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Sound Bites: Veterinarians worry about mysteriously sick puppies

Nenad Stojkovic
Wikimedia Commons

Good morning. A mysterious respiratory illness is spreading amongst dogs. The illness has infected dozens of dogs in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Oregon and Colorado since August. 

Symptoms, similar to “kennel cough,” include coughing, difficulty breathing, fever and even pneumonia. Guilford, Conn., veterinarians recommend pet owners update their dogs vaccinations and prevent interactions with other dogs in order to curtail the infection. 

Here’s a bite-sized look at what else we are hearing:

Four Long Island water suppliers failed to meet state standards for safe amounts of the contaminant 1,4-dioxane in drinking wells. The chemical is a carcinogen found commonly in adhesives, household detergents and other cleaning products. High levels of the chemical were found in wells supplied by Jericho Water District, the Village of Hempstead, the Town of Hempstead and Liberty Water’s Merrick district. They plan to build treatment plants to remove the chemical.

Jeniece Roman reports

New Haven County is home to the most diverse Native American population in Connecticut. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, people from 52 Native American groups reside in the county. Cherokee people make up the majority of the county’s Indigenous population — with almost 1,400 people followed closely by Taino, Aztec and Mayan people. People from almost 700 Native American tribes call Connecticut home statewide.

Ralph Nader’s Winsted newspaper was saved from a permanent shutdown after being acquired by American Business Media. Earlier this month, the Winsted Citizen newspaper’s publisher told reporters that it failed to receive enough funding to keep itself afloat. American Business Media plans to expand the Citizen's online and social media presence. Employees who previously worked at the Citizen will have their jobs back.

A Suffolk County corrections officer was arrested for sexually assaulting an inmate. Jason Middleton allegedly forced an inmate at the Riverhead Correctional Facility to perform oral sex upon him this past summer. Prosecutors said Middleton threatened the inmate by planting false contraband if the convict refused. He was charged with criminal sexual act in the third degree and official misconduct.

High voter turnout and Independent voters helped Republicans to win big on Long Island in the last election. Despite a majority of Nassau and Suffolk County residents being registered as Democrats, only 26.3% of Democrats voted this past election season. Meanwhile, 34.5% of Republicans across Long Island casted a ballot. Republicans will gain control of the Suffolk County executive and district attorney offices for the first time in more than two decades.

A former Babylon teacher was sentenced to three years probation for sexually abusing a high school student. Timothy Harrison sent a 15-year-old female student flirtatious text messages, gave her alcohol and abused her at his Oak Beach residence in 2013. Harrison was removed from Babylon High School in 2021 after the survivor reported his abuse. He will surrender his teaching license and will have his computer monitored as a part of the plea deal.

Amber Brach-Williams is the second woman to serve as Shelter Island town supervisor. Brach-Williams, a former town board member, defeated Democrat Arnott Gordon Gooding with slightly more votes after all of the absentee ballots were counted. She will succeed former Town Supervisor Gerard Siller. Shelter Island picked Marian Keyser as their first female town supervisor in 1979.

A former New Haven police officer was arrested last week for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old. Jeremie Elliott was working as a police-run youth program supervisor in 2012 when he began assaulting the teenager for two years. He was charged with second-degree sexual assault, and made a $100,000 bail.

Two Southold police officers were disciplined after hosting an improper party during the pandemic. Officers ignored social distancing precautions and held an over 100-person retirement party in May 2020. Multiple residents complained about the party. Sgt. Steven Witzke is already serving a 30-day unpaid suspension, and Officer Daniel Mackey will be suspended two days without pay.

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Eric Warner is a news fellow at WSHU.