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Flash Flood Warnings Issued for Parts of State


Severe thunderstorms have been moving through the state, bringing rain, vivid lightning and loud thunder. 

A flash flood warnings and severe thunderstorm warnings have been issued for Tolland and Hartford county. 

Severe thunderstorm warnings have also been issued for Middlesex, New Haven,  and New London counties

Firefighters in Enfield said they are looking into whether lightning hit a shed on South Road.

Eversource is reporting some scattered power outages, including in Enfield and Ellington.

Earlier today, storms brought down tree limbs and knocked out power in southeastern Connecticut.

If you spot severe weather, send photos to shareit@nbcconnecticut.com.

Photo Credit: Bryan Frankovitch
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State Issues Warning After Dog Killed at Unlicensed Kennel


The state Department of Agriculture is issuing a warning after a dog was attacked and killed at an unlicensed home-based boarding facility in Redding.

Kathryn Stergue, the 49-year-old owner of Katie’s Critter Care, was charged last week in connection with an incident in June when her 4-year-old mixed-breed dog attacked and killed “Romi,” a dog that her business was boarding while the dog’s owners were on vacation, according to the Department of Agriculture.

The family dropped off Romi and another dog on June 10 and learned of the dog’s death when they received a call from Stergue just before 10 p.m. on June 21.

Officials from the Agriculture Department cited the arrest warrant and said Stergue admitted that one of her “big dogs” was responsible for the death of Romi, a 15-pound Havanese.

Stergue was also inhured and had bandages on one of her arms from bites sustained in the incident.

She told officers that her dog, Jacob, was responsible for the attack and a friend took the dog to a veterinarian to be euthanized, but she couldn’t provide the name of the veterinarian and officers have not been able to confirm that the dog was euthanized, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Stergue advertised her business on Facebook and claimed it was licensed and insured, according to the Department of Agriculture, but state records show the business was not licensed as a commercial kennel, so it would not been inspected.

Officials from the Department of Agriculture said the arrest demonstrates the need for all pet owners to be vigilant about ensuring their animals are being cared for in a licensed facility that is inspected by the Department of Agriculture.

“This case shows the need for pet owners to be wary of home-based boarding businesses, many that are advertised on social media and national websites, and to do their own homework when it comes to trusting someone with the care of their pets,” Ray Connors, supervisor of the Department’s animal control division, said in a statement.

Sterns has been charged with cruelty to animals, operating an animal facility without a license, not vaccinating an animal and failure to comply with dog ownership requirements, according to online court records.

She is free on $500 bond and is to appear in Danbury Superior Court on Aug. 25.

Check on whether a pet boarding or grooming facility is licensed online.

Photo Credit: Redding Police

AAA Study: Road Debris Causes Preventable Accidents


Research suggests that more car crashes are happening on the roads because of litter and debris.

According to American Automobile Association, more than 200,000 wrecks, 500 deaths and 39,000 injuries in the last four years were caused by blown tires, trash and other objects that litter roadways.

Nearly 37 percent of all deaths in road debris crashes resulted from the driver swerving to avoid hitting an object, the AAA Foundation study reveals. More than a third of crashes involving debris happen from 10 a.m. to 3:59 p.m. Most are likely to happen on interstates.

"This new report shows that road debris can be extremely dangerous but all of these crashes are preventable," said Jurek Grabowski, Research Director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

About two-thirds of debris-related crashes stem from items falling from a vehicle due to unsecured loads. When securing vehicle loads, AAA's Doug Shupe said to tie them down directly to vehicles or trailers with rope, netting or straps. Cover the entire load with a study tarp or netting and don't overload the vehicle.

"Drivers have a much bigger responsibility when it comes to preventing debris on the roads than most realize," said Jennifer Ryan, Director of State Relations for AAA. "States have hefty fines and penalties for drivers who drop items from their vehicle onto the roadway, and in some cases states impose jail time."

As for drivers, Shupe said to avoid tailgating and search the road at least 12 seconds ahead for debris.

If you see you are about to make contact with debris, safely reduce your speed as much as possible prior to making contact.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News

Gov. Scott: Florida's Zika Caseload Rises to 25


Florida is reporting three more cases of Zika spread by Miami mosquitoes, but the governor says the infection zone is shrinking. 

According to a statement Thursday from Gov. Rick Scott's office, the state now has 25 known cases of Zika. But, active transmission is only happening in a 1-square-mile area encompassing Miami's Wynwood neighborhood.

The Florida Department of Health removed another corner of the famous art district in downtown Miami from the Zika travel warning area Thursday. Wynwood, hit hardest by the Zika outbreak in South Florida, shrunk its "Zika Zone" by four blocks near the southwest corner.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it will continue to monitor the entire area. 

Aerial spraying of pesticides targeting adult mosquitoes is scheduled Friday over Wynwood as well as surrounding areas, and tablets of larvae-eating bacteria are being dropped into storm drains throughout Miami-Dade County just in case.

“We are confident that our mosquito education, prevention and control efforts are working and hopeful that the impacted area will continue to be reduced as the DOH investigation continues,” Scott said in a press release.

The governor continued to press both the Obama administration and lawmakers to approve funding to fight Zika, saying “The president and Congress must work together to get to a solution for all the families across our nation.”

At the same time, Miami-Dade County announced they will expand their program of treating public and private storm drains in an effort to prevent breeding of mosquitoes. The county is currently using a time release produce that remains in the drainage systems for 30 days.

The county also will conduct a fifth round of aerial spraying Friday morning if the weather allows for it.

Bank of America Team Gearing Up for Closer to Free Charity Ride


In less than a month, more than a thousand cyclists will help bring the world closer to cancer free.

All of the money raised for Closer to Free supports patients care and the search for a cure at Yale-New Haven’s Smilow Cancer Hospital.

This year Bank of America is a presenting sponsor.

Nicole Sweeten works in Stamford for Merrill Lynch, Bank of America’s investment banking division. She first volunteered at Closer to Free in September 2014.

"I was brought to tears because at that point we didn’t know my mom was OK," Sweeten said.

Just three weeks before race day, her mother Betty Sweeten had breast cancer surgery at Smilow Cancer Hospital.

"My mom is cancer free thanks to Smilow," Sweeten said.

That is why on Saturday September 10, Sweeten will be back at the Yale Bowl bright and early for the third time as a volunteer from Bank of America.

"There’s nobody there, it’s a ghost town and then all of a sudden it’s flooded, you’re tripping over bikes, there’s riders everywhere," Sweeten said, describing the atmosphere on race day.

Sweeten’s colleague Katie Flaherty is planning to cycle in the 25 mile race.

"I’m just so proud to be part of the day, I literally can’t wait," Flaherty said. "We all know someone that has battled cancer and hopefully survived their journey and I like my colleagues would love to see cancer be eliminated."

Sweeten is forever thankful to the doctors at Smilow who caught her mom’s cancer early enough to save her life.

"It’s just so emotional knowing that all the money earned at this event goes towards helping Smilow and helping this hospital that helped my family so much," she said.

NBC Connecticut is also a proud sponsor of this year’s Closer to Free. You still have time to register as a rider or volunteer.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Person Struck by Lightning in Coventry: Police

Fact Check: Clinton’s Trumped Up Zika Claim


Photo Credit: AP

Day 6: Highlights From the Rio Olympics


Day 6, Aug. 11, of the Rio Olympics, features golf, tennis, judo, water polo, swimming, and beach volleyball, among many other events. Check out the top moments here.

Photo Credit: Dmitri Lovetsky/AP

Inmate Attempts Escaping York Correctional Facility: DOC


An inmate attempted escaping the York Correction Facility on Thursday, the Connecticut Department of Correction said. 

At around 2:20 p.m., Nicole Goldin, of Watertown, attempted to scale the perimeter fence of the facility, the DOC said. 

The 25-year-old was quickly apprehended and did not breach the secured fence, officials said. No injuries were reported. 

Goldin has been in custody at the York Correction Institution since July 21 on a $20,000 bond for criminal violation of a protective order. 

Callers, First Responders Losing Faith After 911 System Fail


Failure of the state's new 911 system has callers and first responders losing confidence in the multi-million dollar upgrade.

Police tell the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters the system failure in mid-July wasn't the first problem: there were smaller outages earlier this year.  

This modern system will enable you to send texts and someday maybe even photos and videos to 911. We’ve learned though, that system failures have many shaken, and the state backing off any hard and fast completion date.

You expect an answer when you call 9-1-1.

Allison Kizis says when she saw a crash on I-84 the night of July 15th there was a motorcyclist down, and no one picked up when she called 911, "I kept my phone on speaker phone the whole time. You know screaming like please pick up and just wanted somebody to answer."

Kizis says she drove to a nearby police department to get help, “at one point I remember thinking what if everyone around me was calling 911 and we all, just no one's picking up?"

Kizis was not the only one; an NBC Connecticut employee also tried to report a different highway crash but could not get through.

The state's new 911 system had a major failure that’s known as a "hard down".

Berlin dispatcher Tammy Wright was working alone, “It's a scary feeling for all dispatchers because when you can see calls coming in and you can't answer them that there's nothing to do to help those people."

Half the state's 110 dispatch centers have the new, $13 million Next Generation 911 software.

Almost none of them could answer 9-1-1 calls at that time. Wright says, “It definitely shakes your trust.”

Manchester police chief Marc Montminy sits on the state's 911 commission and heads the technology committee for the Connecticut Police Chiefs’ Association. He explains on July 15 “We had no access for over an hour…as a chief of police I can tell you that I was terrified. I was worried about what might have happened."

Middletown dispatchers saw the system go down at 6:25pm, and again at 9pm, each time about 15 minutes. That's what most Next Generation 911 centers experienced.

Mayor Dan Drew says "They were able to see on their dispatch screens where the calls were coming from what the numbers were so they actually picked up their personal cell phones and called back everybody that called in."

Drew adds Middletown is ready if Next Generation 911 fails again, however, "We need to take a serious look at how quickly this moves forward, and what the problems are."

Software provider AT&T tells the Troubleshooters the outage was caused by the system's processing capacity, not call volume. AT&T says it has been patched, with a permanent fix coming soon. Montminy responded, “as a 9-1-1 commissioner I'm gonna need a little bit more than that."

We asked the state’s director of emergency telecommunications about what happened, and how it left emergency responders shaken about the new system. Bill Youell says “I can only tell you that we're working diligently to get to get the system to make sure that this patch is acceptable and stable and go forward from there."

Youell adds his team also will make sure 911 centers receive better communication from the state and AT&T when problems arise. He insists even though the state originally targeted finishing the Next Generation 911 project this year, his team will not fully roll out the new software until it functions properly ”my goal in our organization's goals and this agency's goal, and the state's goal, is to get this system installed, correctly."

Kizis says, “I think in the future if I ever had to call 911…I think I'd be in the back of my head, like, hopefully they pick up."

What has raised some eyebrows though is following the Next Generation 911 failure last month, a number of 911 centers have received cellphones for dispatchers in case the system goes down again. Other 911 centers have installed landlines outside the Next Generation 911 system to make sure they still get 911 calls.

Flooding, More Than 12,000 Without Power Following Storms


More than 12,000 are without power and damaging floods have been reported in Middletown and Portland as thunderstorms pound the state on Thursday evening.

Emergency management tells NBC Connecticut that flooding issues persist throughout Middletown and sewers cannot handle the amount of rain that came down on Washington Street or Randolph Road.

Middletown reported multiple trees are down, including one on Randolph Road, officials said. 

NBC Connecticut meteorologists said Middletown was hit with one month's worth of rain in only a couple hours. 

Portland Police said there is flooding reports on Main Street but there has been no reports on trees down. 

Eversource said there are more than 3,300 outages in Middletown and 2,000 out in Portland. 

Other towns with outages:














LYME 115






















Photo Credit: Stephanie K
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Fact Check: Trump’s False Claim Obama Founded ISIS


Donald Trump claims that President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “founded ISIS.” But the origin of the Islamic State terrorist group dates back to the Bush administration.

Trump points to the withdrawal of troops from Iraq in 2011, under Obama, as “the founding of ISIS,” but experts say the expansion of the Islamic State after that point can’t be pinned on the troop withdrawal alone — if at all. And there’s the fact that President George W. Bush had signed the agreement and set the date for that withdrawal.

“It’s a massively complex problem,” Clint Watts, the Robert A. Fox fellow in the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Program on the Middle East, told us. It “goes beyond one single policy decision about keeping or moving troops.”

Furthermore, Trump himself supported withdrawing troops from Iraq as early as 2007, telling CNN in a March 16, 2007, interview that the U.S. should “declare victory and leave, because I’ll tell you, this country is just going to get further bogged down. … [T]his is a total catastrophe and you might as well get out now, because you just are wasting time.”

But now, in the midst of a campaign to be president, Trump says the withdrawal, without leaving behind a small force, created ISIS. His comments at a rally in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, came after he has been linking Clinton to ISIS for weeks.

Trump, Aug. 10: We shouldn’t have ever, ever, ever got into Iraq. I said it from the beginning. I said it from the beginning. … I said you’re going to destabilize the Middle East and we did. And then, an even easier decision, we should have never gotten out the way we got out. … We had a president who decided he’d announce a date and he was going to get out by that date. The problem is the enemy, which really turned out to be ISIS, the enemy was sitting back and actually didn’t believe that this could be happening. … That they would actually say when they were getting out. So they sat back and they sat back … but instead of allowing some small forces behind to maybe, just maybe, keep it under control, and we pulled it out eventually. …

And then we decimated one of the powers and we unleashed fury all over the Middle East. It was a terrible mistake. And then Obama came in and normally you want to clean up, he made a bigger mess out of it. … And then you had Hillary with Libya. So sad.

In fact, in many respects you know they honor President Obama. ISIS is honoring President Obama. He is the founder of ISIS. He’s the founder of ISIS. He’s the founder. He founded ISIS. And I would say the co-founder would be crooked Hillary Clinton, co-founder.

Trump reiterated his “founder of ISIS” comments in interviews on Aug. 11. When conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt asked him, “You meant that [Obama] created the vacuum, he lost the peace,” Trump responded: “No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS. I do. He was the most valuable player. I give him the most valuable player award. I give her, too, by the way, Hillary Clinton.” Trump added that “the way he got out of Iraq … was the founding of ISIS, O.K.?”

Let’s start with a quick fact-check of Trump’s position on the Iraq War: There is no evidence that Trump opposed the war in Iraq before it started on March 19, 2003, despite his frequent claims to the contrary. In fact, Trump expressed mild support in September 2002 for invading Iraq in an interview with radio host Howard Stern. The Trump campaign, in a footnoted speech, has pointed to an interview in January 2003 with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto, but, as we’ve explained before, Trump took no position in that interview, saying only that President Bush should make a decision: “Either you attack or you don’t attack,” he said.

That March 2003 invasion of Iraq — supported at the time by Clinton, who was in the U.S. Senate, and opposed by Obama, who was a state senator — marked the beginning of the rise of a terrorist group that has adopted several names over the years, most recently the Islamic State.

We’ll note that some of Trump’s comments can be taken as opinion — the “most valuable player” comment, for instance. But his claims that Obama and specifically the troop withdrawal “founded” ISIS don’t measure up to the well-documented history of this terrorist group.

The Roots of ISIS

If anyone can be called the “founder of ISIS,” it’s Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian who formed al Qaeda in Iraq, the group that became ISIS, after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.

A June 27 report by the Congressional Research Service provides a timeline of “The Roots of the Islamic State,” which begins in October 2002, when Zarqawi assassinated USAID official Laurence Foley in Jordan and then relocated to Iraq. By October 2004, Zarqawi’s group was known as al Qaeda in Iraq. He took advantage of sectarian strife in Iraq — Sunni opposition to U.S. forces and the ruling Shia party — to build his organization.

“The Islamic State has its origins in the U.S. invasion of Iraq,” Princeton University professor Bernard Haykel, who heads the university’s Institute for Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, told us in an interview. “It is tied to a man named Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who was killed in an American attack in 2006. I don’t see that Obama has anything to do with it – at all. He wasn’t even on the scene when the founders of ISIS set it up.”

In June 2006, Zarqawi was killed in a U.S. airstrike, but Egyptian Abu Ayub al-Masri took over the organization, calling it the Islamic State of Iraq a few months later.

In an analysis, “From Paper State to Caliphate,” for the Brookings Institution’s Center for Middle East Policy, Cole Bunzel writes that the significance of the group’s name change to the Islamic State of Iraq “was much greater than was appreciated at the time. It signaled the start of an ambitious political project: the founding of a state in Iraq– a proto-caliphate — that would ultimately expand across the region, proclaim itself the fullfledged caliphate, and go on to conquer the rest of the world.”

In 2010, Masri, and another top Islamic State official, were killed in a joint Iraqi-U.S. raid. When U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq at the end of 2011, the CRS report explains, the Islamic State of Iraq “was weakened, but not eliminated.”

CRS, “The Islamic State and U.S. Policy,” June 27: The Islamic State’s direct ideological and organizational roots lie in the forces built and led by the late Abu Musab al Zarqawi in Iraq from 2002 through 2006. … Zarqawi took advantage of Sunni animosity toward U.S. forces and feelings of disenfranchisement at the hands of Iraq’s Shia and Kurds to advance a uniquely sectarian agenda that differed from Al Qaeda’s in important ways. … Following Zarqawi’s death at the hands of U.S. forces in June 2006, AQ-I leaders repackaged the group as a coalition called the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI). ISI lost its two top leaders in 2010 and was weakened, but not eliminated, by the time of the U.S. withdrawal in 2011. The precise nature of ISI’s relationship to Al Qaeda leaders from 2006 onward is unclear.

Watts, with the Foreign Policy Research Institute, said that 2006 was when the “big governance model” of what we now see as the Islamic State was formed. There was “some divergence from the al Qaeda brand name” and disagreements between the two groups at this point. When the U.S. troops withdrew, the terrorist group had gone underground, with members in prisons or detention camps, Watts said. In 2011 and 2012, the group was “lightly functioning,” but still in existence.

By 2013, the terrorist group was again launching attacks in Iraq and had spread to Syria, taking advantage of that country’s internal strike. Syria’s civil war started in March 2011.

Critics and experts have pointed to several actions during the Bush and Obama administrations that could have contributed to the rise of ISIS:

  • The U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
  • The decisions by the U.S.-led provisional coalition government in 2003 to disband the Iraqi army and dissolve and ban the Baath Party, which drove Sunnis into militant groups.
  • The rule of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, whose Shia government further ostracized Sunnis. “By disbanding the army and making the Baath party illegal and putting in power a Shiite like Maliki, you alienated and radicalized the Sunnis, and gave rise to ISIS in the process,” Haykel told us.
  • The withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq by Dec. 31, 2011 — a date set by an agreement with the Iraqi government that was signed by President Bush in 2008, and left unchanged by the Obama administration.
  • The weakening of the Iraqi army, which abandoned posts in 2014 rather than fight ISIS.
  • The Syrian civil war, which began in 2011. “This is really all about Syria,” Watts told us. “That provided the space for ISIS to rise.” The conflict inspired foreign fighters, and if it wasn’t ISIS moving into in Syria, it would be some other jihadist group, he said.

Obama and Clinton were not in lockstep over how the U.S. should handle the situation in Syria: Both Clinton and former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta have said the administration should have armed rebels fighting in Syria sooner. During the 2012 presidential campaign, Watts noted, the debate was over a no-fly zone in Syria. Neither Obama nor the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, advocated a deeper military involvement in Syria.

It is, of course, unknown how any number of different decisions would have affected the creation or growth of the Islamic State, or a similar terrorist group.

Withdrawal of Troops

Since Trump has pinpointed “the way [Obama] got out of Iraq” as “the founding of ISIS,” we’ll take a closer look at that action.

As we have explained before, Republicans and Democrats differ on which president should be blamed for the withdrawal of all combat troops at the end of 2011. Trump says that “[w]e had a president who decided he’d announce the date” of withdrawal — but that president was Bush.

Bush signed the agreement, known as the Status of Forces Agreement, on Dec. 14, 2008. It said: “All the United States Forces shall withdraw from all Iraqi territory no later than December 31, 2011.” Condoleezza Rice later wrote that Bush wanted an agreement for a residual force to remain, but Maliki objected.

Obama, however, had three years to renegotiate the deal, which his administration tried to do, seeking to leave an American troop force of 5,000 to 10,000. But Maliki objected again, and negotiations broke down in October 2011 over the issue of whether U.S. troops would be shielded from criminal prosecution by Iraqi authorities. Obama’s then defense secretary, Panetta, later wrote in his 2014 book that Obama didn’t press hard enough for a deal, although some experts say it would not have mattered because Iraq was more closely aligned at the time with Iran.

Maliki “wanted the Americans out of there — and the Iranians wanted the same thing,” Haykel said. “I don’t think there was a deal to be had — not one in which the Americans would have had immunity.”

Clinton, Obama’s secretary of state at the time, publicly supported the president. In a 2014 interview, she blamed the Iraqi government for the failure to reach an agreement to protect American troops. The Washington Post’s Joby Warrick, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book “Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS,” said in an interview with the Post‘s Fact Checker that “[w]ithin the administration, Clinton was one of the loudest forces for keeping a residual force in Iraq.”

So, both presidents played a role in the withdrawal of troops from Iraq. ISIS did experience a resurgence in Iraq after that withdrawal, but Watts doesn’t see the withdrawal as a major factor. “ISIS didn’t grow because of the troop withdrawal, they grew because there was a Syrian civil war that created a vacuum to the west,” he told us. If the U.S. had left troops in Iraq, the “best outcome” would be to still have an ISIS in Syria.

And how did Trump feel about withdrawing from Iraq at the time? He said several times that the troops should be withdrawn, and quickly. BuzzFeed unearthed several quotes from Trump, including a March 16, 2007, interview Trump gave with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

Trump, March 16, 2007, on CNN: You know how they get out? They get out. That’s how they get out. Declare victory and leave, because I’ll tell you, this country is just going to get further bogged down. They’re in a civil war over there, Wolf. There’s nothing that we’re going to be able to do with a civil war. They are in a major civil war. …

And it’s going to go to Iran, and it’s going to go to other countries. They are in the midst of a major civil war. And there’s nothing — by the way, we’re keeping the lid on a little bit but date we leave anyway it’s all going to blow up. … So, I mean, this is a total catastrophe and you might as well get out now, because you just are wasting time.

Trump doesn’t appear to be advocating a residual force in those comments, but he’s unclear. Regardless, the withdrawal of troops, no matter when or how it happened, wasn’t the “founding of ISIS.” Nor was President Obama the “founder.” The terrorist group’s history predates Obama’s presidency.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Storms Knocked Out Power to More Than 3,000


Storms brought down trees limbs and wires in southeastern Connecticut on Thursday, knocked out power for thousands and closed a couple of roads.

Most of the power outages were in East Lyme, where power was out for more than 900 Eversource customers, but the outage number is down to 324.

Lightning struck a house on East Lake Road in Montville, according to the fire department, but did not causea fire.

Drabik Road in East Lyme, also known as Route 161, will be closed for an extended period of time because a tree and wires are across the road.

Route 154 in Haddam are closed.

In all, Eversource had more than 3,000 power outages, but the number is down to 771 as of 2 p.m.

See the full list here.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Your Dramatic Thunderstorm Photos for Aug. 11


Photo Credit: Bryan Frankovitch

Rio Day 6: Biles, Phelps and Manuel Shine, and Other Moments


Day 6 in Rio saw Simone Biles outshine everyone to take the individual gold in woman's gymnastics, while Michael Phelps defeated his longtime rival, Simone Manuel made history in the pool, golf returned with a bang and Fiji finally won a gold. The day's top moments at the Summer Games are here, in case you missed them. 

Simone Biles Takes Individual Gold

Simone Biles won the gold medal in the women's gymnastics individual all-around event, with commanding performances in her two best events, balance beam and the floor exercise. It was the U.S. gymnastics team's second gold medal at the Rio Olympics and the Americans' fourth straight victory in the event. Aly Raisman took the silver with a strong balance beam routine and floor exercise. Russia’s Aliya Mustafina took the bronze.

The 19-year-old Biles — who joins the ranks of such American winners as Mary Lou Retton and her teammate Gabby Douglas — and Raisman, the 22-year-old team captain, were expected to finish on top.

After the results were announced, Biles, who dominates the sport, invited Raisman out before the crowd to share the applause and an emotional embrace.

Biles will compete again on Sunday in the women’s beam and vault finals, while Raisman will compete in the floor finals.

The Americans, now known as the "Final Five," won the team gold on Tuesday. Their team is the last to have five members. Beginning with the Toyko Games in 2020, the gymnastics teams will have only four competitors.

"One Last Time"

U.S. swimming superstar Michael Phelps won his 22nd gold medal Thursday in the 200-meter individual medley, defeating his longtime rival and teammate, Ryan Lochte.

The two are not always rivals. They won gold together in Olympic relay events, including the men's 4x200m freestyle relay Tuesday evening in Rio.

Their 12-year rivalry has evolved into a competitive friendship, and the two are even roommates in Rio.

This was most likely the last showdown between the two, because Phelps said that he plans to retire after Rio, his fifth Olympic Games.

More Swimming History

American Simone Manuel became the first African-American woman to win a gold medal in swimming. She tied Canada's Penny Oleksiak for the gold in the 100-meter freestyle in an Olympic record time of 52.70 seconds.

Golf Returns to the Olympics

It was an ace 112 years in the making.

On Thursday, golf was part of the Olympic Games for the first time since 1904, and Great Britain's Justin Rose celebrated its return with a hole-in-one. The first ace of the 2016 Rio Olympics, it came on the par-3 fourth hole during the first round of men's golf.  

Rose, who was one of the favorites coming in to the tournament, finished the day with a four-under-par 67 and tied for fourth.

The golfers are sharing the grassy course with giant hamster-like rodents.

The capybara, which is native to South America, is the world's largest rodent. A close relative to the guinea pig, it is known to grow to more 4 feet in length but is not dangerous.

Far from being fazed, the golfers have taken to posting pictures of the furry rodents online.

In 1904, only the United States and Canada competed — and a Canadian won the individual gold. This year, despite the excitement of the sport's return, some of the world's top players gave the Games a pass, citing golf's crowded schedule of championships and other concerns. Golf will be played again in 2020 in Tokyo but its fate after that is uncertain. A vote will be held next year to decide if it will be back in 2024.

Fiji Wins First Gold

Another returning sport, rugby, gave Fiji its first ever gold medal.

The country's rugby sevens squad drubbed Great Britain to secure the win.

Rugby returned to the Olympics this year after a more than 90-year absence. The last time the sport was played at the Summer Games, in 1924, it was the 15-side version.

Olympic-Sized Crime

Even security forces aren't immune to crime in Rio.

Officers from Brazil's national security force were using a GPS to navigate unfamiliar streets when they took a wrong turn and came under fire. One officer was shot in the head, underwent a four-hour surgery and was in stable condition, according to the Justice Ministry.

The shooting was the latest in a string of robberies and attacks that have marred South America's first Olympic Games. Homicides in Brazil had declined in past years but spiked as the country experienced its worst recession in decades.

Two Australian rowing coaches were robbed at knifepoint over the weekend near Ipanema Beach. Portugal's sports minister was robbed, at the Olympic Lake, though his money was recovered.

The equestrian venue was hit twice by stray gunfire. A judo medalist from Belgium was punched in the face on Copacabana beach when he chased a thief.

Ledecky Sets Another Record

U.S. swimmer Katie Ledecky broke another Olympic record Thursday.

Ledecky, 19, set the new record with the fastest time in the 800-meter freestyle preliminaries.

Her time: 8 minutes, 12.86 seconds.

Ledecky has won three gold medals in Rio. She anchored the U.S. women's swimming team in the 4 x 200-meter freestyle relay for the third Wednesday night.

She is hoping to sweep the 200-meter, 400-meter and 800-meter freestyle events -- which last happened in 1968 at the Mexico City Games.

She swims the 800 meters on Friday.

Judo History

Kayla Harrison became the first American to defend an Olympic judo title on Thursday, beating France's Audrey Tcheumeo in the final of the 78-kg competition.

Harrison won the U.S.'s first judo gold in London in 2012, and she is only the second American to take two Olympic judo medals. The second is her coach, Jimmy Pedro, who twice won bronze medals.

Harrison was sexually abused by a previous judo coach, who was later sent to prison. She credits training under Pedro with helping her to recover.

Photo Credit: Alex Livesey/Getty Images
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Day 7: Highlights From the Rio Olympics


Day 7, Aug. 12, 2016, of the Rio Olympics, features track and field, swimming, boxing, judo, sailing, and volleyball, among many other events. Check out the top moments here.

Photo Credit: Julio Cortez/AP

400-Year-Old Shipwrecks Found Off Florida Coast


Divers off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, discovered three 400-year-old shipwrecks that they believe may have belonged to the French.

Divers with Global Marine Exploration believe the 16th to 17th century shipwreck debris fields are from three different French ships, and the contents include canons made of bronze and iron, anchors, and symbols of the fleur-de-lis and a French Coat of Arms archaeologists call priceless, NBC affiliate WESH reported.

One of the bronze cannon has markings linking it to the reign of Henry II and was likely cast in the 1540’s, according to GME chief archaeologist Jim Sinclair.

"The historical and archaeological significance of these artifacts cannot be overstated," he suggested. 

The monument appears to be hand carved marble, Sinclair said, and could have possibly been connected to the first French attempts at new world colonization, the Protestant Huguenots and the founding of Spanish Florida at St. Augustine.

The company, along with the Florida Department of Historic Resources and the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research, are working to recover the artifacts and conserve them.

Photo Credit: WESH

Extra Precautions Underway for Players in Little League Regional Tournaments


Today will be another scorcher and that will be especially brutal for Little League baseball players competing in the regionals in Bristol. 

Fairfield won on Thursday, with a 17-11 win over New Hampshire and the team will take on Massachusetts today at 1 p.m., when the sun is strong and there’s a potential for storms. 

 Washington will play Pennsylvania at 7 p.m.

Staff members working the tournament are providing players with plenty of water and Gatorade throughout the day and will have buckets with cold towels and the coaches and Bristol Hospital athletic trainer will be keeping an eye on the players. 

"You're sweating to keep yourself cooled down but you got to keep dry clothes on because -- if you have, like right now, my shirt is a little bit wet --- it's going to be harder for that sweat to get out and for that air to evaporate off of me," Christine Weaving, the Bristol Hospital athletic trainer, said. 

Players will be encouraged to stay in the dugout and out of the sun as much as possible.

The Many Faces of Michael Phelps


Michael Phelps has won four gold medals so far at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, increasing his total Olympics gold medal count to 22. He has shown almost as many faces while swimming at this year's Summer Games.

Danielson Man Arrested in Heroin Bust


Police made a heroin bust in Danielson on Thursday night and arrested a man accused of dealing out of his home.

State troopers with the Troop D Quality of Life Task Force, the Killingly Resident Trooper’s Office and the Statewide Narcotics Task Force-East Office raided 66 West Palmer St. in Danielson at 8:20 p.m. Thursday because a resident was suspected of selling heroin from the home.

As police searched the home of 33-year-old Steven Beaudreau, they also stopped him on Reynolds Street, detained him and brought him back to his residence as the search was underway.

Police said they found several bags of heroin packaged for sale, cash, a digital scale and a cell phone.

Beaudreau has been charged with possession of heroin and possession of heroin with intent to sell.

He was held on $25,000 bond and is due in Danielson Superior Court.

Photo Credit: State Police
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