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Federal health officials are urging all Americans to get their flu shots as soon as possible, and are especially concerned that too few elderly people are getting vaccinated.

"Flu is serious. Flu is unpredictable," Dr. Thomas Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters during a joint briefing Thursday with the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. "Flu often does not get enough respect."

States that have legalized marijuana are contending with a new criminal tactic — smugglers who grow and process it for export to states where it’s illegal and worth a lot more.

David Wojnarowicz / Courtesy the William Benton Museum of Art at UConn

Three exhibitions at the University of Connecticut explore the social and political history of HIV/AIDS and mark 35 years since the first cases were diagnosed.  

Get ready, America.

The White House wants you to know that the era of self-driving cars is closer than you might expect. And the federal government is preparing to roll out the rules of the road that officials say are needed to make sure automated vehicles are safe, accessible and efficient. And if done properly, they say the new vehicles will save time, money and lives.

They also say they want to avoid a "patchwork" of regulations that differ from state to state.

The state’s latest employment numbers sound a warning note for growth, with the state's largest business organization calling them "bitterly disappointing." But experts at the Department of Labor still believe the state’s fundamentals are still improving.

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Thanks to the restless and inquiring mind of Colin McEnroe, many of us have been recently thinking about the following questions: Is the rock era over? 

Shever & Kimmrs / Creative Commons

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Rhode Island and Connecticut both had their warmest summers on record this year. As climate change continues to progress, a panel of scientists is arguing there's an urgent need to improve the way we forecast the impact of climate change. 

Between his bands The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather, as well as his more recent solo work, Jack White has won 12 Grammy awards and sold millions of albums.

If you're like me, somewhere in your house you imagine there must be a pile of lost white iPhone earbuds. The pile is probably right next to the stack of single socks. It's one of several reasons I never liked wireless Bluetooth headphones. They're smaller and even easier to lose.

Cali / flickr creative commons

The participants are average citizens: school teachers, waiters, pharmacists, perhaps even your neighbor. By day they work and pay their bills, but when they return home, things change. These elite individuals go to work forecasting the outcomes of global events (sometimes years into the future), all at the direction of a little-known government intelligence agency called IARPA.

Your Dilapidated Barn Is Super Trendy. Just Ask HGTV

Sep 1, 2016

Larry Gerdes is having his barn taken down and disassembled in Malta Bend, Mo. It's about the size of a three-car garage but stands much taller in a clearing surrounded by 6-foot stalks of corn.

The barn's exterior is graying, part of its roof is missing, and there's a gaping hole looking out from the hayloft. It's about 100 years old, and it's not really useful.

"It's deteriorated and it would cost a lot of money to repair it," Gerdes says. "And it doesn't fit into modern farming. Unless you got two cows to let them loaf inside, nothing fits, and it's just obsolete."

DBen / Wikimedia Commons

As General Electric becomes a Massachusetts company, the health of Connecticut’s economy is once again coming into question. But the indicators show a mixed picture. 

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You've probably heard of MDs, medical doctors, but what about another type of physician: NDs? Naturopathic doctors now want to be allowed prescribing rights in Connecticut.

Sean McMenemy / Creative Commons

Most people know that at the DMV you can register your car, get new license plates and obtain a driver’s license. But did you know you can register to vote? Beginning this week, if you’re renewing your license or getting a Connecticut issued ID, you’ll be asked if you want to register to vote at the same time.

This hour, we talk with Secretary of State Denise Merrill about this new voter registration system. We also ask her about the local primaries that took place on Tuesday, and the latest Election Performance Index from the Pew Charitable Trust that ranked Connecticut fifth in the nation.

Churchgoing Americans say their preachers often speak out on hot social and political issues and occasionally back or oppose particular candidates in defiance of U.S. law prohibiting such endorsements.

Henry Zbyszynski / Creative Commons

As the oldest part of our country, New England has dozens of historic house museums. These famous living quarters tell the stories of the early colonists, prominent artists, social activists and influential authors. They give us a glimpse into these icons' daily lives.

But historic house museums aren’t just about old dining rooms and fine china. This hour, we learn about how some museums are trying new and creative approaches to tell the stories of the past, to keep visitors coming through their doors, and to keep donors enthusiastic. 

It's official. The Zika virus has established a toehold in Florida.

Fourteen people likely caught Zika in a neighborhood north of downtown Miami, health officials said Monday. That means mosquitoes in that area have picked up the virus and are spreading it.

Zika can cause severe birth defects if a woman is infected at anytime during pregnancy.

So the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is doing something it has never done before: issuing a travel advisory to a part of the continental U.S. because of an outbreak of an infectious disease.

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A complaint filed with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, and later withdrawn, described a culture of surveillance and fear at Bridgewater Associates in Westport

The state’s largest business organization recently released its first survey exclusively aimed at small businesses. The Connecticut Business and Industry Association's survey found that hiring was up, but it also found small businesses have some bones to pick with their state legislators.

It's really hot in most of the mainland United States right now. The National Weather Service predicts temperatures in the triple digits through the weekend in much of the South, Midwest and along the East Coast.

The culprit: a "heat dome."

It's a real meteorological event — the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration even took the time to define it in the agency's warning this week:

Chris Potter / Creative Commons

The latest jobs report released by the Connecticut Department of Labor showed the state added 7,900 new jobs in June, but there was a revision to the May numbers showing a loss of 4,000 jobs.

That leaves gains of about 2,000 jobs a month for the last two months.

When most of us think about computer hacking, we picture Julian Assange leaking government secrets or a shadowy, bad-shave crook in some former Soviet republic hoovering up credit card info from a chain store. But while folks like these do stir up all manner of trouble, a much deeper danger lies elsewhere.

It's only been out a week, but Pokémon Go is making more money than a Meowth using Pay Day.

Albert Ter Harmsel / Creative Commons

Drought conditions are affecting much of the northeast. In Connecticut, the entire state is either abnormally dry or experiencing moderate drought, with the driest parts in Hartford County, New Haven County, and most of Litchfield County.

Federal authorities said that large parts of New York and Massachusetts are among the hardest hit by the dry weather. 

Pokemon Go Is Catching Us All — In Unexpected Ways

Jul 11, 2016

It's been an eventful weekend for Pokémon trainers — even without Team Rocket around.

After being released Wednesday, the mobile app Pokémon Go is currently the top-downloaded free app, and the top grossing app, in both the Apple and Android stores.

Tourism professionals have warned that eliminating funding for Connecticut’s regional tourism districts risks hurting the state’s economy. 

In June, U.S. employers added 287,000 jobs — a very strong number that provided some reassurance the economy is still on track.

The June hiring surge, reported Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, far exceeded projections. Analysts had expected the economy to add some 170,000 jobs.

How Parents Can Help Their Underage Kids Resist Alcohol

Jul 6, 2016

While a sense of inevitability often surrounds the topic of teen drinking, adults can play an important role in preventing underage alcohol use.

Two recent studies provide guidance for parents. One finds that parents who set limits in a warm and supportive environment reduced the risk that their adolescent children would binge drink. The other study reports on the potential of a home-based program that educates parents and children about alcohol prevention.

el cajon / creative commons

Many Americans feel their vote no longer carries much clout in determining the decisions that most affect their lives -- whether it's about immigration, health care, gay rights, or gun control. The list goes on. The elected representatives they send to Congress as their voice are unable or unwilling to speak.

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Seven of Connecticut's 13 private, non-profit colleges are graduating fewer than two-thirds of the student body. That's according to an analysis of federal data by Third Way, a Washington D.C.-based think tank.

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