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From self-driving cars to 3D printing to hydrokinetic energy technology, New Englanders are at the forefront of the latest cutting edge tech. 

This hour, we explore the latest gadgets and tech trends and learn about their impact locally and around the globe.

Newly released government data paint a sobering picture of safety on the nation's roads and highways.

In 2015, the number of people who died in auto accidents reached 35,092, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a 7.2% increase over 2014. The last time there was such a large single-year increase was back in 1966 when Lyndon Johnson was president.

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Investigators say a short in the lighting of a ride at New London's Ocean Beach Park caused six kids to receive an electric shock Tuesday afternoon.

Jason Pack / Public Domain

Connecticut is one of several states that’s in the process of upgrading its emergency system. It will replace the outdated operation, which was built to respond to landline calls, and bring the system into the 21st century using new technology called Next Generation 911.

milindri/iStock / Thinkstock

Last month, several of Connecticut's 911 dispatch centers experienced temporary system outages. The blackouts occurred amid a multi-million-dollar upgrade to the state's legacy infrastructure -- an effort that has since been put on hold. This hour, we take a closer look at what happened and consider what's being done to bring 911 technology into the 21st century

Connecticut State Police

Investigators are trying to determine what caused a house to explode in Connecticut, injuring seven people, including four children, and sending debris flying.

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Connecticut-based health insurer Aetna is calling off its public insurance exchange expansion plans for next year as it becomes the latest big insurer to cast doubt on the future of a key element of the Affordable Care Act.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Connecticut officials have responded to the state’s opioid epidemic with solutions like expanded access to overdose prevention kits at pharmacies, and limitations on pain killer prescriptions. But much of the fight to save lives is taking place after business hours, and in the most directly affected communities.

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Each year, thousands of deer are killed on Connecticut roads and highways. Those collisions can lead to costly insurance claims, injuries, and deaths -- which made scientists wonder what would happen to deer, and to us, if an elusive carnivore came back to the northeast: the mountain lion. 

It's vacation season. Your suitcase is packed and you've got your tickets in hand. And if you're heading overseas, you may want to check to see if the State Department has issued a travel alert or warning for your destination. Hardly a week goes by that some warning isn't issued, about everything from natural disasters to terrorist threats. These warnings can have a sharp impact on travelers — and diplomatic relations.

President Obama and former President George W. Bush spoke at an interfaith memorial service this afternoon for the five police officers murdered in Dallas last week.

Bush, a resident of Dallas, noted that he interacts with law enforcement every day.

"We're proud of the men we mourn," he said.

Diane Orson

A former Branford Police Chief last week’s shooting in Dallas that left five officers dead and injured seven others could be a setback to cultural changes that have been underway in police departments nationwide.

Ray Rauth transplanted from New York City to Connecticut 30 years ago. Rauth thought he’d moved out to the country, but the roads near his home felt too dangerous for a quiet stroll.

On Tuesday, in Baton Rouge, La., 37-year-old Alton Sterling was shot by police. The next day, in Falcon Heights, Minn., police shot and killed 32-year-old Philando Castile. Both were black men, and videos of their deaths have been watched by millions online.

These two videos aren't special. And that's what's so heartbreaking. What do you do with that information as a black person — knowing that the graphic violent death of these men is not a special circumstance.

The Bahamas is advising its young male citizens traveling to the U.S. to "exercise extreme caution" in their interactions with police, following two recent high-profile police shootings of black men.

After sniper fire struck 12 police officers at a rally in downtown Dallas, killing five, police cornered a single suspect in a parking garage. After a prolonged exchange of gunfire and a five-hour-long standoff, police made what experts say was an unprecedented decision: to send in a police robot, jury-rigged with a bomb.

Betty Wants In / flickr creative commons

Since its discovery in 1900, adrenaline and pop-culture have gone hand-in-hand. From extreme sports, to the latest energy drinks, to pulse pounding Hollywood blockbusters, the rush of this hormone is portrayed in countless ways.

But these portrayals seldom tell the whole story. So what exactly is adrenaline, and why does our society seem so keen on celebrating it?

The Federal Aviation Administration issued the first operational rules to govern the commercial use of drones on Tuesday.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said this was a "huge step for innovation."

The 600-plus pages of new regulations require drone operators to pass a written exam every two years, keep the unmanned aircraft within sight and avoid flying it over people and at night. The rules also require drones to stay at least 5 miles from airports.

C-Span

Three days after 49 people were killed in a mass shooting inside an Orlando, Florida nightclub, Senator Chris Murphy held the floor of the U.S. Senate for nearly 15 hours to talk about gun violence.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

A new kind of water contamination has shown up all over the U.S., including New England.

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As Connecticut continues to deal with the consequences of opioid abuse, a new national survey says most people prescribed painkillers in America get more than they need -- and many are saving those pills for later use. 

rickpilot_2000, Wikimedia Commons

Two men have died and a woman and child had to be taken to a hospital after a party of four people set off from the beach at Hammonasset State Park Sunday evening.

In the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, Hillary Clinton told NPR that in order to counter "self-radicalization," she wanted to create a team "exclusively dedicated to detecting and preventing lone wolf attacks" and possibly even expand terrorist watch lists.

She also called for creating more "integrated intelligence use" among local, state and national law enforcement; "strengthening communication" with other countries; and working with Silicon Valley to "prevent online radicalization."

Chion Wolf / WNPR

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy said that by not acting to prevent mass shootings, Congress has become complicit in tragedies like the one in Orlando, Florida. 

A New York jury has found five corrections officers guilty of felony charges for brutally beating an inmate in 2012 at the notorious Rikers Island jail complex.

The five men were found guilty on all counts, including the most serious charge of attempted gang assault against inmate Jahmal Lightfoot. The beating left Lightfoot "with fractured eye sockets and a broken nose," Reuters reported.

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