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State Headlines

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut lawmakers are being urged to impose tougher restrictions on electronic cigarettes and vapor products following a recent decision by federal authorities to subject them to the same federal restrictions as cigarettes.

Jennifer DeWitt, executive director of the Central Naugatuck Valley Regional Action Council, suggested Wednesday that the General Assembly next year prohibit the use and sale of e-cigarettes to people under 21 years old.

She's also suggesting the legislature tax e-cigarettes and vapor products the same as tobacco products and restrict efforts to market the products to minors, such as banning flavors.

A state law passed last year restricts where these products can be used. It also required the Public Health Committee to meet within 30 days after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's determination on May 5.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - University of Connecticut officials have put off plans to grow enrollment at the state's flagship university as they prepare a budget for the next fiscal year.

Scott Jordan, the school's chief financial officer, presented the draft budget for the 2017 fiscal year to the Board of Trustees' Financial Affairs Committee Wednesday.

The $1.3 billion plan calls for holding enrollment for new students at 3,800.

The Next Generation UConn initiative had called for increasing enrollment by 6,500 students by 2024.

UConn president Susan Herbst says state budget cuts mean the school needs to switch its focus from growth to maintaining the current quality of education.

Jordan says the school closed a projected $40 million budget shortfall in part through tuition hikes and because the state has delayed union contract negotiations.


STONINGTON, Conn. (AP) Police say a Connecticut man who uses a motorized wheelchair suffered life-threatening injuries after he was hit by a car on U.S. Route 1 in Stonington.

Capt. Todd Olson says 77-year-old Ray Lanphere was struck just after 10 a.m. Wednesday near the intersection of U.S. Route 1 and Mayflower Avenue as he was crossing the street in his motorized scooter.

Lanphere uses the wheelchair because he only has one leg. He was rushed to Rhode Island Hospital in Providence via helicopter after first responders found him in the roadway.

Olson says the driver of the vehicle remained at the scene and is cooperating with investigators.

The road was closed while investigators gathered evidence but has since been reopened.

The accident remains under investigation.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Police in Hartford, Connecticut, and other small cities across the country are following the lead of their big city counterparts and opening high-tech crime fighting centers.

The centers are loaded with video monitors and take in data from surveillance cameras, license plate readers and audio gunshot detectors. Staff members are able to access criminal and personal information databases, and relay information in real time to officers on the street to help them nab suspects.

Real time crime centers have opened in the past year in Indianapolis; Fresno, California; Wilmington, Delaware; and Springfield, Massachusetts. New York City opened the first one in 2005 and other big cities followed suit.

The American Civil Liberties Union says the centers raise privacy concerns, and that there is a lack of general rules to protect against civil rights violations.


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - A reputed mobster has been indicted on weapons charges stemming from a search of his Connecticut home by federal agents who were looking for a half billion dollars' worth of stolen artwork.

A federal grand jury indicted Robert Gentile on Tuesday.

Federal authorities say they seized several guns and a silencer during the May 2 search of Gentile's Manchester home.

The alleged New England Mafia member has been targeted by federal authorities since a gangster's widow claimed that her husband gave Gentile two of the paintings that were stolen in 1990 from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

Gentile's attorney didn't immediately return a call seeking comment. He has previously said Gentile has no information about the stolen art's whereabouts.

Gentile is currently in federal custody awaiting trial in a separate gun case.


COVENTRY, Conn. (AP) Police say a pickup truck driver was killed during a collision with a tractor-trailer.

Police were called to the scene on U.S. Route 44 in Coventry late Tuesday night for reports of a crash.

Officer found a pickup truck had driven into the back of a fuel delivery truck. Investigators determined the East Haven-based tractor-trailer had been coming to a stop and was preparing to make a turn when the vehicles collided.

Police say the pickup driver died at the scene. The driver, who was the only occupant in the vehicle, hasn't been identified.

A portion of U.S. Route 44 was closed for several hours as authorities investigated.

Police say an investigation is ongoing. The cause of the crash has not been determined.


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - A 26-year-old woman has been sentenced to prison on a federal drug charge after police discovered $800,000 inside an East Hartford storage locker she was renting.

A judge on Monday sentenced Amanda Gambardella to 46 months behind bars followed by three years of probation.

Prosecutors say Gambardella operated a heroin processing mill in Hartford.

Police say they were acting on a tip in November 2015 when they found the cash inside a locker that Gambardella was renting. Authorities searched her apartment, where they found 1,700 bags of heroin packaged for sale, unpackaged heroin and packaging materials.

Gambardella pleaded guilty in February to one count of possession of heroin with intent to distribute.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Republican leaders in the Connecticut General Assembly are criticizing plans by Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's administration to approve a $22 million loan and grant package for one of the world's largest hedge funds.

Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano on Monday questioned why Bridgewater Associates will receive "tens of millions of dollars in handouts" while programs that serve vulnerable citizens are being cut.

Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Catherine Smith says the loan and grant package is a great investment that will create 750 new, well-paying jobs and retain 1,400 existing jobs.

She says Bridgewater is spending $527 million to upgrade its Connecticut facilities, which will benefit the construction industry.

The State Bond Commission is expected to approve the funding Friday.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut officials say that the statewide high school graduation rate has hit a record high of 87.2 percent.

Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Monday the rising graduation rate is a testament to the hard work of teachers, principals, superintendents and parents.

Officials say increased graduation rates for black and Hispanic students have outpaced the average statewide graduation rate.

The data from 2015 shows that the graduation rate for black students reached 78.1 percent, up 6.9 points since 2011, and 74.8 percent for Hispanic students, up 10.6 points since 2011.

The national average is 82.3 percent.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Records show Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy doesn't spend a lot of time chit-chatting with state legislators.

A review of the Democrat's public schedule was obtained by The Associated Press through open records requests. It shows Malloy had 14 scheduled meetings with lawmakers in 2015. Five of those were held late last year, when the governor and legislative leaders were trying to reach an agreement on a mid-year deficit-cutting plan.

Democratic House Speaker Brendan Sharkey says Malloy is "a very businesslike person" and generally doesn't want to meet unless there's a reason.

That's in contrast to Malloy's two Republican predecessors, who often held regular weekly meetings with lawmakers to help build relationships.

Recent skirmishes over the state budget have shown Malloy's relationship with his fellow Democrats isn't particularly close.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Some lawmakers are returning to the state Capitol to determine whether Connecticut should do more to regulate electronic cigarettes and vapor products.

Lawmakers passed legislation last year prohibiting people from smoking e-cigarettes and other vapor products in state buildings, restaurants, schools and other facilities.

That same law required the Public Health Committee to hold a public hearing to further examine the issue within 30 days after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration determined e-cigarettes are tobacco products and subjected to the same restrictions as cigarettes. The FDA announced its ruling May 5.

Committee members are scheduled to meet Wednesday. They're required to review the FDA rule and determine whether to recommend additional state legislation affecting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vapor products, which have prompted concerns about potential health risks.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) When the Hartford Yard Goats make their long-awaited debut at the new Dunkin' Donuts Park, the Double-A team's starting nine won't be the first to have taken the field.

Police say four men were arrested and charged with criminal trespassing after they were caught playing baseball in the yet-to-be-completed ballpark around 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

An officer assigned to a security detail at the stadium discovered the men after hearing yelling and cheering coming from the field. When the officer went to investigate the commotion, he found a man on the pitcher's mound, another in the batter's box and two in the outfield.

Police say one of the men charged works for Centerplan Construction, a company involved in building the ballpark. The others were his friends.

Centerplan officials declined to comment.


WINDSOR, Conn. (AP) - Authorities are investigating a dead body found in the Connecticut River in Windsor.

The unidentified adult male body was found near the Wilson Boat Launch around 8 a.m. Friday, according to police.

They say the body was discovered on a sandbar north of the boat launch. It was removed by firefighters, police and the Hartford police dive team.

Police said foul play isn't suspected at this point. The cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner's office, they said.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - The number of fatal drug overdoses in Connecticut is on pace to exceed last year's total, but there are signs the epidemic might be levelling off.

The state medical examiner's office reported Friday that 208 deaths were attributed to drug overdoses in the first three months of 2016. More than half involved heroin.

That puts Connecticut on pace for more than 830 fatal overdoses this year, or more than the 729 attributed to overdoses in 2015, the office said.

But the rate at which fatal overdoses is rising appears to be slowing.

The number of fatal overdoses increased 28 percent from 2014 to 2015 but the projected increase from 2015 to 2016 is about 14 percent so far, the office said.

Of this year's overdose deaths, 83 involved the increasingly popular synthetic opioid drug fentanyl.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut's budget is still on track to end the fiscal year with a deficit.

In a letter to State Comptroller Kevin Lembo released Friday, Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's budget office says the state's General Fund, the main spending account, will end the fiscal year on June 30 with a $260 million deficit. That's the same projection as last month.

The Office of Policy and Management says shortfalls in several state agencies are partly to blame, including $20 million in the State Comptroller's "adjusted claims account" for several large legal settlements with wrongfully incarcerated people.

The Special Transportation Fund, which covers the cost of the Department of Transportation and other transportation needs, is projected to be $19.3 million in the red, a $5 million increase from last month.


STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut woman charged with setting her ex-boyfriend's apartment on fire has had her bail increased after allegedly forging a doctor's note claiming her electronic-monitoring ankle bracelet was setting off her pacemaker.

Gina Clemente, of Wilton, was charged with first-degree arson in connection with the 2015 fire in Greenwich. But 10 days after she was released with a monitoring device, her lawyer presented a letter and three pages of charts to the judge saying the bracelet was causing Clemente's pacemaker to malfunction.

The Connecticut Post reports that prosecutors contacted the doctor, who said he didn't write the note and hadn't seen Clemente in two years.

Clemente's attorney said his client's pregnancy may have caused her poor judgment.

The 33-year-old Clemente was ordered this week held on $250,000 bond.


KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) Expedition organizers say a 42-year-old convenience store worker from Connecticut has scaled Mount Everest for a seventh time, breaking her own record as the most successful female climber of the world's highest peak.

Rajeeb Shrestha of the 7 Summits Adventure agency in Kathmandu said Lhakpa Sherpa was among 18 climbers who reached the peak on Friday morning from the northern side in Tibet.

She climbed Everest six times between 2000 and 2006 before moving to the United States where she is a permanent resident. She was born in Nepal and took up mountaineering as a profession like most Sherpas in the region.

Two Sherpa men have scaled Everest 21 times to hold the record for most climbs of Everest.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Officials say Hartford's minor league baseball team won't be playing their first home game at the new $65 million Dunkin' Donuts Park until at least mid-summer.

After developers missed a May 17 deadline for ``substantial completion'' of the downtown ballpark, Stadium Authority Chair I. Charles Matthews says completion time for the Hartford Yard Goats' new home has been pushed back until late June or early July.

Project manager Jason Rudnik says the delay was caused in part by changes to already completed work.

Team owner Josh Solomon says he's unhappy with the stadium's progress and is losing money every day. Initial plans called for the Yard Goats to play their first game in Dunkin' Donuts Park on May 31.

Matthews says construction at the stadium is 95 percent finished.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Dr. William Petit, who survived a home invasion that claimed the lives of his wife and two daughters, is the Connecticut Republican Party's nominee for a state legislative seat.

The Hartford Courant reports that Petit's been nominated for the 22nd House District, which includes Plainville and New Britain. Petit says he'll issue a statement next week. The district's currently represented by Democrat Elizabeth Boukus.

Petit was severely beaten in a 2007 home invasion in Cheshire. Joshua Komisarjevsky and Steven Hayes were convicted of murdering his wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, and leaving his daughters, 11-year-old Michaela and 17-year-old Hayley, to die in a fire. Komisarjevsky and Hayes are appealing their convictions.

Petit has since remarried and has a young son.

His family has strong political and business ties to Plainville.


SHELTON, Conn. (AP) State police say two people have died in an early morning head-on crash on Route 8 in Shelton.

Police said in their accident report that 29-year-old Kelly Wootten was driving north on the southbound side of the highway near Exit 13 at about 1 a.m. Thursday when she crashed into a southbound vehicle driven by 30-year-old Fernando Moreno-Rivas, of Stratford.

Both victims ``sustained serious bodily injuries and were pronounced dead at the scene.''

According to the report, Moreno-Rivas was wearing a seat belt, but it's not clear if Wootten was.

The crash remains under investigation.


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) An intern in New Haven's traffic enforcement department charged with fixing parking tickets for friends, family and others has been admitted to an accelerated rehabilitation program that will help him avoid jail if he complies.

The New Haven Register reports that a judge ordered 26-year-old Alton Ferguson to repay $7,425 in parking fines that he allegedly fixed. If he fails to repay the money within two years he faces up to 20 years behind bars on larceny charges. If he complies, charges will be dismissed.

Ferguson had worked in the city's traffic and parking division for about five years at $10 per hour. He was fired in September.

City officials say he fixed at least 133 tickets.

When questioned by police, he said he felt bad for some people.


MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (AP) A 22-year-old Connecticut man accused of throwing his 7-month-old son off the Arrigoni Bridge in Middletown last summer has rejected a plea deal with prosecutors.

Attorney Norm Pattis tells the Hartford Courant that Tony Moreno rejected the prosecution's deal Tuesday because the prison sentence offered was too long. Pattis declined to provide details of the plea offer.

Moreno has pleaded not guilty to murder charges stemming from the July 2015 death of his son Aaden, whose body was found two days later by a canoeist in the Connecticut River.

A police affidavit says Moreno called his mother and asked her to bring a phone with pictures of the baby and a stroller to the bridge. Moreno jumped into the river after his mother arrived with police officers.


VERNON, Conn. (AP) Connecticut State Police are searching for the motorist who evaded troopers on Interstate 84 in Vernon and crashed into a police cruiser before escaping.

State police say the incident began after troopers attempted to pull over a suspicious vehicle leaving the Burger King restaurant near I-84's Exit 67 around 7:35 p.m. Tuesday.

WTIC-TV reports the driver initially stopped for police, but he refused to exit his vehicle. He then sped off as troopers followed in pursuit along I-84 westbound.

State police attempted to box in the driver but he slammed into one of their cruisers, causing minor damage.

The chase was abandoned near Exit 63 in Manchester. No injuries were reported.

State police say the vehicle is a late model black Saab 9.3 with a Connecticut plate reading AC 56942.


STRATFORD, Conn. (AP) Connecticut State Police troopers have seized about 28 pounds of heroin worth an estimated $1 million after pulling over a Chicago man.

A state police spokeswoman says troopers were conducting traffic enforcement on Route 15 in Stratford on Tuesday when they pulled over a car for a moving violation.

After the troopers learned that narcotics might be in the vehicle, a drug-sniffing dog was called in to assist in the search and found the packaged heroin.

The driver, 50-year-old Jose Adorno, was charged with possession of heroin with intent to sell.

Police say the bust was one of the largest in the state this year.

Adorno was held on $1 million bond pending a court hearing scheduled for Wednesday. It could not immediately be determined if he had a lawyer.


BEACON FALLS, Conn. (AP) - A Beacon Falls man is set to appear in court on kidnapping and other charges after police say he assaulted his girlfriend and forced her into his vehicle.

The New Haven Register reports 23-year-old Christopher Williams is scheduled to be arraigned Monday on charges of second-degree kidnapping, second-degree unlawful restraint, third-degree assault and disorderly conduct.

Police were called to Williams' residence just after midnight Sunday for a report of a physical altercation. Witnesses told responding officers that Williams had forced a woman into his vehicle before driving away.

Officers found Williams and his girlfriend around 10 a.m. parked about a mile away. Police say the woman didn't require medical attention.

Williams was released on bond. It's unclear whether he has a lawyer who could comment on the charges.


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) A former Connecticut man who pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining more than $9 million from a federal economic stimulus program intended for alternate energy projects has been sentenced to more than a year in prison.

Walter Craig Bradway, formerly of Glastonbury, now of Holmes Beach, Florida, was sentenced Monday in federal court to a year and a month behind bars and ordered to pay restitution and perform 600 hours of community service.

Prosecutors say Bradway submitted more than 300 fraudulent applications for work that was never performed or was exaggerated to increase costs to the Specified Energy Property Program. The program was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and was meant to cover a portion of the cost of installing solar panels. Bradway also falsified documentation.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) The developers of Hartford's new $65-million minor league baseball stadium has until the end of Tuesday to get the park ready for delivery to the Double-A Yard Goats, or face more than $2 million in financial penalties.

DoNo LLC and Centerplan construction signed that deal in January after it became apparent they would not be able to finish the park by opening day, or within the original $55 million budget.

The team, which is currently playing home games 40 miles away in Norwich, hopes to have its home opener on May 31, but has said it needs at least two weeks to prepare for the game.

The Eastern League also must deem the park ready for play.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin says he's hopeful the deadline will be met.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A Colchester man has been arrested after police say he drove while drunk to pick up his brother from the police station.

Michael Bourgoin is charged with operating under the influence of alcohol.

State police say the 44-year-old Bourgoin drove to the state police facilities in Hartford around 7 p.m. Saturday to pick up his brother, who had been arrested. Troopers there suspected that Bourgoin was under the influence of alcohol and gave him a field sobriety test, which he failed.

Bourgoin is scheduled to appear June 2 in Hartford Superior Court.

It's unclear whether Bourgoin has a lawyer who could comment on the charges.


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) U.S. Coast Guard officials say a missing kayaker was found safe over the weekend following a search of the Long Island Sound that ultimately turned out to be unnecessary.

The incident began after an empty kayak washed up at Lighthouse Park in New Haven around 12:30 p.m. Sunday. Crews from USCG Station New Haven responded to the scene and found the kayak along with fishing equipment.

Point crews began searching the water for a possible missing person with assistance from an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and an Ocean Sentry aircraft.

Coast Guard officials say the missing man called local police around 7:30 p.m. to say he was safe after seeing reports of the search. The 28-year-old Meridan man said he swam to shore after his kayak had taken on water.


WALLINGFORD, Conn. (AP) Alumni of a prestigious boarding school in Connecticut formed a crowd to watch a state Department of Environmental Protection officer remove a furry party crasher from their reunion over the weekend.

Dr. Alex Curtis, headmaster of Choate Rosemary Hall, says a 325-pound black bear was spotted on the prep school's Wallingford campus around 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

The bear rummaged around in trash cans before eventually climbing roughly 60 feet up a tree. Wallingford officers responded and helped control the crowd of spectators that had gathered.

A DEEP conservation officer used the school's cherry-picker to get close to the bear before tranquilizing it. Curtis says the animal was uninjured by his fall.

Lt. Cheryl Bradley says the bear was removed by 12:36 p.m. and was taken to a remote location.


ENFIELD, Conn. (AP) - A 52-year-old inmate has been found hanged inside a Connecticut prison.

The state Department of Correction says staff conducting a routine tour of the Carl Robinson Correctional Institution in Enfield at about 6:30 a.m. Friday found Christopher Lyons of Simsbury inside his cell with a ligature tied around his neck.

The department did not say whether they believe the death was a suicide, but say Lyons was the only person in the cell.

Lyons had been at the prison since September 2015 and was serving a 3 .5-year sentence for possession of child pornography.

His body has been sent to the medical examiner's office in Farmington for an autopsy. State police are investigating.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut lawmakers are holding off from voting on Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's latest criminal justice reform bill.

Democratic House Speaker Brendan Sharkey says changes have been made to the bill and his caucus members haven't had enough time to review them. The House of Representatives met Friday in a special legislative session.

The bill would extend juvenile court jurisdiction to young adults up to age 21 and bar surety bonds for certain misdemeanor offenders.

Sharkey says the legislature won't adjourn its special session. Instead it will meet again soon to take up a bill that would transfer state-owned land and possibly Malloy's bill, depending on the level of support for it.

The Senate didn't take up Malloy's bill Thursday. A date hasn't been announced for a vote on that bill.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Education officials say Connecticut transgender students not only can use the bathroom of their choice, but also play on sports teams that match their gender identities.

The head of policy for the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education says new recommendations on transgender student rights from the Obama administration are nothing new in the state.

The state association in 2013 began recommending schools adopt a policy that students have access to the restroom that corresponds to the gender identities they consistently assert at school.

The executive director of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference says it began allowing transgender students on the athletic teams that match their identities in 2013.

She says there have been three cases - all females transitioning to males - with no complaints.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Hartford police have made an arrest in a gang fight shooting nearly four years ago that left one man paralyzed.

The Courant reports that the alleged triggerman, Carlos Cruz-Santiago, was arrested Wednesday and held on $2 million bail at his arraignment Thursday on charges including attempted murder and two counts of first-degree assault.

Police say the fight among Latin Kings gang members in August 2012 was over a $150 drug debt. They say it started as a fistfight, but escalated into a knifefight and finally a shooting.

Two men were shot and one was stabbed. One man, Armando Laureano, was shot in the spine and lost use of his legs.

Cruz-Santiago was quickly identified as a suspect but is believed to have fled the country.


PRESTON, Conn. (AP) The Connecticut town of Preston has reached a tentative agreement with the Mohegan Tribe for the purchase and development of the former Norwich State Hospital property.

Preston officials announced Thursday that a memorandum of understanding between the town, which is the site's current landowner, and the tribe will be put to a vote at a special town meeting on May 19.

Redevelopment Agency Chairman Sean Nugent says the Preston Riverwalk project calls for an investment of between $200 million and $600 million in mixed-use development and 200 to 700 permanent jobs. The site has been earmarked for high-quality, non-gaming development.

The agreement requires the tribe to pay $11 million to acquire the property, but they will have the opportunity to recoup some expenses if certain benchmarks are met.


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut man has been charged with beating his baby son because he couldn't stand the boy's crying.

Police say Aaron Lamson was arrested after his 5-month-old son was taken to a New Haven children's hospital on Tuesday with scratches, a black eye and bruising in the shape of a person's hand.

Lamson faces charges of risk of injury to a minor and assault. His attorney said Thursday he can't comment.

Police say Lamson told investigators he slapped his son with an open hand while waiting for the boy's mother to get out of work in Shelton.

Police say Lamson said his son became fussy and wouldn't stop crying.

Lamson was released on bail. His case was continued to May 31.


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - A Franklin dentist prosecutors say took nearly $250,000 from his uncle's estate without authorization and then failed to pay taxes on the money has pleaded guilty.

The U.S. attorney for Connecticut says 60-year-old Joseph Sudik pleaded guilty Tuesday to filing false tax returns.

According to court documents, in 2010 and 2011, Sudik took about $248,000 from his uncle's trust and was paid $35,500 in fees as a trustee and as reimbursement for closing his dental office to act as trustee. On federal tax returns for both years, Sudik failed to pay more than $63,000 in income taxes on the money.

He faces up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 at sentencing on July 27. He has also agreed to pay back taxes, and restitution.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A 21-year-old Connecticut man has been sentenced to serve 10 years in prison for a PCP-fueled stabbing rampage that seriously injured his cousin and girlfriend in April 2015.

William Brewster was sentenced Wednesday in Hartford Superior Court. He pleaded guilty in March to first-degree assault charges stemming from the attack at his South Windsor home.

Prosecutors say Brewster was smoking PCP with his cousin, 20-year-old Frederick Hazard, when he suddenly began stabbing 22-year-old Dianihtza Rivera-Soto, the mother of his child.

After Hazard came to the woman's aid, prosecutor Rick Rubino says Brewster stabbed him in the face, torso, armpit and shoulders. Hazard was left permanently blind in his right eye.

Attorney Averum Sprecher said Brewster suffers from a mental illness, which spurred the violent outburst along with his drug use.


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - The Yale Center for British Art is reopening after a lengthy project to restore the building's interior and bring it more in line with the vision of its famed architect, Louis Kahn.

The Modernist landmark was completed in 1977, three years after the architect's death.

The museum established a committee in 2002 to assess how the building had changed since its opening. The renovation work was completed in three phases at a cost of $33 million.

The museum reopened to the public on Wednesday. Among other changes the museum says galleries have been reconfigured to exemplify Kahn's original vision for intimate spaces.

The museum bills itself as the largest collection of British art outside of the United Kingdom.


GRISWOLD, Conn. (AP) - State planners have announced that they are now focusing on a single eastern Connecticut site as the potential home for a new state police firing range.

Department of Administrative Services Commissioner Melody Currey said Tuesday that state agencies are beginning a more thorough review of the Griswold location after a parcel off Westminster Road in Sprague was dropped from consideration.

The targeted location in Griswold is roughly 110 acres and almost completely surrounded by Pachaug State Forest.

DAS spokesman Jeff Beckham says "a harder look" at the Sprague site found numerous issues, including the approval of a solar farm on land west of the parcel.

State police say they need a new range because the current one in Simsbury is prone to flooding and is rapidly eroding.


SIMSBURY, Conn. (AP) - Department of Energy and Environmental Protection officials say a 63-year-old hiker was hospitalized after he fell while scaling a cliff on Talcott Mountain in central Connecticut.

DEEP conservation officers transported the Avon man to Hartford Hospital after arriving at the scene around 4 p.m. Tuesday. Simsbury police also responded.

The hiker, who wasn't identified, suffered severe cuts to his head and was knocked unconscious when he fell 25 feet and struck a tree near Heublein Tower on the Yellow Trail. His condition wasn't immediately available.

Officials say the man had been hiking and climbing shale cliffs alone. A group of other hikers, including several recent medical school graduates, came to the man's aid after he fell.


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - Authorities say they've tranquilized a large male bear on an entrance ramp to Interstate 91 and are relocating him to a wooded area.

The bear was seen in several New Haven locations Tuesday before he headed to the highway. Authorities say this created a dangerous situation because a car could have hit the animal, which weighed more than 350 pounds.

State environmental conservation police were able to lure the bear up a tree and then shoot him with two tranquilizer darts just after 8 p.m. It happened near the State Street entrance to I-91 North. Connecticut State Police and New Haven Police assisted.

Environmental officials say they've had no previous encounters with the bear; he had no collar or ear tags. They say bears in urban areas aren't seen often.


FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) - General Electric Co. has notified the state it plans to cut up to 100 jobs in Connecticut and is moving hundreds of others from its soon-to-be former headquarters in Fairfield to nearby Norwalk.

Susan Bishop, a spokeswoman for GE, says many of the cuts are related to the company moving its headquarters to Boston. The move is set to be completed by 2018.

Federal law requires employers with 100 full-time workers to provide 60 days' notice of layoffs.

Bishop says between 500 and 600 jobs in Fairfield will move to office space the company owns in Norwalk. She says about 200 jobs will move with the company to Boston, where it will ultimately employ about 800 people.

The company plans to move into temporary Boston offices in August.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - The sentencing of a Connecticut man who fired a rifle at a mosque near his home shortly after the deadly attacks in Paris has been postponed.

Ted Hakey Jr., of Meriden, pleaded guilty in February to federal charges of destruction of religious property. Authorities say the former U.S. Marine fired several rounds at the unoccupied Baitul Aman Mosque on the morning of Nov. 14, just hours after Paris attacks. No one was injured.

The Record Journal reports that Hakey was scheduled to be sentenced this week, but it was postponed until June 7. Under a plea deal, he faces up to 14 months in prison, a $40,000 fine and $5,000 in restitution.

Hakey, who professed hatred of Muslims, has since apologized and said mosque members have shown him "overwhelming kindness."


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut officials say the first round of testing on crumbling home foundations in the state determined that a mineral found in concrete aggregate is to blame for their decay.

Attorney General George Jepsen announced Monday that testing proved high levels of pyrrhotite found in stone aggregate used to produce concrete played a "substantial contributing factor" in the failure of the homes' foundations.

The testing was conducted on impacted homes in Hartford, Tolland and Windham counties.

The state Department of Consumer Protection received complaints from 220 homeowners, but experts believe thousands of eastern Connecticut homes are affected by faulty concrete.

J.J. Mottes Company in Stafford Springs and Becker Construction in Willington agreed to stop using or selling aggregate from Becker's Quarry in Willington until June 2017.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A man has died after he was struck by a vehicle while changing a tire in Hartford.

Police say 34-year-old Luis Maldonado was hit Sunday morning near the intersection of Campfield Avenue and Preston Street. Maldonado was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police don't believe Maldonado was intentionally hit. The driver of the vehicle that struck Maldonado fled the scene. Police are searching for the driver and for a small black car with front-end damage.

The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with any information about the crash is asked to contact city police.


WILLIMANTIC, Conn. (AP) - Willimantic police have arrested several Eastern Connecticut State University students during an annual weekend party known as the "Stumbler."

Police say they responded to 11 separate complaints about house parties on Saturday, the kick-off for the non-sanctioned, off-campus event.

Police say they received about two dozen calls about large groups of people obstructing traffic and other "mischievous behavior."

Police haven't released the identities of the students who were arrested.

Police say they also issued 16 citations for "belligerent behavior" and other drinking-related offenses. Police say full cans of open beer were thrown at city police officers on Chestnut Street. No police officers were injured.

Cpl. Stanley Parizo Jr. says the department is "very disappointed" with the students' behavior.

ECSU is a public, coeducational liberal arts university.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- The contractor who took the blame for accidentally starting a 2011 Christmas Day house fire in Connecticut that killed his girlfriend's three children and her parents now says it was their mother who left a bag of fireplace ashes in a mudroom.


The Hartford Courant reports Michael Borcina told attorneys during a lawsuit deposition that he lied to police to protect Madonna Badger.


Borcina had told authorities he put the ashes in the room. He later agreed to pay $5 million to settle a lawsuit.


Borcina and Badger escaped the fire in Stamford.


The deposition is part of one several lawsuits filed by the children's father, Matthew Badger. Neither he nor Madonna Badger immediately returned calls Monday seeking comment.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Superior Court judge has dismissed a murder charge against a 44-year-old city man after prosecutors acknowledged DNA evidence did not prove he committed the crime.

Denzil Nurse had been awaiting trial in the September 2012 killing of Sonia Rivera.

The Hartford Courant reports Judge Carl E. Taylor dismissed the charge Friday and prosecutors indicated they have evidence linking someone else to the crime.

Nurse was charged in May 2014 after authorities said his DNA was found on the body of the 48-year-old victim, who had worked as a prostitute.

She was found beaten to death with a brick on Sept. 27, 2012 in a lot on Washington Street.

Nurse acknowledged knowing and having sex with the victim, but says he did not kill her.


NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) - A man who authorities say killed seven people in Connecticut in 2003 plans to waive his right to a hearing that would have forced prosecutors to show there's enough evidence to proceed to trial.

William Devin Howell's lawyers disclosed Thursday that he will waive his right to a probable cause hearing during a scheduled court appearance via videoconference Monday. The probable cause hearing had been scheduled for Wednesday.

Howell, a Hampton, Virginia native, is serving prison time for one slaying and has pleaded not guilty to the other six. All seven victims were found buried behind a New Britain shopping center.

One of Howell's former cellmates, Jonathan Mills, who is serving life in prison for murdering four people, was to be the key witness against Howell at the hearing.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A fourth case of the Zika virus has been found in Connecticut and state officials are renewing travel warnings related to the disease.

The state Department of Public Heath says the latest patient is a woman in her 30s.

Officials say she traveled from the Caribbean to Connecticut on April 25 and became ill on April 29.

Health officials say they have been told that one in five residents of Puerto Rico are likely to become infected with the virus and are warning pregnant women to avoid travel to the island and other places where the virus is prevalent.

Officials say travel to those areas has resulted in 426 cases of Zika in the continental United States.

In Connecticut, 245 patients, including 217 pregnant women, have been tested for Zika.


BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut woman who hanged her two dogs from a tree has been sentenced to six months in prison.

Twenty-three-year-old Bristol resident Victoria Reyes pleaded guilty in March to a charge of maliciously wounding or killing an animal. She told a Superior Court judge she hallucinated that the dogs told her to kill them.

Her lawyer says she suffers from mental health issues and was off her medication and using illegal drugs when she killed the dogs in November.

The judge called the crime repugnant and cruel during Thursday's sentencing hearing. He ordered Reyes not to own any animals during her three years of probation.


BARKHAMSTED, Conn. (AP) State police say a trooper shot and killed a seriously injured moose that had been struck by an SUV in Barkhamsted.

The Courant reports that troopers from the Canaan barracks were dispatched to Route 179 about a quarter mile north of Route 219 about 4:20 p.m. Thursday.

When they arrived they found that a Chevrolet Trailblazer that had struck a moose.

A trooper killed the animal. No people were injured.

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection estimates there are about 100 moose in Connecticut, mostly in the northern areas of the state.


BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) A judge has ruled that a champion racer of radio-controlled cars and convicted sex offender from Connecticut may leave the state to participate in races abroad.

The Connecticut Post reports Superior Court Judge Frank Iannotti agreed Thursday to alter the probation of Christopher Tosolini to allow him to enter the Euro Touring Series.

Tosolini, an Ansonia resident and native of Italy, was convicted of sexually assaulting two teenage girls in Fairfield in January 2012. He was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison, suspended after six months, and 10 years' probation.

Iannotti commended Tosolini for his progress in his probation and said ``nobody wants to see it interfere with your work.'' The 38-year-old must notify his probation officer when he exits the country and returns.




Medical Marijuana: Legislation allows minors with certain debilitating conditions to use Connecticut's medical marijuana program.

Restraining Orders: The legislation requires people with temporary restraining orders against them to transfer their firearms to police or a firearms dealer within 24 hours after being served with the order.

Opioid Abuse: First-time opioid prescriptions for adults are limited to seven-day dosages under a bill that combined ideas from more than 50 bills submitted this session to address opioid drug abuse. Subsequent prescriptions can be filled for longer periods.

Retirement Accounts: The bill creates a new agency that will establish a Roth individual retirement savings account program for private sector workers whose employers have at least five employees. Workers would be automatically enrolled unless they opt out.

Animal Advocates: Under the bill, law school students or attorneys would be allowed to volunteer as legal advocates to assist in the prosecution of animal abuse cases.

Teacher Records: School boards will be required to provide information to other districts about whether a teacher applicant was disciplined for abuse, neglect or sexual misconduct.

School Threats: The bill makes it a Class C felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, for intending to cause the evacuation of a school or school grounds with a threat.


Bill allowing armed police on campuses moves to governor

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut lawmakers have given final legislative approval to a bill that ultimately allows the state's community colleges to form special armed police forces to patrol the campuses.

The legislation cleared the House of Representatives on Wednesday, the final day of the legislative session. The bill, which already passed in the Senate, now moves to Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's desk.

Under the proposal, the special forces would be subject to approval from the Board of Regents for Higher Education. The officers would generally have the same powers as municipal police and must be certified by the Police Officer Standards and Training Council.

Mark Ojakian, president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System, has said students and teachers want the armed police because they don't feel safe on campus.

Bill requiring schools to adopt consent policies passes

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut lawmakers have decided to require public and private colleges and universities to adopt clear policies regarding student consent to sexual activity.

The Senate voted 35-1 on Wednesday in favor of legislation requiring affirmed consent to be the standard in determining whether someone has agreed to sexual activity. Affirmed consent is described as an "active, clear and voluntary agreement by a person," or "yes, means yes," according to the bill's proponents.

The bill already has cleared the House of Representatives and now moves to the governor.

Democratic Sen. Mae Flexer says the standard would be used in campus sexual assault investigations, disciplinary cases and in training of students about the issue of sexual assault.

Republican Sen. Joe Markley, the bill's sole opponent, says these cases will still be "he said, she said."

Lawmakers vote to allow coverage of 3-D mammograms

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut lawmakers have passed legislation that attempts to encourage 3-D breast screening.

The Senate on Wednesday voted unanimously in favor of a bill that requires insurers to cover tomosynthesis screenings if a woman wants that type of mammogram conducted.

The bill already cleared the House of Representatives and now moves to the governor's desk.

Current state law requires insurers to cover baseline mammograms for women age 35 through 39 and annual mammograms for women 40 years and older.

Republican House Minority Leader Themis Klarides (THEHM'-his KLEHR'-ih-dehs), who pushed for the bill, says the 3-D procedure will make it easier to detect early signs of breast cancer.

Democratic Sen. Joe Crisco, who spoke about how his wife is currently fighting breast cancer, calls the bill "a very strong stand for women's health."

Connecticut lawmakers move to update handicapped signs

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A proposal to modernize the ubiquitous handicapped symbol that marks parking spaces, building entrances and restrooms in Connecticut is heading to Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's desk.

The Senate on Wednesday voted 33-3 in favor of a bill that requires the Department of Administrative Services to come up with regulations designating an updated symbol of access for people with disabilities. That symbol must depict a dynamic figure leaning forward with a sense of movement.

The updated signs would be used when old signs must be replaced.

Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy Jr., a disability rights attorney, urged support of the bill, saying "symbols are very important" in changing people's minds about others with disabilities.

Several lawmakers opposed the bill, voicing concerns of some disability rights activists offended by the proposed change.



The Senate failed to take up a bill that would have allowed electric car maker Tesla Motors to sell its vehicles directly to consumers, bypassing the state's franchise system.

Fantasy Sports: Despite being included in an early tax bill, lawmakers decided not to act on legislation that would authorize fantasy sports after Attorney General George Jepsen warned it could risk Connecticut's slot machine revenue-sharing agreement with the state's two federally recognized Indian tribes.

Gambling Study: A proposal to study the impact of allowing a third casino in Connecticut died in committee. Meanwhile, the two federally recognized tribes did not submit a proposal for legislation approval to open their proposed jointly owned, third casino to compete with the MGM Resorts International casino in Springfield, Massachusetts, saying they'll return with a site next year.

Weaponized Drones: A proposal creating a new class C felony for those who attach weapons to drones has failed for the second year in a row. While it passed in the House of Representatives, it didn't come up for a Senate vote.

Cecil's Law: The House of Representatives failed to vote on a bill that would ban the importing, possessing, offering for sale or transporting in Connecticut big game specimens, including certain elephants, lions, leopards and two rhinoceros species.


Bill aimed at protecting state lands clears legislature

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - An effort to give the public greater say about transfers of state-owned land in Connecticut has cleared the General Assembly.

But the proposal did not pass the Senate or House of Representatives Wednesday with enough support to place a proposed constitutional amendment before voters this fall. Proponents needed a three-quarters majority.

Eric Hammerling, executive director of the Connecticut Forest and Park Association, says the vote was still a "huge victory." The bill must now pass next year by another simple majority to appear on the 2017 ballot.

Under the proposal, voters will be asked to support amending the state constitution to require a public hearing and two-thirds vote of the legislature before the ownership of state-owned land can be transferred.

Proponents say state-owned parks and forests are currently at risk.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut lawmakers have officially adjourned their regular legislative session, knowing they'll be back next week at the state Capitol to vote on a revised budget for the new fiscal year.

The House of Representatives and Senate both wrapped up the session at midnight on Wednesday in the traditional flurry of activity.

Minutes later, lawmakers in both chambers passed resolutions spelling out rules for a special legislative session that Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff says will be held on May 12.

Democratic legislative leaders hoped to vote Wednesday, the final day of the legislative session, on an 11th-hour budget deal they reached Tuesday night with Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. However, they scrapped those plans after it become clear they wouldn't have enough time to pass that bill and related legislation.


BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut man is suing the city of Bridgeport and its police department after he was arrested three times and was detained in a repeated case of mistaken identity.

The Connecticut Post reports Pedro Martinez filed the suit Tuesday in Bridgeport federal court following numerous run-ins with police officers who mistook him for another Pedro Martinez wanted in Texas.

The lawsuit states that after Martinez's third arrest in August 2015, Bridgeport officers refused to compare his fingerprints with the Martinez from Texas and kept him in custody. Martinez was arraigned on criminal charges, but was later released by a Superior Court judge because his fingerprints didn't match the wanted man.

Attorney Robert Berke says the illegal detainment violated his client's civil rights.

Bridgeport officials declined to comment.


SYOSSET, N.Y. (AP) Officials are investigating why a small plane broke apart mid-flight, killing three people on board and scattering debris across a residential Long Island neighborhood.

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Robert Gretz says the plane's pilot reported an issue with his instrument panel before the plane crashed in Syosset Tuesday afternoon. He says it's uncommon for planes to break apart mid-flight.

Gretz says two men and a woman on board were killed. He says investigators are still collecting pieces of the plane, stretched across two miles.

Newsday reports the six-seat aircraft is registered to David Berube of Bristol, Connecticut. He's licensed to fly and land multi-engine planes but it's unclear if he was piloting the plane.

The victims' names were not released.

A preliminary report is expected within a week.


BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) A New Haven man charged with sexually molesting a 13-year-old boy in the bathroom of a Bridgeport church has pleaded guilty just before his trial was about to start.

The Connecticut Post reports that 32-year-old Gary Robinson agreed to plead guilty Tuesday to risk of injury to a minor.

Robinson faces up to four years in prison at sentencing scheduled for July 1, but the judge said Robinson's lawyer could ask for a shorter term.

Prosecutors say the boy's parents are not happy with the plea but have agreed to go along with it to spare their son from testifying.

The assault occurred at the Prayer Tabernacle Church of Love in 2012.

Two other men await trial in the case.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A search of a reputed mobster's Connecticut home produced the seizure of numerous firearms, not a half billion dollars' worth of artwork stolen from a Boston museum as federal agents hoped.

Officials say a Mac 11 machine gun, two handguns, a silencer and ammunition was taken by FBI agents from the Manchester home of Robert Gentile.

Gentile's attorney says the search was the FBI's attempt to pressure his client into divulging information about a March 1990 heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

The alleged New England Mafia member has been targeted by federal authorities since a gangster's widow claimed that her husband gave Gentile two of the stolen paintings.

The attorney says Gentile has no information about the stolen art's whereabouts. The U.S. Attorney's office had no comment.


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) Police have arrested a man in connection with a fatal hit-and-run crash in New Haven.

Antonio Calderon, of New Haven, is charged with felony evading, second-degree manslaughter and related crimes in the March 7 crash that killed Michael Kucher, of New Haven.

Police say the 27-year-old Calderon was driving the vehicle that struck Kucher as he was crossing Grand Avenue just after midnight. The vehicle fled after hitting Kucher. One witness reported the driver was known as ``Wolverine'' and had vampire-like fangs.

Kucher died from his injuries March 16.

Police say surveillance video from the area of the crash shows the vehicle that hit Kucher was racing two others.

It's unclear whether Calderon has a lawyer who could comment. Online records didn't list a phone number for Calderon.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Legislation that would bar people with temporary restraining orders against them from possessing firearms is heading to Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's desk.

The Senate on Monday voted 23-13 in favor of the bill, which has been debated in each of the last few sessions following high-profile, deadly cases of domestic violence involving guns.

Malloy, a Democrat, says he'll sign it into law.

Proponents hope the legislation will help victims of domestic violence.

The bill requires a person to transfer firearms to police or a firearms dealer within 24 hours after being served with a temporary restraining order. The weapons would be returned if a judge determined at an expedited hearing not to impose a formal restraining order.

Opponents voiced concerns about due process rights of the gun owners.


SOUTH WINDSOR, Conn. (AP) - A reported gunpoint kidnapping at a Connecticut park that prompted seven cruisers to speed to the scene turned out to be a false alarm.

Police in South Windsor say a report Monday of a man getting out of the trunk of a car with his hands tied behind his back and duct tape covering his mouth while two other men held him at gunpoint was just three men filming a school project.

Responding officers saw a camera on a tripod and learned that there was no kidnapping. The gun was not real.

Deputy Chief Scott Custer tells the Hartford Courant the men, whose names were not released, were cited for creating a public disturbance.

Custer says the students should have alerted police beforehand that they would be filming in the park.


WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) - Waterbury police officials have announced that the department's recent initiative targeting midlevel drug dealers in the city has produced warrants for 50 offenders.

Police Chief Vernon Riddick said Monday that 30 of the 50 suspects implicated in "Operation Stamp Out" were in custody.

Investigators say the ages of those arrested range from 18 to 60 years old. Many were charged with possession with intent to sell after being caught in stings conducted by undercover officers.

A department spokesman said that officers seized nearly 2,300 bags of heroin, an ounce of both crack cocaine and marijuana, two guns and close to $24,000 in the drug sweep.

Mayor Neil O'Leary says the operation sends the message that Waterbury is cracking down hard on drug dealers.


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) Demonstrators and Black Lives Matter activists gathered in front of the New Haven Police Department headquarters to protest a 27-year-old man's arrest at a liquor store over the weekend.

The New Haven Register reports ( ) Jeffrey Agnew Jr. alleges that he was assaulted by officers Saturday night after he had what he claims was a nonviolent, nonthreatening dispute with a clerk at a Whalley Avenue liquor store.

Agnew says he initially cooperated with police following the incident only to be beaten and arrested by three officers. He has been charged with disorderly conduct and interfering with police.

A police press release announcing Saturday's arrest stated that Agnew refused to be taken into custody and became violent with the officers.

Chief Dean Esserman declined to comment on Agnew's allegations.


VERNON, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut man's drastic response to a long wait for the bathroom has led to criminal charges.

Officers were called to a Vernon apartment complex at about 3 a.m. Sunday for reports that a highly intoxicated man fired a gunshot indoors.

Police say the 22-year-old Shawn Cummins was at a neighbor's apartment when he grew restless while waiting for the bathroom, pulled out a 9 mm handgun and fired a round into the closed bathroom door. He left and allegedly fired another shot into an outside wall. No one was injured.

Cummins faces several charges including unlawful discharge of a firearm. He was held on $20,000 bail pending arraignment Monday. Police say he had a firearms permit.

It could not immediately be determined if he had a lawyer.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - One of Connecticut's longest-serving prosecutors is retiring after a 46-year career that included winning death sentences against two men in one of the state's most infamous crimes - the 2007 home invasion killings of a woman and her two daughters.

New Haven State's Attorney Michael Dearington is leaving the post he has held since 1978 effective June 1. He became a state prosecutor in 1972 after two years as a prosecutor in Washington, D.C.

The 73-year-old Dearington says the job was about helping people, not just putting away the bad guys.

Dearington convinced juries to impose death penalties against Joshua Komisarjevsky (koh-mih-sar-JEF'-skee) and Steven Hayes for the home invasion killings in Cheshire. The state later abolished capital punishment, leaving the two men to serve life sentences.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut's budget problems have worsened once again.

New state revenue estimates, revealed Friday evening by Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's budget director, show the current fiscal year is projected to end June 30 about $256 million in deficit. That's up from a $141.4 million estimate released just last week.

Meanwhile, the projected budget deficit for next fiscal year, which legislators and Malloy are struggling to fix before Wednesday's legislative adjournment deadline, has grown to $960 million, up from $922 million. In January, the deficit for 2016-17 was projected to be $570 million, but income tax and other revenue collections have steadily worsened.

Ben Barnes, Malloy's budget director, said the new figures mean the fixing the deficit "got a little harder."

The new revenue projections were agreed upon by the governor's and legislature's budget offices.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Those who attach weapons to drones in Connecticut could soon face a serious criminal penalty.

A wide-ranging bill that cleared the House of Representatives on a 131-14 vote Friday creates a new class C felony for using weaponized unmanned aerial vehicles. It is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

A similar proposal died last year due to inaction. The debate was reignited this year after a college student in Clinton posted videos online of a drone-mounted handgun firing rounds into the woods and a flying flamethrower lighting up a spit-roasting Thanksgiving turkey.

The bill, which now awaits Senate action, also creates a new crime for launching or landing a drone near a correctional facility. The bill also allows law enforcement to use drones in certain circumstances.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - The Malloy administration says changes in Connecticut's drug laws have cut in half the number of people in jail awaiting trial for simple drug possession.

The state Office of Policy and Management says there were 83 people in pre-trial detention Wednesday on drug possession charges in Connecticut, down from 166 in October.

Mike Lawlor, the state's undersecretary for criminal justice policy, says that's because bails have been much lower since the crime was reclassified on Oct. 1 from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Lawlor says the idea is that people arrested for possession need treatment, not prison.

Those still in prison after being sentenced for possession also is down, from 341 in October to 277. Lawlor says most of those were sentenced for crimes committed before the law changed.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut is moving closer toward requiring public and private colleges and universities in the state to adopt clear policies regarding student consent to sexual activity.

The House of Representatives on Thursday voted 138-7 in favor of legislation requiring affirmed consent to be the standard in determining whether someone has agreed to sexual activity. Affirmed consent is described as an "active, clear and voluntary agreement by a person," or "yes, means yes," according to the bill's proponents.

Under the bill, this affirmative consent can be revoked at any time during the sexual activity.

Rep. Gregg Haddad, a Democrat from Mansfield, says most colleges and universities in the state already have similar policies, but he says it's important that all schools adopt the same standard.

The bill now moves to the Senate.


BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - A 64-year-old Bridgeport man is facing a sentence of more than 50 years in prison after being convicted of repeated sexual assaults on his young granddaughter.

The Connecticut Post reports a six-member jury found Joseph Burroughs guilty of first-degree sexual assault, third-degree sexual assault and four counts of risk of injury to a minor on Thursday.

The victim, now 9 years old, testified during the three-day trial that Burroughs sexually assaulted her on numerous occasions beginning when she was 5 years old.

Senior Assistant State's Attorney Ann Lawlor praised the jury for their hard work to "reach the appropriate verdict."

Burroughs spent five years in prison after he was convicted of manslaughter with a firearm in 1989.


MERIDEN, Conn. (AP) - A jury has cleared six Connecticut police officers of allegations that they conducted an illegal body cavity search on a man in 2011.

The federal civil rights suit was decided Thursday.

The suit filed in 2013 by Derrick Bryant, who had been held on drug charges. He alleged Meriden police performed a cavity search in a station holding cell without a warrant. Under state law, a warrant is required for police to search body cavities other than the mouth.

The officers maintained they never did a cavity search and simply removed drugs they found in Bryant's buttocks.

The officers' lawyer tells The Record Journal "fine officers who were publicly defamed have been vindicated."

Bryant's attorney says she's "dismayed" by the verdict but has not yet decided whether to appeal.


FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) Police say four teachers at a Connecticut elementary school were hurt trying to control a rampaging 10-year-old student throwing tables and chairs inside a classroom.

Administrators at the Timothy Dwight School called police at about 1 p.m. Wednesday asking for assistance with a student who was having behavioral issues.

Police say one teacher had a bruised leg and was taken to St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport. A second teacher was taken to a doctor by a friend before officers arrived on the scene.

Two teachers declined medical attention.

No students were hurt. The 10-year-old boy was released to his parents' custody.

School administrators did not comment.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut high school history teacher chosen as the National Teacher of the Year says she was surrounded by poverty, drugs and violence as a child but imagined other possibilities for her life with help from educators.

Jahana Hayes teaches at John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury.

The honor by the Council of Chief State School Officers was announced Thursday. Hayes will be recognized by President Barack Obama at a White House ceremony on Tuesday.

The 44-year-old Hayes grew up in a Waterbury housing project and became a teenage mother while still in high school. She says the influence of her own teachers taught her that a school's job sometimes overlaps with the job of parents, and she wants her students to know there are no dead ends.


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