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QU Students to Live and Work in Assisted Living Village


Two Quinnipiac students are spending their year off-campus at an assisted living facility to gain some real-world experience during their studies.

Quinnipiac students Joe Huberman and Victoria Kozar are both looking to start a profession in senior care after graduation. So they’re getting an early start by spending the year living at Wallingford’s Masonicare at Ashler Village, an assisted living village.

"I think it's age cohort that we have a lot to learn from and I think I have as much to learn from them as I can hopefully give to them," Huberman said.

Both students beat out 17 other applicants looking to ditch the dorm room for an apartment at the village and a job caring for more than 100 residents.

"Moving forward how to treat patients, knowing from this side living among them I feel I can get a lot being a provider in this setting," Kozar said.

Resident Howard Luppi graduated from Quinnipiac and loves the idea of having students in residence.

"You're dealing with people that are basically all over 60, 70, 80, 90 and these are young people, and when they merged together a lot of it is going to come out of it that's going to be good," Luppi said.

To earn credit the students will have to work eight hours a week and commute to campus for their other courses. While most campus courses are done with a pen and paper, these lessons will be measured in care.

"I want to give them my heart my all,” Kozar said. “I was telling them I'm going to have office hours I'm ready to get the cookies out, I have a lot of life experience they have way more than me I hope to give what I have."

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Families Protest Proposed Changes, Cuts to DDS


Families, buoyed by the union that represents caretakers for their relatives in state care, stood up against efforts from Governor Dannel Malloy's administration to privatize state services for the developmentally disabled Tuesday.

 They argued that the state's plan would hurt the health and wellbeing of their family members, many of whom have been in state facilities for decades.

“The staff is the lifeline to my brother," said Lori Gaglione as she fought back tears. Her brother is in a state-run facility slated to be transitioned to a private non-profit provider by the beginning of next year. “I can’t quit my job and stay for him. The staff is well trained, they’re there. They inform me. You’re not going to get that in the private sector. The turnover is greater. I’m begging you, Governor Malloy. I will take you on a tour. I will do whatever it takes.”

Roughly 400 Department of Developmental Services employees will be laid off according to the governor's office, making room for what's been described by his administration as more efficient, cost-effective services. Non-profits are known for providing similar services at reduced costs compared to state services.

Parents like Lindsay Mathews, whose son is in a New Haven facility argues private care is code for inadequate care.

"These are cuts. Clear and simple cuts. They’re not coming back unless we demand that they come back and we need to do that and we will.”

The governor says the arguments coming from those families are unfounded, and he has heard from many families optimistic that the reductions in expenses will lead to increased spots for the more than 2,000 people on state waiting lists.

“The changes we are making will allow us to continue having those services. If we don’t make those changes, we would have to discontinue services. That’s the reason we’re doing that.”

Further, a spokesperson for the Office of Policy and Management, the governor's budget agency, said what's happening in Connecticut is long overdue on a wide scale, but has already happening in increments.

Chris McClure with OPM said, "Since 2009, the number of individuals served directly by DDS in state run Community Service Arrangements has dropped from about 15% to less than 10%. That means today, over 90% of those living in CLAs are receiving services in facilities operated by non-profits and community providers."

Lindsay Mathews who spoke at the press conference Tuesday morning, said the governor and his administration are mismanaging the state's most vulnerable population.

“Personally, I think he should be arrested today and put on trial for what he’s doing."

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

'Final Five' Set to Tour US


The Final Five are taking New York City by storm. 

The gold medal-winning U.S. women's gymnastics team visited the Empire State Building Tuesday morning as they begin a whirlwind media tour after their incredible accomplishments in Rio. 

Their Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions will officially start on Sept.15, in Spokane, Washington and end on Nov. 13 in Boston. They will visit 36 U.S. cities and showcase gymnasts from 2012 and 2016, according to Kellogg's.

Hometown hero and breakout star Laurie Hernandez, along with Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman and Madison Kocian took in the view of the city from 86 floors above the ground. And it provided another first for Old Bridge, New Jersey resident Hernandez: being able to take in the view from the observatory of the Empire State Building. It's all making for a surreal experience, she said. 

"I used to have someone pinch me beforehand just to make sure it wasn't a dream," Hernandez told NBC 4 New York. 

Biles called Hernandez a "perfect fit to the team" in Rio.

"She's always making all of us laugh," she told NBC 4. "I think she has a very similar personality to me. We roomed the whole time to Rio. We just love her to death." 

Since getting back Monday, Hernandez has been able to see her parents for a bit, and she's now looking forward to reuniting with her siblings.

In the meantime, the team is hoping to "rest and eat and chill," said Douglas, who was also on the 2012 Fierce Five.  

Raisman, also a two-time Olympian, said "it's been a blur" since the team arrived in New York and that the intense public focus and being followed by papparrazzi has been "crazy" and "surreal." 

"There's just so much, you just never expect it," she said. "Laurie lives like 45 minutes from here, I don't know if she's ever experienced the craziness of New York like this. I don't think any of the girls have right after the Olympics, except me and Gabby." 

"Everything has been go, go, go, we haven't had time to sit down and think about it," added Biles. 

One thing on top of the women's New York agenda? Finding some great pizza. 

"Gabby will probably find us the best pizza because she's gotten pizza multiple times here, so she's probably our best best," said Raisman. 

As for the native Hernandez's pick? 

"It's all pretty good!" she said diplomatically. 

The team will later appear Tuesday night on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. 

Photo Credit: AP

Boy With Double-Hand Transplant 'Excited' 1 Year Later


In July 2015, at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Zion Harvey became the first child ever to undergo a double hand transplant.

When he was just 2 years old, Zion lost both his hands and his legs below the knees to a life-threatening infection.  

Now, a year after the transplant surgery, NBC News returned to visit him to see   what life is like for 9-year-old Zion.

"I'm very excited. Because now I can do more than I imagined. Like throw a football. Play baseball. Or, I don't know, do a handstand," he said. "So when I got my hands, it's like, here's the piece of my life that was missing. Now it's here. Now my life is complete."

Photo Credit: AP

Driver Rescued from Fiery Crash on Route 72 in Plainville


A state trooper and two bystanders jumped into action to rescue a man trapped in his burning car after a crash in Plainville Tuesday morning.

State police said David Bartlett, 58, of Plainville, was driving on Route 72 east near exit 3 when he lost control of his car and struck a metal guard rail before crashing into a bridge. The vehicle them burst into flame with Bartlett still inside.

Trooper Karanda, who was working a nearby highway construction detail, immediately responded. A construction worker and a passing motorist also ran over to help. Karanda smashed the driver’s side window and the three were able to pull the operator out.

Bartlett was transported by American Medical Response to Hartford Hospital for evaluation of his injuries. None of the rescuers were injured.

Route 72 was closed while crews cleared the crash and inspected the bridge. It has since reopened.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

Man Dies After Construction Accident in Westport


One man has died following a construction accident in Westport, police said.

On Tuesday, police responded to a construction site off of Compo Road North and found an unresponsive male at the scene. 

First repsonders provided medical aid to the man until Westport EMS arrived to transport him to Norwalk Hospital, according to police. 

At the hospital, the man was pronounced dead due to his injuries, police said.

The Westport Police Detective Bureau is currently investigating the situation. 

Police did not identify the victim. 

There were no other details immediately available. 

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Justin Timberlake Hosts HRC in LA


On the narrow street leading to the home of Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, there are orders for no parking and no stopping.

Unless you're invited, there is no way to reach the house serving as backdrop for the third Hillary Clinton campaign fundraiser in SoCal in just two days.

The Democratic presidential nominee will wrap her a two-day visit to Los Angeles and Orange counties Tuesday with a star-studded fundraiser at the Timberlake-Biel Hollywood Hills abode before heading on to two fundraisers in Laguna Beach.

It's at the home of the iconic pop singer where a luncheon running at $33,400 per person will be held.

Everyone from actors Tobey Maguire and Jennifer Aniston to TV producer Shonda Rhimes are expected. 

The event was punctuated by a tweet from the super-star couple with Clinton sandwiched in the middle, featuring the hashtag "I'm with her."

The event was originally scheduled to be hosted by actor Leonardo DiCaprio. A change in the production schedule for DiCaprio's upcoming climate change documentary meant the Oscar winner could not attend, according to People magazine, which cited a source close to the event. 

Clinton will then hold another $33,400 per person lunch fundraiser in Laguna Beach, which includes a photo with Clinton. Couples paying $100,000 are also admitted to a host reception with Clinton, according to an invitation obtained by City News Service.

Clinton will conclude her Southland visit with another Laguna Beach fundraiser, with tickets priced at $2,700, the maximum individual contribution to a presidential candidate in the general election under federal law. Guests raising $27,000 are admitted to a host reception with Clinton.

The $33,400 figure is the maximum amount an individual can contribute to a national party committee in a year.

Clinton began the visit Monday by taping an appearance on the ABC late- night talk show "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and holding two fundraisers. In her appearance with Kimmel, Clinton made light of both the revelation that the FBI collected nearly 15,000 new emails in its investigation of her and Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani questioning her health.

Clinton told Kimmel "my emails are so boring and I'm embarrassed about that."

When Kimmel asked 68-year-old Clinton about the questions about her health, she offered up her hand and said "take my pulse," explaining "to make sure I'm still alive."

Kimmel then took her hand and gasped, telling the audience, "Oh my god, there's nothing there."

Clinton implied that the stories are baseless, saying sarcastically, "With every breath I take, I feel like it's a new lease on life."

Much of the speculation stems from a concussion Clinton sustained in December 2012 after fainting, an episode her doctor has attributed to a stomach virus and dehydration. Giuliani urged voters to "go online and put down `Hillary Clinton illness,"' in an interview with Fox News on Sunday, saying the next morning that she "looks sick." Trump has questioned her stamina at campaign rallies and speeches, saying in a foreign policy address earlier this month that she "lacks the mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS".

When Kimmel asked about her preparations for the three debates with Trump, Clinton said she's taking the match-up seriously but is getting ready for "wacky stuff."

Her first fundraiser Monday was at the home of Basketball Hall of Fame member Earvin "Magic" Johnson near Beverly Hills, with co-hosts including actors Denzel Washington and Samuel L. Jackson. The second fundraiser at the Beverly Hills home of Haim Saban, the chairman and CEO of the Saban Capital Group, Inc., whose assets include the Spanish-language television network Univision.

Tickets began at $2,700 per person, according to an invitation obtained by City News Service.

Like nearly all fundraisers for presidential candidates, the events were closed to reporters.

Clinton's visit began one day after the Republican National Committee released a 19-second paid web ad critical of "Hillary Clinton's liberal elite summer tour with frequent stops in Beverly Hills, Hollywood and Cape Cod."

Photo Credit: AP
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Connecticut Open Hosts Latino Day, Girls Day Out


While the competition continued Tuesday at the Connecticut Open in New Haven, local Latino youth learned about tennis from an all-time great.

A pioneer in the sport from Puerto Rico, Gigi Fernandez brought some impressive hardware to share with the children.

"I have some relics," she said. "These are my gold medals from Barcelona in ‘92 and Atlanta in 96."

The Olympic gold medals in women’s doubles tennis are just two of Fernandez’s many career achievements.

"When I first retired I didn’t really want much to do with tennis," Fernandez said, "I wanted to go away and have another life, and finally I just realized that I’m always going to be Gigi Fernandez tennis player. I decided to embrace it."

Now, Fernandez is an ambassador for the sport, inspiring the next generation of Latino tennis players.

"It’s about exposing kids to things that they’re not traditionally exposed to," said Junta Youth Community Organizer Juancarlos Soto. "Some of the kids have never even had the chance to see a tennis match or even like hold a racket."

After practicing the different skills it takes to compete, both Kiana Cintron and Karina Mullins said they’re hoping to spend more time on the tennis court.

"I’ve never played tennis before but I want to learn as a hobby, it’s fun," Mullins said.

The highlight of their day was meeting the Latina legend who won 17 major doubles titles.

"It was really crazy because I’ve never met anyone famous, so I was like oh my god," Cintron said of meeting Fernandez.

Fernandez said she is grateful for the chance to give back.

"I grew up in Puerto Rico, small island, smaller than Rhode Island," she said. "And I ended up in the Hall of Fame, so if you believe you can achieve."

For female tennis fans of all ages, the Courtside Club was the place to be Tuesday at the tournament.

For Girls Day and Night Out at the Connecticut Open, vendors selling tennis merchandise and fashion geared toward women took part in the Courtgirl Magazine lifestyle experience.

"This is really a great opportunity for brands that connect with us to be in front of these women and let them buy their clothes," said Courtgirl Magazine editor Marina Merzel.

Sally Calongne flew from Colorado to Connecticut to showcase Babolat’s new line of women’s apparel, tennis shoes and special starts and stripes tennis racket.

"It’s so nice to actually meet and talk to and get instant feedback," she said.

Barbara Lecocq from Stamford is a regular Courtgirl Magazine reader who checked out the lifestyle experience.

"I am a big wannabe tennis player," she said. "Still at my age I want to play."

Lecocq found a pair of tennis shoes on sale and filled up a goodie bag.

"I got this great skirt, the shirt the bag, there’s all kinds of freebies," she said. "It’s been wonderful event."

For the women competing in the tournament, this is their final tune-up before the U.S. Open.

The men’s legends matches are still to come this week, including Fairfield’s James Blake taking on the always entertaining John McEnroe on Thursday night.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Fact Check: Trump Twists Facts on Clinton's Immigration Plan


FactCheck.org is a non-partisan non-profit organization that will hold candidates and key figures accountable during the 2016 presidential campaign. FactCheck.org will check facts of speeches, advertisements and more for NBC.

Donald Trump’s new TV ad on immigration creates a misleading comparison, saying that under Hillary Clinton, “illegal immigrants convicted of committing crimes get to stay” but under Trump, “terrorists and dangerous criminals” are “kept out.” In fact, Clinton has said she would deport “violent criminals, terrorists, and anyone who threatens our safety.”

The Trump campaign did not respond to our questions about the ad. However, Clinton has supported measures, including the 2013 bipartisan Senate immigration bill, that would have allowed those living in the U.S. illegally who committed fewer than three misdemeanors, not including minor traffic violations, to stay — provided they met other requirements. This could be what the ad means by criminals “get to stay.”

If so, the ad, titled “Two Americas: Immigration,” misleads the viewer by contrasting Clinton’s plan with Trump’s proposal to keep “terrorists and dangerous criminals” out. That’s no different from what Clinton has proposed on illegal immigration. There are certainly different definitions of the word “dangerous,” but Clinton has used the same language in talking about whom she would deport. And the bill she supported barred convicted felons from becoming legal residents or citizens.

The Republican presidential nominee’s ad began airing Aug. 19 on a $4.8 million ad buy over 10 days in Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida, the campaign has said.

The ad begins with the narrator describing immigration “in Hillary Clinton’s America: The system stays rigged against Americans. Syrian refugees flood in. Illegal immigrants convicted of committing crimes get to stay. Collecting Social Security benefits, skipping the line. Our border open.”

In contrast, the narrator gives this description of “Donald Trump’s America”: “Terrorists and dangerous criminals: kept out. The border: secured. Our families: safe.”

We’ve written about a few of these claims before. Clinton hasn’t supported “open” borders, as the ad falsely implies. The 2013 Senate immigration bill — the most recent comprehensive immigration legislation, which Clinton has said she backed — would have made large investments in border security, including additional border fencing, and Clinton said during a Democratic debate in November, “Border security has always been a part of that [immigration] debate.” As we’ll explain later, the immigration plan on her website talks about deporting some individuals. That’s not an “open” border.

The ad also uses a deceptive image of people crowded on top of train cars when it says “our border open,” as if anyone and everyone could stream in legally. That’s not what Clinton has proposed or supported. The 2013 Senate bill would have set up a path to citizenship for those who had entered the country prior to Dec. 31, 2011.

The ad also leaves the impression that “illegal immigrants” would be “collecting Social Security benefits” under Clinton’s presidency, but that would only happen if those immigrants became citizens or had legal status. And that’s the case under current law. As we’ve explained before back in 2009 and 2006, those in the country illegally are barred from collecting Social Security. Once an immigrant gains legal status, then that person can get credit for the Social Security taxes he or she paid when working illegally.

As for whether Clinton would allow a “flood” of Syrian refugees, that’s a matter of opinion. Obama has authorized the acceptance of 10,000 Syrian refugees for fiscal year 2016, while Clinton has said the number should be as many as 65,000. For context, there are nearly 5 million Syrian refugees displaced by the country’s civil war, which began in 2011. And the U.S. is set to accept a total of 85,000 refugees from around the world in fiscal 2016.

Trump has said that no Syrian refugees should be admitted to the U.S., because terrorists may be among them, and Clinton has said the refugees should be admitted “only if we have as careful a screening and vetting process as we can imagine.”

The claim that piqued our fact-checking interest, though, was the assertion that under Clinton “illegal immigrants convicted of committing crimes get to stay.”

‘Criminals Stay’?

The ad includes a graphic that says “criminals stay” and a citation of “NBC News 7/9/16.” We tried internet and Lexis Nexis searches to find a relevant NBC News article on that day, but we came up empty. We asked the Trump campaign to point us to the article in question, and spokeswoman Hope Hicks told us over the phone that she would take a look at our emailed request. We have not received a response, but we will update this article if we do.

However, Clinton has talked about deporting criminals as part of her illegal immigration plan.

Clinton’s proposal says that she will send a plan to Congress that will include “a path to full and equal citizenship” within her first 100 days in office. That plan “will treat every person with dignity, fix the family visa backlog, uphold the rule of law, protect our borders and national security, and bring millions of hardworking people into the formal economy.”

The plan goes on to say that she would defend Obama’s executive orders to delay deportation for so-called DREAMers and the parents of citizens and lawful residents. But she specifically talks about deporting other immigrants, saying, she would “focus resources on detaining and deporting those individuals who pose a violent threat to public safety.”

During a March Democratic debate, Clinton was asked about allowing immigrants to stay if they lacked a criminal record. She said: “But if you are asking about everyone who is already here, undocumented immigrants, the 11-12 million who are living here, my priorities are to deport violent criminals, terrorists, and anyone who threatens our safety.”

In a speech to the National Immigrant Integration Conference in December 2015, Clinton also talked about “prioritiz[ing] whom to deport.” She said: “Dangerous criminals? Yes. DREAMers and their families? No.”

As for Trump, he initially talked about deporting all immigrants living in the country illegally, but his stance has recently softened. At a February debate, he said that all immigrants with illegal status “will go out,” adding that some will “come back legally.” Last November, he talked about using a “deportation force” to deport all of the estimated 11 million immigrants living here illegally.

But in an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly on Aug. 22, Trump said that “we’re going to get rid of all of the bad ones,” mentioning “gang members” and “killers,” and talked about using the existing deportation process for others. “As far as the rest, we’re going to go through the process, like they are now, perhaps with a lot more energy, and we’re going to do it only through the system of laws,” Trump said.

Trump described his deportation approach as similar to past administrations, including the current one. “What people don’t know is that Obama got tremendous numbers of people out of the country. Bush the same thing. Lots of people were brought out of the country with the existing laws. Well, I’m going to do the same thing and I just said that,” he told O’Reilly.

The candidates obviously differ on what to do about noncriminals who are illegally living in the United States: Clinton would create a path to citizenship, while Trump says he would keep existing laws and deportation processes. But as far as prioritizing whom to deport, both have said they’d focus on criminals and dangerous individuals.

What about the measures Clinton has supported in the past? The 2013 Senate immigration bill included a years-long path to citizenship, but that path would not have been available to those convicted of a felony, three misdemeanor crimes (not counting “minor traffic offenses”), a foreign crime or unlawful voting. Also, an individual would have been ineligible if there were “reasonable grounds to believe” that the person “is engaged in or is likely to engage after entry in any terrorist activity.”

That would mean that an immigrant in the country illegally who was convicted of two misdemeanors could have stayed under the bill — provided that person met other requirements including paying a $500 fine and back taxes. Becoming a citizen then required other measures, such as having a steady work history, knowing English, passing background checks and more.

The bipartisan legislation, also known as the “Gang of Eight” bill, said that it would be possible for the secretary of homeland security to waive the barring of those convicted of three misdemeanors for “humanitarian” or “public interest” reasons. Under federal immigration laws, a misdemeanor is an offense punishable by up to a year in prison.

There are similar exclusions for felons and other criminals in Obama’s executive order on deferring deportation for so-called DREAMers, those who came to the United States at a young age and are attending or have graduated from high school or have served in the U.S. military. Among the requirements to apply for a two-year deferral of deportation proceedings: “Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety,” according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Such language leaves open the possibility that some convicted criminals — if their offenses were misdemeanors and fewer than three — would be allowed to stay under the types of proposals Clinton has supported. But contrasting that with a Trump plan to keep out “terrorists and dangerous criminals” is a misleading comparison. Clinton, too, has said she would deport “dangerous” and “violent” criminals, “terrorists” and “anyone who threatens our safety.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Nazi-Looted Paintings Stay in SoCal


A judge has ruled in favor of a Southern California museum in its 10-year legal battle over the ownership of two German Renaissance masterpieces that were seized by the Nazis in World War II.

U.S. District Court Judge John F. Walter ruled last week that Pasadena's Norton Simon Museum, where the paintings "Adam" and "Eve" have been for more than 30 years, is the rightful owner of the two life-size oil-on-panel paintings.

The museum called the decision mindful of "the facts and law at the heart of the dispute," the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

Marei von Saher alleged that the paintings were seized from her father-in-law, Dutch Jewish art dealer Jacques Goudstikker, after his family fled Holland during the Holocaust.

The Norton Simon countered that it legally acquired the works in the 1970s from the descendant of Russian aristocrats who had them wrongly taken by the Soviet Union in the 1920s.

Lucas Cranach the Elder painted the works in around 1530. In 1971, they were acquired by the museum for $800,000, the equivalent of about $4.8 million today. They were appraised at $24 million in 2006.

Depicting mankind in the ominous moment before the biblical Fall, the painting's ownership battle, too, points to a period in human history fraught with uncertainty: a 20th-century Europe ravaged by war.

The dispute is one of many to emerge in recent years involving precious art looted by the Nazis.

The judge said that because Goudstikker's art dealership decided not to seek restitution for the works after the war, his family thereby abandoned their claim to the art.

"Obviously, Ms. von Saher is disappointed with the court's decision," representatives from her legal firm, who plan to appeal the decision, said in a statement to the Times.

They also criticized a legal motion exchanged with them by the museum's legal team, presenting evidence that von Saher's father was a member of the Nazi Party.

"Using this information in an attempt to discredit Ms. von Saher is nothing more than a distasteful device to evade responsibility for refusing to restitute artworks that were indisputably stolen from her husband's family," the attorneys said.

A statement from the Norton Simon Art Foundation said in part, "We take seriously the fiduciary responsibility to the public that our ownership of such important artworks confers. We have placed the panels on near-constant public display since 1971 and will continue to ensure they remain accessible to the public for years to come."

Photo Credit: Norton Simon Art Foundation

Fact Check: Clinton Campaign’s 'Kremlin' Deception


FactCheck.org is a non-partisan non-profit organization that will hold candidates and key figures accountable during the 2016 presidential campaign. FactCheck.org will check facts of speeches, advertisements and more for NBC.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, made the baseless insinuation that Donald Trump compromised national security by inviting a man with Russian ties to his intelligence briefing.

Appearing on ABC News’ “This Week,” Mook said Trump was accompanied to his first intelligence briefing on Aug. 17 by “someone who’s on the payroll of the Russia Times, which is a basically a propaganda arm of the Kremlin.” Mook claimed this “gentleman” — whom he did not name — “was sitting two seats away from Vladimir Putin” at RT’s 10th anniversary gala in December, and he demanded that Trump disclose “whether his advisers are having meetings with the Kremlin.”

Who is this mysterious, unnamed gentleman? The Clinton campaign told us Mook was referring to retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who until two years ago was director of the Defense Intelligence Agency under President Barack Obama.

Flynn is not “on the payroll of the Russia Times.” He was merely one of many speakers at RT’s anniversary conference on Dec. 10, 2015, in Moscow. RT is a Russian government-funded TV station once known as Russia Today.

Mook made his misleading assertion about Flynn shortly after he claimed that “real questions being raised about whether Donald Trump himself is just a puppet for the Kremlin.” Host George Stephanopoulos questioned Mook about that claim — which has been part of the Clinton campaign’s attacks on Trump ever since it was reported that Russia was likely behind the successful attacks on computer servers at the Democratic National Committee and the release of DNC emails.

Stephanopoulos: You’re saying he’s a puppet for the Kremlin?

Mook: Well, real questions are being raised about that. We — again, there’s a web of financial ties to the Russians that he refuses to disclose. We’ve seen over the last few week, him parroted Vladimir Putin in his own remarks. We saw the Republican Party platform changed. She saw Donald Trump talk about leaving NATO and leaving our Eastern European allies vulnerable to a Russian attack. The gentleman he brought with him to his security briefing just last week is someone who’s on the payroll of the Russia Times, which is a basically a propaganda arm of the Kremlin. He was sitting two seats away from Vladimir Putin at their 10th anniversary gala.

There are a lot of questions here. And we need Donald Trump to disclose all of his financial ties and whether his advisers are having meetings with the Kremlin.

Trump has praised Putin and has called for improved relations with Russia, but he has denied that he has had any financial ties with Russia beyond holding the Miss Universe Pageant in Moscow in 2013. Also, Trump’s personal financial disclosure report required of all presidential candidates does not show any investments in Russia.

However, Paul Manafort, who until last week was Trump’s campaign chairman, did have business dealings with Russian-aligned leaders in Ukraine, as uncovered by the New York Times. With Manafort gone, Mook redirected the campaign’s guilt-by-association attack on Trump by questioning Flynn’s associations with the Kremlin.

Trump was joined at his first intelligence briefing on Aug. 17 at FBI headquarters in New York City by Flynn and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. As Huffington Post wrote, Flynn “was paid by a Russian state-funded television network to speak at its 10th-anniversary gala,” and Putin attended that conference. Reuters reported that Flynn “was pictured sitting at the head table with Putin” at the conference.

In an Aug. 15 article, Flynn told the Washington Post that his speaking engagement was arranged by his speaker’s bureau and that he was paid for it. He said he was introduced to Putin, but did not speak to him.

Flynn was one of many speakers at the conference. Others included former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein and liberal U.S. media commentator Thom Hartmann.

Flynn sat for a one-on-one Q&A with RT correspondent Sophie Shevardnadze on the Islamic State terrorist group and the crisis in the Middle East. His conference topic coincided with the announcement that he is writing a book with Michael Ledeen on the Middle East called “The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies.”

The Clinton campaign provided no evidence that Flynn is “on the payroll” of RT or that he is “having meetings with the Kremlin,” as Mook alleged. It forwarded us a Politico story from May that said Flynn “makes semi-regular appearances on RT as an analyst.” Politico wrote that Flynn is “presumably” paid for those TV appearances, but the retired lieutenant general told the Post that he is not paid by RT or any other TV stations, because “I want to be able to speak freely about what I believe.”

Steve Sestanovich, a senior fellow for Russian and Eurasian studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, told us that Flynn’s appearance at the conference certainly raises a question about Flynn’s “judgment and good sense,” but it probably doesn’t make him a security risk.

Flynn served for more than three decades in the military, including in Afghanistan and Iraq. He became the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency under Obama in July 2012. He was asked to resign after two years and quickly became one of the Obama administration’s most vocal critics on foreign policy. “I was asked to step down,” Flynn admitted in an interview with Foreign Policy. “It wasn’t necessarily the timing that I wanted, but I understand.”

Trump reportedly considered Flynn during his search for a vice presidential candidate, but ultimately picked Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

The Clinton campaign certainly has legitimate questions it can raise about Trump’s foreign policy positions, such as his comments that he would “certainly look at” pulling the United States out of NATO, because it is “obsolete” and “is costing us a fortune.” But Mook goes too far in falsely claiming that Flynn is “on the payroll” of the government-funded Russia TV station and insinuating without evidence that the retired United States Army lieutenant general is a security risk.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Teen Survives 'Brain-Eating' Amoeba


A South Florida teen beat the odds to survive a brain-eating amoeba thanks to some quick-working doctors in Orlando.

Every brain-eating amoeba patient Dr. Humberto Liriano has ever treated died. The cases are so rare that only four people have survived in the past 50 years.

One of the survivors is 16-year-old Sebastian DeLeon, and talking about him brings Liriano to tears.

"We woke him up, we decided to take the breathing tube out and within hours he spoke," Liriano said Tuesday. "Since then he’s done very well. He’s walking, he’s speaking. I saw him already this morning. He’s ready to go home."

DeLeon was infected by swimming in a private lake in Broward County. He and his family were visiting theme parks in Orlando when he suffered brain-crushing headaches and severe light sensitivity.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says only four out of 138 people have survived being infected with the amoeba in the past 50 years, including DeLeon, according to the hospital's doctors.

Emergency room doctors at Orlando's Florida Hospital for Children first thought he had meningitis, but gut instinct pushed doctors to perform a spinal puncture test.

DeLeon tested positive for the amoeba and the race against the clock to save his life was on. Luck was on their side as amoeba-fighting drugs happened to be local.

"By 4:00, he was already cooled, intubated, in a coma and received all five medications," Liriano said.

For 10 days DeLeon has been recovering and getting stronger. He beat grim odds to a deadly reality that claims 97 percent of its victims.

"We are so thankful that God has given us the miracle through this medical team and this hospital for having our son back and having him full of life," mother Brunilda Gonzalez said. "He's a very energetic, adventurous, wonderful teen, and we are so thankful for the gift of life."

Photo Credit: DeLeon Family/Florida Hospital Orlando via AP

Back From Rio, Swimmer Jimmy Feigen Apologizes


U.S. Olympic swimmer Jimmy Feigen on Tuesday made his first public comments about the incident in Rio de Janeiro last week that involved Feigen, Ryan Lochte and two of their teammates.

In a written statement provided to NBC News, Feigen admitted to initially leaving out details of an early morning incident at a Rio gas station, saying he omitted the facts to police in an attempt to help Lochte.

The Aug. 14 encounter was initially described by Lochte as an armed robbery by men posing as police officers, but the tale soon unraveled into an embarrassing controversy.

By the time a judge ordered Lochte and Feigen to remain in Brazil, Lochte had already left. Feigen eventually paid almost $11,000 to a sports foundation and was allowed to leave Brazil.

Feigen also said he was given an option to pay a fine rather than wait the month in Brazil for the investigation to conclude, but the amount first suggested was the equivalent of $31,250 and 15 days of community service.

When Feigen and his attorneys rejected that offer as unreasonable, the prosecutor increased the proposed fine to the equivalent of $46,875, he said. The smaller agreement was eventually reached.

Photo Credit: Getty Images - AP

13-Year-Old Driver Jumps Wall in Hamden and Gets Stuck


A 13-year-old was behind the wheel of a car and crashed into a wall in Hamden Plaza on Dixwell Avenue in Hamden this morning. 

Police responded to the plaza around 6:30 a.m. and said the teen took the car from a family member without permission and five other juveniles were also in the car when the crash happened.

Some complained of minor injuries, but no serious injuries are reported.

The 13-year-old has been charged with operating a vehicle without a license and several other charges, but the owner of the car is not pressing charges,

Two of the other people in the car were charged with interfering with a police officer.

Video from the scene shows the car stuck with the front wheels moving.

All the juveniles were released to their parents.

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11 Training Weapons Stolen from State Police Shooting Range


Someone broke in and stole several simulation firearms from the state police firearms training unit in Simsbury, police said. 

Last Friday, Simsbury police responded to a burglary alarm at the Connecticut State Police Firearms Training Unit at 100 Nod Road but cleared the scene once they checked that the door was still locked, according to state police. 

Police believe the perpetrators forced entry on the second floor.

The following Monday around 7 a.m., troopers assigned to the training unit discovered 11 Sig Sauer P220s and 11 simulation magazines missing.

The weapons, used for training, are non-lethal and have been set up to shoot paintballs, however, they can be altered to fire ammunition, Connecticut State Police told NBC Connecticut. 

"We have had burglaries of state buildings in the past," Trooper First Class Kelly Grant said. "So, unfortunately, it is not uncommon. It's certainly not something we want."

Police said the guns are not black but instead, painted different colors. The training firearms can be identified by its serial numbers. 

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact state police at (860) 534-1000 or text TIP711 with the information to 274637. All tips can be made confidentially.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Police Search for Suspect in Waterbury Dunkin' Donuts Robbery


Police are looking for the suspects who they said robbed a Dunkin' Donuts in Waterbury earlier this week.

The man was caught on surveillance video robbing the store on 2586 E. Main Street on Monday night, police said. 

The suspect is described as a 5-foot-8-inches man with dark blonde hair and facial hair in his 20s. Police said he was accompanied by another man who was 5'7" wearing a white shirt, black hat and red shorts. 

Police said the suspects may have left the scene in a four-door tan/cream colored car.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Waterbury Police Department Detective Bureau at (203) 574-6941.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Militants Attack American University in Afghanistan


Two gunmen were killed at American University of Afghanistan in Kabul Thursday, hours after an attack that was launched against the school, NBC News reported. 

The attack began Wednesday evening when a car bomb was detonated a the university’s front gate. Multiple gunmen forced their way inside, according to Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi. 

Special forces responded and engaged the gunmen, and killed two attackers, a senior security official at the scene said. 

More than 30 students and staff were rescued, some with minor injuries, the security official said, and there appeared to be no more hostages. Several special forces were killed and injured, and a search continued for any other possible attackers or victims.

The university in Kabul is not affiliated with American University in Washington, D.C.

Photo Credit: AP
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Police Search for Teen Who’s Groping Women in Cheshire


Cheshire police are investigating several complaints about a teenage boy groping women in town and throwing them to the ground. Investigators have not yet identified a suspect and said the descriptions from all four incidents are similar.

Police received the first complaint in May. The woman said she was walking in the Strathmore Drive area when a young man ran up behind her and grabbed her buttocks. He fled on a bicycle and road into the woods, according to police.

The second victim said she was walking on the Linear Trail in the area of Lock 12 on June 2 when a young man on a bicycle pushed her to the ground, grabbed her buttocks, smiled and road away.

Police received yet another complaint in early June from a woman who was grabbed as she walked in the Strathmore Drive area.

She said a young man walked up behind her, grabbed her buttocks, smirked and walked back toward two other young men who were standing down the road.

The most recent incident happened on Monday. The woman said she too was walking in the Strathmore Drive area when she walked past a young man who was pacing. The woman and the teen said hello to each other and she continued on her way, but the teen grabbed her in a bear hug, threw her to the ground, grabbed her buttocks and pulled her shorts before the woman pushed the teen off of her, police said.

The woman who was attacked on Monday said the attacker was around 5-feet-9, 160 pounds, athletically built and appeared high school aged.

Several victims said the teen has braces and black hair that might be curly.

Police are following leads and encouraging people to use caution and walk or jog with someone.

If you have information about the attacks, call Cheshire Police at 203-271-5500.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

College Students Return on Shoreline


College students are starting to return to campus and it was a busy day on the shoreline Wednesday.

Aaron Pysher, a 19-year-old freshman from Bangor, Pennsylvania, moved in at the University of New Haven with a new Keurig and a smart TV.

“I’m excited to meet new people, get the year started and just have fun,” he said.

Isabella Días, a University of New Haven freshman from Valhalla, New York, was bringing in supplies to get her dorm room ready.

“I think it’s cozy and cute. I think I’m going to make it work,” she said.

Students also moved in at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, where about 5,000 students will be living on campus.

“A college campus without students just doesn’t feel homey. It’s nice to have them back,” Mark DeVilbiss, director of residential life at Quinnipiac University, said.

One of the new students at Quinnipiac is Lauren Mastropaolo, a freshman from Wading River, New York on Long Island.

“I’m excited and nervous at the same time,” she said.

Her mom is a little sad to see her daughter off to school, but managed a smile as they headed into her new dorm.

“It’s emotional, it’s been a tough time,” Janine Mastropaolo said. “But we’re really excited for her.”

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Trump Holds Campaign Rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds


Donald Trump is campaigning in the battleground state of Florida, where he will hold a rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

The campaign event comes a day after Trump suggested during a Fox News town hall in Texas that he is open to "softening" laws dealing with immigrants in the country illegally. It is the latest sign that the Republican presidential nominee is considering easing the hardline stance he has taken since the beginning of his campaign.

Trump will continue to urge African-American voters to support him and is also expected to reiterate his calls for the Justice Department to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the connection between Hillary Clinton's State Department and the Clinton Foundation, his campaign told NBC News.   

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