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NJ Priest Suspended for Supporting Fired Teacher Who Married Partner


A gay priest in New Jersey has been suspended over his continued support of gay groups and, he says, for expressing support for a woman who was fired from a Catholic high school for marrying her partner.

The Rev. Warren Hall was fired last year as a chaplain at Seton Hall University after posting support online for a group that promotes marriage equality. He was later appointed to a parish in Hoboken, but Hall said Newark Archbishop John Myers suspended him Wednesday.

Newark Archdiocese spokesman James Goodness said that Warren is "not allowed to function as a priest in any way" and that all priests promise "reverence and obedience" to their bishops and support of church teachings.

Attorneys for Kate Drumgoole say Paramus Catholic High School violated the state's anti-discrimination law when it fired her as dean of guidance and head coach of the basketball team in January after learning she was married to a woman. The school said Drumgoole was fired because she's in a same-sex marriage — not because she's gay. A judge last week denied the school's request to dismiss the lawsuit.

Myers said in a statement Wednesday that he supported Paramus Catholic's decision because Drumgoole's same-sex marriage could "create confusion and uncertainty in the moral formation" of students.

Hall told the Religion News Service that his support of Drumgoole was one of the reasons he was suspended.

Hall said last year that he was fired from the Seton Hall job because of a photo he posted on his Facebook page supporting the NOH8 Campaign, an organization that promotes "marriage, gender and human quality." He then publicly announced that he is gay and has kept his vow of celibacy.

 Goodness said at the time that Hall was removed from Seton Hall because his assignment was ending but that the social media post was an "area of conflict" because of the group's advocacy for same-sex marriage. The problem was resolved when Hall removed the post from his page, Goodness said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Hamden Man Charged With 19 Counts of Animal Cruelty


Police have charged a man with more than a dozen counts of animal cruelty nearly two months after removing several cats from an abandoned apartment in Hamden, according to police. 

Police said they responded to 13 Augur St. in Hamden on July 6 to investigate a report of animal cruelty four days after Halfway Home Rescue went to the home and removed 16 cats from the third floor. Other cats in the home were found dead, according to police. 

The tenant, 36-year-old Aaron Wall, had moved out of the residence weeks earlier and left the cats behind without food or water, according to a news release from police. 

Police obtained a warrant charging Wall with 19 counts of cruelty to animals. Officers arrested him on Friday at work and brought him to the police department, where he was detained on a court-ordered $5,000 bond, 

He is scheduled to appear in court in Meriden on Sept 15. 

Photo Credit: Hamden Police

State Releases Decisions on Health Insurance Rate Increases


The state Department of Insurance has made decisions on proposals health insurance companies made to increase rates rate and state officials approved some rates, but denied some of the rate increases Anthem and ConnectiCare were looking for. 

The Insurance Department issued rulings Friday on 17 rate filings from 12 companies that sell individual and small group plans that cover nearly 300,000 people in Connecticut. 

Anthem Health Plans and ConnectiCare were two of the three companies to go through public hearings for individual rates and Insurance Commissioner Katharine L. Wade decided that the rates were excessive and ordered the companies to resubmit their calculations by than Sept. 7. 

The ConnectiCare rate proposal the Insurance Department denied was a 43.3 percent increase to the individual off-exchange plans that would have affected more than 37,000 people. 

Anthem has also been ordered to resubmit its calculation for its small group rates, which were not part of the hearing process. 

“The Department conducted thorough actuarial reviews on each rate request and, as in years past, was able to reduce some of the proposed increases. However, the Connecticut market is experiencing what other states have seen this year - rising health care costs, increased demand for services and significantly higher prescription drug costs. Therefore, in some cases higher rates were actuarially justified,” Commissioner Wade said in a statement. “Under the ACA more people are covered and more are using their insurance. That increased demand for services, sunset of the federal reinsurance program and volatility in the ACA’s risk adjustment program have had a major impact on rates for next year.”

Officials from the Insurance Department said the rate approvals are higher on average than what the department has allowed over the past few years. The average increase the Department has permitted over the last three years has been 8.77 percent for the individual market and 4.91 percent for the small group market. 

There are several factors to the increases, according to the Insurance Department, which said they relates to the cost of services, demand for services, severity of services and high prescription drug prices. 

In the last three years the impact of trend has been in the single digits, but this year, it has risen to 10 percent or more. 

In addition to rising medical costs, the rates reflect the impact of the elimination of federal payments to insurers as part of a program to stabilize premiums in the first three years of the Affordable Care Act. Insurers received funds to off-set costs from the expected high-cost claims of the newly insured. 

“We understand that these rates will have an impact on consumers and their household budgets and we need to continue to look for ways to address costs while focusing on quality and access. We view this as an opportunity to examine benefit design and encourage the use of networks that will achieve cost savings. Consumers need choices – abundant choices – of plans that are ACA compliant,” Commissioner Wade said in a statement. “The Department will continue to work with the Governor’s office, our federal partners, Access Health CT, carriers, advocates and others to ensure that consumers have access to quality health care and more choice of plans,” the statement from the Insurance Department says. 

Following is the list of decisions and the rate chart.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File

Thomaston Man Had More Than 50 Child Porn Images on DropBox: Police


A Thomaston man allegedly had more than 50 images of child pornography on a popular off-site file storage system, police said.

In January, police were notified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about someone in Connecticut with hundreds of inappropriate photos and videos of children saved using DropBox.

Police were able to identify Patrick Dineen, of Thomaston, as the owner of the account. 

Dineen allegedly had images and videos of children, ranging from the ages of two to 15 years old, performing lewd acts, Connecticut State Police said. 

The 52-year-old was charged with first-degree possession of child pornography and his bond was set at $25,000. 

Photo Credit: Connecticut State Police

Hartford DPW Worker Arrested After Shooting Incident


A Hartford Department of Public Works employee is facing charges after a shooting incident in Hartford in July, according to police.

Police said they responded to a shooting that occurred in a parking lot on Westland Street on July 9.

On Thursday, police obtained an arrest warrant for Stacy Asberry, a Hartford DPW employee, as the shooting suspect who exchanged gunfire with a second suspect, according to police.

The second suspect has not been charged yet. 

Asberry has been charged with first-degree criminal attempt assault, unlawful discharge, carrying a pistol without a permit, having weapons in a motor vehicle and first-degree reckless endangerment. His bond was set at $200,000. 

Hartford Police said Asberry has five previous arrests in the city. 

After the arrest, Asberry has been put on unpaid leave. Police said the DPW will review the incident next week through the proper administrative process. 

Photo Credit: Hartford Police

Police Losing Battle to Get Drivers to Put Down Their Phones


State troopers in Chattanooga, Tennessee, have been known to patrol in a tractor-trailer so they can sit up high and spot drivers texting behind the wheel.

In Bethesda, Maryland, a police officer disguised himself as a homeless man, stood near a busy intersection and radioed ahead to officers down the road about texting drivers. In two hours last October, police gave out 56 tickets.

And in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, south of Boston, an officer regularly tools around town on his bicycle, pedals up to drivers at stoplights and hands them $105 tickets.

Texting while driving in the U.S. is not just a dangerous habit, but also an infuriatingly widespread one, practiced both brazenly and surreptitiously by so many motorists that police are being forced to get creative — and still can't seem to make much headway.

"It's everyone, kids, older people — everyone. When I stop someone, they say, 'You're right. I know it's dangerous, but I heard my phone go off and I had to look at it,'" said West Bridgewater Officer Matthew Monteiro.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates nearly 3,500 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers in the mainland U.S. and Puerto Rico in 2015, up from almost 3,200 in 2014. The number of deaths in which cellphones were the distraction rose from 406 in 2014 to 476 in 2015.

But many safety advocates say crashes involving cellphones are vastly underreported because police are forced to rely on what they are told by drivers, many of whom aren't going to admit they were using their phones.

"You don't have a Breathalyzer or a blood test to see if they are using their phones," said Deborah Hersman, president and chief executive of the National Safety Council and former chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board. "Certainly, law enforcement can ask people, 'Can I see your phone?' but people can refuse, so they then have to get a search warrant."

Forty-six states have laws against texting while driving that typically also ban sending or reading email, using apps or engaging in other internet activity. Fourteen states bar drivers from using hand-held cellphones for any activity, including talking.

While efforts to discourage texting have increased in recent years, the consensus among police, safety advocates and drivers is that the problem is only getting worse.

In New York, texting tickets soared from about 9,000 in 2011 to nearly 85,000 in 2015. In Massachusetts, they rocketed from about 1,100 to a little over 6,100 over the same period. In California, the number of people found guilty of texting while driving climbed from under 3,000 in 2009 to over 31,000 in 2015.

Everywhere they look, police see drivers staring at their phones.

"We did see one driver who had two phones going at one time — one in his left hand and one in his right hand, with his wrist on the steering wheel," said Lt. Paul Watts, a Virginia state trooper.

West Bridgewater Police Chief Victor Flaherty said: "We've seen cars in trees. We've had two houses hit within three weeks. We had a car off the road 100 yards before it hit a parking lot."

Enforcement is difficult, in part because it's hard to prove texting violations in states that allow drivers to talk on hand-held cellphones.

"For the normal officer, in a car, it's very difficult to tell if someone is texting or just using their phone in another way," Flaherty said.

In Florida, texting is a secondary offense, meaning that even if police spot drivers texting, they can't be stopped unless the officer sees another violation, such as speeding. Police gave out just 1,359 citations for texting in 2015.

Drivers have also become sneakier. Instead of resting their phones against the steering wheel, they hold them down low to make it more difficult for police to see what's going on.

"Some people call it the red-light prayer because their heads are bowed and they are looking down at their laps with a nice blue glow coming up in their face," said Chris Cochran, a spokesman for the California Office of Traffic Safety.

In New York, some lawmakers proposed equipping police with a device called the Textalyzer. An officer investigating a crash could use it to check the driver's phone for any activity before the wreck. The idea ran into legal objections and has not been put to a vote.

Fines for first offenses range from $20 to $500. In some states, such as New York, drivers caught texting also get points on their driving record, which can lead to higher insurance rates.

Some states have increased the penalties, including Louisiana, which raised its fine for first-time offenders from $175 to up to $500. But safety advocates have focused more on pushing for better enforcement, said Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association.

Surveys show that most drivers know the dangers of using their phones while driving but that many do it anyway.

Jay Winsten, director of the Center for Health Communication at Harvard's School of Public Health, is working on a major media campaign against distracted driving. The center spearheaded the successful 1980s campaign that promoted the use of designated drivers to combat drunken driving.

In addition to warning drivers not to use their phones, the new campaign will promote defensive driving, urging motorists to watch out for distracted drivers.

"We're trying to get the attention of people by not talking to them as the villain, but rather as the other guy," Winsten said.

In the meantime, Officer Monteiro can't pedal his bike fast enough to get to all the drivers he sees texting. One day, he caught a teenager playing Pokemon Go on his phone while driving. Another time, he caught a woman watching YouTube videos. Both got slapped with $105 tickets. The teenager also faces a 60-day suspension of his license.

Vinny Fiasconaro, 30, got a warning after Monteiro saw him using the calculator on his phone at a stop sign. Fiasconaro shook his head sheepishly.

"I was in the wrong," he said. "You should be focusing on the road. You should pay attention."

Photo Credit: AP

Route 30 in Vernon is Closed After Car Hits Pole

'No Threat' to Water Supply Following Chemical Spill


The Southington Water Department said there is "no imminent threat" to its ground water supply following a 400-gallon chemical spill at a metals company. 

Last week, Southington fire officials said they are in the "final phases" of cleanup efforts for a 400-gallon chemical spill at a metals company last week.

Officials have been investigating since the accident, when hexavalent chromium discharged from the roof vents of the Light Metals Coloring company on Spring Street and said they have recovered all material that they can recover. 

On Friday, Southington Water said after DEEP's remediation process and sample results from the Quinnipiac River, the town will reactive two wells that were temporarily turned off after the spill. 

The water department said it will continue to perform weekly samples of the Quinnipiac River and the well sites for the next three months.

Sample results will be made available upon request. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Stamford Man Makes Threatening Phone Call to Sandy Hook School


A man is being accused of making a threatening phone call to the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, before the first day of school.

On August 15, a man called the main office of the new school and asked when the first day was, Newtown police said.

After being told the school year starts Aug. 29, the caller made a threat against Sandy Hook School for that day, police said. The old Sand Hook elementary was demolished after 20 children and six adults were killed by a gunman in 2012.

An investigation found that the telephone number originated from a nearby town and police were able to identify Pierre Beauvil, 28, as the caller, police said.

On Friday, police arrested Beauvil, of Stamford, and believe he may be responsible for a number of other school threats. 

Beauvil has been charged with first-degree threatening, second-degree harassment and breach of peace. His bond was set at $150,000 and he is expected to appear in court on Sept. 27. 

Attorney information for Beauvil was not immediately available. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Facebook Satellites Part of Plan for Internet in Space


On Thursday, a SpaceX rocket, along with a satellite leased in part by Facebook, were destroyed in a launch pad explosion at Cape Canaveral. The explosion, in which no people were harmed, occurred during preparation for a launch that had been scheduled for Saturday. 

A Facebook spokesperson said the company was “disappointed by the loss” of the Israeli-built Amos 6 satellite. The portion of the satellite that Facebook had leased would have served to bring internet access to parts of sub-Saharan Africa, NBC News reported, as a part of Facebook's mission to connect people around the world through the Internet.

Both Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk have discussed plans to use low-orbit satellites to bring high-speed internet access to the many regions of the planet that don't have it. While building a space-based internet is not a new idea, it's one that has taken off once again largely due to new technology and lower launch costs.

"Now with even faster computers and cheaper satellites, there is a whole lot of interest in creating a bunch of new systems to do this," James Muncy, co-founder of the Space Frontier Foundation, told NBC News.

Photo Credit: Frank Jakubetz

Person Jumps Off I-91 in Windsor

Connecticut Shoreline Prepares For Hermine’s Potential Impact


As Tropical Storm Hermine moves up the Atlantic Coast over the Labor Day weekend, West Haven Emergency Management Director and Deputy Fire Chief Scott Schwartz will closely track the storm’s path.

"We'll call in more crews if needed," he said. "This is really one of those it's wait and watch."

A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the immediate Connecticut shoreline over the next few days.

Govenor Dannel Malloy is urging shoreline residents to closely monitor the forecast in their communities.

"Based on Hermine’s current projected path, we do not believe it will have a major impact on the state, but it does have the potential to produce some gusty winds and minor to moderate coastal flooding, especially in low-lying areas along the shoreline," Malloy said in a statement Friday. "Power outages are also a possibility with this storm."

At the start of the summer, West Haven used federal funding to replenish beaches that lost sand during Irene and Sandy. Now, beach erosion is a major concern if Hermine produces heavy rains along the shoreline, Schwartz said.

"We just refurbished all the sand into the shoreline area from FEMA and with (Hermine) sitting there it might erode all that sand away again," Schwartz said.

At the Port Milford marina, longtime boater Rick Zini said he changed plans to take his family’s Italian motor yacht onto Long Island sound through Monday.

"Biggest concern is not being caught in the storm," Zini said. "You never want to try and outrun a storm cause you never will."

Zini said he is hoping to take advantage of good conditions Friday and Saturday.

"Weather is always a concern," Zini said. "You have to safe boat all the time, so you prep for the worst and hope for the best."

While Hermine is not projected to directly hit the shoreline, the Port Milford staff is still taking some precautions.

“We've looked around at the docks and we’re checking boats to make sure they’re tied up well,” manager Steve Davis said.

In case Hermine’s impact is greater than expected, Schwartz said the city may activate its emergency operations center and utilize the reverse 911 system.

"If we tell you to get off the shoreline," Schwartz said. "You need to get off the shoreline. We don’t want to put our men in danger, but if we have to come in a rescue you, we will."

Schwartz said shoreline residents headed out of town for the long weekend should make sure outside property is secure so it does not blow around if the winds pick up.

In case coastal roads flood, Schwartz said drivers should turn around and avoid getting stuck.

3 Common STDs Are Becoming Harder to Treat


In the United States, drug-resistant gonorrhea is a public health problem of national concern. But untreatable gonorrhea isn't the only STD that has health officials worried, according to an NBC News report.

Earlier this week, the World Health Organization released new treatment guidelines for three common sexually transmitted diseases — chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis — in response to increasing antibiotic resistance.

Gonorrhea has developed the strongest resistance to drugs, according to the WHO, but the worries about untreatable syphilis and chlamydia come at a time when rates for the three STDs are rising rapidly in the U.S, especially among young people ages 20 to 24.

Gonorrhea is even starting to show decreased susceptibility to a "last line" treatment option. This makes this bacterium a multidrug-resistant organism, often called a "superbug."

Photo Credit: AP, File

Stonington Marina Preparing for Hermine


Boats were under control approaching Stonington Harbor Friday afternoon, but people on the Point remember when a storm surge was overpowering.

"It was unbelievable," said Anna Timken. "The amount of power that was behind the waves and the amount of boats that weren't taken out of the water in time we're coming up onto the lawns of people's houses."

Seafood Etcetera in Pawcatuck suffered during a storm six years ago. The seafood needs electricity for refrigeration or else.

David Ero recalled, "We had actually lost power here. We had to come in, take everything out of the coolers, we had to transport them, it was a process . It took a lot of hours and we lost a lot of product."

Atop the Stonington Police Department is the emergency operations center. Stonington High School across the street is a shelter, but officials encourage people to prepare to stay home without power.

"One of the big things we try to do is get people to shelter in place. Unless they're being flooded or something serious has happened to their property try to stay in place," said George Brennan of Stonington Emergency Management.

Brennan said high winds could break tree branches loaded with leaves, knocking out power lines and blocking roads with lumber and live wires.

"We want the people to remember if there's a wire on it, I don't care if they think it's a telephone wire, stay away," Brennan said. "If you got a puddle, don't go through it, cuz you might not get out of it."

Brennan said the town government plans to use its Everbridge mass notification system, via phone, text message, or email, to inform people to start thinking about preparing for the storm.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Haddam Neck Fair Set for Labor Day Weekend


In its 105th year the Haddam Neck Fair is ready for weather good or bad. One of the directors says it would take more than some wind or rain to close the fairgrounds. 

"A hurricane that hit us directly on," said Angie Tegge. "That would probably be just about it."

With exhibits of animals such as a silver spangled hen inside its buildings, the fair will have things to see and do that aren't weather dependent. 

"Once these gates open it's just fun and family," Tegge said. 

But before the gates opened workers set up carnival rides for opening night Friday.

Haddam Neck Fair has attractions in all directions.

New this year is a lumberjack show.

"Among other things they'll be doing axe versus chain saw," Tegge said. "They will go up on poles and I guess they will be jumping on the poles and cutting wood."

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

PD Union Threatens 49ers Boycott


Colin Kaepernick's decision to sit during the national anthem in protest of racial injustice and police brutality, as well as his critical words directed at officers across the nation, have the Santa Clara police union saying its officers might stop working San Francisco 49ers home games.

NBC Bay Area obtained a letter, penned by union members, to the San Francisco 49ers stating that if the organization does not take action against Kaepernick, "it could result in police officers choosing not to work at your facilities." 

The Santa Clara Police Department is the lead police agency at Levi’s Stadium. During 49er games, around 70 officers volunteer to work and are paid as security personnel. Now it is unknown whether more than half of those officers will show up at the team's next game on Sept. 12.

"I'm already hearing it this week that next week on Monday Night Football, some officers are not going to work," said Frank Saunders, president of the Santa Clara Police Officers Association.

According to the union, about one-third of the officers who work during 49ers games are from other Bay Area law enforcement departments. If Santa Clara's police officers refuse to work, others officers might be hired. But, Saunders said, that may create a conflict with the city’s contract with the police union.

Officers are angered by Kaepernick's comments about police brutality and accusations that officers "murder minorities." They are also frustrated by the San Francisco quarterback's decision to wear socks during practice that depict pigs in police uniforms, according to the association.

"The 49ers are allowing this to come out from an employee and it's making for a hostile work environment for us at the stadium," Saunders said.

The union's letter also stated that its board of directors have "a duty to protect its members and work to make all of their workings environments free of harassing behavior."

The San Francisco 49ers organization reiterated Friday night that it stands behind a statement it made immediately following reports of Kaepernick's decision to sit down during the playing of the national anthem before San Francisco preseason game against Green Bay last week.

In that statement, the franchise said, "In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose to participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem."

But Saunders wants the team to treat the quarterback like any company would treat an employee.

"It was a totality of all those circumstances that we felt, 'Let's go talk to the 49ers. Let's have them go deal with" Kaepernick, he said.

Kaepernick’s decision not to stand has triggered a firestorm of comments on social media, in the Bay Area and across the nation. Local police agencies invited Kaepernick over to see their work in action, while many of the quarterback’s colleagues in the NFL said they disagree with his decision not to stand — though some of said they support him.

Some American military veterans, many of them black, came to his defense online, using the hashtag #VeteransForKaepernick to indicate that they supported his right to express himself. And Kaepernick pledged to donate $1 million to as-yet unnamed community organizations.

NBC Bay Area has reached out to the Santa Clara Police Department and city officials for comment, but has yet to hear back.

NBC Bay Area's Brendan Weber contributed to this report.

Read the Santa Clara Police Officers Association's entire letter here:

Photo Credit: AP Photo, file

Firefighter Health Database Proposed to Combat Cancer


A new study shows firefighters are more prone to getting cancer because of the necessities of their job. Now a Connecticut senator is proposing a bill that could potentially help monitor firefighters health in order to help increase cancer awareness.

Vice President of the Hartford Firefighter Association Russell Cook said he's seen a lot of fires in his 14 years. But it's the invisible toxins hidden in billowing smoke that worries him for the future

"There is different routes of exposure. We can get it through our skin even through our hands when we touch our dirty gloves. There’s so many different ways,” said Vice President of the Hartford Firefighter Association Russell Cook.

Cook along with his comrades crowded outside Hartford’s South Green Station Friday morning as senator Richard Blumenthal introduced the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act.

The act would introduce a health database for firefighters to voluntarily share information with the CDC. The database aims at monitoring potential risks and causes of cancer from fighting fires.

"Cancer is a cause for concern for every firefighter who runs into a burning building,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal.

A five year study headed the by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health shows firefighters are more prone to getting digestive, oral, respiratory, and urinary cancers. Also, the study shows the more runs firefighters make, the higher the chance of death from leukemia.

"It's an opportunity to track during our entire careers, this is where I may have been exposed to this, this is how I could've gotten cancer,” said Cook.

Blumenthal did not have the exact cost of the database and says the program would make use of computer systems the CDC already has.

As for cook who knows looks can be deceiving. He hopes the database finds hidden risks and trends he may miss.

"When we leave we expect to be safe, we expect to be healthy…We don't know what we're taking home with us,” said Cook.

If passed, Connecticut would be the first state to have this database. Blumenthal said it could be up by the end of the year.

Photo Credit: NBC 7

Police Warn Glastonbury Residents of Check Fraud


Glastonbury Police are investigating a series of checks stolen from businesses' mailboxes,then duplicated and cashed in.

Tony Intino is the chief operating officer at EA Quinn Landscape Contracting.

He said the company was notified by their bank that there was a duplicate check number cashed in.

"That two checks cleared that had a previous check number. So that raises a red flag that’ something’s wrong," said Intino.

When the company’s bank looked into the problem, they discovered three checks were fraudulently cashed in, all for about $2,500 each, causing a total mess with its bank account.

"We immediately had to put a stop on our bank account. Open a new bank account to start moving checks through so what the bank was doing was every check that cleared our existing checking account they would contact us ask if it was ok did it look right so for a week or so it was a pain," said Intino.

Turns out they weren’t the only company hit – Glastonbury Police said businesses in the areas of Commerce Street, Kreiger Lane, Oak Street and Sycamore Street were victims, too.

Police said the suspects would successfully cash the duplicate checks across banks in Connecticut and Massachusetts and the real checks were stolen from businesses’ mailboxes.

Police said the duplicates are made out to individuals all at about $2,500 each.

As for how the perpetrators signed the checks -- police said suspects trace the real issuer’s signature.

Intino suggests businesses to check in with their bank for any unusual activity.

Police are requesting them to monitor their mail and to notify investigators if you see anyone suspicious attempting to open mailboxes.

Group Plotted Chemical Attack During Rio Games: Documents


Twelve people suspected of discussing plans to attack the Rio Olympics, including a "biochemical attack" on a water reservoir, were indicted in Brazil Friday, a source close to the investigation told NBC News.

The men were arrested in a series of anti-terrorism raids in late July, a couple of weeks before the Olympic Games. The group pledged allegiance to an ISIS offshoot, authorities said.

Brazil's Justice Minister at the time called the poorly organized group "absolutely amateur" with "no preparation at all." The source said the plot was more serious than initially described.

The men allegedly discussed a plan to contaminate one of Rio de Janeiro's water reservoirs to attack the Games, according to court documents reviewed by NBC News.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File

'I Don't Know What to Expect': East Haven Braces for Hermine


People in East Haven spent a beautiful summer night preparing for what might be headed their way.

The concern along the shore is damage caused by potential storm surge and strong winds associated with Hermine.

Pam Walter’s dream of living by the shore recently came true in East Haven.

After a summer of lounging by the Sound, she’s now focused on Hermine possibly threatening her paradise at Cosey Beach.

“I don’t know what to expect. I’m kind of scared and nervous at the same time,” said Walter.

Next door and over the fence Rita Mustakos knows all too well the ritual of storm preparations.

“I’m trying to put some of the things away in case we do have the strong winds it doesn’t get blown away,” said Mustakos.

No one is expecting anything like what hit this area during Irene and Sandy. Dozens of homes were destroyed or damaged.

“We got hit both by Sandy and Irene. And the whole sea wall was down. That where the grass is was a great, big gaping hole,” said Mustakos.

Many of the homes were rebuilt, more resilient to the power of the water and wind.

On Friday people were taking Hermine in stride, even enjoying a trip to the beach or a snack at the Sandpiper Restaurant.

Owner Bobby Bertsos hopes the storm does not strike during this typically last busy weekend of the season.

“Just keeping an eye on it, see what happens and take it from there,” says Bertsos.

One concern here is the potential storm surge of at least one to two feet.

That could be especially problematic around the times of high tide on Sunday afternoon around two and the high tide early Monday morning around two.

Photo Credit: AP
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