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State Headlines

Conn. marks milestone in farmland preservation

LEBANON, Conn. (AP) Connecticut agriculture officials are marking a milestone in farmland preservation.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Agriculture Commissioner Steven K. Reviczky are scheduled to join hundreds of Connecticut farm families at the Farmland Preservation Celebration on the Lebanon Green on Saturday.

The event will mark the work by the Department of Agriculture and its partners protecting 300 farms and 40,000 acres from development.

The program was established in 1978 as one of the first in the nation. It allows farmers to convey development rights to the state while still owning and working the land. Owners also may convey their land to others, but a permanent deed restriction assures the property will remain available for agricultural production.

Connecticut court upholds murder conviction

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) The Connecticut Supreme Court has upheld the murder conviction of a New York man that was based in part on the testimony of an eyewitness who pointed to a legal intern when asked to pick out the shooter in court.

Dashawn Revels is serving a 55-year sentence for the 2009 murder of Bryan Davila on a New London street.

The witness saw the crime from her apartment window, 256 feet away, and identified Revels as the killer when police drove her to the scene of his arrest.

But during an evidence suppression hearing, she identified an intern sitting at the defense table as the shooter.

The high court rejected the defense argument that she was unduly influenced the night of the shooting by seeing Revels in handcuffs, surrounded by police.

Police: Parking dispute leads to violent threats

MERIDEN, Conn. (AP) Police say a woman in south-central Connecticut threatened a neighbor with a knife over a parking dispute at their apartment complex, threatened to shoot residents and police, and to blow up or burn down the building.

Meriden police say the 48-year-old woman was arrested and will face charges.

They say they responded to calls about 3:30 p.m. Friday about the dispute and tried to talk to the woman but she refused to open her door, turned up her stereo, threatened them and others, and said she had a gun.

Residents were evacuated from the building, the power was turned off to her apartment, and a SWAT team was contacted. She eventually opened the door, and was taken into custody.

Police say they found no firearms.

Bond was set at $500,000.

Jury awards $12.3M to family of girl who drowned

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) A state jury has awarded $12.3 million to the family of a 5-year-old girl who drowned in a pool accident in Waterbury in 2008.

Jurors at Waterbury Superior Court returned the verdict Thursday, finding the Boys Girls Club of Greater Waterbury liable for Brianna Murray's death.

Lawyers for Brianna's family, Kathleen Nastri and William Bloss, say Brianna's death could have been prevented with adequate pool supervision.

Brianna died days after slipping under the water during a free swim.

Brianna's mother, Retemar Robinson, said the verdict was justice for Brianna.

A lawyer for the Boys Girls Club, Gregory A. Anderson, says he will appeal the verdict. He says Brianna's death touched everyone at the club, but the organization wasn't responsible for what happened and the pool supervision was adequate.

Conn. pedestrian struck by bike in NYC

NEW YORK (AP) A Connecticut woman is in critical condition after she was struck by a bicyclist in Central Park.

The NYPD says it happened around 4:30 p.m. Thursday near 62nd Street on West Drive.

They say the 58-year-old woman suffered head trauma and was taken to NewYork Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Police say she's from Fairfield, Connecticut. Her name wasn't immediately released.

The 31-year-old bicyclist remained on the scene. No charges were filed.

Police say he suffered minor injuries to his shoulder and hand and was treated at a hospital and released.

A preliminary investigation indicated that the bicyclist was riding in the park's bike lane when he struck the woman while swerving to avoid other pedestrians.

Skeletal remains of man found in Connecticut woods

VERNON, Conn. (AP) Police say the skeletal remains of an adult man have been found in a wooded area of Vernon.

Investigators recovered the remains after a local resident and his friend told police they'd found them in the woods behind the Vernon Community Gardens at around noon Thursday.

Police say a preliminary identification has been made but they are awaiting a positive identification from the medical examiner's office. No cause or manner of death has been determined yet. An autopsy will be held Friday.

Authorities say they believe the remains are not connected to the skeletal remains of a woman found in Vernon in March 2013.

Conn. man pleads guilty to mistaken burglary

BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) A Bristol man has pleaded guilty to burglarizing the wrong apartment.

The Bristol Press reports that Michael Doucette broke into a second-floor apartment in May, though police say he intended to enter an apartment on the third floor.

Police say the 27-year-old Doucette, carrying a backpack with a butcher knife and burglary tools, cut the power and entered the second-floor apartment, taking a TV.

Police say Doucette was looking for a man he claimed had damaged his car.

The tenant walked in on Doucette, who realized the man he was looking for lived on the third floor.

He's being held on $50,000 bond and has pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary. His sentence is capped at 10 years, suspended after two years in prison, and five years of probation.

Whooping cough confirmed at Plymouth grade school

PLYMOUTH, Conn. (AP) The state Public Health Department has confirmed two cases of whooping cough at a Plymouth elementary school.

The Republican American reports that Carolyn Giannini, school nurse coordinator at the Plymouth Center School, said Tuesday that students who may have been exposed have been informed in writing.

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is an infection of the respiratory system caused bacteria. It's characterized by severe coughing.

William Gerrish, spokesman for the Connecticut Public Health Department, said incidents of whooping cough are declining in Connecticut. In 2012, 183 cases were confirmed. That dropped to 60 the following year and 36 so far in 2014.

Stamford resident contracts west Nile virus

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) The state Department of Public Health has confirmed that a Stamford resident contracted West Nile virus and has been treated and released from the hospital.

The unidentified resident is the second person in Connecticut this season to test positive for the mosquito-borne virus.

Anne Fountain, the city's director of public health and social services, said the patient was a 39-year-old man.

She says the city is responding to the West Nile threat by placing larvicide in catch basins.

Seymour lawyer accused of drug-money laundering

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) A Waterbury man convicted of participating in a drug-trafficking ring has testified that a Seymour lawyer was laundering money.

Bruce Yazdzik said in U.S. District Court in New Haven Tuesday that Ralph Crozier knew Yazdzik's money came from drug sales and that he helped Yazdzik establish businesses and make investments to make the money seem legitimate.

Crozier's attorney Michael Hillis, said Crozier was asked by federal authorities for help in an investigation about corruption in Waterbury after he was detained last year and was indicted when he couldn't tell them anything.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Kale described Crozier as Yazdzik's ``do everything'' lawyer who went too far.

The case centers on $30,000 that Yazdzik said he invested in Brightside Solar, a company run by Crozier's law partner in Seymour.

Conn. clergy sets vigil for Mideast Christians

HAMDEN, Conn. (AP) Members of the clergy and others have planned a vigil and prayer service at Quinnipiac University to show support for Christians persecuted in the Middle East.

The Reverend Jordan Lenaghan, the Catholic chaplain at Quinnipiac, says local members of the clergy are showing support for Christian churches in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq and Syria.

Islamic State militants have targeted religious minorities such as Christian, Yazidis and minority Shiite Turkmens.

Lenaghan says the vigil is a human right events intended to raise awareness of the recent destruction of communities dating back nearly 2,000 years.

Local Greek Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox and Assyrian Orthodox clergy are scheduled to participate.

The service is set for 8:15 p.m. Wednesday at the academic quadrangle at Quinnipiac and is open to the public.

Man in military jacket prompts school lockdown

SOUTHINGTON, Conn. (AP) A Southington middle school has been locked down when a staff member reported seeing a man in a military jacket in the building.

The man wearing the suspect jacket in the John F. Kennedy Middle School on Tuesday was a student.

The New Britain Herald reported that the school was placed in lockdown for two hours.

Sgt. Jeffrey Dobratz said the man didn't look as if belonged in the school, but that there was no threat.

The student was not identified and was not charged.

Jepsen raises privacy issues with new Apple watch

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen has raised concerns about the privacy protections with Apple's new Apple Watch.

Jepsen wrote to CEO Tim Cook on Monday asking about the recently introduced product's ability to store, collect and use consumers' health information.

He told the Connecticut Post he's encouraged by Apple's ``representations'' that personal health information will be encrypted on the Apple Watch and users will decide which applications gain access to their health data.

Still, Jepsen said questions remain about data collection and storage and he's requested a meeting with company representatives.

Jepsen is asking Apple what information the Apple Watch will collect from users and how Apple will obtain consent to collect and share such information.

A representative of Apple did not immediately return a call Tuesday morning seeking comment.

Fire site in Bridgeport too hot for inspection

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) Four days after a massive fire leveled a Bridgeport factory, firefighters were extinguishing remaining hot spots.

The Connecticut Post reports that Deputy Fire Chief Dominick Carfi said 99 percent of the hot spots had been put out by Monday. He said some collapsed areas are still difficult to reach.

The investigation has not begun because officials must make sure the property is cold.

Environmental officials believe a chemical that washed into the Pequonnock River, Bridgeport Harbor and Long Island Sound was a dye.

A state ban on commercial shellfishing in Long Island Sound from Milford to Norwalk has been reduced to Bridgeport, Fairfield and Stratford.

State aquaculture officials have begun collecting oysters and clams off Bridgeport to be inspected for semi-volatile and volatile organic compounds and heavy metals.

Arrest in robbery of autistic man in Connecticut

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) A 27-year-old Connecticut man has been charged with stealing $100 in birthday money from an autistic man in a crime that was captured by video cameras.

Police say they charged Steven St. Jacques of Stamford on Monday with second-degree larceny after a search of his home turned up clothing that matched those worn by the suspect in the video.

Police say they received important tips after posting the video of last Tuesday's robbery on YouTube.

They say St. Jacques pretended to befriend the victim and then tricked him into handing over his money.

Members of the police union collected $1,300 and presented it to the victim on Monday.

St. Jacques has no listed phone number and could not be reached for comment. He was due in Superior Court on Tuesday.

Charges dropped against Greenwich tennis coach

GREENWICH, Conn. (AP) Charges have been dropped against a Greenwich High School tennis coach who was accused more than four years of shoving a police officer.

New York State Police alleged that Connie Jones pushed a New York state trooper during a traffic stop while returning with her team from a match in Westchester County, New York, in 2010. Jones denied the claim and fought it despite several chances to plead to lesser charges.

Jones tells the Greenwich Time she stuck to her guns.

The accusation cost the 60-year-old Jones her job.

She was charged with breach of peace when the incident started with a player on the team bus hurling a bagel out a window, hitting a passing car.

The state moved to not go forward and nolled the charges after re-evaluating the evidence.

Report: Income inequality cuts Conn. tax revenue

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A new report says tax revenue in Connecticut is more volatile than in most other states as capital gains and stock trades for the rich gyrate while wages earned by everyone else have barely increased since before the recession.

The report released Monday by credit rating agency Standard Poor's also says tax revenue growth has slowed to 7.3 percent since 2009 from a high of 10.8 percent in the 1980s.

The report says average annual growth of state tax revenue nationwide fell to 5 percent in 2011 from 10 percent in 1980 while the share of total income for the top 1 percent of earners doubled.

Connecticut is home to a large number of investors, business executives and other high net-worth individuals. It's among the 10 states with the highest levels of income inequality.

Hoarding blamed for fire that injured family of 3

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch blamed hoarding for a fire that critically injured a couple and their 2-year-old daughter.

Finch said material was fuel for the apartment fire on Sunday. The Connecticut Post reports Deputy Fire Chief Robert Petrucelli said firefighters were hampered by piles of clothing stacked nearly to the ceiling and narrow aisles through which firefighters could not fit.

The fire began around 12:30 a.m. in a second-floor, corner apartment.

Firefighters found resident Marisol Estrada and her 2-year-old daughter Allianna, in a bedroom beneath piles of clothing. Firefighters carried them to safety through a window.

Estrada and her husband, building superintendent Jose Roman, were in critical condition at Bridgeport Hospital with burns and smoke inhalation.

Allianna was taken to Shriners Hospital for Children in Boston in critical condition.

Some fishing spots off limits after fire damage

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) -- Fishing was temporarily halted along a stretch of Long Island Sound on Friday following a massive fire at a Bridgeport warehouse that cut power to hundreds of homes and forced evacuations, Connecticut environmental officials said.


Pollution from Thursday night's fire at a warehouse that is home to a roofing company and perfume-recycling company night prompted the temporary closure of fishing areas in Bridgeport Harbor and more than a 20 mile stretch along the coast from Norwalk to Milford.


Later Friday, the off-limits area was scaled back to the Bridgeport shoreline from Fairfield to Pleasure Beach, which was closed to swimming. Shell fishing remained banned from Fairfield to the Housatonic River.


The U.S. Coast Guard said it will help enforce the shutdown and examine the extent of the problem.


Environmental officials said they found a large amount of red foam from a local waterway. Airborne chemicals from the companies also were a factor, but were minor, officials said.


Fire officials said the blaze was reported before 7 p.m. Thursday and continued for hours. Firefighters were still dousing the smoldering site with water on Friday afternoon.


"There were a few chemicals involved, but none has been deemed to be hazardous and most people are being allowed to return home," William Kaempffer, spokesman for the city's police and fire departments, told the Connecticut Post.


"The fireballs and the heat were like nothing I have ever seen," Mayor Bill Finch said. "Thankfully, no one was seriously injured. There was no loss of life."


Two firefighters were treated for minor injuries.

Coast Guard academy superintendent to continue job

NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) In a break from past practice, the U.S. Coast Guard says Rear Adm. Sandra L. Stosz, superintendent of the Coast Guard Academy, has been selected to continue as a rear admiral in the Coast Guard.

She became the first woman ever to lead a U.S. military academy when she began her tour at the academy in New London in 2011. The Day of New London reports that spokesman David Santos says her tour was due to end in the summer of 2015.

Stosz's continuation is a change because superintendents of the academy typically retire after completing their time in the post.

Santos says the superintendent's post caps a Coast Guard officer's career.

DA: Hartford kidnapping planned for over year

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) Prosecutors say a Colorado man accused of kidnapping a 14-year-old Connecticut girl he met online had been planning to abduct her for more than a year.

Boulder County Deputy District Attorney Tim Johnson told a judge Thursday that 53-year-old Timothy Wind drove from Longmont, Colorado to Hartford to get her in August. He then allegedly took her to New York, New Jersey and Kansas on a trip that the girl said he called a ``honeymoon.'' The Daily Camera reported it included a visit to the place where the girl's parents met.

Police found the girl at Wind's apartment Wednesday and he was later arrested.

According to the arrest affidavit, a friend said the girl had been claiming to have a boyfriend named Tim for about a year.

Hartford Archdiocese seeks $1M verdict overturned

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) The Archdiocese of Hartford is asking the state Supreme Court to overturn a $1 million verdict for a man who claimed abuse by a priest in the early 1980s.

The Connecticut Post reports that the archdiocese says the law extending the statute of limitations for such lawsuits is unconstitutional.

Thomas McNamara, the lawyer for the former altar boy who filed the complaint, said issues raised by the archdiocese do not have merit.

The man who claimed abuse at age 13 by the Rev. Ivan Ferguson in Derby between 1981 and 1983 won the verdict in Superior Court in 2012.

Ferguson died in 2002.

The legislature extended the statute of limitation on sex assault cases to 30 years from when a complainant reaches 18. The law was made retroactive.

Bridgeport fire leads to environmental damage

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) A massive fire at a warehouse that houses a roofing company and perfume-recycling company in Bridgeport has forced evacuations of residents, cut electrical power and led to pollution and a ban on fishing in the Long Island Sound.

Connecticut environmental officials said Friday morning they have temporarily closed fishing areas in Bridgeport Harbor and on the Sound from Norwalk to Milford. The U.S. Coast Guard said it will help enforce the shutdown and examine the extent of the pollution.

Environmental officials said they found a large amount of red foam from a local waterway.

Fire officials said the blaze was reported before 7 p.m. Thursday and continued to burn hours later.

No serious injuries were reported. Two firefighters were treated for heat-related illness.

About 1,500 homes were without power shut as a precaution

Connecticut home invasion inmate seeks kosher diet

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) One of two men convicted in the killings of a mother and her two daughters in a 2007 Connecticut home invasion is suing the state, claiming his rights are violated because he's being denied kosher food in prison.

The New Haven Register reports that death row inmate Steven Hayes describes himself as an orthodox Jew and claims he's been requesting a kosher diet since May 2013.

Hayes also says denying him a kosher diet violates his Eighth Amendment right that forbids cruel and unusual punishment because he must eat non-kosher food to survive.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Correction declined to comment and said the lawsuit has been referred to the attorney general. A spokeswoman said the attorney general will respond in court.

Missing Connecticut girl found in Colorado

LONGMONT, Colo. (AP) A 14-year-old Connecticut girl missing since last month has been found in Colorado and the man suspected of kidnapping her is under arrest.

Acting on a tip from the FBI, police in Longmont, Colorado say they got a found the girl in an apartment there on Wednesday afternoon. Shortly afterward, they arrested 53-year-old Timothy Wind on suspicion of second-degree kidnapping and Internet exploitation.

The Longmont Daily Times-Call reports that Wind is suspected of traveling from Longmont to Connecticut and bringing her back to Longmont.

The girl was last seen on Aug. 25 when her family says she asked for permission to go outside.

Conn. man arrested on charges of making hoax calls

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A Wethersfield man has been arrested on federal charges of calling in hoax threats to emergency services to draw responders, such as SWAT units and bomb squads.

Federal officials say Matthew Tollis was arrested Wednesday on charges of making calls earlier this year in Connecticut and other states.

The offense is called ``swatting,'' referring to false calls to draw SWAT teams.

The 21-year-old Tollis and others are accused of using Skype to make hoax threats involving bombs, hostage taking, firearms, and mass murder.

He was identified as a participant in at least six incidents, including a bomb threat in April to the University of Connecticut and to schools and other locations in New Jersey, Florida, Texas and Massachusetts.

Tollis is detained. His Hartford lawyer did not immediately return a call Thursday seeking comment.

Suspect accused in fatal shooting, pistol-whipping

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) A suspect accused of fatally shooting a man, then pistol-whipping him after he fell to the ground has been arraigned on murder and other charges.

Alejandro Hernandez was arrested Wednesday in the killing of 24-year-old Deleone Smith.

The Republican-American reports that witnesses told police that Hernandez, a convicted drug dealer, and Smith confronted each other outside a liquor store and Smith put a gun to Hernandez's throat.

Hernandez pulled out a pistol and shot Smith numerous times as bystanders ran for cover.

His lawyer, Jerry Attanasio, said he believed there is a ``legitimate self-defense claim,'' referring to a witness' statement that Smith held a gun on Hernandez.

Hernandez was held on a $2 million bond after being arraigned Wednesday in Waterbury Superior Court.

Sister says injured senator making progress

STONINGTON, Conn. (AP) The sister of a Stonington state senator says her brother Andrew Maynard continues to make ``encouraging'' progress recovering from a traumatic brain injury.

In a statement released Tuesday by the Senate Democrats, Denise Mahoney said there's no diagnosis that would ``preclude a full recovery.''

The 52-year-old Maynard is co-chairman of the General Assembly's Transportation Committee. He was injured in an early morning fall outside his Stonington home in July.

His sister said Maynard is undergoing physical and occupational therapy, including speech therapy. She said he is able to read, manipulate a smartphone, and answer ``yes'' or ``no'' questions but still has difficulty speaking.

She said there's no reason to think he won't be able to fulfill his duties if he is re-elected this fall.

His Republican challenger is Kevin Trejo of Groton.

Conn. wins $8.2 million to upgrade freight rail

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Eastern Connecticut has won an $8.2 million federal grant to upgrade freight rail.

Democratic Congressman Joe Courtney calls the grant a big win that will help boost economic development in the region and drive more traffic through the port of New London.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says the state is working to modernize Connecticut's rail system and link it to the national freight rail network.

The state Department of Transportation will upgrade the rail line to meet new freight standards, including increased weight capacity. The state will upgrade 19 miles of outdated rail through Franklin, Norwich, Stafford and Willimantic.

Elected officials in Connecticut, backed by regional business owners and Genesee Wyoming Inc., owner of New England Central Railroad, lobbied federal transportation officials for the money.

New England Central is contributing $2 million.

Poll: Jobs woes give Foley 6-point lead on Malloy

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A statewide poll shows Republican Tom Foley leading Gov. Dannel P. Malloy by six percentage points as voters give the challenger high marks on the key issues of jobs and the economy and government spending.

The Quinnipiac University Poll released this morning gives the Greenwich businessman 46 percent to Malloy's 40 percent.

Foley leads the governor, who's seeking a second term, in the critical group of independent voters, 48 percent to 35 percent.

A gender gap gives Malloy a 45 percent-to-38 percent lead among women while Foley wins support from men, 54 percent to 35 percent.

Poll Director Douglas Schwartz says Malloy is ``certainly within striking distance'' eight weeks before Election Day.

The poll, conducted Sept. 3-8, surveyed 1,304 likely voters with a sampling error of 2.7 percentage points.

Developer on state arson trial after US acquittal

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) A New Haven developer who was acquitted in federal court on charges related to arsons faces trial in state Superior Court, accused of conspiring to have his associates set fire to two houses and a car.

Jury selection in the trial of Angelo Reyes is set to begin Thursday in New Haven Superior Court and testimony is scheduled to start Sept. 29.

The New Haven Register reports Reyes's lawyer, John R. Williams, said the state's case will rely on the same two prime witnesses who testified at Reyes' federal trial, saying the 49-year-old Reyes paid them to get involved with the arsons.

The newspaper reported that Senior Assistant State's Attorney John P. Doyle Jr. could not be reached for comment on Monday.

The house and car fires were in 2008 and 2009.

Conn. court: law limits pawn shops' interest rates

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that state law limits how much interest pawn shops can charge consumers who agree to buy back items they sold to the shops in exchange for loans.

The court ruled Monday that the law caps interest on ``repurchase agreements'' at 12 percent a year.

The ruling came in a 2008 lawsuit by Westport resident Bess Gilmore, who died in 2009, against Pawn King in Stratford. Gilmore's lawsuit says the shop charged her 20 percent interest a month in her repurchase deal.

Pawn King argued state law on pawn shops doesn't specifically cover repurchase deals, but justices ruled another state law on loans covers those deals.

State law on traditional pawn shop deals above $50 caps interest rates at 2 percent a month.

Taxpayers cover US Coast Guard party patrols

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) Hosts setting off elaborate fireworks displays in some areas of the coastal United States enjoy a little-known benefit. Security is provided at no expense by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The maritime agency assigns boats and crews to enforce ``safety zones'' for some regattas, yacht club parties and even weddings just as it does for municipal fireworks displays.

For two of the of the busiest sectors, Long Island Sound and New York, documents obtained through Freedom of Information requests and interviews by The Associated Press show active-duty Coast Guard crews are involved in security for dozens of privately sponsored events annually. Hosts do not reimburse the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard says it is part of their mandate to protect the boating public, including those who might be drawn to others' fireworks.

Pedestrian killed in Conn. by Boston-bound train

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) A pedestrian at the downtown Fairfield train station has been struck and killed by a Boston-bound Amtrak train.

The man's identity has not been released since the incident on Saturday night.

Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara said the man may have been trying to climb back up on the platform from the tracks when he was struck.

An Amtrak spokesman says no crew members or any of the 185 passengers aboard the train were injured. He says the train was delayed for several hours as officials investigated.

Most Metro-North trains were stopped for about a half-hour, but then resumed limited service.

Expert sees fall foliage perfection on schedule

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) A horticulture expert says Connecticut could have a perfect fall foliage. Unless it rains.

The New Haven Register reports that Jeff Ward, chief scientist of Forestry and Horticulture for the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, says the leaves look pretty good so far. He says there's been enough rain to keep them healthy with potential for a ``spectacular fall.''

But that the colors could be dulled if it rains for several days or even if there's a steady drizzle that leeches out the color.

The fall foliage cycle is on schedule in Connecticut with October the month for leaf-peeping. Ward says the first week of October is peak for northwest Connecticut, the second week for the central area and the third week for the shoreline.

Toddler hurt in fall from window at New Haven home

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) A 16-month-old boy is in critical condition after falling from the second story of a New Haven home.

Police tell The New Haven Register the child had been at a window pushing on a screen when it gave.

An unidentified woman tried unsuccessfully to catch the toddler.

Emergency responders found the boy lying on the window screen on the ground. He is at Yale-New Haven Pediatric Hospital.

A police spokesman says charges have not yet been filed.

Trooper suffers minor injuries in highway accident

HADDAM, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut State Police trooper suffered minor injuries when his cruiser was struck by motorist on Route 9 in Haddam.

State police say Trooper Donald Dunning was in the left lane between Exits 9 and 10 working in a construction zone when his cruiser was rear-ended at about 10:25 a.m. Friday.

Police say Dunning was transported to Middlesex Hospital and treated for a leg injury.

The other driver, 41-year-old Geoffrey Weaving of North Haven, was not injured.

The accident remained under investigation Friday afternoon, and no charges had been filed.

Driver who killed Milford couple gets 3.5 years

MILFORD, Conn. (AP) A driver who struck and killed two pedestrians on a snowy street in Milford last year has been sentenced to 3.5 years in prison.

Court records show James Dorso II of Milford was sentenced Wednesday in Milford Superior Court. He initially was charged with manslaughter and reckless driving, but pleaded guilty to two counts of felony misconduct with a motor vehicle. Dorso's sentencing was first reported by the Milford Mirror.

Police said Dorso's SUV struck a family walking along Route 1 in February 2013. Authorities say sidewalks on both sides of the street were covered with snow following a blizzard.

Fifty-three-year-old Kevin Tanski died two days after the accident. His wife, 51-year-old Brenda Tanski, died five days afterward. Their 21-year-old daughter suffered minor injuries and a fourth relative wasn't injured.

Candidate's husband: Rowland promoted expertise

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) -- The husband of a former congressional candidate testified Friday that former Connecticut Gov. John Rowland promoted his political experience to get hired as a consultant on his wife's campaign.


Brian Foley began testifying in the corruption case of Rowland, a longtime friend, related to the campaign of Foley's wife, Lisa Wilson-Foley.


Rowland is accused of accepting $35,000 in consulting fees from Wilson-Foley's 2012 congressional campaign disguised as payments from her husband's nursing home chain. Brian Foley and Lisa Wilson-Foley pleaded guilty in March to conspiring to make illegal campaign contributions.


Rowland's lawyer says his client was a campaign volunteer, and was paid for giving Foley advice on his health care business.


Rowland has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy, falsifying records in a federal investigation, causing false statements to be made to the Federal Election Commission and causing illegal campaign contributions. He served 10 months in federal prison a decade ago for taking illegal gifts while in office.


Foley, in about an hour on the stand Friday afternoon, said Rowland told him and his wife she wouldn't need a Washington consultant because of his knowledge of Connecticut politics. Foley said he and Wilson-Foley hesitated at first because of Rowland's prior corruption conviction.


Foley continues his testimony Monday when the trial's second week begins.

Ex-housing director admits taking $1.5M in bribes

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Federal prosecutors say a Connecticut man has admitted taking about $1.5 million in bribes while serving as the executive director of the West Haven Housing Authority.

U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly says 55-year-old Michael Siwek of North Haven pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Hartford to bribery, conspiracy and tax evasion. A sentencing date hasn't been set.

Prosecutors say Siwek took the bribes from 2007 to 2012 in return for awarding business and contracts with the Housing Authority.

Siwek agreed to pay $1.5 million in restitution and about $364,000 in back taxes, penalties and interest.

The New Haven Register reports Siwek retired in August 2012 after authorities raided the Housing Authority's headquarters.

A contractor, Harry Miconi, pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing for bribing Siwek. Authorities say more arrests are possible.

School superintendent resigns amid spending probe

PLYMOUTH, Conn. (AP) Plymouth officials have accepted the resignation of the town's school superintendent and agreed to pay her $70,000 in severance, as she faces allegations of stealing public funds in her previous job leading Hebron schools.

Plymouth's Board of Education voted Thursday night to accept Eleanor Cruz's resignation. She had been on paid suspension while the school board considered whether to fire her.

The 63-year-old Cruz was arrested on a felony larceny charge Aug. 7. Authorities allege she stole about $15,000 from the town of Hebron by misusing district credit cards for personal expenses and misappropriating other funds.

Cruz's lawyer has said Cruz didn't have any criminal intent and characterized the issue as a misinterpretation of language on expenses in her Hebron contract.

The Plymouth board is searching for a new superintendent.

School bus driver charged with selling heroin

VERNON, Conn. (AP) A school bus driver in north-central Connecticut has been charged with selling heroin, but authorities say none of the alleged activity happened on his bus.

Twenty-eight-year-old Jorge Aviles of Vernon and his girlfriend, 29-year-old Ashley Byrdsong of Manchester, were arrested Thursday in an investigation by a regional drug task force including Vernon and Manchester police. Both were held on $150,000 bail on charges including possession of heroin with intent to sell.

Police say they searched Aviles and Byrdsong's homes and found 270 bags of heroin. Authorities say Aviles had a handgun on him when he was arrested.

It's not clear if Aviles and Byrdsong have lawyers.

Authorities say Aviles worked for DATTCO bus company in South Windsor. Bus company officials say Aviles is on unpaid leaving pending the criminal case.

Official: Overloaded plug caused Stamford fire

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) Stamford's fire marshal says an overloaded electrical plug caused a blaze that destroyed a large home and killed two dogs.

Chief Fire Marshal Charles Spaulding told The Advocate that the fire early Wednesday morning was sparked by an outside plug that was supplying electricity to a powerful fountain pump used to aerate a pond. He said the fire was an accident.

Spaulding says the homeowners Jeff Gray and his wife, Margaret were saved by their pet retriever, which woke them up during the fire. The retriever escaped the home unharmed, but the Grays' two other dogs died in the blaze.

Spaulding says Jeff Gray tried to put out the fire with an extinguisher, but the blaze grew too big.

Officials called the home a total loss.

Police: Fetus found at Stamford sewage plant

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) Police say a worker has found a fetus at a sewage treatment plant in Stamford.

WFSB-TV reports that investigators said the fetus was about five or six months old and was found in a trash bin designated to receive large items.

Following an autopsy, the state medical examiner ruled that the fetus had not been born and the mother likely had a miscarriage.

If it's determined to have been a miscarriage, the mother will not face charges.

Police said the fetus had been flushed down a toilet within about 24 hours from when it was found Saturday.

Police arrest naked man doing pushups on road

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) Police say a Stamford man who may have been high on a hallucinogenic was arrested after dancing naked and doing pushups on a major city avenue.

The Advocate of Stamford reports an arresting officer used a stun gun to subdue Rodney Green who refused police orders to remain still and be handcuffed at about 1 a.m. Wednesday. The 32-year-old Green was charged with breach of peace.

Police say Green was yelling while jumping in the middle of Washington Boulevard. He dropped to the ground and did pushups.

It was not known if Green is represented by a lawyer.

Connecticut home invasion killer seeks new trial

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) One of two men who killed a mother and her two daughters in a 2007 Connecticut home invasion is seeking a new trial, saying recordings of non-emergency police phone lines were withheld from the defense.

Lawyers for Joshua Komisarjevsky asked the state Supreme Court last week to hold an evidentiary hearing, reverse Komisarjevsky's convictions and order a new trial.

The lawyers say the recordings would have proved a defense theory that the police response to the Cheshire home invasion was inadequate an effort to question the credibility of police witnesses.

Komisarjevsky and Steven Hayes are on death row for the killings of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, 17-year-old Hayley and 11-year-old Michaela.

Prosecutors say the recordings were given to the defense and don't raise any significant appeal issues.

Bobcat tests positive for rabies after attacks

LEBANON, Conn. (AP) State officials say a bobcat suspected of attacking people in Bozrah and Lebanon over the holiday weekend has tested positive for rabies.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection says test results came back positive Tuesday. Officials say the case is unusual because bobcats rarely have contact with people and rarely contract rabies.

Officials say a woman in Bozrah was attacked by a bobcat Saturday, and her husband and sons struck the animal until it ran away. The woman was treated at a hospital for bites, scratches and possible rabies exposure.

A couple in neighboring Lebanon say they fended off a bobcat Sunday while walking with their baby. They weren't injured.

DEEP police caught and euthanized the bobcat Sunday before taking it to a state lab for testing.

Conn. man fatally stabbed on Md.-Fla. bike ride

VERO BEACH, Fla. (AP) Police say a Connecticut man who was biking from Maryland to Miami to propose to his girlfriend was fatally stabbed by a homeless man outside a McDonald's restaurant.

The Vero Beach News Journal reports that 28-year-old Kevin Adorno stopped at the restaurant Monday night and was talking to his girlfriend on a cellphone when he was attacked.

Witnesses say Adorno stumbled into the restaurant. One person started administering aid while another called 911. He was pronounced dead a short time later.

Officers arrested 59-year-old Rene Herrera Cruz at a Burger King across the street. He is charged with first-degree murder. Cruz told officers he thought Adorno was directing people by cellphone to attack him.

Police Chief David Currey says the trip was a ``bucket list'' item for Adorno.

Cops: Man tried to sexually assault children

NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) New London police charged a man accused of trying to sexually assault a 9-year-old girl and 15-year-old boy.

Police told The Day that 37-year-old Clayton Denny restrained the girl Monday and tried to get her to perform a sex act. Authorities say the boy saw what was happening and confronted Denny as he chased the girl into her home.

Officials say Denny then tried to sexually assault the teenage boy and they began fighting.

Denny was charged with attempted first-degree sexual assault, risk of injury to minors and other crimes. He was detained on $250,000 bail pending arraignment Tuesday in New London Superior Court. It's not clear if he has a lawyer.

Court records show Denny has a criminal record including convictions for strangulation and assaulting a police officer.

Suspect arrested in Conn. Rolex wheelchair theft

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) Stamford police say a man accused of using pepper spray and pretending to need a wheelchair to steal a $27,000 Rolex watch has been arrested.

The Advocate of Stamford reports that Larry Johnson of Mt. Vernon, New York, is being held on a $350,000 court appearance bond for the Stamford robbery.

Stamford police say the 37-year-old Johnson was apprehended Friday night in New Rochelle, New York, on a domestic disturbance call.

It was not known Monday if Johnson is represented by a lawyer.

Video from the Aug. 2 incident shows a man in a wheelchair putting on a watch shown by a Stamford jewelry store clerk.

He pushes back his wheelchair, bumping a second clerk. Police say he pepper sprayed her and got up from the wheelchair and ran toward the door.

Bobcat euthanized after couple attacked in Lebanon

LEBANON, Conn. (AP) State environmental police euthanized a bobcat and it's being tested for rabies after it attacked a couple and their baby in Lebanon. Authorities say it may be the same bobcat that attacked a woman in Bozrah.

Summer and Tom Berube told WVIT-TV they were walking and holding their newborn daughter Sunday when the bobcat ran toward them.

Tom Berube says he grabbed a mailbox and used it to knock down the bobcat as it jumped at him. They flagged down a passing driver and called police.

State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection officers euthanized the bobcat, which was taken to a state lab for testing.

Police say it may be the same bobcat that attacked a woman in neighboring Bozrah Saturday. She was treated at a hospital.

Hartford police criticize chief over protest march

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Hartford Police Union leaders are criticizing Police Chief James Rovella for walking with protesters during a demonstration against a city officer's use of a stun gun on a teenager.

The union president, Sgt. Richard Holton, said Thursday that Rovella sent the wrong message to the police force and conveyed anti-police sentiments by being in the march Wednesday evening.

Rovella said he wanted to assure protesters that there would be a thorough investigation of the use of force against 18-year-old Luis Anglero on Aug. 19.

Holton also criticized Gov. Dannel P. Malloy for saying he was ``momentarily sickened'' by a surveillance video showing the incident. A Malloy spokesman says the governor reacted the way any parent would.

Police are investigating Detective Shawn Ware's use of a stun gun on Anglero.

Pelto fails to earn spot on Connecticut ballot

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Former Democratic state Rep. Jonathan Pelto's name will not appear on the November ballot for governor.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill's office announced Friday that Pelto, a petitioning candidate, did not submit the required 7,500 signatures of registered voters. While Pelto originally believed about 9,000 signatures had been submitted on his behalf, election officials determined 4,318 of the signatures were valid.

Pelto was running as a candidate with the newly formed Education and Democracy Party. He's been a vocal critic of Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's education reforms.

Pelto apologized to his supporters for not making it onto the ballot. He called the process ``primitive and burdensome,'' saying it creates an unfair barrier to those seeking another choice at the polls.

Conservative petitioning candidate Joe Visconti has already qualified.

Board rejects dentist's request to lift suspension

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Connecticut's dental commission has turned down a request to lift the suspension of a dentist accused of providing inadequate care to a patient who died after being treated in his office.

Dr. Rashmi Patel, who has offices in Enfield and Torrington, was seeking to have his license reinstated during the hearing process, which resumes next week. He denies his actions led to the February death of 64-year-old Judith Gan.

Gan was having 20 teeth extracted and implants performed Feb. 17 when she became unresponsive. She later was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The state alleges Patel failed to respond appropriately when the woman's oxygen levels dropped, and improperly attempted to extract the teeth in a single visit.

Patel is expected to testify at the hearing, which resumes on Sept. 3.

Cops: Navy seaman assaulted baby in Connecticut

GROTON, Conn. (AP) A 24-year-old Navy seaman in southeastern Connecticut has been charged with inflicting life-threatening injuries on his 2-month-old son.

Groton police arrested town resident Jordan Rittenhouse on Thursday on charges including first-degree assault and risk of injury to a minor. He's detained on $300,000 bail and is to be arraigned Friday in New London Superior Court.

The baby is being treated at Yale-New Haven Hospital. His condition hasn't been released.

Police say the baby was first treated at a local hospital, where staff members reported the assault to authorities Tuesday after determining his injuries weren't consistent to Rittenhouse's explanation.

Navy officials say Rittenhouse is a student at the Naval Submarine Base in Groton and is originally from Rockwell, North Carolina.

It's not clear if Rittenhouse has a lawyer.

Crash victim was taking pregnant woman to hospital

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) Relatives of a woman seriously injured in a fatal crash on Interstate 95 in New Haven say she was pregnant and being taken to a hospital at the time by a friend who died in the wreck.

Beverly Owens told WTNH-TV that her sister, Vera Mercer, remains in very serious condition at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and her baby daughter was delivered by an emergency cesarean section after the accident Wednesday morning. Owens says the baby is healthy.

State police say Mercer's friend, 53-year-old Gwendolyn Buskey of New Haven, was killed when a tractor-trailer rear-ended her car and smashed it into another tractor-trailer that was stopped in construction-related traffic. The crash snarled traffic for several hours during the morning commute.

No charges have been filed. State police are still investigating.

Officials: school bus driver had prior DUI arrest

FARMINGTON, Conn. (AP) Connecticut officials examined a school bus company's records, after one of its drivers was charged with driving drunk with 20 children on her bus and authorities learned she had been arrested before on a DUI charge.

Department of Motor Vehicles inspectors went to the M J Bus Co. Thursday. The New Britain Herald reports ( ) the DMV questions whether there was a proper background check on the driver.

Police say they arrested 44-year-old Tammy Costello on Wednesday morning after she dropped the children off at a Farmington school.

M J officials say Costello's 2004 DUI arrest wasn't on her driving record.

DMV officials say records show Costello entered an education program that results in charges being erased after the 2004 arrest.

Costello didn't return a phone message Friday.

Police: suspect in cabbie killing in custody

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) Stamford police say they have a suspect in custody in connection with the fatal stabbing of a taxi driver in what appeared to be a robbery.

Police are expected to release the suspect's name and the charges against him Thursday.

Authorities say 47-year-old Mahomed Kamal was stabbed multiple times in his torso area and was found on the front lawn of a home Wednesday morning. Officers found his taxi crashed into some trees down the street. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police say they believe there was a violent struggle both inside and outside the cab. Officials believe Kamal was stabbed with a knife, but the weapon hasn't been recovered.

Police say Kamal was a native of Bangladesh and was married with children.

Farmington school bus driver charged with DUI

FARMINGTON, Conn. (AP) A school bus driver in Farmington has been charged with driving drunk with 20 students on her bus.

Farmington police say 44-year-old Tammy Costello of Bristol was arrested Wednesday morning after an officer saw the school bus swerve partially off a road. Students also told police the bus hit some curbs. No one was hurt.

Authorities say Costello's blood-alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit for commercial drivers.

Costello was released on bail and is to appear Tuesday in Hartford Superior Court.

Costello didn't immediately return a phone message Thursday. It's not clear if she has a lawyer.

M J Bus Co. says it suspended Costello and all its drivers are subjected to random drug and alcohol testing. School officials notified parents about the incident.

Man arrested after 'Russian roulette' death of friend

VERNON, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut man has been arrested on weapons and drugs charges after police say his friend died during an apparent game of ``Russian roulette.''

An arrest warrant affidavit released this week and obtained by the Journal Inquirer disclosed details about the death of 38-year-old Armand Cyr in Vernon July 13 and the arrest of his friend, 26-year-old John Dybowski.

The warrant says a friend of Cyr who was video-chatting with him saw Cyr shoot himself in the head in Dybowski's apartment. The friend told police that Dybowski put the revolver to his head and pulled the trigger without incident before handing the gun to Cyr.

Police say they found drugs and guns in Dybowski's apartment.

Dybowski is detained on $100,000 bail. It's not clear if he has a lawyer.

Guns found near Hamden playground

HAMDEN, Conn. (AP) Hamden police say they're trying to determine who hid two handguns near a playground at a child care center a discovery that scared local parents.

Police say a .22-caliber handgun and a 9 mm handgun were found hidden near the Keefe Center Playground as officers worked what they called a ``crime suppression detail'' on Sunday.

Parents of children who attend the day care say they're shocked. They say children could have found the guns and hurt someone.

The discovery came after police say they arrested a New Haven man on weapons charges after they stopped his car and found a loaded .357 Magnum handgun in the engine compartment.

It's not clear if the arrest and the guns at the playground are related.

Raccoon that attacked Connecticut woman had rabies

HAMDEN, Conn. (AP) Connecticut authorities say a raccoon has tested positive for rabies after attacking an 88-year-old woman who mistook it for her cat.

Police say the raccoon attacked the woman at her Hamden home Sunday after following her cat inside the house when she opened a sliding glass door. Officials say the raccoon bit the woman in the face and arm when it climbed onto her couch and she tried to pet it.

The woman was treated at Yale-New Haven Hospital and was discharged. Her name hasn't been released. Relatives say she's expected to be OK.

Police responded to the home and killed the raccoon when it charged two officers, who weren't bit.

Authorities say the carcass tested positive for rabies Tuesday at a state Department of Public Health lab.

Man charged in gun thefts in Old Saybrook

OLD SAYBROOK, Conn. (AP) Old Saybrook police say they charged a 25-year-old local man with stealing a dozen firearms from a gun shop in town, after an hour-long standoff at his home.

Authorities allege Thomas Russo stole 10 handguns and two high-powered rifles from the Grouse Perch gun shop, whose owner discovered the break-in Tuesday morning.

Police say evidence in the gun shop led them to Russo's home. Police say they found numerous firearms and heroin inside Russo's house after the standoff, which ended without incident.

Russo was charged with burglary, larceny and stealing firearms. He's detained on $750,000 bail. It's not clear if he has a lawyer.

Police say they're investigating and more arrests are possible.

Man struck, killed by train in Connecticut

PLAINFIELD, Conn. (AP) Police say a Rhode Island man has been struck and killed by a privately-owned train in Plainfield.

Authorities tell WFSB-TV that 39-year-old James A. Hawkins III of Coventry, Rhode Island, died Monday afternoon after being struck by the train on privately-owned railroad tracks around Norwich Road.

They say train is owned and was being operated by 44-year-old Donald Hopkins of Plainfield.

Further details were not available. An investigation is continuing.

Man guilty of murder in killing at drive-through

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) A state jury has convicted a 20-year-old man of murder for a fatal shooting at a Burger King drive-through window in New Haven.

The New Haven Register reports a Superior Court jury found Quavon Torres of New Haven guilty of murder and carrying a pistol without a permit Monday after three days of deliberations. He is scheduled to be sentenced to up to 65 years in prison Nov. 7.

Prosecutors say Torres shot 59-year-old Donald Bradley 10 times during an argument in Bradley's car in the drive-through lane in July 2012.

Bradley's widow and other relatives say they're glad the trial is over and justice was served.

Torres' lawyer had argued that there was no forensic evidence linking Torres to the shooting and others could have shot Bradley.

Officials remain at scene of New Haven pub fire

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) Firefighters are continuing to put out hot spots at a New Haven pub that went up in flames and has been declared a total loss.

Delaney's Restaurant Tap Room on Whalley Avenue caught fire Monday evening and emergency crews worked through the night into Tuesday morning to put out the blaze. Officials believe the fire started in the basement, but the cause remains under investigation.

Authorities say two firefighters were brought to hospitals with smoke inhalation. They're expected to be OK.

Delaney's owner Peter Gremse says he got everyone out of the century-old building after he discovered sparks in an electrical box. He says the fire wiped out 15 years of his life he spent running the pub.

Authorities say 10 residents of the building lost their homes.

Delay in DMV website snags immigrant licenses

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A delayed start in a state motor vehicles website is causing confusion among some immigrants over how to seek Connecticut driver's licenses.

The Hearst Connecticut Media Group reports that the Department of Motor Vehicles was to launch a website in September where applicants could make applications.

The launch was delayed until December to make sure the website could handle the large number of anticipated applicants. DMV officials said as many as 200,000 immigrants may apply for licenses.

Immigrant groups are organizing to help avoid scams and prepare immigrant motorists to register for licenses.

The General Assembly and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy enacted legislation last year allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for driver's licenses. The idea was to make it easier to register cars and obtain insurance.

Conn. candidate seen falling short for ballot

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Former state Rep. Jonathan Pelto says he likely has failed to collect enough signatures to get onto the ballot as a petitioning candidate for governor.

He said on his website Saturday that his campaign has identified a significant number of signatures that were inappropriately or illegally rejected by local officials. Still, he says he will probably fall short of the 7,500 valid signatures required for the ballot.

He said his campaign would not likely succeed even if it went to court to overrule local actions.

Pelto has been a critic of Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, especially his education policies. He denies wanting to be a spoiler and help Malloy lose.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill announced last week that gun rights advocate Joseph Visconti has qualified for the ballot.

Cops: Connecticut woman used kids to help shoplift

NORWALK, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut woman is accused of using her children to help her shoplift more than $450 worth of goods from a department store.

Norwalk police charged 40-year-old Shazia Zahid of Stamford on Saturday with misdemeanor larceny and felony risk of injury to minors. Bail was set at $5,000 and she was ordered to appear Sept. 3 in Norwalk Superior Court.

Police say Zahid went into a Kohl's store Saturday with her 2-year-old son and three daughters, ages 6, 7 and 8.

The Hour of Norwalk says a police report said Zahid stashed items in a baby stroller and placed adult-size shoes on the feet of her daughters in a shoplifting attempt.

Inmate at Connecticut women's prison dies

EAST LYME, Conn. (AP) Connecticut officials say the death of an inmate at the state women's prison appears to have been a suicide.

Authorities say a guard found 40-year-old Sherri Clarke of New Britain in her cell with something tied around her neck Thursday morning at York Correctional Institution in East Lyme. Guards tried to revive her, but she was later pronounced dead at an area hospital.

Officials say she was the only inmate in the cell at the time.

Correction Department and state police officials are investigating. An autopsy is planned.

Clarke was serving 25 years for felony murder. She and her boyfriend, Michael Labarge, were convicted of killing a man to steal his drugs in 2009 in New Britain and cutting his body into 15 pieces. Labarge is serving life in prison.

Sacred Heart student struck by car, injured

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) Police are investigating an accident in which a university student was struck by a car and seriously injured while crossing a street in Bridgeport.

The female student from Sacred Heart University was struck around 1 p.m. on Friday across from a sorority house where she lives.

The university said the student, a junior, was being treated at St. Vincent's Hospital.

Bridgeport police spokesman William Kaempffer told the Connecticut Post the woman was in critical condition. The driver involved in the accident was cooperating with police.

Navy submarine group disbands in Groton ceremony

GROTON, Conn. (AP) A Navy submarine group based in Groton has been formally disbanded after 49 years.

A ceremony Friday aboard the attack submarine USS Missouri marked the end of Submarine Group 2. The submarines in Virginia and Connecticut that had been under its command will now report to the commander of the Navy's Atlantic submarine force, based in Norfolk, Virginia.

The Navy says the change will streamline the command-and-control structure and bring East Coast attack submarines in line with the way command is structured on the West Coast.

The people who staffed 45 military and civilian positions for the group have been reassigned.

The group's top officer, Rear Adm. Kenneth Perry, is retiring after 32 years of active-duty service.

Former Connecticut Lt. Gov. Fauliso dies at 98

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Former Connecticut Lt. Gov. Joseph Fauliso has died. He was 98.

Current and former state officials on Thursday mourned the passing of Fauliso, who also served as a Hartford alderman, municipal court judge and state senator. He died on Wednesday.

Fauliso was president of the state Senate when his friend, then-Gov. Ella Grasso, resigned on Dec. 31, 1980 due to illness. After then-Lt. Gov. William A. O'Neill became governor, Fauliso was automatically elevated to lieutenant governor, a job he held until 1991.

Former U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman served as Senate majority leader with Fauliso. He recalled his ``inspiring oratory,'' adding how it was ``exceeded only by his deep and abiding commitment'' to Connecticut.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal called Fauliso ``a mentor, a model and a mensch,'' the latter a Yiddish term for someone with integrity.

Prosecutor: No criminal charges in Irene aid fraud

ROCKY HILL, Conn. (AP) Connecticut prosecutors say they won't pursue criminal charges against state employees and others who fraudulently obtained emergency food stamp benefits designated for people affected by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.

Deputy Chief State's Attorney Leonard Boyle told the New Haven Register that prosecutors' offices don't have enough resources to handle dozens of criminal cases involving the fraud, all of which involved less than $1,000 of aid.

More than 1,000 state employees and thousands of other citizens applied for benefits from the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program after Irene.

State officials say 170 state employees were disciplined for receiving benefits to which they were not entitled, including 97 workers who were fired. All but four of the firings, however, were later overturned in arbitration.

Mother of slain child looking for answers

BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut mother whose 1-year-old daughter was stabbed to death this week says she's devastated and searching for answers.

Shakyia Clay says she's frustrated that police haven't told her the details of how her daughter, Zaniyah Calloway, was killed Monday at a relative's home in Bristol.

Clay says she also doesn't understand why someone would stab a child in the stomach. Clay says a female relative at the home was babysitting Zaniyah and her 3-year-old son.

Police charged 36-year-old Arthur Hapgood of Waterbury with murder in the killing. Authorities say Hapgood was Zaniyah's uncle and the stabbing occurred inside Hapgood's mother's home during an argument, while Hapgood apparently was high on drugs.

Hapgood is detained on $2.5 million bail. His public defender declined to comment on the allegations.

Visconti qualifies to appear on Connecticut ballot

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Gun rights advocate Joseph Visconti has qualified to appear as a candidate for Connecticut governor on the November ballot.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill announced Wednesday that Visconti and his running mate, Chester Harris, reached the threshold of 7,500 signatures of registered voters needed to appear as petitioning candidates. Visconti had originally sought the Republican Party's nomination but did not receive enough delegate support at the May convention to qualify for the primary.

Merrill's office has not yet announced whether former Democratic state Rep. Jonathan Pelto of Mansfield submitted enough qualified signatures to also appear on the ballot.

Visconti, a West Hartford contractor, originally announced his candidacy about 16 months ago, the same day Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed a wide-ranging gun control measure into law.

Rocks Cats pay taxes, avoid stadium eviction

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) The New Britain Rock Cats have avoided potential eviction from their baseball stadium by paying more than $164,500 in property taxes.

Team owner Josh Solomon gave a check for the taxes to New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart yesterday. The stadium straddles the New Britain-Berlin line, and Solomon's check reimbursed New Britain for taxes it paid to Berlin on the Rock Cats' behalf.

New Britain was paying $30,000 a year in lieu of taxes for the Rock Cats' stadium to Berlin. But after the team announced in June that it will move to Hartford for the 2016 season, Stewart said the city would no longer help the team with taxes owed to Berlin.

The team had been given until September first to pay the taxes or face the possibility of eviction.

Hartford police probing officer's use of stun gun

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra is pledging a thorough investigation of a police officer's use of a stun gun on a city teenager, whose family calls the use of force unnecessary.

Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley says the officer shot 18-year-old Luis Anglero with a stun gun Tuesday afternoon as police were breaking up an unruly crowd. Foley says Anglero was a ``clear aggressor and agitator.''

Surveillance video shows the officer shooting Anglero after the teen stopped advancing toward the officer and put his hands down. Relatives say the teen fell, hit his head and appeared to have a seizure.

Anglero is being treated at Hartford Hospital. Police charged him with interfering with police and breach of peace.

A police report identified the officer as Detective Shawn Ware, who didn't immediately return messages Thursday.

Charges dropped against man in police assault case

ENFIELD, Conn. (AP) A state judge has dismissed assault charges against a man who is accusing Enfield police of beating him up with excessive force and arresting him for no reason.

Enfield Superior Court Judge Howard Scheinblum dropped charges against 25-year-old Mark Maher of Windsor on Tuesday. He was charged with assaulting police and resisting arrest April 1 at the Enfield boat launch, where he said he was hanging out with friends and not doing anything wrong.

Police said they were investigating possible drug use. Police cruiser video shows officers forcing Maher to the ground and Officer Matthew Worden punching Maher.

Worden is on paid leave pending an internal affairs investigation. Prosecutors declined to file criminal charges against him.

Maher has filed a brutality complaint and plans to sue Enfield police.

Cops: New York man kidnaps, rapes Connecticut teen

GREENWICH, Conn. (AP) A 26-year-old New York man has been charged with kidnapping, raping and trying to strangle a Connecticut teenager he had been dating, after they argued in text messages and phone calls.

Police in Port Chester, New York, say they arrested Johanny Chavez on Monday, after his 19-year-old girlfriend went to Greenwich, Connecticut, police with the allegations.

The teen told police Chavez abducted her from her home in the Riverside section of Greenwich on Friday and took her to his home in nearby Port Chester, where she alleges he raped and tried to strangle her. She said she escaped Saturday.

Chavez was arraigned in court Tuesday and remains detained in New York. It's not clear if he has a lawyer.

Greenwich police say they also are investigating and may file charges.

Officials believe Bridgeport fire was arson

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) Bridgeport officials say they believe a large fire at the vacant former Remington Arms gun factory was the work of an arsonist.

The blaze burned through the top two floors of the five-story brick building on Tuesday. No injuries were reported. Firefighters spent the night at the factory making sure no hot spots flared up.

Fire officials say they suspect arson because two fires broke out at the complex at about the same time, including the one in the five-story building and another smaller fire down the street.

The factory complex that shut down in the 1980s has been the scene of many fires over the years.

Officials are trying to determine if embers from Tuesday's fire started a blaze at a nearby home. Ten people were displaced.


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