to police.

    One witness was able to write down the license plate of the vehicle that hit Mahoney and alert officers, who tracked the vehicle down to a home on Garden Street.

    When officers arrived, they found a green Acura parked on the street and said it had damage to the passenger side, side mirror and windshield.

    Police found the suspected driver, 25-year-old Tony Perez-Silva, hiding in a third-floor closet at 33 Garden St.

    He has been charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving, second-degree assault with a motor vehicle, evading responsibility causing serious physical injury or death, operation of a motor vehicle while under suspension and interfering with police.

    Perez-Silva was held on $150,000 bond.

    Police said more charges are possible and they are asking witnesses to call Officer Christian Rodriguez at (203) 630-6299.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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  • 08/17/16--12:05: Tracking 2016 Homicides

  • NBC Connecticut is keeping track of homicides across the state. The map above provides details on the date, location and victim. For more information on a particular incident, click on it on the map for a link to the detailed story.


    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

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    Mosquitoes in Newington have tested positive for West Nile Virus, according to the Central Connecticut Health District.

    Health officials said the test results were reported Monday. So far in 2016, mosquitoes seven Connecticut towns have tested positive for West Nile. Those towns Bridgeport, Darien, Hartford, Stamford, Stratford, West Hartford and Newington.

    The health district offers the following tips to reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes

    • Avoid outdoor activities one hour before and one hour after dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
    • Wear long sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors; it is especially important to cover the arms and legs of children.
    • When outside, use mosquito repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, some oil of lemon eucalyptus or paramenthane-diol. Follow the directions on the package. No product containing DEET should be used on infants less than two months old.
    • Cover babies’ playpens and carriages with mosquito netting when outdoors.
    • Avoid camping near fresh water swamps and use mosquito netting in tents.
    • Stay indoors when mosquitoes are numerous.
    • Eliminate sources of standing water such as stagnant ponds, ditches, flower pots and old tires, as mosquitoes only need a few tablespoons of water to lay eggs. Drain and turn over children’s pools, clean clogged gutters, and flush birdbaths and fountains once or twice a week. Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers and any similar containers that have accumulated on your property, and drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are left outside.
    • Make sure your property is graded properly and has adequate drainage. Look for places where rainwater collects and fill all holes and depressions. Mosquitoes will breed in any puddle that lasts for
    • more than 4 days.
    • Store boats, wheelbarrows, and containers upside down. If you have a pond, be sure it is aerated or stocked with fish such as goldfish or minnows, which eat mosquito larvae.
    • Patch holes in screens and make sure screens are tightly attached to doors and windows.
    • Use low toxicity insecticides and always follow the directions on the products. When applying sprays, be sure to keep the wind at your back, carry the spray away from you and avoid personal contact with it and excessive inhalation of spray materials.
    • Place Bat houses on your property.

    Most people who become infected with West Nile experience no symptoms. Those who do usually begin exhibiting three to 14 days after been bitten. Symptoms include fever, body aches, headache, rash and conjunctivitis.

    Health officials said anyone experiencing severe symptoms such as high fever, stiff neck, severe headache, disorientation, vision loss or numbness and muscle weakness should contact a doctor. Young children and the elderly are more susceptible to serious infections.

    Anyone with concerns about mosquitos or a general public health issue can contact the Central Connecticut Health District, which serves Berlin, Newington, Rocky Hill and Wethersfield, at (860) 721-2822 or online at www.ccthd.org


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    The U.S. Women’s gymnastics team finished the Olympics competition last night and they’re taking home nine medals – more than any U.S. gymnastics team in history.

    For many gymnasts, watching the Final Five has generated a lot of excitement.

    “It just inspires me to come in the gym and work even harder to try and get to where they are,” Said 16-year-old Cassidy Girolamo of Newington.

    While the women’s competition is over, practicing at Gymnastics Express Too in Glastonbury is not.

    “I recorded like every gymnastics night and like I do watch it back," said Sara Proctor of Waterford, who said watching routines are a chance for her to learn new skills. I’ve watched Simone Biles like at least 50 times and she’s like crazy."

    “I love watching the new skills that they have because I would go home and train on some of them just because maybe one day I could be at that level and be on the world stage right next to them,”said 17-year-old Alissa Bonsaol of Haddam.

    Gymnasts say they relate to the Final Five more than ever now.

    “Just knowing that sometimes most of the skills they do I can do too it’s just really cool,” said 14-year-old Taylor Pitchel of Wethersfield.

    “I thought it was pretty cool that Simone won in the end I mean it’s so cool that she’s my height and she has all that muscle,” Said 13 year-old Madison Dorunda of Waterford.

    Even Gymnastics Express Too is seeing more parents sign their kids up to do the sport. At least 200 new gymnasts are expected in the coming weeks.

    “They seem to be really wanting to come in and do gymnastics and a lot of the parents are coming here saying wow I really want my kid to come and do gymnastics Express so we’ve been registering quite a few kids pretty quickly,” said owner Maureen Chagnon.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    Enfield's superintendent of schools expects the certificate of occupancy for the newly expanded high school to come in sometime prior to the first day of school on Sept. 6. 

    With the $100 million construction project about five days ahead of schedule, Enfield High School should be open for tours and orientation next week.

    "We're opening the building with a lot of it done but the music wing and auditorium won't be completed til some time next winter," said the superintendent, Jeffrey Schumann.

    Workers still have a long way to go on the music wing and auditorium, but the cafeteria space at the high school is big enough for band practice.

    Making do is nothing new at Enfield High School.

    "We haven't had gyms. We haven't had cafeterias. Kids had to eat in the auditorium for a while. Kids have been great. Staff have been great. We're gonna endure the last few months because we know in January it's gonna be perfect," Schumann said.

    It'll all be new to students coming from the now-closed Fermi High School to their former crosstown rival.

    "I'm not gonna know where I'm going but it's OK. It's all a learning experience," said Emily Baker, who will be a senior. "It's gonna be crazy! I'm gonna feel like a freshman all over again. I worked so hard to be a senior just to feel like a freshman."

    She and her mother think the new school is beautiful but they said the students will have to build something themselves at Enfield High School: one student body.

    "The school rivalries from each other...are Enfield High kids going to be welcoming in Fermi kids as you hope they are?" Jennifer Baker said.

    Schumann said when the whole building is open, they'll have a grand opening and invite people to see the new facility.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    Four people are safe after a boat they were on sank at the mouth of the Connecticut River, Old Lyme Fire dispatch said. 

    The group was on some kind of boat when it sank on Wednesday afternoon. 

    Old Lyme Fire Department said one person was picked up from White Sands Beach, while the other three were found at Sound View Beach.

    All passengers were wearing life vests at the time of the sinking, fire officials said. 

    No injuries were reported. The reason the boat sank has not been released. 



    Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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    Connecticut state police have arrested a man accused of having sex with 14-year-old girl.

    State police said Julian Butler, 34, of Hartford, turned himself in Tuesday after learning of a warrant for his arrest. He faces charges of risk of injury to a child and second-degree sexual assault.

    According to the arrest warrant application, Butler admitted to meeting the teen on the “Whisper” app in March.

    The application states that the victim told police that on March 9, 2016 she skipped school and invited a man she knew by the screen name “Mr. Sweet” to her home in Stafford around noon. He reportedly told her that he was 17, then later said he was 23. The victim reported that they had unprotected vaginal intercourse.

    The victim told a counselor at school that she thought she might be pregnant.

    The victim and her father allowed police to search her cellphone. Police examined her conversations with Mr. Sweet on the Whisper App. According to the arrest warrant application, police found 142 pages of conversations, some of which included sexually explicit photos. The conversations also included photos of the suspect’s face.

    The victim also provided a description of the suspect, including several of his tattoos, and said that he drove a gold-colored car.

    The arrest warrant applications states that using information from the cellphone and the security branch for Whisper, police tracked the suspect’s IP address to Mortson Street in Hartford. Police said they noticed a gold Nissan Maxima parked in a driveway at 10/12 Mortson Avenue.

    Police ran registrations for several gold vehicles matching the victim’s description. One of them came back to Butler. Police discovered that Butler had a criminal history and through photos in the Department of Correction system determined that he had a tattoo that matched the victim’s description.

    On May 31 detectives spoke with Butler at an apartment on Mortson Street. According to the arrest warrant application, Butler provided police a voluntary written statement at that time.

    In the written statement, Butler admitted he went to Stafford in March to meet up with a girl he met on the Whisper app. He told police he brought marijuana and a condom to the meeting. He said she told him when he showed up at the home that she was 14.

    In his statement Butler admitted to having oral sex with the victim but denied having vaginal intercourse. He said he left the home and continued to talk to her on Whisper for a few weeks, then “got bored” with the app and decided to delete it. He also told police in the statement that he deleted the app because of the girl’s age.

    Based on the victim’s report, their investigation and Butler’s statement police applied for an arrest warrant.

    Butler is being held on a $25,000 bond and scheduled a court date of August 30. He was also ordered to have no contact with the victim.



    Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

    Julian Butler, 34, of HartfordJulian Butler, 34, of Hartford

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    Connecticut's Secretary of the State said Wednesday that a hack or a cyber-attack on the state's upcoming election would be very difficult and likely wouldn't do anything to change an outcome.

    Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said one of the main reasons is how decentralized the state's elections system is.

    “In Connecticut, we have 169 towns who control elections in those towns," she said. "None of them are connected to the internet. I think that’s the first point to make so I think the idea that there can be some kind of national system hack is very unlikely."

    In this case Connecticut's convoluted system of a voting office for each city and town works to the state's advantage.

    The concerns came after Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson held a conference call with Secretaries of State this week about election security. He even said there was consideration that election equipment be deemed, "critical infrastructure."

    On the topic of the likelihood of a hack that could hit the entire presidential election, Merrill said it's simply not feasible with the number of different offices and systems used throughout the country down to the local level.

    “You’re talking about 8,000 or more jurisdictions and then within those 8,000 jurisdictions, literally hundreds of election processes go on this country.”

    In Connecticut, the only data that gets transferred is on a piece of paper that then gets inserted into an online election system, which for the first time ever will be mandatory for all local registrars to use in November. That piece of paper will then be used for a given town's specific Statement of the Vote, not the online system. The vote tabulators are merely readers that count the bubbles that have been filled on physical paper ballots. Those machines have data cards that simply track activity and those cards then analyzed after elections.

    “I think it is highly improbable at best that a national system of elections could get hacked," Merrill said.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

    Secretary of the State Denise Merrill speaks about election cyber-security concerns.Secretary of the State Denise Merrill speaks about election cyber-security concerns.

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    An off-duty Hartford firefighter used a metal bat to help fight off two dogs that were attacking a woman on Tuesday morning.

    Firefighter Nicole Mercado said she woke up just before 5 a.m. when she heard screaming a few houses down from her residence on Flatbush Avenue. 

    "It sounded like she was getting murdered," Mercado told NBC Connecticut. "She was screeching so loud."

    Mercado grabbed a metal baseball bat before running outside and finding a woman holding her puppy while in the fetal position, being attacked by two other dogs, the firefighter said.

    "(The dogs) just kept gnawing at her," Mercado said. "Like they were eating her.”

    Despite hitting the dogs multiple times with her bat, Mercado said the dogs wouldn't stop. The dogs finally dispersed when another neighbor came out of their house and threw something at the animals, Mercado said. 

    “Usually we come on scenes and we see (what's happened) once we come on," Mercado said about being a firefighter responding to emergencies. "But to witness it being done and then have to –- I think that was horrific.”

    Mercado said she tended to the victim, who was conscious but crying and covered in blood, until paramedics arrived. The victim appeared to have had several of her fingers bitten off, along with bites on her chin and foot, the firefighter told NBC Connecticut. 

    “She kept saying ‘mi perrito, mi perrito’," Mercado recalls the victim saying about her puppy. "Like ‘my dog, my dog’.”

    The woman's puppy, who appeared injured, was taken to an animal hospital, Mercado said. 

    The whereabouts of the two attack dogs or who they belong to is unclear.

    NBC Connecticut reached out to Hartford Animal Control and Hartford Police to see if they are actively looking for the dogs and a possible owner. 



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

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    The priority for parents like Sue Bastien and Lauralyn Lewis is that more parents get their children, many of whom are adults, into residential facilities.

    The waiting list of 2,000 has only grown in recent years.

    Lewis has met with lawmakers for the past two years during her work with DDS Families First. Her son Justin lives in a privately run facility in New Haven for people with intellectual disabilities.

    She says that while the cuts announced by the governor Tuesday will lead to job losses, there is a silver lining in that the existing expenses for Department of Developmental Services could be used better to serve more people.

    “The individuals that are now being cared for by the public sector, they will still get the same quality care, they will just be getting it at a fraction of the cost. That being said, however, the private providers are starving and we do need to recognize that."

    The plan announced by the Office of Policy and Management, the budget office for Governor Dannel Malloy, included laying off close to 500 DDS employees while also transferring many state facilities to private, non-profit providers.

    Bastien has four sons who are currently in private facilities and two of them lived in state run facilities for a time.

    “Actually when my boys were at the regional center I was quite anxious to get them into private care.”

    One of her sons, Patrick, lives with both intellectual and developmental disabilities. During a seven month period that ended in December 2015, he lived at the Hospital for Special Care. That cost upwards of $400,000. Since he moved to a private residential facility where he is cared for 24 hours every day, the bills have been cut in half. Even though the Hospital for Special Care isn't a DDS facility per se, it illustrates the costs faced by the state to care for a vulnerable population.

    Bastien says if her boys are comfortable with new caregivers in a private setting, then so too will other families.

    “It can work. It’s working great for my guys and I hope that some of the people that are being affected will take a look at some of the great privatization homes that are out there.”

    The SEIU that represents many of the workers that will be laid off have warned about possible safety and emotional issues for clients and patients if workers are laid off. They have also spoken about economic consequences.

    "It could be like coming home one day and a family member just isn't there and they don't understand why and someone brand new is there who doesn't know them, doesn't know what they need and it's a very traumatic experience for these clients," said Jennifer Schneier, a spokesperson for the union.

    Bastien, with four sons in round the clock facilities said that argument doesn't hold up to the realities of people living in private non-profit residences.

    “No matter where you are there are going to be changes in caregivers. People, caregivers move, they retire, they quit their job, they go in the hospital, they take vacations. No matter where you are there are going to be changes as far as your caregiving people.”

    Lewis says she hopes the $70 million in savings will be redirected to ensure that people are taken off the waiting lists and placed into stable care.

    She said those currently in care may see some changes, but the overall level of care will remain consistent.

    “There’s no question that this population needs consistency and this population thrives on it and my heart goes out to those families. There will be an adjustment period. That is the reality but they have been incredibly fortunate to receive some of the 30 years of quality care.”



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    The world's largest aircraft has taken off on its maiden flight, NBC News reported.

    The 302-foot-long "Airlander 10" is filled with 1.3 million cubic feet of helium, can reach an altitude of up to 16,000 feet, and stay in the air for five days.

    The manufacturer HAV (Hybrid Air Vehicles) claims the aircraft can be used for surveillance, communications and humanitarian aid deliveries.

    In case it isn't immediately clear — the Airlander 10 earned its "Flying Bum" nickname due to the resemblance its plump front end shares with a human's butt.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The Hybrid Air Vehicles HAV 304 Airlander 10 hybrid airship is seen in the air on its maiden flight at Cardington Airfield near Bedford, north of London, on August 17, 2016.The Hybrid Air Vehicles HAV 304 Airlander 10 hybrid airship is seen in the air on its maiden flight at Cardington Airfield near Bedford, north of London, on August 17, 2016.

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    A catholic school in Newington has closed two weeks prior to the school year starting, the school announced.

    Saint Mary School is shutting down after a financial review by the new Saint Mary Parish Administrator and parish trustees. 

    "It was an extremely difficult decision to close the school two weeks before the start of the school year, but the school would not have been able to sustain itself financially," the school administrator Reverend Shawn T. Daly said in the announcement. 

    “Saint Mary School would have run out of capital midway through the school year," he said.

    Protesters were outside of the school on Wednesday night with signs that read, 'What would Jesus do?'

    The school recommends that the 109 students who are enrolled at Saint Mary School for the 2016-2017 academic year will consider attending the newly-created St. Brigid-St. Augustine Partnership School in West Hartford, which is located 2.9 miles from Saint Mary’s.

    In addition to the Partnership School, there are other Catholic schools to consider within a five-mile radius of Saint Mary’s. They are:

     

    • Corpus Christi School, Wethersfield
    • Sacred Heart School, New Britain
    • St. Thomas the Apostle School, West Hartford


    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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