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Bad Contact Lens Hygiene Is Widespread, CDC Warns


A warning to contact lens wearers: bad hygiene could lead to complicated eye infections.

Nearly a third of adults who wear contact lenses admitted they’ve gone to a doctor because of red or painful eyes, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Half or more slept while wearing lenses and a third said they rinsed their lenses in tap water.

The CDC recommends washing hands with soap and water and drying them before touching contact lenses and taking them out before sleeping, showering or swimming.

Nearly 41 million American adults wear contact lenses. The CDC surveyed 1,000 people for its findings.

Photo Credit: File/AP

Australian Experts to Help Fight U.S. Wildfires


Australian and New Zealand firefighting experts will be flown into the United States on Sunday to help tackle deadly wildfires across the West.

The group of more than 70 people will be sent to areas including California, Oregon and Washington, NBC News reported.

The international experts said they are experienced in dealing with large wildfires.

Local firefighters said they can’t keep up with the fires and don’t have the resources available to do their jobs.

One of the largest fires — the 16,000 acre Twisp River fire — grew on Thursday, the state Public Lands Commission said.

Three firefighters from central Washington were killed when their vehicle crashed and was taken over by flames near the town of Twisp on Wednesday.

Nearly 29,000 firefighters are battling 100 large blazes across the West.

Photo Credit: AP

Weatherman Harry Volkman, 1st to Issue TV Tornado Warning, Dies at 89


Legendary weatherman and Chicago television icon Harry Volkman has died at the age of 89.

Volkman passed away Thursday surrounded by his family, family members told NBC Chicago.

Volkman was a popular and beloved weatherman on four Chicago television stations, including NBC 5, for more than 50 years.

One of the first television weatherman in U.S. history, Volkman was the first weatherman to issue a televised tornado warning, setting the stage for future weather warnings.

He first came into the Chicago weather scene on NBC 5 in 1959, his passion for reporting the weather on full display in the Chicago blizzard of 1967. He later joined WGN, WBBM and Fox.

His detailed and animated forecasts made him stand out for viewers who often recognized him for the vocal "Swoosh!" sound effect he often used.

Longtime Chicagoans remember Volkman for his nightly boutineer-- a flower given to him by students at a school he visited that day. Volkman collected more than 5,000 flowers during his career.

Volkman’s work earned him three local Emmys and saw him inducted into the Silver Circle of the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 1998. He later documented his life as a weatherman in autobiography titled Whatever the Weather: My Life & Times as a TV Weatherman.
By the time Volkman retired in 2004, he had weathered the Chicago climate for 54 years on TV.

He is survived by his wife and four children, including longtime Chicago DJ Eddie Volkman.

Marijuana Seized from Hartford Convenience Store

Rainy Morning, Several Crashes


Rain caused several problems during the morning commute on Friday and Interstate 84 West in Hartford was closed for awhile after a tractor-trailer jackknifed.

Most of the state got rain this morning, including some downpours.

Rain continues to fall in some areas and pop-up showers are expected this afternoon, according to NBC Connecticut meteorologist Bob Maxon.

During the rain, there was a three-car crash on Interstate 91 South by 95 in New Haven and a two-car crash  on the Merritt Parkway Southbound by exit 42 in Westport that had traffic backed up to exit 46 in Fairfield.

There were rollover crashes on Route 315 at Quarry Road in Simsbury, on Interstate 95 North by exit 14 in Norwalk and on Interstate 84 East in Hartford.

Three adults were in the car that flipped over in Norwalk at 6:46 a.m. after hitting a rock wall and officials from the fire department had to extricate one person who was pinned in the car.

Paramedics transported the victim to Norwalk Hospital. The injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

There was also a spinout on Interstate 691 East in Meriden, at exit 8.


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Bristol Man Assaulted 3 Officers: Police


A Bristol man assaulted another man who would not give him a ride, then assaulted three of the police officers who responded to investigate, according to police.

Several police officers responded to 187 West Morningside Drive in Bristol at 7:22 p.m. on Thursday to investigate an assault and discovered that a man had assaulted a 41-year-old man when the victim refused to provide the suspect with a ride, police said.

The suspect, identified as William Brown, 36, of the same Bristol address, refused to cooperate with police, fought the officers who were trying to arrest him, then assaulted the officers, police said.

Three officers sustained minor injuries and Brown was charged with three counts of assault on a police officer, breach of peace in the second degree, interfering with a police officer and assault in the third degree.

Brown was held on a $100,000 bond and will be arraigned this morning in Bristol Superior Court.

West Nile Found in Wethersfield


Mosquitoes in eight Connecticut communities have tested positive for West Nile virus.

Mosquitoes trapped at a site on Goff Road in Wethersfield tested positive for West Nile on Aug. 6, according to the Central Connecticut Health District.

West Nile virus was previously found in mosquitoes in Stratford and the Web site site for the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station previously listed that mosquitoes in Stamford, Guilford and New Haven tested positive for the virus, but mosquitoes in Waterford, West Haven and Darien have also tested positive, officials from the Agricultural Experiment Station said.

To monitor West Nile virus, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station has trapping stations in several cities and towns throughout the state o from June through October.

The traps are set every 10 days at each site on a rotating basis.

This is peak season and residents should be careful, according to the Agricultural Experiment Station. They advise you can have a bird bath, but you should chance the water once per week.

Most people who are infected with West Nile virus and become ill will have a mild illness that might include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting or a skin rash.

Less frequently, people develop severe illness of the nervous system that can also include neck stiffness, disorientation, loss of consciousness, tremors, muscle weakness and paralysis.

People older than 50 years of age are more likely than younger people to suffer the more severe health consequences if they become infected.

Precautions to avoid mosquito bites include:

  • Minimize time outdoors at dusk and dawn.
  • Be sure door and window screens are tight fitting and in good repair.
  • Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts. Clothing material should be
  • tightly woven.
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors.
  • Consider using mosquito repellent when it is necessary to be outdoors. Always use
  • according to label instructions. The most effective repellents contain DEET or Picaridin.
  • When using DEET, use the lowest concentration effective for the time spent outdoors

(for example, 6 percent lasts approximately two hours and 20 percent for four hours) and wash treated skin when returning indoors. Do not apply under clothing, to wounds or irritated skin, the hands of children, or to infants less than two months old.

Measures to reduce mosquitoes around the home include:

  • Dispose of water-holding containers, such as ceramic pots, used tires, and tire swings.
  • Drill holes in the bottom of containers such as those used for recycling.
  • Clean clogged roof gutters.
  • Turn over objects that may trap water when not in use such as wading pools and
  • wheelbarrows.
  • Change water in birdbaths on a weekly basis.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, and when not in use, use pool covers and drain
  • when necessary.
  • Use landscaping to eliminate areas where water can collect on your property.

Additional resources for information on West Nile virus and mosquito management:
The Department of Public Health website
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Web site
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

Burglars Strike at 10 Ansonia Homes in 2 Weeks


Ansonia police are urging residents to lock the doors of their homes after 10 overnight burglaries or attempted burglaries over the last two weeks.

The 10 incidents have happened in the Hilltop Area since August 6.

The burglaries happened between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. in the areas of Reservoir Drive, Farrell Drive, Martin Terrace and Birchwood Drive.

One happened on Farrell Drive on Wednesday and on Birchwood Drive on Aug. 20. Police said the homes were occupied when the burglars broke in, but the burglars did not approach the residents and no one was injured.

Witnesses have reported a male robber, but did not give any additional description.

Police are asking that all residents make efforts to close and lock windows in their homes by locking all windows and doors at all times, especially overnight hours.

If anyone sees anything suspicious, call police immediately at 203-735-1885 or 911.

Photo Credit: clipart.com

Ansonia Grieves Deaths of 6-Year-Olds


The Ansonia community is in mourning after two 6-year-old girls died in separate car crashes just days apart.

Nyah Marcano, a student at the Prendergast School, and Leah Rondon, a Mead School student, would each have entered first grade this week, according to Ansonia public schools.

Nyah died Tuesday after she was ejected from an SUV the rolled over on Route 8 in Shelton and tumbled down an embankment.

Leah died Thursday night when she was struck by a car while playing at a friend's house in Ansonia. She was pronounced dead at Griffin Hospital, according to police.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families, friends and loved ones of these two children," Ansonia superintendent Dr. Carol Merlone said in a statement posted on the school system website.

Grief counselors will be available today and next week at both the Prendergast and Mead schools. Parents who would like to take advantage of the services are asked to call the Mead School at 203-736-5090 or the Prendergast School at 203-736-5080.

The Ansonia Police Department and the Ansonia Fire Department are working with the school district and Mayor David Cassetti to offer support to the families.

A ziti dinner fundraiser is planned for next week at Ansonia High School.

Community members have set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Nyah's funeral expenses.

Photo Credit: GoFundMe/Family Photo

Baby Who Made Headlines Over GoFundMe Photo Dies


Baby Jacob Hinks, the premature infant whose photo showing hospital tubing was deemed "too graphic" at one point for a public page on the crowdfunding site GoFundMe, has died, his family said.

"It is with great sorrow that I have to report that Baby Jacob went home to be with God," a post on the baby's GoFundMe page read Thursday. "He was a fighter all the way."

Jacob's story made headlines after his family claimed GoFundMe didn't make his page public because a photo of the ill premature infant was deemed offensive.

The move sparked a digital debate over the image and GoFundMe's photo policy and prompted a generous response from the website. 

According to the Hinks family, Jacob's fundraising page was originally only accessible to those who had a direct link, making it difficult to raise the needed funds to help offset the mounting medical expenses that come with his condition.

Jacob was born 13 weeks early at just 1.5 pounds. His condition was initially listed as “grim,” but had been upgraded to “guarded” following at least one surgery and numerous complications.

When the organizer of the page, a close family friend, contacted GoFundMe, he or she claimed the popular crowdfunding website said the photo of the baby may be offensive to some viewers.

"They responded right away and said, 'Unfortunately, we never published it because your son's image (was) too graphic and too inappropriate for our viewers to look at," Jacob's mother, Christina Hinks, said.

GoFundMe later donated to the suburban Chicago family, posting $10,000 to his page from "The GFM Team."

The message with the donation read, "Sending Baby Jacob and the Hinks family healthy and safe wishes."

GoFundMe also featured baby Jacob's page on their homepage at www.gofundme.com.

"This campaign reflects the importance of friends and family, and sometimes even strangers, when families need help the most," Kelsea Little, GoFundMe's media director, said in a statement. "We are happy to help the Hinks family in their time of need, just as thousands of other people do every day on GoFundMe."

The GoFundMe page says donations will still be accepted after Jacob's passing as the family continues to pay mounting medical bills. As of Friday, the page had more than $28,500 in donations. 

WATCH: Truck Slams Into Bridge


This video definitely falls in the cringe-worthy category.

Police in Westwood, Massachusetts, released this clip of a truck striking a bridge on East St. on Thursday.

And, this isn't the first time a truck has hit that bridge. One neighbor said locally, it is called the "can opener bridge" because it shaves off the tops of trucks.

Neighbors say they hear sound the sound of a truck hitting the bridge all the time. In fact, this is the second time it's happened this month. Earlier in August, Westwood Police tweeted out a photo of a truck that struck the bridge, and last September, video showed a truck approaching the bridge. The truck slowed down, but did not clear the bridge, peeling the roof back.

And, in July of last year, a truck hit the bridge, sending seafood spilling onto the roadway

The frustration has built up in some Westwood residents, with some suggesting the installation of chains to notify drivers of a low clearance - or anything that would stop these accidents.

The bridge stands at 10'6".

No injuries were reported in Friday's incident.

Photo Credit: Westwood Police

2 Americans Help Thwart Gunman on Train: French Official


A gunman opened fire on a train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris on Friday afternoon, wounding an American passenger who helped to thwart the attack, according to a French official.

The shooting, which happened at 5:45 p.m. local time near Arras, France, left two people seriously injured, "including one American who neutralized an extremely violent person," French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in a news conference. A third person was being treated for minor injuries, according to The Associated Press.

"It's important for me, together with the president of the Republic and the prime minister, to express to the two American passengers, who have been particularly brave, who acted during a very difficult situation, all our gratitude for what they did," Cazeneuve said. The suspected gunman was arrested.

A National Guard soldier from Oregon, Alek Skarlatos, and his friend, Spencer Stone, who is in the Air Force, subdued the attacker, NBC station KGW in Portland reported. Two others, American college student Anthony Sadler and British man Chris Norman, jumped in to help, they said in an interview with Reuters.

Photo Credit: AP
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Uniqlo Offers 4-Day Work Week to Lure, Retain Talent


Clothing chain Uniqlo's parent company became the latest firm to wade into the raging work-life balance debate when it announced Friday that it would let some employees clock-in just four days a week, NBC News reported.

Fast Retailing said the program would allow 10,000 employees in Japan to work 10 hours four days out of seven. However, the plan does not necessarily mean workers will get three consecutive days off.

The program is aimed at attracting and retaining talent — particularly women, according to the firm. "The idea is that if you've got kids, it gives you a lot more flexibility," a Fast Retailing spokesman said.

Photo Credit: File - Getty Images

Driver Hit Bicyclist in Shelton and Fled: Cops


A driver fled after hitting a bicyclist in Shelton last Friday and police are looking for the person who was behind the wheel.

Police said they received several 911 calls around 10 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 14 from people reporting that a vehicle hit a bicyclist at the intersection of Howe Avenue and Bridge Street.

The bicyclist, identified only as a 49 year old Milford man, is still receiving treatment at the hospital for the injuries.

Witnesses said a black vehicle that was traveling south on Howe Avenue hit the man, fled and went over the Derby Shelton Bridge.

The Shelton Police Department Traffic Division is asking anyone with information about the case to call police at (203) 924-1544.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Small Plane Skids Off Runway in Danbury


A pilot and his wife and son were taken to the hospital Friday after their plane skidded off the runway at Danbury Municipal Airport, according to airport officials.

Airport operations manager Mike Safranek said the family's Eclipse 500 left the asphalt and veered into some tall grass adjacent to the runway.

The pilot suffered head lacerations and needed stitches. His wife and son were also taken to the hospital for a medical evaluation and treatment of possible minor injuries, Safranek said.

Airport officials said the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were called out to investigate.

It's the second incident at the airport in a week. Last Friday, an 83-year-old pilot crashed his Skymaster and suffered minor injuries. Safranek said the plane was heavily damaged.

Photo Credit: Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton

Man Falls to Death From I-95 in Norwalk


Crime scene detectives are investigating after man spotted walking on Interstate 95 in Norwalk was found dead below the highway on West Avenue on Friday afternoon, according to police.

Norwalk police said dispatchers received multiple 911 calls around 3:20 p.m. Friday reporting the man's death.

Investigators are searching for witnesses. Police hope to speak with anyone driving on I-95 southbound near exit 15 to West Avenue who may have seen the man walking on the highway.

Police closed the northbound side of West Avenue for several hours and asked drivers to avoid the area. All lanes are now open.

Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Downer at 203-854-3182.

Check back for updates on this developing story. 

Photo Credit: Norwalk Police Department
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Firefighters Return After Battling California Wildfires


Several Connecticut firefighters have returned home after fighting wildfires in Northern California.

The 20-member crew stationed in Denny, California included 10 employees of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and 10 private-sector firefighters. They spent 17 days fighting the 43,000 acre fire.

On Friday, families held “welcome home” signs, pom-poms and cameras as they waited at the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection headquarters in Marlborough in anxious anticipation for their loved-ones to arrive.

Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman was also there to greet the crew.

When the busload of firefighters arrived around 10:20 a.m., loved-ones greeted them with cheering, hugs and kisses.

Crew members said they’re glad to be home.

"It was very hard. A lot of people got sick, coughing, had to stop on the side of the road. It was tough, but we got through it and it was a great time," David Ganter, a firefighter from Hampton, said.

Richard Scalora, a Berlin firefighter, was happy to see his family and said he’s just trying to get back into his routine.

Some firefighters will have to head to another fire near Clarkia, Idaho in the coming days.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Watch: Swiss Cliff Jumper Laso Schaller's Epic Plunge


Famed jumper Laso Schaller made headlines for setting "a new cliff-jump world record" when dramatic video of him plunging nearly 200 feet into a pool of water was released on Aug. 18.

But a technicality will keep the Swiss 27-year-old out of the official record books — the feat is too dangerous for Guinness.

During the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, Schaller completed a 192.9-foot jump into a 26-foot-deep pool of water. Red Bull, which sponsors the event, said he set a record.

Guinness World Records no longer monitors that category “due to the obvious dangers involved and the inadvisability of sanctioning such a record,” a spokesperson said.

Though Guinness doesn't track cliff-jumping anymore, they do keep a record of who has the most Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series titles. Four-time winner Gary Hunt is the current record holder.

Red Bull, which sponsors the event, has not yet responded for comment.

Even with Schaller’s experience, there was a lot of extra preparation needed to make the jump.

His team built a platform that extended out from the top of the waterfall to clear a rock wall for the jump, according to a blog post from Red Bull. The team also explored the pool using scuba gear and placed six aerating tanks in his projected landing area to "soften" the water.

Schaller, a canyon guide and athlete by trade, regularly participates in high-dive shows, which involve jumping roughly 80 feet, 20 times in a day.

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Huggies Investigating Claims of Glass Found in Baby Wipes


Huggies is investigating after a video made by a mother in Guam purporting to show fiberglass in its baby wipes was posted online. 

 "We are aware of the situation with a mom who posted videos of what she believed to be glass shards in a package of our wipes product," said Huggies in a statement. "We will take all appropriate steps to investigate this situation but it is important to note that no glass is used during the manufacture of our wipes."

Shortly after, other parents posted photos and video documenting a shiny residue found in the wipes. 

A skeptical mother, Jessica Shinsky, 27, posted a video on her Facebook profile comparing a Huggies wipe with a Pampers wipe and alleged both show a shiny residue on the surface. 

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Stranger's Note of Kindness


Mike Snyder admits having more bad days than good recently. Thursday, his emotions got the best of him.

But after a random act of kindness, Snyder reached out to NBC Philadelphia in hopes of figure out who the anonymous person is to thank them for making him feel better about himself.

The Pennsylvania man says he was sitting in his work van in the parking lot of the Whole Foods in Wynnewood when he broke down and cried.

Snyder lost track of time and says he was in the car for a while crying.

After getting himself together, Snyder went into the store to make a delivery.

When he returned to his van, Snyder found a note, and candy bar on his windshield.

The note, handwritten on a Whole Foods napkin, said:

“I hope your day gets better.”

Snyder, who'd been feeling down on his luck and alone, says this act of kindness from a stranger made him feel loved. He says it made him feel better knowing there are still "nice kindhearted people out there."

Photo Credit: Mike Snyder
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