This Week in CT: Opioid overdoses increased during pandemic; New neighborhood near Dunkin’ Donuts Park

This Week in Connecticut

(WTNH) — While Connecticut was caught in the COVID web, a deadly epidemic also spread across our state — opioid addiction.

It’s impacting lives, and showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, the number of drug overdoses in Connecticut went up last year. Opioid overdose deaths have been steadily increasing in Connecticut over the past five years.

Back in 2016, 931 people in CT died from an overdose. After annual increases, 2020, saw nearly 1,400 deaths.

Across the state, New Haven was the deadliest county — followed by Hartford and Fairfield. But it’s when that’s the key.

Peter Canning, author of “Killing Season,” said, “Covid has caused the deaths to skyrocket because covid has increased people’s isolation.”

Deaths spiked in April 2020, just after lockdown orders were put in place.

Kent Pierce tells us about a Hartford paramedic who saw that deadly toll first hand in the video above.

Huge news out of the capitol this week — the state has reached an agreement with both the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes to expand gaming in Connecticut. Joining us to talk about that and more is Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz.

Passing the state House of Representatives overwhelmingly Wednesday — changes to the state’s sweeping police accountability law passed last summer. This week — it’s the senate’s turn. News 8’s Chief Political Correspondent Jodi Latina has more on how the changes are creating clarity in life or death situations.

Chris Tyler, a police officer, is in the fight of his life against a rare brain tumor. It’s called Anaplastic Ependymoma. That has taken so much from him, but not his spirit or will to live. News 8’s Chief Political Anchor Dennis House has more details in the video above.

If you would like to donate to help Chris Tyler’s family during this difficult time click here.

There will be baseball in Connecticut this spring. And before long, a whole new neighborhood has been built around baseball. We’re talking about the Hartford Yard Goats and the new development going up around Dunkin’ Donuts Park. And, we can finally reveal the name of the development: North Crossing. It will feature apartments, restaurants, entertainment, and a grocery store.

News 8’s Chief Political Anchor Dennis House has more details in the video above.

In today’s flashback: 46 years ago, this month, 4,000 people lost their jobs when the sponge rubber factory in Shelton was set on fire and exploded.

At first, police thought it was domestic terrorism because 50-gallon drums of gasoline were placed around the plant, linked with cords. 10 people, including the plant owner, were arrested, as part of a plot to collect $60 million in insurance. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

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