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    Police said the missing 13-year-old from Naugatuck has been found

    Jalaquis Minnifield was last seen at Naugatuck High School at about 2 p.m. on Thursday.

    His family reported him missing at 5 p.m. when he didn't return home from school.

    He was later found.



    Photo Credit: Naugatuck Police

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    Dramatic cellphone video captures Hurricane Irma as it approached Turks and Caicos. The storm is responsible for at least 11 deaths and is expected to hit Miami early Sunday morning.


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    Consumers across Connecticut are turning to NBC Connecticut Responds for help with a premium product they say fell short of its promises.

    After NBC Connecticut Responds first reported on Behr DeckOver in August, 17 additional homeowners reached out to us to share their experiences with the product.

    Behr advertises its DeckOver can bring new life to aging decks and will resist cracking and peeling.

    East Hartford resident Santo Murana said it had the opposite effect on his deck.

    “It started to peel in February 2016 during the winter,” he said.

    That was about five months after he applied it.

    NBC Connecticut Responds heard similar stories from homeowners all over the state.

    “Right after the winter. When the winter was over is when it started (to peel),” said Dennis Rose of Watertown.

    West Hartford resident Mary Smeallie said her deck started peeling in the spring when the snow started to melt.

    The complaint against DeckOver span across the country. Since June 2017, customers have filed eight lawsuits against Behr and Home Depot seeking class action status. Home Depot is the exclusive retailer of Behr DeckOver.

    The most recent lawsuit was filed in New York State.

    It alleges that even with proper application DeckOver “…peels, bubbles, chips, cracks, discolors and damages… decks.”

    In court documents, attorneys for Behr and Home Depot argue many consumers have not experienced problems with DeckOver and say any issues may be a result of improper preparation, application or maintenance.

    The scope of the problem varies in each case and so does the response.

    Dennis Rose said Behr offered him a solution.

    “They sent me a cleaner. They said to sand it, clean it, redo it. I did it and it came back,” Rose said.

    Santo Murana said when he called Behr, the company didn’t offer any remedy.

    “They said, well we’re sorry to hear that, but there’s nothing we can do for you,” Murana said.

    Murana pointed out spots where the DeckOver appears to trap moisture, challenging the company’s claims that DeckOver resists the elements and repels water.

    When NBC Connecticut Responds reached out to Behr about the influx of complaints about DeckOver, a spokesperson directed consumers to contact customer service.

    Customers can call 1-800-854-0133 ext. 2 or fill out the form on Behr’s website.

    Responds advised Smeallie, Murana and Rose to tell the company they’d spoken to NBC Connecticut.

    “When we saw your report we really thought, well maybe we should see what they can do for us,” Smeallie said.

    Smeallie and her husband said Behr offered to reimburse them for each can of DeckOver they can provide a receipt for.

    Murana was asked to send in his receipts along with a paint sample. He said he would be happy with a refund.

    “It’s their product. They really should stand behind it,” Murana said.

    Others, like Rose, feel the company should help cover the cost of removing the DeckOver.

    “I would just like to have the deck done and done right, that’s all,” Rose said.

    Behr declined multiple requests to respond to the allegations against DeckOver.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    It's a rare day when you see eight state employees go before a judge within hours of one another. All stand accused of abusing a patient in Connecticut's maximum security psychiatric hospital.

    The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters broke this story about the alleged abuse back in April.

    The eight Whiting Forensic Division staffers arraigned Thursday, and one on Wednesday, were all arrested this week by Connecticut State Police, who said more arrests may come.

    They include forensic nurse Mark Cusson, and mental health workers Willie Bethea, Lance Camby, Seth Quider, Bruce Holt, Clayton Davis, Robert Larned, Carl Benjamin, and Greg Giantonio.

    One of nine staffers charged ran off from the court in a full sprint. We tried talking with the suspects' attorneys after they faced a judge and few commented.

    Cusson attorney Brian Woolf cautions about a rush to judgement, “We're just beginning the process. I'd like everyone to remember there's two sides to a story, and then there's the truth."

    The Whiting staffers are accused of taking part in the repeated abuse, some captured on video, of a 59-year-old patient.

    The patient's co-conservator Karen Kangas saw some of the month's worth of recordings, “They put a diaper, a diaper that had been used, that had some stuff in it, and they put it over his head."

    There are 31 employees on administrative leave in connection with this case. The state agency overseeing Whiting calls the allegations against these employees reprehensible, and says it is working to improve patient care.


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    Storms ravaged parts of New London County on Wednesday, taking down trees and power lines with whipping winds and in one case, killing a man after a tree fell on his car on Pequot Avenue.

    Police identified the victim as 65-year-old Arthur Falconi, of New London, but he was better known to friends as Art.

    "He had the biggest heart of gold. He was always helping people. He was just a true gentleman," Kathleen Vega, Falconi’s girlfriend of almost seven years, said.

    Falconi was in the driver’s seat at the time of his death. He was providing medical transportation for someone at the time, Vega said, when a tree collapsed on his car in a parking lot. The male passenger in the back seat was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Falconi didn’t survive.

    "I feel empty. I feel hollow. I got a lot of good support from all his friends," Vega said.

    Falconi’s life was filled with friends. He was New London born and raised, a natural musician who played in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. He was a Grateful Dead 'Deadhead' fan and a proud drummer in a band, according to Vega.

    "We’d do all kind of musical stuff to raise money for the community," Vega said.

    Friend Jim Flanagan said that Falconi had a heart for helping others. He raised money to help feed the homeless, among other charities and even took Flanagan in when he needed a place to stay.

    Family is still working out funeral arrangements.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    Prosecutors have asked the FBI to join an investigation into the rough arrest of a Utah nurse after video of her being dragged screaming from a hospital drew widespread condemnation, authorities said Thursday.

    Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill is overseeing a criminal investigation into officers involved in the handcuffing of nurse Alex Wubbels. He is asking for FBI help in part because his office can't prosecute possible civil rights violations like wrongful arrest, Gill said.

    "This is a very important issue, and it's of great concern in our community," he said. A federal probe could also look for any larger systematic problems that contributed to the arrest, Gill said.

    The FBI opened its own civil rights review after the video surfaced last week and has agreed to assist the county investigation, FBI spokeswoman Sandra Yi Barker said.

    Wubbels was following hospital protocol when she calmly refused to allow a blood draw on an unconscious patient without consent or a warrant on July 26. The patient had been injured when he was hit by a truck fleeing from police.

    Salt Lake City police detective Jeff Payne insisted on drawing the blood, maintaining in his report that he wanted the sample to protect the man rather than prosecute him. He was supported by his supervisor, Lt. James Tracy, who said the nurse could be arrested if she didn't agree.

    The dispute ended with Payne handcuffing Wubbels and dragging her outside while she screamed that she'd done nothing wrong. She was later released without charge.

    Payne, who has worked for the department for over 20 years, was put on paid leave by Salt Lake City police after the video emerged. A second officer also put on leave has not been identified, but police have said Tracy's actions are also under review.

    Neither Payne nor Tracy could be reached for comment Thursday. The Salt Lake police union didn't return messages seeking comment.

    Payne has also been fired from his part-time job as a paramedic following comments he made on the video about taking transient patients to the hospital as retaliation.



    Photo Credit: Salt Lake City Police Department
    This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

    Footage released by the Salt Lake City Police Department shows University of Utah Hospital nurse Alex Wubbels carried out and arrested by Salt Lake City police detective Jeff Payne after Wubbels refused to give a patient's blood sample to Payne without a warrant on July 26, 2017.Footage released by the Salt Lake City Police Department shows University of Utah Hospital nurse Alex Wubbels carried out and arrested by Salt Lake City police detective Jeff Payne after Wubbels refused to give a patient's blood sample to Payne without a warrant on July 26, 2017.

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    Stamford-based Americares has sent crews to areas in the path of Hurricane Irma to help with relief efforts.

    The storm, which was a Category 5 and is now a Category 4, has caused 11 deaths and caused destruction on several Caribbean islands, including Barbuda, Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin.

    “Hurricane Irma has already caused significant damage, and millions more people live in its path,” Garrett Ingoglia, Americares vice president of emergency response said in a statement. “Our relief workers are on the ground in several different locations, coordinating with partners and standing ready to help address health needs resulting from the storm.”

    Americares is also responding to areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The organization has relief workers on the ground in Houston, delivering medicine and relief supplies to emergency shelters and supporting health facilities serving low-income and uninsured patients in affected areas.

    To make a donation to Americares Hurricane Irma Relief Fund, please go to americares.org/Irma.




    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 07: A cruise ship prepares to depart as the city prepares for the approaching Hurricane Irma on September 7, 2017 in Miami, Florida. Current tracks for Hurricane Irma shows that it could hit south Florida this weekend. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 07: A cruise ship prepares to depart as the city prepares for the approaching Hurricane Irma on September 7, 2017 in Miami, Florida. Current tracks for Hurricane Irma shows that it could hit south Florida this weekend. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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    As many people fled Florida in advance of Hurricane Irma, Jake Marino was headed there to reunite with his wife at their Tampa area home. 

    “I’m going for her obviously, little nervous,” Marino said. 

    Marino, who’s originally from Southington, cut short his Connecticut trip. 

    This would be the couple’s first hurricane in Florida, having recently moved there. 

    “I’m not even used to like anything like what to expect. But our church that we go to is sheltered ready. So we’re probably going to go over there,” Marino said. 

    As Marino traveled south, Michelle Weinberg was arriving in Windsor Locks, having left the Miami area. 

    “Just a scary feeling. A lot of people just evacuating, getting in their cars and going,” Weinberg said. 

    Weinberg says South Floridians are waiting in long lines for gas, buying supplies to board up windows, and preparing for the worst. 

    For Kelly McKinney, it was time for her and her two daughters to get out of Plantation, Florida. 

    “It’s not worth losing, you know. You can rebuild the home, can’t rebuild the family they keep saying. So we left. You never know,” McKinney said. 

    Some airlines, including Jet Blue and Delta, have capped fares out of Florida, but it appears a lack of space on flights, rather than cost, is quickly becoming the issue.  



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    A time-lapse video of the drive north on US-1 from Key Largo shows near-empty roads after Floridians evacuated ahead of Hurricane Irma. The storm is expected to slam into the area early Sunday morning as a Category 4 storm.


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    There may be a learning curve for New England's offense without Julian Edelman after all.

    For the first time since 2000 — in Bill Belichick's very first game as a head coach for the Patriots — New England lost its season opener at home. The Kansas City Chiefs rolled up 21 straight points in the fourth quarter stun the Patriots, 42-27, evaporating any chance for a perfect season before it had hardly even begun.

    The 42 points allowed were the most by the Patriots in the Belichick era.

    Despite committing an unfathomable 15 penalties for 139 yards, Kansas City spoiled the unveiling of New England's fifth Super Bowl banner at Gillette Stadium thanks to one of the best games of quarterback Alex Smith's career and a breakout performance from rookie running back Kareem Hunt.

    Smith, labeled as a "game manager" for much of his career after being drafted first overall by the San Francisco 49ers in 2005, threw for 368 yards — the second highest total of his 13-year career — and four touchdowns, also the second-best mark of his career. Smith finished 28 for 35 with a passer rating of 148.6.

    Hunt was filling in as featured back for Spencer Ware, an integral part of the Chiefs' offense who, like Edelman, was also lost for the season to a knee injury.

    The rookie out of Toledo University could not have had a more miserable start to the game than by losing a fumble on the very first carry of his NFL career. But Hunt's response may well have been the difference in the game, as he exploded for 246 all-purpose yards (148 rushing, 98 receiving) and three touchdowns.

    Tom Brady, playing in his first game as a 40-year-old, completed just 16 of 36 passes for 267 yards and took three sacks for 20 yards. He didn't throw an interception, but he also failed to throw a touchdown pass.

    In flashes, the Patriots offense operated smooth as ever even without the services of Edelman. The team seamlessly glided in for a touchdown on its first possession of the season with a nine play, 73-yard drive that took less than three minutes.

    Yet even in building up an initial 17-7 lead, the engine stalled out far too often for the Patriots. Rob Gronkowski was targeted three times in the first quarter, but came up with no receptions in the period. He finished the game with two catches for 33 yards.

    Chris Hogan — expected by many to take Edelman's place in the slot — was targeted four times for the game and didn't record a catch until the fourth quarter. He did have four carries in the game on end around plays.

    Danny Amendola was having a fine game (six catches, 100 yards) slotting in to Edelman's role prior to entering concussion protocol in the fourth quarter. He did not return.

    And then there's Malcolm Mitchell, who was placed on injured reserve Thursday with a knee injury and will miss a minimum of eight weeks. A once-stacked receiving corps for the Patriots is now among the most glaring question marks on the team.

    “We're going to have to do a better job, and he's not coming back,” Brady said after the game. “So, the guys that are in there are going to have to do a good job. Every position that we have is going to have to do a better job than we did tonight. There was nothing really positive about anything that was done, so we've got to get back to work. We've got nine days before the next game, and hopefully we play a lot better than tonight.”

    Trailing 21-17 midway through the third quarter, Dont'a Hightower exited the game with a knee injury to weaken an already beleaguered Patriots front seven. On the following two plays, the much-ballyhooed New England secondary rose to the occasion on ensuing plays to pick up the slack.

    Devin McCourty and Stephon Gilmore — each of whom had been targeted on Kansas City touchdowns earlier in the game — came up with pass defenses to force the Chiefs to punt.

    Aided by a 26-yard pass interference penalty, Mike Gillislee capped off a brief three play, 54-yard drive which followed to put the Patriots back on top with his third rushing touchdown of the game.

    A three-and-out followed for the Chiefs, returning momentum firmly to the New England sideline.

    It felt like the Patriots were ready to put the game away this time, especially after Brady finally connected on a deep ball with Brandin Cooks for 54 yards to move the Patriots deep into Kansas City territory.

    But once again, the drive came to a halt before crossing the goal line. Stephen Gostkowski connected for his second field goal to give New England a 27-21 lead, but Smith responded for the Chiefs with his second touchdown pass of 75 yards or more in the game. He capitalized on a gargantuan mismatch in coverage between Hunt and defensive end Cassius Marsh, with Hunt outrunning Marsh and a slew of other defenders all the way to the end zone. Cairo Santos added the extra point to give Kansas City a narrow 28-27 lead, but it was a lead it wouldn't relinquish.

    Trailing once again, the Patriots didn’t exactly have a resounding response. For the second time in the game, the team failed on a fourth down conversion — this time from the Chiefs 40-yard line. Gillislee, the ball carrier on each failed fourth-down conversion, was quickly smothered by a Kansas City defensive line that generated a great push all night long in short-yardage situations.

    The Chiefs went up eight points on Hunt's second rushing touchdown of the game with 5:14 to go in the fourth quarter. Kansas City put the finishing touches on the stunner with a 21-yard score for Charcandrick West with 4 minutes even to go. West’s run was preceded by a 58-yard gain for Hunt on the ground.

    Brady was sacked twice as New England grasped for air on its final drive, effectively ending opening night with a whimper.

    “I just think we need to have more urgency and go out there and perform a lot better,” Brady said. “That is a winning attitude and a championship attitude that you need to bring every day. We had it handed to us on our own field. It's a terrible feeling, and the only people that can do something about it are in that locker room. We've got to dig a lot deeper than we did tonight because we didn't dig very deep tonight.”

    The Patriots travel to New Orleans to play the Saints a week from Sunday on Sept. 17 at 1 p.m.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 07: Kareem Hunt #27 of the Kansas City Chiefs dives for the pylon to score a 4-yard rushing touchdown during the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on September 7, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 07: Kareem Hunt #27 of the Kansas City Chiefs dives for the pylon to score a 4-yard rushing touchdown during the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on September 7, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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    Driving to Connecticut from Florida is something many people might not consider as Hurricane Irma prepares to make landfall there, but many Sunshine State residents are getting on the roads to get out of the storm's path. 

    For some, that means driving distances as far north as New England. 

    Yvonne Simmons, who grew up on the Connecticut shoreline and now lives outside Orlando, headed to Groton with her husband Thursday to be with family. 

    They previously planned a vacation here in Connecticut, but the storm is now casting a shadow over their trip. 

    "I’ve given up all thoughts of having a good time. All we can do is pray for the best," Simmons said during a stop at the Branford rest area. 

    Destinee Johnson and Tyler Kearney drove from Cape Coral, Florida with their 3-month-old child and were headed to Cape Cod. They had hoped to catch a flight to make the trip later in the week, but the airline advised them to drive if they could. 

    “The news started saying, ‘Take off now’ and ‘Now is the time to get out,’ so we rented a car and took off,” said Kearney. 

    “It’s scary to think that we’re probably not going to have a home to come back to. We have the most important things right now. Material stuff we can always get later," Johnson said. 

    On Thursday, Florida Governor Rick Scott ordered all public K-12 schools, colleges, universities and state office buildings closed through Monday September 11.  


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    A 27-year-old New Haven man was seriously injured in a shooting in Hamden Saturday, Aug. 19 and police have arrested a suspect.

    Hamden Police said the shooting happened around 4 a.m. at Oregon and Manilla avenues.

    The victim was shot multiple times in the back and rushed to Yale-New Haven Hospital with serious injuries.

    Police have arrested 27-year-old Ryan Bryan, of Hamden. He has been charged with first-degree assault, criminal possession of a firearm and carrying a pistol without a permit.

    He is due in court on Sept. 21. 



    Photo Credit: Hamden Police

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    It has been two months since a tragedy on the Branford River took the life of 10-year-old Ben Callahan. 

    Ben drowned after being swept into a culvert on a rainy Friday afternoon in July. 

    The town has since added two signs saying “Warning Dangerous Current” by the area with the pipe under Tabor Drive. 

    “It creates a huge vortex or water going through that pipeline in a suction that is very deceivable,” Branford Police Captain Geoff Morgan said. 

    Following the drowning death, the town continues to explore ways to discourage swimming in that area. 

    “I know our engineering department is, as well as our public works director, and really under the direction of our first selectman trying to do the best they can to minimize any type of risk,” Morgan said. 

    Captain Morgan said the public should remember not to underestimate the strength of a current, a potential danger he said exists in areas all along the shoreline. 

    “And many of those surges go through small pipes and culverts and those are not areas to play or swim or be around. The water pressure in those areas is tremendous,” he added. 

    In the weeks since the tragedy, the Branford community has rallied behind the Callahan family. 

    “Ben, actually when they were younger, would come here to get their hair cut, Ben, Scout and Cooper,” said Leon James, owner of the Leon James International Hair Studio in Branford. 

    Ben was known around town as #2, because he is the middle of three boys in the Callahan family. Ben was playing with his brothers when he was sucked into the culvert. 

    At his business, Leon James is selling magnets, stickers and bracelets to benefit the foundation that was started in Ben’s honor

    “I just immediately went into how can I help this family, how can I help my friends,” James said. 

    Now, James has organized another fundraiser set for Sunday, Sept. 17. 

    “We’re doing a motorcycle benefit ride in honor of Ben Callahan,” James said. 



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
    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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    Health officials have detected the first human case of West Nile virus in Connecticut this season.

    The person, a New Haven resident between 50 and 59 years old, became ill the last week of August, according to the state Department of Public Health.

    State officials said the patient was hospitalized with a high fever, dehydration and confusion and lab tests confirmed the presence of West Nile virus antibodies in the patient’s cerebrospinal fluid.

    "The identification of a Connecticut resident with West Nile virus associated illness that required hospitalization underscores the potential seriousness of the infection,” Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino said in a statement. “Using insect repellent, covering bare skin and avoiding being outdoors during the hours of dusk and dawn are effective ways to help keep you from being bitten by mosquitoes.”

    For information on West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne viruses and how to prevent mosquito bites, visit the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program Web site at www.ct.gov/mosquito.





    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    File photoFile photo

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    Norwich Public Utilities crews are heading to Florida to provide support as Hurricane Irma approaches. 

    Norwich Public Utilities said the company responded to a mutual aid call from the American Public Power Association and will send employees and equipment to assist with restoration efforts. 

    “NPU is proud to be a part of the American Public Power Association’s mutual aid program and immediately responded to the call for assistance from our friends and colleagues in Florida,” John Bilda, general manager of NPU, said in a statement. “The organizations that we will support in the days ahead could very well return the favor in Norwich some time down the road.” 

    Four NPU employees will head to Danbury Sunday morning to connect with nine other municipal electric companies in New England who are sending crews to Orlando. 

    They expect to arrive at the command center of the Orlando Utility Commission on Tuesday. It’s not clear when they will return. 

    NPU said the Orlando Utility Commission will reimbursed the company for all expenses, including wages for employees, once the assignment is completed. 



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    The death of more than a dozen deer in Portland, Connecticut could be caused by hemorrhagic disease, which the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said is one of the most important infectious diseases affecting white-tailed deer.

    In early September, a hunter contacted the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Wildlife Division about several deer found dead along a small body of water near the Connecticut River in the area of Sand Hill Road in Portland.

    Several more deer were found less than a mile at another small body of water.

    Officials from the state DEEP said they could not definitively determine the cause of death because of the condition the deer were in, but DEEP biologists think hemorrhagic disease might be the cause.

    Biting midges, which are commonly referred to as sand gnats, sand flies or no-see-ums, transmit the disease, which was first documented in New Jersey in 1955.

    The disease has been documented in many southeastern states and recently reported throughout the mid-Atlantic region. In 2007, more than 20 deer were found dead due to hemorrhagic disease in New York, around 60 miles from the Connecticut border, according to DEEP.

    Another outbreak in New York in 2011 killed nearly 100 deer.

    Other species, such as mule deer, bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, and elk, have been documented with the disease in several other states, according to DEEP.

    Symptoms of hemorrhagic disease in deer include swollen head, neck, tongue, or eyelids with a bloody discharge from the nasal cavity; erosion of the dental pad or ulcers on the tongue; and hemorrhaging of the heart and lungs, causing respiratory distress. Additionally, the virus creates high feverish conditions, leading infected deer to sometimes be found near water sources. Not all symptoms are necessarily present in every infected deer.

    Hemorrhagic disease does not infect humans, and people are not at risk by handling infected deer, eating venison from infected deer, or being bitten by infected midges, according to DEEP. The disease rarely causes illness in domestic animals, such as cattle, sheep, goats, horses, dogs, and cats. Hunters should observe normal precautions around any sick or strange-acting animals.

    Anyone who sees emaciated deer, deer behaving strangely or lying dead along the edge of bodies of water should call the DEEP’s 24-hour emergency Dispatch Center at 860-424-3333 or the DEEP Wildlife Division at 860-418-5921.

    The department wants to test other dead deer to confirm the suspicion that hemorrhagic disease is the cause.



    File photoFile photo

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    As Hurricane Irma moves closer to Florida, some residents are leaving and heading to Connecticut and others are flying out from Bradley International Airport to Florida to evacuate loved ones before the storm hits. 

    Donna Rambo, of Naples, Florida, arrived at the airport Friday with her daughter, Amelia to get away from the storm. 

    “We’re not in the direct path, but it just made sense to come up,” Rambo said. 

    She said it was mayhem in Florida and went to three gas stations to fill up her car’s gas tank before driving three hours to get a flight out from Tampa. 

    “I couldn’t even get water. I tried to get water since Tuesday,” Rambo said. 

    Kabir Parker, a student and the University of Miami, flew into Bradley and is making his way to New York to stay with a friend. 

    “All of us love it, so hopefully it’s fine. Hopefully, we don’t have to transfer out,” he said about his school. 

    Other people arrived at Bradley to head to Florida, including Hadlyme resident Eric Krisman, who was heading to Miami to get his 92-year-old mother and drive back with her. 

    “We’ve been through Andrew back in ’92, it was very bad. I’ve lived down there all my life, so you kind of get used to it. This one looks pretty bad,” he said. 

    Laurie Bianchi, of Spring Hill, Florida and her son, Nick, were at Bradley to head back home just north of Tampa. 

    “Just get home, make sure the person taking care of my house is OK and secure what we can and ride it out,” Laurie Bianchi said. 

    “I’m just hoping that we can find gas and water because every place has been sold out for a week already,” Nick Bianchi said. 

    Several flights from Florida are scheduled to arrive at Bradley Airport throughout the day.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

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    Several southeastern Connecticut police officers are jumping on their bikes to help the families of their brothers and sisters who lost their lives in the line of duty.

    The Tour de Force is a four-day bicycle ride from Boston to New York to remember those lost on Sept. 11 and to raise money for officers’ families who made the ultimate sacrifice.

    The team out of southeastern Connecticut, called Club East Colfax, has 27 members including Town of Groton Police Chief L.J. Fusaro. He said the team has officers from Waterford, Yale, Westport, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Police, and current and retired state troopers.

    Also riding is Carol Bagshaw, the widow of Connecticut State Trooper Russell Bagshaw who was shot and killed on the job in 1991.

    "Get a good amount of money to sponsor some families that have sacrificed so much," Fusaro said. "That have given their spouse, or their father, or mother and sacrificed them for law enforcement."

    Club East Colfax will be riding through southeastern Connecticut on Sunday and spending the night, the Chief added.

    The team is still collecting donations through the end of the month. Information on the ride can be found here.

    Information on how to donate can be found here.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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    Hurricane Irma has cut a huge path of destruction through several Caribbean islands on its path toward the United States. See what the aftermath looked like as some of those islands began to recover.


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    Nicole Springer, the sister of Houston Astros baseball player and New Britain native George Springer, said her and her mom’s hearts had been jumping to help Hurricane Harvey victims.

    "It hits home for us but it wasn't just because he was there, it was how can we help another human being? How can we help another family in need?" Springer said.

    Springer teamed up with Siracusa Moving & Storage and Premier Limousine to help get their donation drive idea rolling which took off on Tuesday.

    "To know that there are people out there that are willing to give in a time of need with all the changes in the world it brings a humbleness to you to know that there is humanity out there," Springer said.

    Volunteers like Matthew Bertochi helped collect donations Friday as the items continued to pour in at New Britain Stadium.

    "I'm actually very surprised, everything in there it's all full you go in there there's just stacks and stacks of clothing water food," Bertochi said.

    The donations will soon make their way to Houston, a vision for Nicole and her family, now a reality.

    "Just want to make sure that everyone knows that there's a place up here, a little dot on the map in Connecticut, we're taking care of you don't worry we see you we hear voices we needed help for coming for you," Springer said.

    The supplies will head to Houston this weekend.



    Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

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