SUNDAY MORNING UPDATE

BLUMENTHAL CO-SPONSORS BILL ON 1966 SPAIN H-BOMB ACCIDENT

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal is co-sponsoring a bill that would ensure health care and other benefits for military veterans who became ill from radiation exposure after responding to a 1966 accident involving U.S. hydrogen bombs in Spain.   The Connecticut Democrat announced the legislation this week. His co-sponsors are fellow Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Dianne Feinstein of California.  The Palomares Veterans Act of 2018 would create the presumption of a service-related disability for many of the 1,600 military members who responded to the accident near Palomares, Spain, and were denied benefits by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Ailing veterans are suing the VA.   Radioactive plutonium was released near Palomares in January 1966, after a U.S. B-52 bomber and refueling plane crashed. Four hydrogen bombs crashed but didn’t explode.

RHODE ISLAND LAND TRUST ACQUIRES LAND BORDERING CONNECTICUT

BURRILLVILLE, R.I. (AP) — A land trust in the northwest corner of Rhode Island says it has accepted a donation of land that borders Connecticut.  The Burrillville Land Trust said Friday it accepted 3.6 acres that was owned by a family in the western part of Burrillville, bordering the state line.  The land trust says the donation adds to the forest that surrounds the property and gives rare species the opportunity to thrive.   The land trust is fighting a plan to build a power plant in the town. In announcing the donation, the trust said that with all the turmoil going on, at least there’s good news about preservation.   The land trust, which started in 1999, says it has acquired more than 200 acres of land so far to protect the town’s rural character.

FATHER OF SON WITH RARE DISEASE GRANTED STAY OF DEPORTATION

Santiago Rodriguez pictured with parents Diana Cortez and Julian Rodriguez (ABC News)

NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal says a man living in Connecticut has been granted a stay of deportation for one year while his son is treated for a rare genetic condition.   Blumenthal and U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney appealed to federal immigration authorities on Julian Rodriguez’s behalf. The Connecticut Democrats argued it’s in the national interest to allow him to remain.   Rodriguez lives in New London with his wife, Diana, and son, Santiago. The couple fled violence in Colombia in 2000.   Santiago was born in 2003 with chronic granulomatous disease and requires intensive, regular treatment at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. The condition affects a person’s immune system, making them vulnerable to inflammation and infections.   Blumenthal says Diana Rodriguez and Santiago participate in important National Institutes of Health research.   The stay of deportation was granted Friday.

NEW RHODE ISLAND CASINO OPENS TO PUBLIC

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A new casino in Rhode Island has opened to the public. WPRI-TV reports that hundreds of people lined up at Twin River’s Tiverton Casino Hotel in Tiverton well before its 10 a.m. opening Saturday.   The casino has 1,000 slot machines and 32 table games.  It’s replacing the Newport Grand slots parlor, which closed Tuesday. Sports betting is expected to begin in Rhode Island in mid-November. The state recently agreed to a contract with Providence-based technology vendor IGT to run sports betting at Twin River’s casino in Lincoln and the Tiverton casino.   The Tiverton property includes an 84-room hotel.   The casino will operate around-the-clock for one year, after which a review will determine whether to make the hours permanent.   Local officials have praised the project for generating jobs and adding revenue.

2 DEAD IN HARTFORD SHOOTING

HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – Hartford Police said they are investigating an overnight shooting that left two people dead and a third gunshot victim.   Officers responded to 267 Hillside Avenue following a ShotSpotter activation on Sunday morning.  Police told Channel 3 that two men are dead, ages 28 and 34.   A third shooting victim, 24, suffered non-life-threatening injuries.   Officers arrived and dozens of people were outside of what appeared to be a house party.   Police believe the three men were specifically targeted and officers are working on developing suspects.

YALE HEALTH SCHOOL TO HOLD EVENTS IN RESPONSE TO OVERDOSES

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — The Yale School of Public Health is hosting a pair of events in response to the drug overdoses that affected dozens of people last month in a city park just outside the Ivy League university’s gates.   More than 100 people across the city of New Haven fell ill from overdoses on synthetic marijuana over the span of a couple days in mid-August.   One discussion Wednesday at the school of health involves city and community leaders on the topic of the public health response to drug overdoses.   The school is also hosting an event later in the day to teach people how to correctly administer naloxone, a medication designed to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

3 BEACHES CLOSED

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The state says three beaches are closed for the start of the long Labor Day weekend.   The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection issued a water quality report Saturday morning.   It says Kettletown beach in Southbury and Indian Well beach in Shelton are closed due to cyanobacteria. Commonly known as blue-green algae, cyanobacteria produce toxins that can cause headaches, fever, pains and nausea. It can be fatal for fish and dogs.   Wharton Brook in Wallingford is closed due to storm damage.   The department says all other beaches remain open for the holiday weekend.   It says the water quality report is the final report of the 2018 beach season.

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