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State Headlines

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut man sentenced to two years in state prison last month for bringing a semiautomatic rifle and other firearms onto a college campus and causing a lockdown has received five years of probation in a related federal prosecution.

Twenty-three-year-old William Dong of Fairfield was sentenced Thursday in Hartford federal court for illegally transporting a Bushmaster XM-15 rifle from Pennsylvania to Connecticut, where that rifle is banned.

Dong was arrested at the University of New Haven in December 2013. Authorities say he brought two loaded handguns into a class, and police found the rifle in his car. Officials also found 2,700 rounds of ammunition and newspaper clippings about the Colorado theater shooting at Dong's home.

Dong's lawyer says Dong brought the guns on campus to protect himself and fellow students.

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) A Venezuelan hedge fund manager has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for running a massive Connecticut-based investment fraud scheme that involved hundreds of millions of dollars.

Francisco Illarramendi expressed remorse during his sentencing Thursday in federal court in Bridgeport. He pleaded guilty to several fraud and conspiracy charges four years ago in what federal prosecutors have called their biggest white-collar criminal case ever in Connecticut.

Illarramendi was accused of reaping $20 million for himself in a massive Ponzi scheme that exposed mostly foreign investors to more than $200 million in losses, much of it from Venezuela's state oil company.

Authorities say much of the money has been recovered, but it's still unclear exactly how much money investors lost.

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) A federal lawsuit says officials at the exclusive Indian Mountain School in Salisbury did nothing as students were sexually assaulted and blackmailed into keeping silent.

A former student claims in a lawsuit filed Thursday he was sexually abused and assaulted dozens of times by three school officials from 1982 to 1984.

Mark Devey, Indian Mountain's head of school, said administrators recently notified the school community they are investigating to identify alumni who were victims while students.

He says the school is taking the allegations very seriously.

A federal lawsuit was filed in October by another former student who claims routine abuse of students at the hands of staff, including sex assaults by the now-deceased headmaster.

Indian Mountain School is a private boarding and day school for children in kindergarten through grade 9.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Two Metro-North derailments in New York have renewed concerns among federal regulators over the commuter railroad's focus on safety.

No one was injured after trains left the tracks at Grand Central Terminal and White Plains, New York, on Wednesday. The Greenwich Time reports the Federal Railroad Administration is investigating.

Mike England, a spokesman for the agency, says the derailments raise new questions about Metro-North's safety program ``in light of their recent safety record.''

Metro-North spokeswoman Marjorie Anders said officials quickly developed an alternate service plan combining New Haven Line trains. She says commuters were delayed for up to 15 minutes.

The two derailments were the fourth in two years for Metro-North. A 2013 derailment in Bridgeport injured scores of passengers and four passengers died as a result of a Bronx, New York, derailment.

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) A group of Waterbury Muslims is asking the Board of Education to recognize two religious holidays on the school calendar.

The Republican-American reports that a petition with nearly 300 signatures is seeking recognition of Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. The petition asks that the days be recognized on the school calendar and that staff avoid scheduling tests, field trips and other events.

Eid Al-Fitr marks the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan and will be on July 17. Eid al-Adha, a feast of sacrifice, commemorates Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son. It will be on Sept. 23.

A vacation day was added this year to mark Three Kings Day, traditionally an important day for Hispanic Christians.

The school board is set to discuss the request Thursday night.

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) The endorsed Democratic candidate for state Senate in Bridgeport blames a clerical error for unpaid child support.

The Connecticut Post reports City Councilman Richard DeJesus owed $35,700 in child support in 2014 and faced a court order to pay. He calls it a ``mix-up'' because he had been paying $150 a week, but was told it was supposed to be $180.

He also says city information showing he owed $139,433 in back taxes is inaccurate and he doesn't owe as much.

DeJesus has won the Democratic Party's endorsement for the Senate seat vacated by Andres Ayala, who was appointed state motor vehicles commissioner. The election is Feb. 24.

Brett Broesder, spokesman for Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, said the child support issue ``doesn't look good,'' but said all the facts are not available.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) State Police say 71 motorists have been issued $92 tickets for defying the state's travel ban during the winter storm.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy imposed the ban from 9 p.m. Monday to 2 p.m. Tuesday to keep roads and highways clear for snow plows.

The New Haven Register reports that State Police spokesman Lt. Paul Vance said there were more than 71 stops, but troopers used discretion in issuing tickets. Physicians, for example, were not ticketed.

Before the ban more than 100 accidents were reported on state highways. It dropped to 17 after the ban.

NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) Eastern Connecticut received the most snowfall in the state from the blizzard, and some towns asked the state for help in clearing snow.

The National Weather Service said there were reports of more than 2 feet in Thompson, Putnam and Lisbon.

New London Mayor Daryl Finizio said members of the Connecticut National Guard and four Bridgeport truck crews were going to help clear snow in the coastal city.

Pomfret First Selectwoman Maureen Nicholson asked the state for a payloader to help with the cleanup.

Nineteen staff members at Mystic Aquarium spent the night to take care of the animals. Officials said many species are from cold-weather habitats and appeared to have fun during the storm.

Sarah and Andrew Browning were not expecting to have their baby until Valentine's Day, so when the Farmington woman began having contractions Monday she assumed it was false labor.  As the Northeast blizzard grew worse, so did her contractions. Andrew, a pastor at the New Hope Baptist Church in Torrington, says he and his wife began praying for guidance.

He says about 10 minutes later Sarah's water broke.

They called 911 and were told it would be OK to drive to the Hospital of Central Connecticut in nearby New Britain. Andrew says it took them about 40 minutes to make what normally is a 15-minute trip.  The Brownings arrived at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday. Graham Michael Browning was born healthy at 8:50 a.m, weighing 5 pounds, 11 ounces.

GLASTONBURY, Conn. (AP) An Ellington woman imprisoned for about 40 months for stealing $1.7 million from a law firm where she worked as a paralegal has been arrested on a charge of stealing from a Glastonbury hair salon where she was a receptionist.

The Hartford Courant reports that Glastonbury police charged Patricia Baddeley Meehan with third-degree larceny earlier this month. She was released on $75,000 bail.

The arrest warrant says the 49-year-old Meehan stole as much as $40,000 in cash from September 2013 until she was fired a year later. She's also accused of stealing tips.

Meehan doesn't have a listed phone number and it wasn't known if she's represented by a lawyer.

Prosecutors have asked a judge to revoke her supervised release and put her back in jail due to the new arrest.

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) Bridgeport's former mayor has given up in his battle with the current mayor over his property revaluation.

The Connecticut Post reports that former Mayor John Fabrizi has withdrawn a Freedom of Information complaint with state officials against the city's tax assessor.

Fabrizi had tried using state Freedom of Information laws to try to receive information from a taxpayer-funded revaluation from Mayor Bill Finch's administration.

He said if had prevailed, the city would have appealed until another revaluation is done with publicly available data.

At issue is whether the public has a right to look at a revaluation paid for by city taxpayers but was not put in place.

City Attorney Mark Anastasi said selective release of preliminary information would cause confusion, unfairness and inequity in the real estate market.

PLAINFIELD, Conn. (AP) A Plainfield man has been arrested after police say he was pulling kids on a sled behind his speeding pickup truck.

Michael W. Chauvin faces charges of risk of injury to a minor, reckless endangerment and reckless driving. He was charged Monday night.

Police say the 40-year-old Chauvin drove his Dodge Ram truck at ``unreasonable speeds'' on snow-covered roads, towing the children in the sled.

Police say other people, including children, were in the bed of the truck. One of the children was 9 years old.

Police did not say if Chauvin was related to any of the children.

Chauvin did not immediately return a message seeking comment and it wasn't known Tuesday if he's represented by a lawyer.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Metro-North Railroad says it's resuming limited service as winter storm conditions ease.

The Connecticut and suburban New York commuter line said Tuesday morning it's operating on a Sunday schedule.

Trains are set to start running at about 11 a.m. on the Harlem and Hudson lines and at 1 p.m. on the New Haven line.

Customers who use the Port Jervis line or Pascack Valley line should listen to announcements from NJ Transit about resumption of service.

The rail service advises riders to listen for station announcements, check the MTA website at or Metro-North Train Time app for service updates.

Customers also are advised to anticipate some delays, crowded conditions and to allow for extra time.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has lifted the travel ban for Connecticut roads as conditions return to normal after a widespread storm pounded southern New England.

The ban was imposed at 9 p.m. Monday.

The governor said Connecticut is ``through the worst of the storm.'' However, he said the highways are passable, but perhaps not at typical highway speeds.

State bus service is set to resume Wednesday morning.

Malloy said 15 accidents were reported since Monday, demonstrating that motorists heeded warnings and avoided the roads.

He also ordered state employees back to work Wednesday, though nonessential third-shift workers should not report to work Tuesday.

HAMDEN, Conn. (AP) Hamden authorities say three workers who were injured after falling off an aerial lift at a construction site are expected to be OK.

Police say the three men were working at a site off State Street on Thursday afternoon when they fell off the lift. Officials say the workers were brought to Yale-New Haven Hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries.

The lift appeared to be about 20 feet off the ground.

Amtrak officials shut down a nearby track because of the accident, but said train service wasn't affected.

Officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are looking into the accident.

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) The former manager of a firearms manufacturer has pleaded guilty to falsifying records indicating that missing firearms had been scrapped.

Richard Cummings, former manager of Tri-Town Plastics in Deep River, entered his plea Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport.

The 43-year-old Cummings of East Haddam pleaded guilty to making a false entry in a firearms manufacturer's acquisition and disposition records, failing to file a theft-loss report and failing to maintain a firearms manufacturer's acquisition and disposition records.

Plainfield police seized a handgun from a convicted felon in February 2012. It had no record of being manufactured, and according to Tri-Town's records, the gun's frame was scrapped in March 2011.

Cummings is scheduled to be sentenced April 15. The maximum penalty on each misdemeanor charge is one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A spokesman says Governor Dannel Malloy is rejecting a recommendation to raise the governor's pay by 10 percent, to $165,000 a year.

The Republican-American reports that an independent group, the Commission on the Compensation for Elected State Officers and General Assembly Members, is proposing raises of 10 percent.

The state Constitution prohibits increasing salaries of elected officials during their terms, which for Malloy ends in January 2019 and for legislators in 2017.

Devon Puglia, a spokesman for Malloy, said the governor's office will not propose legislation for a raise.

For legislators, the proposed 10 percent increase would raise their base salary from $28,000 to $30,800.

House Speaker Brendan Sharkey ruled out pay raises and a spokesman says Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney does not anticipate plans to increase pay.

WARREN, Maine (AP) -- Police say seven people are facing charges for allegedly smuggling drugs into the Maine State Prison inside greetings cards.


The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency said Wednesday the suboxone strips originated in Connecticut and were sent to various Maine addresses.


The Portland Press Herald reports that the strips were then smuggled into the Warren prison inside cards during prisoner visits.


An inmate sold them to other inmates. Police say customers paid by having outside people transfer money orders to personal accounts or prisoner accounts.


The alleged ringleader was 71-year-old Douglas Mazzotta of Middletown, Connecticut. He awaits extradition to Maine. It's not clear if he has a lawyer.


Two inmates and four other Maine residents also face charges.


Suboxone is prescription medication used to treat opiate addiction and is often abused.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) New England's electricity grid operator says natural gas pipeline bottlenecks and retirement of aging power plants could put pressure on the price of energy.

But Gordon van Welie, president and chief executive officer of ISO-New England, said Wednesday that the region has benefited from transmission system upgrades since 2002.

He said at the grid operator's annual briefing to the media that a mild winter and falling oil prices have so far helped push down energy prices. But winter has eight weeks to go and energy use and prices could spike.

Power plants are increasingly relying on natural gas, boosting demand that has led to pipeline bottlenecks, which have led to price increases.

BOSTON (AP) Mohegan Sun is suing Massachusetts gambling regulators over their decision to award the Boston-area casino license to a rival.

The Connecticut-based casino company is joining a Superior Court lawsuit filed late last year by the city of Revere and a labor union representing workers at the Suffolk Downs horse racing track.

Mitchell Etess, CEO of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, said Wednesday the company has never filed suit to challenge a casino license decision, but felt compelled to in this case because of the many issues around what he called a ``gravely flawed'' decision.

The lawsuit seeks to vacate the Massachusetts Gaming Commission's decision to award the license to Wynn Resorts, which plans a casino in Everett.

Mohegan Sun had proposed a resort at Suffolk Downs in Revere.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Two former professional wrestlers accuse the WWE of ignoring concussions they say left them with serious brain injuries.

The men have filed a lawsuit in federal court in Philadelphia, where a judge is weighing a similar NFL case that could yield a $1 billion settlement.

The WWE plaintiffs are Evan Singleton, of Lancaster, and Vito LoGrasso, of Coatesville.

Singleton performed as Adam Mercer from 2012 to 2013. The suit says he is now disabled because of brain trauma.

LoGrasso wrestled under various stage names, including Skull Von Krush. The lawsuit says he suffers from migraines, memory loss and depression.

Lawyer Jerry McDevitt says the Stamford, Connecticut-based WWE never concealed medical information about concussions and was ahead of other sports in treating them.

The WWE is led by Chairman Vince McMahon.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Lawyers for the Madison Board of Education have agreed to settle a lawsuit by a former student who accused officials of allowing several boys to remain at her middle school and traumatize her after they sexually assaulted her.

Attorneys in the case confirmed Tuesday that a settlement was reached in federal court in Hartford last week and awaits approval by the school board. Terms weren't disclosed.

Five boys were convicted in juvenile court of molesting the girl when she was intoxicated at a New Year's Eve party in 2009.

The lawsuit said school officials took no action against the boys after learning of the allegations. The lawsuit said the boys remained at Polson Middle School for weeks after the assault and harassed the girl before being arrested.

School officials denied wrongdoing.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A former finance director for the town of Plymouth has been charged with embezzling more than $800,000.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Connecticut says 41-year-old David Bertnagel was arrested Tuesday morning and presented in U.S. District Court in Hartford on a charge of theft from a local government receiving federal funds. That carries a possible 10-year prison sentence.

Prosecutors say Bertnagel issued 207 checks to himself between October 2011 and October 2014 totaling $808,030.

He is accused of using more than $100,000 of that money to buy coins, stamps and other collectibles. They say he also used stolen money for expenses including mortgage payments and credit card bills.

He was removed from his job in November.

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) A passenger in a car that hit a police cruiser two years ago is suing officers on accusations they used excessive force.

Antonio Lostaunau has filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport. He claims he was kicked, hit and stomped by officers and bitten by a police dog following the crash with the cruiser on Dec. 25, 2012. He says he has permanent leg disability.

The 22-year-old Lostaunau says he was not resisting and pleaded with the officers to stop assaulting him.

The Connecticut Post reports that city officials did not immediately return emails seeking comment.

Police were pursuing the driver, Josue Jimenez, who was accused of driving through stop signs.

Jimenez's car collided with the police car, injuring two officers.

MILFORD, Conn. (AP) A Milford man has been arrested on accusation he was involved in three incidents with companions in the last month.

The New Haven Register reports that police say Christopher Millhouse was arrested Friday on three warrants.

Police say he violated a protective order Dec. 19 and was accused five days later of assaulting another companion, restraining her by her neck, throwing her into a bathroom fixture and damaging her cell phone.

And a week after that, police say the 37-year-old Millhouse was involved in another fight with a companion that resulted in charges of burglary, home invasion and unlawful restraint.

Millhouse is accused of failing to appear in court Jan. 9.

He's being held on $1.2 million bail and it wasn't known Tuesday if he's represented by a lawyer.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) A Yale University freshman has survived a four-story fall from a dormitory window.

School spokesman Tom Conroy said in an email Tuesday that the student fell from a window in Bingham Hall at about 2 p.m. Monday. Yale didn't have classes Monday because of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.

The student was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital. His condition hasn't been released.

Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway tells the Yale Daily News that the male freshman is expected to make a full recovery.

Conroy didn't indicate whether the fall was an accident but says there will be no police investigation.

NEWINGTON, Conn. (AP) A roofer was seriously injured in Newington when he came into contact with an electrical wire while climbing a ladder.

Police say the man fell about 20 feet off the ladder after being shocked shortly before 10:30 a.m. Friday. Officials say he is in critical condition at the Connecticut Burn Center at Bridgeport Hospital.

The worker's name hasn't been released.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has sent a representative to the job site to investigate.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut art dealer convicted in the sale of fraudulent artwork has been sentenced to four years and nine months in prison.

David Crespo, of Guilford, was sentenced Friday in federal court in New Haven.

The former owner of the Brandon Gallery in Madison pleaded guilty to mail fraud in September 2013. Federal prosecutors described him as a serial fraudster who forged documents to falsely represent that the pieces he sold were real.

The New Haven Register reports that Crespo was accused of victimizing more than 10 people, with losses totaling between $400,000 and $1 million.

Despite entering the guilty plea in September 2013, Crespo denied many of the government's allegations. He said if the art he sold was fake he did not know it.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's budget director contends Connecticut is ``holding our own'' on state revenue collections, even though new figures show plummeting gasoline prices have increased this year's projected budget deficit.

Office of Policy and Management Secretary Ben Barnes told The Associated Press Friday how the state is meeting or slightly exceeding its targets for most taxes. However, revenues from the petroleum gross receipts tax a percentage of the wholesale price of gasoline dropped by $44 million since November.

It now appears the current $20 billion fiscal year budget could end June 30 with an approximate $70 million deficit.

But Barnes, who is crafting a new two-year budget proposal to be released Feb. 18, said he expects lower gas prices will ultimately provide a jolt to Connecticut's economy.

NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) A former volunteer youth football coach has been sentenced to five years in prison for robbing a bank in Mystic.

The Day of New London reports that following the July 18, 2014, robbery, police distributed surveillance photos that drew responses from people who recognized Jason Piontkowski Sr.

The 39-year-old Piontkowski confessed, saying his bills were mounting after a lengthy unemployment.

He wrote to Superior Court Judge Hillary B. Strackbein from the Corrigan Radgowski Correctional Center, apologizing for his ``foolish and reckless act.''

Prosecutor offered to resolve the case with five years in prison followed by five years of special parole because Piontkowski came forward and has been active in the community.

Piontkowski said he robbed the bank of about $6,000. An audit put it at $10,400, which the judge ordered him to repay.

EAST HAVEN, Conn. (AP) A lawyer says the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities has found reasonable cause to investigate a sexual harassment complaint by a former secretary against East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo.

The New Haven Register reports that John R. Williams, the attorney representing the former Town Hall secretary, said the human rights agency found that the complaint merits further investigation. The commission has ordered everyone involved to gather at a confidential, mediated meeting Jan. 22.

Frank Gentilesco Jr., a spokesman for the mayor, declined to comment to the newspaper. He referred questions to Maturo's lawyer who also would not comment.

The former secretary filed the complaint last July, accusing Maturo of exposing himself as part of a pattern of sexual harassment.

Maturo has called the accusations ``patently false.''

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) Bridgeport Democrats have endorsed a city councilman under investigation for residency issues as their candidate to fill a vacant state Senate seat.

The Connecticut Post reports the Democratic Town Committee on Thursday selected Councilman Richard DeJesus, who is being investigated by elections officials on accusations he did not live in his district as a Council candidate in 2013.

State Rep. Christina Ayala was arrested in September for allegedly voting and seeking public campaign money with a phony address. Bridgeport voters ousted her in November and her case is pending.

DeJesus won by one vote, defeating former Sen. Edwin Gomes.

The seat was vacated by Sen. Andres Ayala, who was appointed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy as motor vehicles commissioner.

The special election for the Senate seat is set for Feb. 24.

BRDIGEPORT, Conn. (AP) A corrections officer has been arrested in connection with a hit-and-run crash that killed a woman in Bridgeport last month.

The Connecticut Post reports that Patricia Daniels was arrested Wednesday by Bridgeport police. It was not immediately known whether she has an attorney.

Fifty-one-year-old Evelyn Agyei of Bridgeport was killed when the vehicle she was driving went off the road and hit a tree after being struck several times by a white BMW sport utility vehicle. Her 11-year-old son survived the Dec. 4 accident.

The corrections officer was previously questioned in the accident. The Post reports that paint particles taken from Daniels' front bumper and sent to the state police crime lab matched evidence found on the Subaru's rear bumper.

Police say several witness tips that led them to their suspect.

PLAINFIELD, Conn. (AP) A 2.2-magnitude earthquake has rattled eastern Connecticut again.

In what's becoming a daily seismic event, the Weston Observatory of Boston College said the earthquake occurred at about 4:40 a.m. Thursday near Plainfield, where previous earthquakes were recorded.

It says two minor earthquakes were recorded on Wednesday and another on Tuesday.

Several were recorded on Monday and last week, too.

The observatory says that while the greatest earthquake activity in the United States is in the west, earthquakes are ``quite common'' in many areas of the eastern United States, including New England.

Plainfield officials have invited Alan Kafka, director of the observatory, to an informational meeting at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the town's high school.

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) A Bridgeport police officer has been acquitted of civil rights violations charges in the beating of a suspect captured on video.

The Connecticut Post reports a U.S. District Court jury cleared Clive Higgins Wednesday of wrongdoing in the May 20, 2011, beating of Orlando Lopez-Soto in Beardsley Park. ``I never stopped praying,'' said Higgins, who had been suspended.

Scot X. Esdaile, state president of the NAACP, called the verdict a miscarriage of justice.

Two other officers charged in the incident, Elson Morales and Joseph Lawlor, pleaded guilty in June to depriving Lopez-Soto of his civil rights.

A video showed police officers kicking Lopez-Soto after he was shot with a stun gun following a car chase. He's serving five years in prison after pleading guilty to drug and gun charges.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A contractor blamed for starting a fire at a Connecticut home that killed three girls and two of their grandparents on Christmas morning in 2011 has agreed to settle a lawsuit by paying the children's father $5 million.

Court records obtained by The Associated Press show that the contractor, Michael Borcina, and his company settled Matthew Badger's lawsuit in Hartford Superior Court on Dec. 10. Badger's lawyer confirmed the settlement amount.

The fire in Stamford killed 7-year-old twins Grace and Sarah Badger, 9-year-old Lily Badger, and their maternal grandparents. The girl's mother and Borcina, who were dating at the time, both escaped.

Authorities said the fire began after Borcina left a bag of fireplace ashes in a mudroom.

A lawyer for Borcina didn't return a message Tuesday

PLAINFIELD, Conn. (AP) In what's becoming a daily event, a minor earthquake has shaken parts of eastern Connecticut.

The federal Geological Service confirmed a 2.0-magnitude earthquake at about 6:30 a.m. Wednesday in Plainfield. It was the third consecutive day an earthquake was felt in the area.

A 2.1 magnitude earthquake rattled Plainfield and surrounding areas Tuesday morning. It was in the same area as five small earthquakes on Monday morning.

Last Thursday, a 2.0 to 2.2-magnitude earthquake was felt in Plainfield.

Paul Yellen, Plainfield's emergency management director, told WFSB that no significant damage to utilities or roads has been reported.

A research scientist at the Weston Observatory says a series of small earthquakes in the Northeast is not unusual because the eastern U.S. is atop a tectonic plate affected by geological pressure.

WATERFORD, Conn. (AP) The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has notified the Millstone Power Station that more inspections and oversight are possible after a Nov. 24 inspection found problems related to unspecified safety issues.

The Day of New London reports that one finding related to security requirements at Millstone, which is owned by Dominion Resources Inc., was of ``very low'' safety significance and the other of ``greater than very low'' significance.

The issues are related to security systems and procedures not subject to public disclosure.

Spokesmen for the NRC and Millstone said Tuesday the problems were corrected immediately.

The findings are the latest safety and security problems the NRC has found at Millstone over the past year. Bill Sheehan, head of the citizens' panel that oversees safety-related issues, said there may be a systemic problem.

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) A 56-year-old Fairfield man reported missing by his family has been found dead in New London, but police do not believe there was foul play.

Police tell the Connecticut Post Kelly Wright traveled to Niantic and by ferry to Montauk, Long Island, to look at a boat. Wright's wife told police he called her at about 3:15 p.m. Saturday and said he might go to one of the nearby casinos.

There was no further communication from Wright and his family reported him missing to local police at about 5 p.m. Sunday.

Fairfield police tracked his car to a hotel parking lot in New London. Wright was found slumped at the wheel of the vehicle and was dead for several hours.

Police say Wright had heart and kidney disease.

PLAINFIELD, Conn. (AP) Another minor earthquake has rattled eastern Connecticut.

Boston College's Weston Observatory says the 2.1 magnitude earthquake at about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday was in Plainfield. It was in the same area as five small earthquakes over five hours Monday morning.

The strongest of those was 3.1 magnitude and could be felt in Rhode Island.

Last Thursday, an earthquake with a magnitude of 2.0 to 2.2 was felt in Plainfield. Homeowners reported it was strong enough to shake picture frames off the walls.

A research scientist at the Weston Observatory said such a series of small earthquakes in the Northeast is not unusual because the eastern U.S. is atop a tectonic plate affected by geological pressure.

HAMDEN, Conn. (AP) Federal prosecutors say Quinnipiac University has agreed to settle allegations it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when it removed a depressed student from school and refused to refund her tuition.

The settlement announced Monday calls for the private school in Hamden to give the student about $32,000 to pay off her college loan and for her pain and suffering. Officials say the university also will implement a new policy saying it won't discriminate against applicants or students based on mental health disabilities.

Prosecutors say Quinnipiac discriminated against the student by placing her on mandatory medical leave without considering options for her to stay enrolled.

Quinnipiac released a statement saying the university fully complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and its ADA standards exceed those of most colleges.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Scientists on Monday recorded four small earthquakes within 20 minutes in the same area of eastern Connecticut, including a 3.1-magnitude tremor felt more than 60 miles away in Massachusetts. They followed two smaller quakes in the same area last week.


The Weston Observatory at Boston College reports the quakes were recorded Monday morning near Danielson and northern Plainfield. They included a 1.1-magnitude quake just after 6:30 a.m. that was followed by tremors of magnitudes 0.9, 3.1 and 2.0.


The U.S. Geological Survey says the largest tremor centered in northern Plainfield was felt in Rhode Island and as far away as Massachusetts in New Bedford and Framingham.


There were reports of shaking, but none of major damage or injuries.


Scientists say such a series of small quakes isn't unusual in New England

BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) Police say a man trying to intervene in a domestic assault on two family members has been injured in a sledgehammer attack.

Police responded to a domestic disturbance Sunday night and allege David Buchelli assaulted two family members.

An unidentified man visiting the residence tried to intervene, but police say Buchelli assaulted him with a sledgehammer and a patio block causing severe facial injuries. The victim was taken to Bristol Hospital.

Buchelli was arrested and charged with assault, criminal mischief and breach of peace. The 53-year-old Buchelli also is accused of vandalizing a vehicle.

He was held on a $100,000.

HAMDEN, Conn. (AP) Police are investigating the death of a New Haven firefighter who was found unconscious, face down on a sidewalk.

Police said a neighbor informed a police officer at about 3. a.m. Sunday that she found Linda Cohens lying face down on the sidewalk outside her home in Hamden.

Police say Cohens was unresponsive and appeared to have suffered a head injury. She was declared dead at Yale New Haven Hospital. WTNH-TV reports that her death is being investigated by Hamden's major crimes division.

Cohens was a long-time member of the New Haven Fire Department and was most recently a paramedic.

An autopsy has not yet been completed.

New Haven firefighters have set up a scholarship fund for Cohens' granddaughter and firefighters across Connecticut took to Twitter to express their condolences.

ENFIELD, Conn. (AP) Enfield officials are investigating whether an early morning barn fire is connected to a series of suspicious blazes in the Hazardville section of town.

Firefighters responded to the barn fire shortly before 7:30 a.m. Friday and extinguished it by about 8:40 a.m.

Enfield fire spokesman Mark Zarcaro told the Journal Inquirer that there were no animals in the barn, which is located only about 10 feet from a house. No injuries were reported.

Zarcaro said investigators are looking into whether it is related to eight suspected arsons in the same area that date back to August.

The fire on Friday occurred across the street from a vacant barn that burned to the ground in November.

Mayor Scott Kaupin says there is significant concern in the community about the arsons.

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut man who said he was possessed by Satan when he killed and dismembered his 90-year-old father has been sentenced to 60 years in prison.

The New Britain Herald reports 49-year-old Jan Gawlik of New Britain repeated the claim during his sentencing Friday and said he was high on cocaine when he killed his father, Jozef, in October 2011. He was convicted of murder in November.

Prosecutors say Gawlik used a sword, knife, meat clever and potato masher in an attack on his father, who was frail and suffered heart problems and cancer.

Gawlik now says he has given his life to God and wants to become a Catholic priest.

The judge said the extent of Gawlik's attacks was ``truly horrific.''

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A former high school football captain has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for fatally stabbing a man who he said sexually abused him as a minor, provided him drugs and called him gay in an Internet posting.

Tarence ``T.J.'' Mitchell was sentenced Friday in Hartford Superior Court for the death of 27-year-old Ronald Taylor Jr. in November 2013. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter in October.

Mitchell's lawyers said Taylor sexually assaulted Mitchell as a minor and used threats and physical violence to force him to engage in sexual contact.

Mitchell was a student at Bloomfield High School at the time of the crime. He apologized to Taylor's family in court Friday and said he didn't mean to kill him.

Taylor's relatives said his death devastated their family.

NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) A Norwich man convicted of arson asked a judge to be lenient and sentence him to the minimum 10 years has instead been sent to prison for 17 years.

The Bulletin reports that Marwan Chankar was found guilty in October of a July 2011 arson in Norwich. Jurors convicted the 37-year-old Chankar of arson and criminal mischief. He was found not guilty of attempted murder of a tenant who kicked him out of his apartment shortly before the fire.

New London Superior Court Judge Barbara Jongbloed said she considered the seriousness of the crime and Chankar's criminal record against a show of support from family members and that Chankar was sexually assaulted when he was a child.

Chankar apologized for ``bad choices.''

Prosecutors recommended Chankar receive 18 years in prison, saying he is a danger to society.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A Fairfield woman has pleaded guilty to nearly $300,000 in food stamp fraud at a Bridgeport deli.

Federal prosecutors say Jamila Aboutayeb pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Hartford to one count of unlawful use of food stamp benefits.

The 54-year-old Aboutayeb admitted she unlawfully exchanged customers' food stamp benefits for ineligible items such as cash, cigarettes and alcoholic beverages between June 2013 and March 2014.

Authorities say more than $285,000 in illegal food stamp benefits were redeemed at the store.

Aboutayeb is scheduled to be sentenced in March and faces up to five years imprisonment, a fine and restitution.

Her brother, Khalid Aboutayeb, pleaded guilty in December to unlawfully exchanging food stamp benefits for ineligible items and cash.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A 17-year-old Connecticut girl being forced by state officials to undergo chemotherapy says she understands she'll die if she stops treatment but it should be her decision.

The state Supreme Court ruled Thursday state officials aren't violating the rights of Cassandra C., who has Hodgkin lymphoma.

Cassandra tells The Associated Press in an exclusive text interview it disgusts her to have ``such toxic harmful drugs'' in her body and she'd like to explore alternative treatments.

She says she understands ``death is the outcome of refusing chemo'' but she believes in ``the quality'' of her life, not the quantity.

The court ruled Cassandra's lawyers had the opportunity to prove she's mature enough to make that decision during a Juvenile Court hearing in December and failed to do so.

WOODBRIDGE, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut brewery that drew condemnation in the U.S. and India for its beer that carries the name and likeness of Mohandas Gandhi says it's received threats and is seeking a way to end the uproar.

New England Brewery of Woodbridge posted on its Facebook page Wednesday that the Gandhi-Bot beer was intended ``to include the things and people in the world that have inspired us.'' It says it's now looking for a way to ``amend this situation.''

The company said it's been the target of unspecified threats and ``some truly hurtful assumptions'' about its employees.

Critics said earlier this week they were appalled that the likeness of Gandhi, who favored prohibition, would be used for commerce, particularly to promote beer.

A brewery representative did not immediately respond to an email seeking more information.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Aundré Bumgardner is too young to legally drink or gamble, but he can help enact laws in Connecticut.

The 20-year-old Bumgardner took his seat in the state House of Representatives Wednesday as the youngest member of the legislature.

Bumgardner, who lives with his parents and two younger siblings in Groton City, is a Republican who defeated four-term incumbent Democrat Elissa Wright from the 41st House District last November, winning by 39 votes.

``It's a real honor to be here in this capacity,'' Bumgardner told The Day of New London after his swearing-in at the Capitol. He called it surreal.

His parents are not surprised at his success. His mother, Liz Bumgardner, recalled that at age 6, he asked for a birthday cake decorated with a picture of Abraham Lincoln.

NORWICH, Conn. (AP) Police have rescued a shoplifting suspect from the Quinebaug River in Lisbon and charged her with larceny.

The Bulletin reports that State Police said they received a call at 11:35 a.m. Tuesday of a shoplifter at Wal-Mart at Lisbon Landing.

Police say Melissa Latronica tried to escape by running along the top of an embankment. She fell into the river and was submerged when troopers pulled her out. She was treated at the scene and taken to the William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich.

The 30-year-old Latronica of Cromwell was released on a $1,000 bond. She is scheduled to appear Jan. 20 in Norwich Superior Court.

She does not have a listed phone number and it was not known if she's represented by a lawyer.

MILFORD, Conn. (AP) A West Haven man who pleaded guilty to throwing boiling oil on his estranged wife has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Prosecutors say that as a result of the attack by Mohammad A. Chaudhry, the victim required four skin grafts and nearly a month in the hospital.

The New Haven Register reports Superior Court Judge Frank Iannotti told Chaudhry on Tuesday that ``short of murder, it's about as bad a domestic violence case as you can get.''

Milford State's Attorney Kevin D. Lawlor sought a ``severe sentence,'' but the victim, in a letter read in court by a daughter, said Chaudhry made a terrible mistake. The two women asked for the ``minimum sentence.''

Chaudhry's lawyer says his client ``regrets his actions.''

His sentence includes a permanent protective order for the woman.

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) A Greenwich man has pleaded guilty to attempted murder in a baseball attack against his wife in their Greenwich mansion in September 2013.

Greenwich Time reports Michael DeMaio entered his plea Tuesday in Stamford Superior Court. He faces up to 10 years in jail when he is sentenced in March.

Supervisory State's Attorney James Bernardi said the Sept. 10, 2013, attack was about two weeks after Diane DeMaio served separation papers on her husband of 33 years.

The arrest affidavit says the 56-year-old Michael DeMaio struck her multiple times in the head and face with an aluminum baseball bat, leaving her in a coma with a severely fractured skull and brain damage.

The couple finalized their divorce In May and their mansion went on the market last April for $11.8 million.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) On the first day of the trial of former state Sen. Ernie Newton II on charges of campaign finance fraud, prosecutors tried to show how the ex-lawmaker came up $500 short of the $15,000 threshold for public financing.

The shortfall is key to the larceny, fraud and witness tampering charges facing Newton.

The Connecticut Post reports prosecutors presented their case Tuesday in Hartford Superior Court. They say Newton falsified five $100 contributions to bring the 2012 campaign's fundraising total over the threshold and qualify for $80,000 in public money.

Newton was forced to resign his Senate seat in 2005 and served five years in federal prison for bribery in a separate case.

He denies allegations he falsely sought public financing and that the matter should be before the state Elections Enforcement Commission.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) The former president of a now-defunct Hartford community organization has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $205,000.

The Journal Inquirer reports that Karen Lewis of Windsor has received a suspended sentence and probation. The 57-year-old Lewis pleaded guilty to first-degree larceny in Hartford Superior Court.

She's the former president and chief executive of the South Arsenal Neighborhood Development Corp., which operated economic and community development programs in Hartford's North End before it was dissolved in 2010.

A court document calls on Lewis to pay restitution of more than $205,000.

Lewis' embezzlement took the form of cash withdrawals from ATMs using SAND's debit card. Most of the withdrawals, more than $192,000, were at the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos.

Among the conditions of probation are that Lewis may not gamble.

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) A Bridgeport man being held at Bridgeport Correctional Center on charges of violating a judge's protective order has died apparently of natural causes.

The Connecticut Post reports that a spokeswoman for the Department of Correction says Peter Fraioli was pronounced dead at St. Vincent's Medical Center Saturday morning.

Spokeswoman Karen Martucci said a guard found the 53-year-old Fraioli unresponsive in his cell.

Martucci said Fraioli was admitted to the jail Sept. 18 and was being held in lieu of a $30,000 bond for a charge of violating a protective order, threatening and driving while under the influence. He was scheduled to make his next appearance at Stamford Superior Court Jan. 27.

The Chief Medical Examiner said a determination of cause of death is pending.

Stamford Police say a 25 year old woman fell  to her death at the Stamford Town Center Mall.
Witnesses said it appeared to be a suicide. There is still no ID on the woman released to the public. 

Witnesses told police that they saw the woman climb over the railing of an escalator that extends between levels seven and nine at the mall, then jump. The incident occurred at around 6:20 p.m. Most of the mall was closed in the aftermath of the event. The woman was pronounced dead at Stamford Hospital.

GREENWICH, Conn. (AP) Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who's exploring a run for president, is headed to Greenwich to raise money for his political action committee.

Hearst Connecticut Media Group reports Bush will raise money for his leadership PAC at a reception Wednesday. His grandfather, Prescott Bush, was a U.S. senator from Connecticut from 1952 to 1963.

The private reception is being organized by Debbie Walker Stapleton, a Bush cousin, and Craig Stapleton, U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic and France under former President George W. Bush.

Bush has announced recently he's cutting ties with several corporate boards and ending advisory roles.

In April 2014, Connecticut Republicans welcomed Bush as keynote speaker at the Prescott Bush Awards fundraising dinner in Stamford.

HAMDEN, Conn. (AP) Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson says Quinnipiac University is balking at an agreement requiring a payment of more than $1 million to compensate for otherwise exempt town property taxes.

The New Haven Register reports Jackson said university President John Lahey expressed concerns about the town's proposed amendment to planning and zoning regulations requiring approval of a five-year university master plan. Plans submitted by the university have not previously required formal approval.

The newspaper reports Lahey could not be reached for comment.

Quinnipiac paid Hamden $322,000 in taxes last year, less than it would have paid in taxes on its total worth. It also paid for police and fire services.

The agreement would have called for Quinnipiac to pay $1.23 million to Hamden. Of that, Hamden counted on 750,000 for its budget.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Connecticut Public TV has apologized for prematurely ending the first episode of season five of ``Downton Abbey.'' It blamed a technical problem for the mishap.

The program ended abruptly Sunday night on CPTV a few minutes before its scheduled conclusion. Viewers instead saw an ad for the Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven, followed by alternative public TV programming.

CPTV said on its website it's ``profoundly sorry and embarrassed by this mistake.'' The public television station re-broadcast the program at 1 a.m. Monday and is offering it online.

Viewers took to Twitter to complain. ``This is a Downton disaster,'' one Tweet said.

The popular British series follows the lives of an aristocratic family and their servants in 1920s England.

NEW HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Emergency crews are searching for a 53-year-old woman who went missing while kayaking in an icy lake in New Hartford.

Dive teams were deployed Friday morning at West Hill Lake to try to find the woman, who was last seen Thursday night. Police say she was reported missing Friday morning after her boyfriend found a note from her at her home saying she was going kayaking.

The woman's name hasn't been released.

Rescue crews say they found an overturned kayak and paddle in the middle of the lake. Authorities on Friday afternoon were calling the search a recovery operation and said anyone who fell into the pond likely would develop hypothermia within minutes.

The lake is partly covered by ice.

State police divers were using sonar and other equipment.

NAUGATUCK, Conn. (AP) Naugatuck police say a 19-year-old local woman who went missing two days ago after leaving her home with a man she met online has been found unharmed.

Authorities said Friday night that Erika VonDwingelo was back with her family. Police didn't release other details.

Police say VonDwingelo hadn't been seen by family and friends since about 8 p.m. Wednesday, when she left her home with a man named Chris.

Relatives said she had met the man online but never in person before Wednesday night.

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) A 22-year-old Waterbury man has been charged with felony murder in the beating death of a 50-year-old man who was found in a driveway on New Year's Day.

Police say Jonathan Pape confessed to killing Donald Curtis during a robbery early Thursday morning.

Curtis' body was discovered at about 7:45 a.m. on New Year's Day. The Chief Medical Examiner's Office found he died from blunt force trauma to the head and chest.

Police say Pape did not know the victim, who was walking home from a nearby store when he was attacked.

Pape was arraigned in state court Friday and ordered held in lieu of $1 million bond. His public defender didn't immediately return a message seeking comment Friday.

Police say more arrests are possible.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Police are searching for the killer of a 20-year-old man shot on Main Street.

WFSB-TV reports that the victim was shot in the chest sometime before 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday in the area of Main and Florence streets.

Police said officers were responding to a call about a two-car accident when they found the man, who police have not yet been identified, inside a car. He was transported to St. Francis Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police said told WFSB that the victim is known to them and that they will be reviewing surveillance video from the area.

The murder is the 19th homicide of 2014 in Hartford. Last year, there were 23, according to WFSB.

EAST LYME, Conn. (AP) An 18-year-old has been arrested after threatening an attack in town.

Tyler McKenzie was arrested and charged with first-degree threatening and second-degree breach of peace.

The arrest happened at 4 p.m. New Year's Eve. It comes about a week after the threatening comment was posted on YikYak, a social media website. The threat had prompted the East Lyme school district to cancel sporting events and make contingency plans for when classes resume Monday.

McKenzie wrote that the town ``better be ready for the hail of bullets'' because he had been bullied for too long. State, local police and the FBI searched McKenzie's home in East Lyme. Investigators say McKenzie admitted he wrote the threatening post and that he acted alone. He is in custody and will appear in court Friday.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A higher minimum wage, changes to Connecticut's domestic violence laws and a new policy for police use of stun guns are among the new laws taking effect in the new year.

Starting Thursday, the state's minimum hourly wage will climb from $8.70 to $9.15. It is the first of several increases aimed at boosting the wage to $10.10 an hour by Jan. 1, 2017. Connecticut was the first state in the country to pass legislation committing to a $10.10 an hour wage.

Also, judges can order the subject of a restraining or protective order to meet certain financial obligations. For example, they could be required to continue making mortgage payments on the family home.

New guidelines for police departments using stun guns must also be developed by Thursday.

GLASTONBURY, Conn. (AP) United Bank is closing five more branches by spring, bringing to nine the number shut since the bank was established in April with the merger of Rockville Bank and United Bank.

The Journal Inquirer reports the bank is closing a branch in East Windsor, two in Northampton, Massachusetts, and one each in Northborough and Northbridge, both in Massachusetts.

CEO William H.W. Crawford did not disclose the number of affected employees.

``Based on many factors, we just couldn't make these five branches successful,'' he said.

In deciding to close the branches, Crawford said the bank, based in Glastonbury, considered factors such as location and performance.

The closings will result in a one-time $5.5 million pre-tax charge on the bank's fourth-quarter earnings.

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Authorities are investigating the death of a 54-year-old woman in the East Hartford police department lockup.

The chief medical examiner's office ruled Wednesday that the death of Milagros Torres was a suicide. Police say officers found her unresponsive in her cell with a piece of fabric around her neck on Monday.

Officials say Torres was arrested Monday afternoon on misdemeanor domestic violence allegations and brought to the police department. Police say she was found lying down unresponsive shortly after being placed in a cell.

Paramedics treated Torres at the police department and brought her to Hartford Hospital, where she later was pronounced dead.

EAST LYME, Conn. (AP) Police will be stationed at each East Lyme school Monday and backpacks will be checked at the middle and high schools as officials continue to take precautions following a threat posted on social media.

Police and the FBI are investigating a post last week on Yik Yak, an anonymous app, warning of a ``hail of bullets.''

Schools Superintendent James Lombardo said in an email to the school community Tuesday that students are encouraged to keep their backpacks at home to avoid lengthy searches.

The Day of New London reports school officials also postponed the boys' basketball games scheduled for Tuesday.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal is calling on federal energy regulators to review what he calls an ``excessive increase'' in the fixed residential charge imposed by Connecticut's largest electric utility, Connecticut Light and Power.

The Democrat sent a letter Tuesday to the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, saying there's a ``clear, urgent need for FERC to establish policy'' to ensure energy conservation is promoted. Opponents of the fixed charge say higher rates charged by utilities ultimately discourage alternative energy usage and conservation.

Blumenthal is the latest public official to blast a decision by state regulators allowing CL&P to increase its monthly charge from $16 to $19.25. Some state lawmakers are seeking a cap.

CL contends it needs the money to cover ``significant expenses'' associated with running a complex electric system.

HAMDEN, Conn. (AP) A fraternity suspended at a Connecticut university amid hazing allegations says it doesn't tolerate hazing and is cooperating with the university's investigation.

Quinnipiac University officials have temporarily shut down Tau Kappa Epsilon, expelled a student and suspended two other frat members.

Officials at the private university noted for its polling institute announced the actions Tuesday. University officials have declined to release details of the allegations.

University public affairs vice president Lynn Bushnell says the university issued a cease and desist order to the local fraternity chapter, prohibiting it from operating until the student disciplinary process is complete. Bushnell says other fraternity members have been sanctioned and several more will face the disciplinary process.

Quinnipiac has 6,500 undergraduate and 2,500 graduate students and has campuses in Hamden and North Haven.

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