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State Headlines

Tribes say they're "days" away from unveiling casino site

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Officials from Connecticut's two federally recognized tribes say they're days away from announcing a location for their proposed jointly owned casino near the Massachusetts border.

The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes own and operate the state's only casinos in southeastern Connecticut. They joined forces 15 months ago to combat competition from the new MGM Resorts International casino that is opening in late 2018 in nearby Springfield, Massachusetts. They've narrowed their possible sites to locations in East Windsor and Windsor Locks.

Kevin Brown, chairman of the Mohegan Tribe, says the tribes need the General Assembly to pass legislation this session authorizing a third casino.

Brown and Felix Rappaport, CEO of the Mashantucket Pequots' Foxwoods Resort Casino, appeared Thursday before a legislative committee to discuss the project.

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Malloy signs order to ensure transgender students' rights

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has signed an executive order to ensure transgender students in Connecticut can still use the bathroom or locker room of their chosen gender.

The Democrat on Thursday ordered that bathrooms and locker rooms in public schools and institutions of higher education be considered places of public accommodation, therefore making discrimination based on sex or gender identity expression illegal under Connecticut law.

Malloy's executive order comes a day after Republican President Donald Trump's administration revoked an Obama-era directive instructing public schools to let transgender students use bathrooms of their chosen gender. Trump officials contend the issue is best handled by the states.

State officials also delivered a memo on Thursday to every public school superintendent outlining Connecticut's anti-discrimination laws, explaining more formal guidance will be issued soon.

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Petition: Education official should resign for Facebook post

ENFIELD, Conn. (AP) An Enfield education official is coming under fire after a photo of Abraham Lincoln was posted on his Facebook page with the caption ``Haven't seen the democrats this mad since we took away their slaves.''

WVIT-TV reports the photo was published last week on the personal Facebook page of Board of Education Chairman Tom Sirard.

Sirard, a Republican, said he couldn't meet with the station.

John Foxx says he felt the post was offensive and helped organize a petition calling for Sirard's resignation. Foxx says teachers and educators have to respect ``a certain level of decorum'' and elected officials should too.

J.R. Romano, the head of the state's Republican Party, spoke on Sirard's behalf, saying the petition's organizers are trying to create a controversy where there isn't any.

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Flight school plane crashes in swamp near runway, killing 1

EAST HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - A plane from a local flight school has crashed in a swampy area near the end of a runaway at a Connecticut airport, killing one occupant and seriously injuring the other.

The Piper PA 38 aircraft had just taken off from Tweed New Haven Airport when it crashed Wednesday morning in East Haven.

Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr. says the plane reported an emergency, turned around and fell from the sky.

Police say the man killed in the crash was Pablo Campos Isona, of East Haven. The identity of the injured man hasn't been released.

First responders trudged through 2 feet of water and ice to reach the wreckage.

The Federal Aviation Administration says it will investigate. The National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause of the crash.

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Police: Woman fears losing potential lover, lies about rape

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - A New York woman is facing charges after police say she lied about being raped by two football players from a Connecticut university due to fears a third student would lose romantic interest in her.

Nikki Yovino, of South Setauket, New York, has been charged with falsely reporting an incident and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.

The 18-year-old Yovino said two Sacred Heart University football players sexually assaulted her in a bathroom in October during an off-campus party.

The men said it was consensual.

Capt. Brian Fitzgerald tells WABC-TV another student informed authorities of explicit text messages between the three. He says one man also recorded some of the incident on his cellphone.

Yovino's lawyer, Mark Sherman, tells The Connecticut Post his client stands by her original story.

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Man gets 13 years in prison for accidentally killing friend

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Hartford man who admitted in a plea deal that he accidentally shot and killed his friend has been sentenced to 13 years in prison.

The Hartford Courant reports Daniel Morales pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced on Wednesday.

Prosecutors say 23-year-old Angel Vasquez handed Morales a loaded handgun during a drug deal in December 2013.

Morales said he didn't know the gun was loaded when he pulled the trigger. Vasquez was shot in the back of the head and died at the scene.

Morales initially denied involvement. DNA later linked him to the scene and he told police it was an accident. Prosecutors later dropped a murder charge, saying forensic evidence supported Morales' story.

Morales says he's heartbroken over the shooting.

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Giant cross at former Holy Land theme park is vandalized

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) Vandals have defaced a giant cross overlooking a Connecticut city from the site of the former Holy Land theme park.

Several green pentagrams and a large letter T were spray-painted near the bottom of the 52-foot-tall cross in Waterbury during the past several days. The vandalism was visible from Interstate 84.

Mayor Neil M. O'Leary bought the 17-acre property atop Pine Hill with a partner in 2013. He calls the vandalism troubling.

The cross was placed on the site in 2013 and is illuminated at night by color-changing LED lights. It replaced a larger cross that stood on the site since 1956 as the centerpiece of the former biblical theme park.

Holy Land once attracted thousands of visitors a year. It closed in 1984.

Police are looking for the vandals. No arrests have been made.

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New Haven man faces charges after high-speed car chase

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - A New Haven man police say led them on a high-speed chase through four communities is heading to court.

Police say they were conducting a speed trap on Interstate 95 south early Monday when a car zoomed by at 90 miles per hour.

The car had been reported stolen.

The Connecticut Post reports that police gave chase and the say the car reached speeds of 106 mph.

The pursuit continued onto the Merritt Parkway and onto the streets of Bridgeport.

It ended when the car drove onto a dead end street and the driver surrendered.

Police say 22-year-old Emilio Davila was faces charges including reckless driving, first-degree reckless endangerment and third-degree larceny. He was held in lieu of $25,000 bond pending arraignment Tuesday.

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More than 2,000 gather for Sen. Murphy's town hall

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) More than 2,000 people gathered in West Hartford for a public meeting with Sen. Chris Murphy to ask questions and express concerns on issues including climate change, immigration and the Dakota access pipeline.

The Hartford Courant reports more than 450 people filed into the town hall auditorium Tuesday night. Several dozen others watched in an overflow room. Hundreds were shut out when the fire marshal closed the building.

Murphy, a Democrat, suggested that individuals frustrated with Washington become involved locally, voice their grievances and hold Republicans accountable for their promises, particularly about repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.

Murphy says some Republicans are ``very concerned about what's going on.'' He says it's challenging for them to oppose a Republican president so early into his term.

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Kayak found but kayaker still missing in Connecticut

MONTVILLE, Conn. (AP) - Searchers in Connecticut have found the kayak taken on a fishing trip by a man who is now missing.

They are still searching Monday for 31-year-old Lyle Dagenias, of Montville.

Authorities say the kayak was found near the Yale Boat House on the Thames River and was identified by his family.

Dagenias was last seen Sunday morning as he left his house to go fishing in his 11-foot-long kayak. His family notified Montville police that he had not come back late Sunday. His car was found at the boat launch, with no boat or fishing gear.

Police and the Coast Guard have been searching the area with boats and a helicopter since early Monday.

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Interracial couple fined for not removing graffiti slur

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) - An interracial Connecticut couple whose home was vandalized by a racial slur has been fined for failing to cover it up.

The Stamford Advocate reports the slur was spray-painted over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend on the garage door of Heather Lindsay, who's white, and Lexene Charles, who's black.

Lindsay says their home has been vandalized multiple times. She says Stamford authorities have failed to properly investigate and she won't remove the slur until they do.

The city issued a blight citation, which carries a $100 daily fine.

NAACP representatives on Monday called for a full investigation, including canvassing the neighborhood and posting a patrol car to make sure the couple is safe.

The city's director of public safety says an investigation is underway.

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Connecticut home invasion killer seeks new trial

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - One of two men serving a life sentence in the killing of a woman and her two daughters inside their Connecticut home a decade ago is asking the state's highest court for a new trial.

The New Haven Register reported Monday that lawyers for Joshua Komisarjevsky filed a motion with the state Supreme Court requesting a new trial.

The attorneys say Komisarjevsky was unfairly painted as the mastermind of the Cheshire home invasion and slayings. They say co-defendant Steven Hayes planned to kill Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters.

Komisarjevsky's attorneys also say their client would have been acquitted of arson, murder and capital felony had jurors read letters Hayes allegedly wrote describing himself as the mastermind.

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Cops warn of cows trying to sell dairy products after escape

SUFFIELD, Conn. (AP) - Police in a Connecticut town are reminding people to not open their doors to "any unfamiliar cattle" after a pair of cows escaped from their pen and were found near the front door of a home a couple of houses away.

Sgt. Geoffrey Miner tells WGGB/WSHM a driver reported seeing the cows walking on the side of a road and in yards in Suffield on Sunday morning.

Officers managed to take a photo of the cows before herding them back to their pen.

Police posted the photo on Facebook, saying two "suspicious males" were going door-to-door "trying to sell dairy products." They were "apprehended after a short foot pursuit."

Police say the cows were able to escape due to a faulty electrical wire fence.

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Letters of school sign rearranged to spell out racial slur

GRANBY, Conn. (AP) - Police say someone rearranged the letters of a Granby school's sign to spell out a racial slur.

Police say a passing motorist alerted them on Saturday that there was a racial slur on a sign outside the Granby Memorial School campus.

Anna Rogers tells WVIT-TV she saw the slur around noon on Saturday and called police. She says the slur had been removed when she passed by less than two hours later.

Police say they're working with the school district to investigate the incident.

Superintendent of Schools Alan Addley says in a statement the racial slur is disturbing and doesn't represent the values of the town or the school community.

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Hoarding hampers attempts to reach woman who died in fire

NORWALK, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut fire officials say a woman has died after a fire broke out in a Norwalk home with extreme hoarding conditions.

Crews responded to the house just after 7 a.m. Sunday and found fire coming out of a second-floor bedroom window. Neighbors said there was a woman in the house. Firefighters say they had a difficult time moving through the house because the rooms, hallways and stairs were cluttered, nearly to the ceiling in some places.

Officials said firefighters had to crawl on top of mounds of belongings to locate the woman and put out the fire.

The woman was taken to Norwalk Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Her identity was not immediately released. Fire officials said there was no one else in the home.

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2 arrested in connection with bank robberies

FALLS VILLAGE, Conn. (AP) - Two suspects have been arrested in connection with bank robberies in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Connecticut State Police said Thursday that 36-year-old Eric Sheridan of Putnam, Conn. and 30-year-old Rachelle Winter were taken into custody following their release from the hospital.

The two suffered non-life-threatening injuries in a car crash after police say they robbed a Torrington Savings Bank in Falls Village in the town of Canaan Wednesday. Police in Great Barrington, Mass. say the couple also robbed a Salisbury Bank Trust Company location in their town on Monday.

Sheridan is being held pending Friday court appearance. Winter, who at one time lived in East Providence, Rhode Island, was held on a $250,000 bond following her Thursday court appearance.

It couldn't immediately be determined if the two had lawyers.

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Hartford man convicted of murder in retaliation shooting

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Hartford man has been convicted of shooting two men from the backseat of a parked car, leaving one of them dead.

The Hartford Courant reports jurors convicted 37-year-old Tyrone Rosa on Tuesday of charges including murder in the December 2014 double shooting that left 23-year-old Hiram Martinez dead and 25-year-old Dederick Jiminez hurt.

He faces up to 90 years in prison when he's sentenced in April.

Prosecutors say Rosa fatally shot Martinez and wounded Jiminez in retaliation for another man's slaying.

Jiminez testified that Martinez acknowledged he killed Mariano "Papa" Gonzalez and that Rosa was close to him.

Testimony indicates Rosa killed Martinez and wounded Jiminez in retaliation for Gonzalez's killing.

The defense argued that it wasn't clear who fired the shots from the backseat of the car.

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Dog jumps from vehicle, bites 5-year-old, teacher at school

HAMDEN, Conn. (AP) A dog bit a 5-year-old boy and a teacher at an elementary school in Hamden and has been placed in quarantine for two weeks.

Police say Leon Mitchell, of Hamden, brought his son to Helen Street School on Wednesday morning when the 7-month-old American Bulldog jumped out of his vehicle and followed the boy into the school.

Officials say the dog bit a student in the leg, leaving him with minor injuries. A teacher tried to get control of the dog and was also bitten. She suffered a minor finger injury.

School officials say the puppy is up to date on its shots. The dog remains quarantined at a shelter.

WVIT-TV says no one answered a knock at the door of the dog owner's home.

Police say charges are expected.

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Man sentenced in 2012 murder-for-hire attack

NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut man has been sentenced for his role in a fatal stabbing linked to a drug operation.

The Day reports that 21-year-old Jose Rosado Jr., of New London, admitted to partnering with Andrew Aviles to attack Javier Reyes in 2012. Court documents show the two were hired by Oscar Valentin, leader of the Green Garages drug operation, in a retaliatory attack.

Video surveillance shows Rosado carrying a bat and as he and Aviles walk toward Reyes outside of his home. Reyes is then shown sprinting away.

In a statement to a federal probation officer, Rosado apologized for the attack and asked Reyes' children for forgiveness in a statement.

Rosado was sentenced to five years in prison. Valentin and Aviles both pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

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New Haven man convicted of fatal shooting during pot deal

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - A New Haven man has been found guilty of murder for shooting another man in the face during an argument over a bag of marijuana.

The New Haven Register reports that Jaquwan Burton was convicted by a jury on Tuesday for the 2014 slaying of Kyle Brown-Edwards.

Prosecutors say the 22-year-old Burton shot Brown-Edwards as the victim stood in the front hallway of his family home during what witnesses said was an arranged drug deal. The suspect was also linked to the victim through cellphone records.

Burton's attorney argued that the key witness's testimony was unreliable because he initially told police Burton had nothing to do with the shooting.

Burton faces up to 75 years in prison at sentencing scheduled for April 11.

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Connecticut medical examiner's office loses accreditation

FARMINGTON, Conn. (AP) - The Connecticut Chief Medical Examiner's Office has lost full accreditation because of low staffing and inadequate refrigerated storage space for bodies.

The office announced Wednesday that the National Association of Medical Examiners has given officials until Sept. 27 to fix the problems or lose accreditation completely.

The association says state medical examiners are performing more than 325 autopsies a year, the limit set by the association. The national group says the office needs two more medical examiners to get under the limit.

Chief Medical Examiner James Gill says there are plans to add refrigerated storage space, but the legislature and governor need to approve funding for more staff.

Gill says inadequate staffing and heavy workloads can lead to mistakes, lack of confidence in the office and innocent people being imprisoned.

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Connecticut couple victim of apparently random market attack

MERIDEN, Conn. (AP) - Police in Connecticut are looking for five young men they say attacked a husband and wife apparently at random in a supermarket and left the man unconscious.

Police say the victims were walking to the Stop Shop in Meriden on Sunday afternoon when five men inside a car started verbally harassing them.

The men followed the couple into the store and surrounded them. When the 28-year-old man took offense when his wife was threatened, he was punched in the face and knocked down. The suspects kicked him, knocking out several teeth and knocked him unconscious.

The suspects, who appeared to be in their late teens or early 20s, then fled.

The victims say they did not know their assailants.

Police released surveillance images of the suspects, hoping someone recognizes them.

 

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Cancer patient dies months after meeting hero, Tom Brady

SIMSBURY, Conn. (AP) - A 10-year-old cancer patient, who in December lived out his dream of meeting New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, has died.

Logan Schoenhardt's story gained national attention during a social media campaign that brought the Connecticut boy's wish to the attention of the Patriots and Brady. He died Monday, according to Ray Lagan, the head of the Masters School in Simsbury, where Logan was a fourth-grade student.

Logan visited with Brady at the team's facility in Foxborough, Massachusetts, and was named the team's honorary captain for their Dec. 4 win over the Los Angeles Rams.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft offered his condolences in a statement Tuesday, saying the team has met some great fans over the years, "but none that could rival Logan's passion for the Patriots and his love for Tom Brady."

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Driver not wearing seat belt leads to cocaine bust

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) - Police say a Pennsylvania man who drew the attention of a Connecticut state trooper because he wasn't wearing a seat belt has been arrested on drug charges after nearly nine pounds of cocaine were found in his vehicle.

State police say the trooper spotted the unrestrained driver in Waterbury at about 6:45 p.m. Monday and followed the SUV onto Interstate 84.

When the vehicle swerved into the shoulder, the trooper pulled it over and found what police allege is four kilograms of cocaine in the back seat.

Luis Palacios Ortiz, of Mount Joy, Pennsylvania, was arrested on drug charges.

The 43-year-old suspect is being held on $250,000 bond pending arraignment and could not be reached.

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GE chief drops price of Connecticut home again

NEW CANAAN, Conn. (AP) - General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt has dropped the price of his Connecticut mansion again.

The Hour reports that the home in the wealthy enclave of New Canaan is now on the market for $4.725 million, down from just under $5 million.

The more than 11,000-square foot home with six bedrooms and nine full bathrooms on four acres of land was bought by Immelt and his wife, Andrea, in 2001 for $5.3 million. It was built in 2000.

The Immelts listed the home for sale last year for $5.5 million as GE readied to move its global headquarters to Boston from Fairfield, Connecticut.

The listing by Houlihan Lawrence says the home has a gourmet kitchen, solarium and an exercise room.

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Man convicted of stealing $500K in cigarettes from warehouse

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - A New Jersey man has been convicted in federal court of breaking into a Connecticut warehouse and stealing more than 8,000 cartons of cigarettes worth about $500,000.

Andrew Oreckinto, of Matawan, New Jersey, was convicted on Monday of theft from an interstate shipment. He faces up to a decade in prison.

Prosecutors say surveillance cameras recorded the 52-year-old Oreckinto breaking into New Britain Candy in Wethersfield, Connecticut in March 2011. A glue-like substance was used to disable door locks. Wires to an outside surveillance camera and a phone line were also cut.

Authorities linked Oreckinto to the theft by analyzing his call history.

Oreckinto is currently serving a five-year prison term in New Jersey for stealing $100,000 worth of copper cable and selling it for scrap.

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Haitian man admits role in scheme to stage dozens of crashes

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - A Haitian man has admitted in federal court he was involved in a scheme to stage dozens of car crashes in Connecticut and collected up to $30,000 per wreck by submitting bogus insurance claims.

Jacques Fleurijeune, also known as "Magic," pleaded guilty on Monday to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. He faces up to two decades in prison.

The 27-year-old Fleurijeune, who last resided in New London, admitted he was personally involved in a staged crash in Norwich in October 2013. A fellow participant crashed a vehicle and Fleurijeune replaced the person in the driver's seat. He then told law enforcement officers he was driving and swerved into a tree to avoid a deer.

Prosecutors say Fleurijeune and others plotted to stage about 50 crashes in the state.

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Man charged with secretly recording teen girls

WALLINGFORD, Conn. (AP) - Wallingford police say a local man secretly recorded two teenage girls in various states of undress using a cellphone and a hidden baby monitor.

Police announced on Saturday that they charged 50-year-old Gary Lozowski Jr. with voyeurism, risk of injury to minors and disorderly conduct. He was arrested Wednesday and posted $10,000 bail.

Authorities allege Lozowski videorecorded the 14- and 15-year-old girls without their knowledge while they sunbathed and while they were in their bedrooms awake and sleeping. Police began an investigation after receiving a complaint on Jan. 20.

Lozowski's lawyer did not immediately return a message seeking comment Sunday. A phone number for Lozowski could not be found.

Lozowski is set to be arraigned in Meriden Superior Court on March 8.

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3 Connecticut lawmakers call for restoring the death penalty

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Many states are moving toward eliminating the death penalty, but three Connecticut lawmakers are trying to bring it back.

Republican Reps. Robert Sampson, Kurt Vail and Kevin Skulczyck have proposed bills that would reinstate capital punishment, which was abolished by the state Supreme Court in 2015. In a sharply divided 4-3 decision, the majority opinion said the death penalty no longer serves any legitimate punishment purposes nor does it comply with "cotemporary standards of decency."

Sampson disagrees. He says he believes the death penalty deters crime, and some crimes are so heinous that execution is warranted. But he is not optimistic that lawmakers will reinstate capital punishment this year.

Thirty-one states have the death penalty. Bills in at least eight states would abolish capital punishment.

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Geraldo Rivera quits Yale position over college name change

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera says he resigned from a voluntary position at Yale University after the school decided to change the name of a residential college that honors a slavery supporter.

Rivera said Sunday on Twitter that he resigned as an associate fellow of Calhoun College. He said the position was an honor "but intolerant insistence on political correctness is lame."

Calhoun College was named after 19th century alumnus and former Vice President John C. Calhoun, an ardent supporter of slavery. After years of debate, Yale announced Saturday it is renaming the college after trailblazing computer scientist Grace Murray Hopper.

Yale said in a statement Sunday that it respected Rivera's decision, but said its choice to rename the college was based on principle, not political correctness.

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Fast-moving snowstorm could dump 7 to 14 inches on state

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A fast-moving snowstorm is heading into the region and could dump 7 to 14 inches of snow on Connecticut.

The National Weather Services has issued a winter storm warning from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is asking all non-essential first- and second-shift employees to stay home Thursday due to the storm. The Democratic governor says he will activate the state's emergency operations center at 5 a.m. to continue coordinating the state's response.

Meteorologists say snowfall rates of 2 to 3 inches per hour will be possible at times.

Malloy is urging all residents to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary.

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Republicans, hospitals blast Malloy budget

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Wednesday unveiled a two-year budget plan that assumes $1.5 billion in state employee givebacks and shifts hundreds of millions of dollars of costs onto cities and towns, while reducing tax credits for low- and middle-income families.

 

The Democratic governor announced his $40.6 billion proposal for the next two fiscal years that begin July 1 before a joint session of the General Assembly, where Democrats hold a slim House majority and are tied with Republicans in the Senate.

 

The announcement came as Connecticut faces a projected $1.7 billion budget deficit next fiscal year and a $1.9 billion deficit the following year, due to lower-than-expected revenues in the sluggish economy, administration officials said.

 

Spending would increase nearly 1 percent next fiscal year and nearly 2 percent the following year.

 

"Our economic reality demands that we re-envision state government," Malloy said. "Together, we need to provide essential, core services and we need to find ways to do it at less cost to taxpayers."

 

Administration officials and state employee labor union leaders are currently in talks about savings. Malloy said he is confident an agreement can be reached but if one isn't, the budget calls for laying off about 4,200 state workers. That would be about 10 percent of the workforce.

 

Malloy is calling for nearly $1.4 billion in spending cuts and about $300 million in additional revenues in the next fiscal year. The extra revenues would include $200 million in tax increases, including eliminating the $200 property tax deduction from state income tax returns and reducing earned income tax credits for poor families.

 

The cigarette tax would increase from $3.90 to $4.35 a pack, tying Connecticut with New York for the highest state cigarette tax in the country.

 

Malloy is not proposing any increases to the income or sales taxes.

 

Republicans and industry groups criticized the budget plan Wednesday.

 

"Once again we see a plan that will balance the budget on the backs of working and middle class families while shifting problems onto others," said Senate Republican President Pro Tem Len Fasano. "I don't see this budget creating stability. I see it creating chaos."

 

The budget also shifts $400 million of the annual $1.2 billion cost of teacher pensions to cities and towns from the state, which now shoulders all the cost. Some city and town leaders have said that would force major property tax increases.

 

While total state aid to cities and towns would remain about the same, Malloy's budget would shift millions of dollars from wealthier towns to cities and other needy municipalities.

 

To help cities and towns, Malloy's budget would allow them to tax hospital property that is now tax-exempt. The move would bring in about $212 million in new property tax revenue for municipalities.

 

To help hospitals offset the new property taxes, the budget plan includes $250 million in new compensation to hospitals.

 

The Connecticut Hospital Association called taxing hospitals "a direct attack on the fabric of our communities." The group said hospitals and patients already have been harmed by a state hospital tax imposed several years ago.

 

Malloy also wants to shift some state education aid from wealthier towns to the neediest communities, to make the education funding system fairer.

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Police: Loaded gun found near elementary school; no one hurt

BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) Police in Bristol say no one was injured when a loaded gun was found outside a city elementary school.

Police say students on their way to school found the 9mm handgun at around 8:50 a.m. Wednesday. The weapon was lying in a grassy area off a bus path that leads to the front entrance of the school.

Lt. Richard Guerrera says students reported the discovery to school staff.

School officials say parents were notified of the incident around 9:30 a.m.

Police are investigating.

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Connecticut governor wants to upgrade sports arena for NHL

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is proposing the state spend $250 million to renovate the XL Center, Hartford's downtown sports arena.

Malloy's office tells the Hartford Courant that the governor will include $125 million for the first two years of the project in the state budget he will unveil on Wednesday.

The renovation plans call for upgrading seating capacity in the arena from 16,000 to about 19,000 and adding a second concourse.

The facility serves as an off-campus home to UConn basketball and hockey and the home arena of the American Hockey League's Hartford Wolf Pack.

Malloy's office and Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin last week sent a letter to the New York Islanders, asking the NHL team to consider moving to Connecticut's capital city.

The state has been without am NHL franchise since the Hartford Whalers left for North Carolina in 1997.

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Mom pleads guilty to witness tampering in son's arson case

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) The mother of a Connecticut teenager who was accused of setting five fires in Enfield has pleaded guilty to charges she tried to undermine prosecutors' case against her son.

The Hartford Courant reports Theresa Izzo pleaded guilty Tuesday to tampering with a witness and fabricating physical evidence under the Alford doctrine. That means that while she disagrees with some evidence she acknowledges there is enough for a conviction.

Izzo is expected to be sentenced to eight years in prison, suspended after one year, in April.

Authorities say Izzo had two co-workers at an East Hartford diner sign letters saying her son, 18-year-old Davidson Izzo, was there during the time of one of the reported fires.

Davidson Izzo pleaded guilty last month to setting two fires in 2014 and 2015.

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Woman attacked by pit bull settles lawsuit for $300,000

MYSTIC, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut woman who suffered permanent injuries when she was attacked by a pit bull at a pet-friendly hotel has reached a $300,000 settlement with the hotel's owner.

A lawyer for Jo-Lynne Grillo tells The Day his client's lawsuit against the hotel owner was scheduled to go to trial Feb. 27, but the sides settled Monday.

He says Grillo went to the Marriott Residence Inn in 2014 to meet a friend. The friend was staying there because her house was damaged in a fire. When the room's door opened, the pit bull, owned by the friend's son, attacked Grillo.

Her lawyer says Grillo has limited use of her right arm and disfigurements.

Police shot the dog, which later died.

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Man convicted in killings of woman, boy witness loses appeal

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A three-judge panel has rejected the latest appeal of a Connecticut man convicted of ordering the 1999 killings of a woman and her 8-year-old son because the boy was going to testify against him.

Three judges on the state Appellate Court on Monday unanimously upheld a lower court ruling against former Bridgeport drug dealer Russell Peeler Jr.

Peeler said a lower court judge made mistakes including ruling that the prosecution did not suppress key evidence during his trial.

Authorities say Peeler ordered the killings of Karen Clarke and her son, B.J. Brown, in their Bridgeport home. B.J. was a witness against Peeler in the 1997 killing of Clarke's boyfriend.

Peeler was sentenced to death, but was resentenced to life in prison last year after the state abolished the death penalty.

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Connecticut man pleads guilty in soccer stadium scam

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut developer has pleaded guilty to federal charges in a scam to pocket taxpayer dollars meant to redevelop a Hartford football stadium for professional soccer.

Mitchell Anderson, of Avon, pleaded guilty Monday to federal fraud and money laundering charges.

Prosecutors alleged he and another developer of Dillon Stadium never paid subcontractors and used city money for personal and other purposes.

Hartford cancelled their contract and sued. The Major Arena Soccer League dropped the team before a game was played.

Anderson faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced on May 1. Prosecutors say he also has agreed to pay more than $1.1 million in restitution to the city and two subcontractors.

Jury selection in the trail of co-defendant James Duckett Jr. is scheduled for May 5.

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Norwalk residents find white supremacist fliers near homes

NORWALK, Conn. (AP) Police are investigating the appearance of white supremacist fliers in a Connecticut community.

Police say hundreds of printed fliers were found on driveways and in mailboxes in Norwalk on Monday. The fliers read, ``We must secure the existence of our race and a future for white children. Make America White Again.'' Officials say the fliers also list a link to a white nationalist website.

Norwalk residents placed a complaint with the police department. Norwalk Police Spokesman Lt. Terry Blake said detectives are investigating the fliers.

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Man faces arson charges after child hospitalized for burns

ROCKY HILL, Conn. (AP) A 27-year-old man is facing arson and other charges after a two-year-old boy was brought to a Connecticut hospital with serious burns.

Police say the toddler, who they haven't identified, was brought to Connecticut Children's Medical Center early Saturday. They said officials were initially told the burns were caused from an electrical fire at an apartment complex.

But further investigation led police to arrest and charge Michael Shamel Davis, of Rocky Hill. He faces second-degree reckless endangerment, interfering with police, tampering with evidence, third degree arson and other charges.

Police haven't said what Davis' relationship is to the boy.

He's being held on a $100,000 bond and will appear in Connecticut Superior Court in New Britain Monday. It couldn't be immediately determined if Davis has a lawyer.

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Mold repair work beginning at Mark Twain's historic home

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Mold is threatening thousands of artifacts in the Mark Twain House Museum in Connecticut.

The Hartford Courant reports the ``Adventures of Huckleberry Finn'' author's historic home in Hartford, is undergoing an extensive remediation effort to clean the damage.

The mold was first discovered in 2015 and impacts at least 5,000 of the museum's 16,000 artifacts, including furniture and some first editions of Twain's works.

The problem was blamed on a faulty HVAC system and leaky roof that have since been repaired. The roughly $1 million project has been largely paid for using taxpayer money.

The mold-removal work begins Feb. 13 and should last three to four months.

Twain, whose real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens, lived with his family in the home from 1874 to 1891.

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Man, child rescued after falling through icy pond

MILFORD, Conn. (AP) A man and a 10-year-old boy are expected to be OK after fire officials say they fell into icy water at Mondo Pond in Connecticut.

Milford Fire Battalion Chief Anthony Fabrizi says the child fell through the ice just after 4 p.m. Sunday. The man saw it happen, rushed to rescue the child and fell through the ice as he was helping him.

Fire officials say the man was able to lift the child from the water. The boy crawled to safety. Police arrived and threw a life safety ring to the man in the water, pulling him to the edge of the pond.

The man and the child, who weren't identified, were treated for cold water exposure. Neither person suffered serious injuries. They were hospitalized for evaluation.

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UConn featured on SNL this weekend

UConn was the focus of a skit on Saturday Night Live this weekend.  SNL host Kristen Stewart and several cast members played UConn underage students who had to take part in a university sanctioned meeting to learn that alcohol consumption can lead to bad choices.  The fictional "Dry Fridays" group sketch was full of references to the state’s flagship university, including the North Quad and Spring Weekend.

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Malloy proposes plan to help struggling municipalities

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) - Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is proposing a new system designed to help Connecticut cities and towns that are struggling financially.

The Democrat announced in Waterbury Thursday his budget package will include legislation that creates a new Municipal Accountability Review Board. Empowered to review a municipality's finances, the board will place cities and towns in a tiered system of accountability, where they'll be subject to increasing levels of review and state intervention.

Malloy says Connecticut "cannot wait until a city or town is on the doorstep of bankruptcy" before stepping in to help. He says this proposal will help ensure the fiscal condition of troubled communities improves.

Joe DeLong, executive director of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, welcomed the concept but says the local property tax system still must be changed.

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Syrian family reunited after Trump travel ban

MILFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut resident from Syria has been reunited with his wife and two young daughters after President Donald Trump's travel ban put the brakes on their plans last week.

Milford resident Fadi Kassar greeted his family Thursday night at New York's Kennedy Airport with tears flowing down his face and arms wide open.

Kassar had not seen his family for more than two years. Despite securing approval to travel to the United States, Kassar's wife and 5- and 8-year-old daughters were stopped from boarding their flight last week because of Trump's ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy says he worked with the Kassar family, immigration lawyers, the State Department and Customs and Border Protection to make sure the reunion happened.

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Connecticut AG sues doctor, alleging prescription scam

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Connecticut's attorney general is suing a Stamford doctor and her husband, alleging they took part in a scam to sell medically unnecessary custom-made prescription drug creams.

The lawsuit alleges that UConn employee Kwasi Gyambibi, of Stamford and his wife, Dr. Kakra Gyambibi, convinced other state employees to use the expensive compound-drug mixtures made by Advantage Medical and Pharmaceuticals LLC.

The lawsuit says those prescribed the drugs were never examined by the doctor.

The lawsuit also alleges the drugs, which are not FDA approved, were not medically necessary and cost the state prescription drug plan thousands of dollars. Attempts to reach the couple for comment by phone Thursday were not successful.

A woman answering the phone at a number listed for Advantage said the company is no longer in business.

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Man convicted of murder for role in fatal home invasion

LITCHFIELD, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut man has been convicted of murder and several other charges for his role in a fatal home invasion in Sharon.

The Republican-American reports that the Litchfield jury on Wednesday found Hiral Patel guilty in the shooting death of 23-year-old Luke Vitalis in August 2012. Patel faces up to life in prison when he's sentenced on April 21.

Prosecutors say Patel, of Branford, was one of several men involved in a plot to steal the proceeds of drug transactions.

During the deliberation, one juror sent a note to the judge saying he was ``terrified'' and asked to be dismissed. After talking to the man, the judge ruled that no misconduct had occurred and the juror stayed on the panel.

Patel's attorney says an appeal will be filed.

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High school teacher hit by car while running dies

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A high school physics teacher hit by a car while running in West Hartford has died.

Police say Andrej Cavarkapa was out for a run the evening of Jan. 25 when he was struck by a car driven by a 19-year-old man from South Windsor. He died Tuesday night at Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford as a result of his injuries.

The 30-year-old Cavarkapa taught at RHAM High School in Hebron. School officials have said he was great teacher and wonderful colleague.

West Hartford police say witnesses told them the driver had a green light at an intersection when Cavarkapa jogged into the car's path and they collided.

Police say the driver is cooperating, and an investigation continues.

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Forbes ex-publisher charged with terrorizing school bus

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) - A former Forbes Magazine publisher is facing charges after police say he attacked a bus full of elementary school children in Connecticut.

The Connecticut Post reports 64-year-old James Berrien, of Westport, was charged Tuesday with breach of peace and disorderly conduct for a Dec. 21 road rage incident.

Police say bus driver Danny Castro told them Berrien began chasing the bus with his BMW convertible after they came to an intersection simultaneously, and the bus drove through.

Castro told police Berrien began tailgating and when the bus stopped, he forced his way on, pushing children aside and screaming as children cowered in the back.

His lawyer says Berrien strongly disputes the allegations and looks forward to his day in court.

Investigators say they identified Berrien from bus surveillance video.

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2nd arrest made in Christmas Eve shooting in Bridgeport

MANCHESTER, Conn. (AP) - Police have arrested a second suspect in connection with a deadly shooting in Bridgeport on Christmas Eve.

Bridgeport police say 34-year-old Xavier Rivera was taken into custody Tuesday by members of a federal fugitive task force while fleeing a Manchester home.

Rivera faces murder and other charges in the death of 27-year-old Miguel Rivera, who was shot outside a fast-food restaurant. Police say the victim and the suspect are not related.

Xavier Rivera is the second person arrested in the shooting. Twenty-nine-year-old Moises Contreras also faces murder charges after being arrested in Bridgeport last week.

Both men had been identified as suspects shortly after the shooting.

Each man is being held in lieu of $750,000 bond.

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Hartford man gets 10 years for sexually assaulting teen

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A Hartford man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl at a park more than a year ago.

The Hartford Courant reports 39-year-old David Huertas was sentenced on Tuesday. He pleaded guilty Jan. 12 to first-degree sexual assault and violating the terms of his probation for a previous crime. He must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Prosecutors say Huertas got the teen drunk and took her to Rocky Ridge Park on the evening of July 27, 2015. Huertas then attacked the girl, who is now 18. She later fled in Huertas' vehicle and was stopped by a police officer.

Huertas' attorney says his client has accepted responsibility for his crime.

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Teen pleads guilty in string of fires in Connecticut town

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut teenager accused of setting five fires in Enfield has pleaded guilty to arson charges.

The Hartford Courant reports that 18-year-old Davidson Izzo is expected to be sentenced on March 31 to 13 years in prison, suspended after five years. He will get credit for the nearly two years he's been jailed since his arrest.

Under an agreement, Izzo, of Enfield, pleaded guilty Friday to setting two fires. The first fire was set at a barn behind a home in November 2014. A fire officer brought a woman who was inside the home to safety. Prosecutors say a cellphone video of the fire captured Izzo running from the scene.

The second fire occurred at another barn in January 2015. One person was treated for smoke inhalation.

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3 now charged in connection with missing dirt biker

STERLING, Conn. (AP) State police say a third arrest has been made in connection with the fatal stabbing of a Connecticut teenager who went missing on his dirt bike last month.

Police say 19-year-old David Howard of Sterling was arrested Monday on charges of tampering with evidence, hindering prosecution and interfering with a police officer. Howard was released on $125,000 bond and is due in court on Feb. 10.

Investigators say 18-year-old Todd ``TJ'' Allen went out on his dirt bike in Sterling on Dec. 26 and disappeared. His body was found Jan. 13.

Nineteen-year-old Kevin Weismore is charged with stabbing Allen during a marijuana deal. Weismore told police he acted in self-defense after Allen pulled a gun.

A third man, 18-year-old Dustin Warren faced a court appearance Monday on the same charges as Howard.

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Authorities: Connecticut man admitted to robbing 4 banks

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Federal authorities say a Shelton man with a history of robbing banks in Connecticut has admitted to robbing four banks last summer.

The U.S. Attorney's office announced that Scott Taylor pleaded guilty in Hartford on Monday to one count of bank robbery. He's scheduled to be sentenced on May 3.

Court documents say the 47-year-old Taylor robbed Chase Bank locations in Westport, Milford, Norwalk and Stratford in June and July. Authorities say that during each of the robberies, Taylor handed the teller a note demanding cash and said had a gun.

Authorities say Taylor stole a total of about $24,000. He was arrested at a train station shortly after the July 13 robbery.

The Hartford Courant reports that Taylor pleaded guilty in 2005 to robbing banks in Milford and Stratford.

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'White privilege' essay contest ruffles upscale coastal town

WESTPORT, Conn. (AP) A student essay on the topic of white privilege is stirring controversy in a ritzy Connecticut shoreline town.

Contest organizers have been surprised by the reaction from some who say the question wrongly suggests race plays into the good life enjoyed in Westport.

One resident, 72-year-old Bari Reiner, says the question is offensive because the town welcomes anybody who can afford to live there.

The contest put on by the town's diversity council asks students to describe the impact white privilege has had on their lives.

The chairman of the diversity council is Harold Bailey Jr. He says that there has been more controversy than organizers expected in town and that people as far away as Singapore have weighed in online.

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Trial set for woman's lawsuit against psychiatric hospital

LITCHFIELD, Conn. (AP) - A trial is set to begin in a lawsuit alleging that a mentally ill woman was traumatized in a state psychiatric hospital while confined to an all-male ward for patients found not guilty by reason of insanity of violent crimes.

The trial is scheduled to start Tuesday in Litchfield Superior Court.

Kim Woolfolk is suing the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown.

Woolfolk was civilly committed to the hospital and confined to a maximum-security, all-male ward between 1994 and 2012, but the lawsuit was limited to allegations beginning in 2010 because of the statute of limitations. She said her trauma included sexual assault and harassment, body cavity searches and being denied access to a shower.

State officials deny her allegations.

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2nd person charged in connection with missing dirt biker

STERLING, Conn. (AP) A second person arrested in connection with the fatal stabbing of a Connecticut teenager who went missing on his dirt bike the day after Christmas is scheduled to appear in court.

Authorities say 18-year-old Dustin Warren, of Sterling, is expected to appear in Danielson Superior Court on Monday on charges of tampering with evidence, hindering prosecution and interfering with police.

Warren was arrested Friday and held over the weekend on $125,000 bond and was unavailable for comment.

Todd ``TJ'' Allen went out on his dirt bike in Sterling on Dec. 26 and disappeared. His body was found Jan. 13.

Police say 19-year-old Kevin Weismore stabbed the 18-year-old Allen to death during a marijuana deal. Weismore told police Allen pulled a gun on him and stabbed him in self-defense.

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Vernon police: 15-year-old shot in head, critically hurt

VERNON, Conn. (AP) Police say a teen boy is in critical condition after he was shot in the head in Vernon.

Lt. William Meier says officers responded to scene on Saturday night for a report of a shooting.

Police found a 15-year-old boy suffering from a gunshot wound to his head.

Emergency responders took him to a hospital in Rockville. He was later flown to Connecticut Children's Medical Center where has since undergone emergency surgery.

No one else was hurt.

A firearm was found at the scene. Police say a 19-year-old Rockville man has been arrested in connection with the shooting.

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Ex-UConn health official pleads guilty to drug charges

VERNON, Conn. (AP) - The former pharmacy supervisor of the University of Connecticut's Student Health Services has pleaded guilty to forging prescriptions and ordering items through the pharmacy for his personal use.

Michael Olzinski, of Coventry, pleaded guilty last week to larceny and drug distribution charges under the Alford doctrine. That means that while he disagrees with some evidence he acknowledges there is enough for a conviction. He's scheduled to be sentenced April 27.

The 46-year-old Olzinski initially faced 173 charges. Police started investigating after an April 2015 internal audit found that many items ordered by Olzinski were missing from inventory, including prescription drugs. Police say the investigation revealed that Olzinski forged order logs and fraudulently filled prescriptions for his own use.

Olzinski retired in 2015.

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Connecticut mayors defend handling of immigrants

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Two Connecticut mayors are defending their cities' policies as President Donald Trump says he'll cut funding to so-called sanctuary cities.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said Friday his city is doing nothing wrong by not detaining people solely because of immigration status.

Trump signed an order Wednesday to withhold federal grants to cities his administration deems "sanctuary jurisdictions" preventing or hindering federal immigration enforcement.

New Haven Mayor Toni Harp said Thursday she believes it's unconstitutional and the city will fight it. Both mayors are Democrats.

Bronin says police aren't shielding violent criminals from federal immigration authorities. However, Bronin says Hartford officers don't ask crime victims or witnesses of crimes about their legal status. He says that's "contrary to commonsense and demands of public safety" for police trying to build community trust.

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Merrill: "No reason" for Trump's voter fraud probe

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Secretary of the State Denise Merrill says if President Donald Trump insists on an investigation into unsubstantiated voter fraud allegations, he won't find any problems in Connecticut.

The Democrat said Friday that her office will cooperate with any federal probe, but insisted there "just is no reason for it."

White House press secretary Sean Spicer says Trump will sign an executive action to commission an investigation into alleged voter fraud. The Republican president has claimed that at least 3 million people voted illegally in the election, denying him a popular vote majority. There is no evidence to support this claim.

Melissa Russell, president of the Registrars of Voters Association of Connecticut, says the state is doing a "really great job" at running elections because the system is so localized.

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Mom: 12-year-old finds old grenade near family's front porch

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A West Hartford mother says her 12-year-old son found a hand grenade near the family's front porch.

Jeanne MacPherson tells the Hartford Courant her son found the old explosive, which is no longer considered live, when he came home from school on Thursday. It had been in the mulch next to the home's driveway.

The boy rushed down his driveway and alerted his mother of his discovery.

A bomb squad recovered the dark green, pineapple hand grenade.

Warrenton Avenue was closed for a short time between Prospect Avenue and South Highland Street at around 3:30 p.m. as police investigated.

Police say the grenade will be destroyed as a precaution.

The family tells WVIT-TV they don't know where the ordnance came from or how long it was sitting there.

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Doctor seeks $30M in suit after sex assault charges dropped

AVON, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut doctor is seeking nearly $30 million in a federal civil rights lawsuit after more than a dozen sexual assault charges against him were dropped.

Dr. Khosro Pourkavoos is suing Avon, its police chief and a detective.

Charges were dropped against Pourkavoos in September after an outside doctor reviewed medical records for nine women who accused him of inappropriately touching their breasts and groin areas.

Defense attorneys said police had proof that the alleged examinations didn't happen as reported. They said witnesses were dishonest and the examinations were medically justified and appropriate.

A lawsuit filed last week says the detective manipulated witness interviews and failed to have a physician evaluate the claims, among other accusations.

The town says it plans to vigorously defend its actions.

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Connecticut governor unveils latest opioid abuse legislation

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is offering a new round of legislation aimed at fighting opioid abuse and overdoses in Connecticut.

The package of bills unveiled Thursday includes a proposal that would allow patients to refuse opioids through a directive that's included in their personal medical files. Similar legislation has been offered by state lawmakers as well.

The Democratic governor says his latest proposals build upon the various initiatives he's signed into law since 2011. He's calling opioid abuse a "complex crisis that does not have one cause" or "a simple solution."

Malloy is also proposing to require all opioid prescriptions be made electronically to reduce the potential for fraud and create a trackable system, while also allowing home health care agency nurses to dispose of unused medication.

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NLRB orders union elections for Yale graduate students

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - The National Labor Relations Board has granted petitions for graduate students in nine departments at Yale University to vote on whether they want union representation.

The order Wednesday from the NLRB regional director in Boston calls for nine separate elections.

Local 33-UNITE HERE sought elections first in departments where union support appears strongest, a strategy that was contested by the university.

The dean of Yale's graduate school, Lynn Cooley, said she remains concerned the approach is "insufficiently democratic" but the university assumes the elections will proceed.

The NLRB found last year that graduate assistants who assist in teaching and research at private universities are employees and have a right to union representation.

The Yale organizers say they believe a union would help address concerns surrounding pay and benefits.

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Officer opens fire, 2 arrested after multi-town police chase

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut authorities say a vehicle rammed two police cruisers and an officer opened fire before a police chase that ended with the arrest of two men.

New Britain police say officers stopped the vehicle Wednesday night in attempt to arrest a passenger, Jimmy Rosado, of Meriden. Police allege Rosado violated his parole on a murder conspiracy conviction and threatened his girlfriend and police.

Authorities say the driver, Anijah Robinson, of New Britain, rammed the cruisers and drove at an officer, who fired two shots into the vehicle. Police arrested the men after a chase through Newington, Berlin and Meriden.

Rosado was charged with domestic violence and violating parole. Robinson was charged with attempted assault on police and other crimes.

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Want to track cellphones? Get a warrant, lawmakers say

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Law enforcement cellphone tracking devices are coming under scrutiny in at least eight states, with lawmakers introducing proposals ranging from warrant requirements to an outright ban.

Legislators are citing privacy and constitutional concerns, including Fourth Amendment search and seizure violations. The eight states include California, Connecticut, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon and South Carolina.

The suitcase-size devices are widely known under a brand name, Stingray. They mimic cellphone towers and allow law enforcement to track the location of cellphones in real-time.

At least 13 states already have passed laws requiring police to get warrants to track cellphones in real time.

The American Civil Liberties Union says it has identified 70 law enforcement agencies in 23 states and the District of Columbia that own cell-site simulators.

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Mary Tyler Moore dies at age 80 at Connecticut Hospital

NEW YORK (AP) Mary Tyler Moore, the star of two of TV's best-loved sitcoms, has died.

Her publicist, Mara Buxbaum, says Moore died with her husband and friends nearby. She was 80.

 

TMZ reported earlier today that the actress was in Greenwich Connecticut hospital.

Moore gained fame in the 1960s as the frazzled wife Laura Petrie on ``The Dick Van Dyke Show.'' In the 1970s, she created one of TV's first career-woman sitcom heroines in ``The Mary Tyler Moore Show.''

She won seven Emmy awards over the years. She also was nominated for an Oscar for her 1980 portrayal of an affluent mother whose son is accidentally killed in ``Ordinary People.''

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Woman sentenced for unemployment scheme involving fake firm

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) A New York woman has been sentenced to 1.5 years in federal prison after authorities say she created a fake business in Connecticut in a scheme to defraud unemployment insurance programs.

Theresa Freeman, of Yonkers, New York, pleaded guilty in New Haven federal court to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Freeman was also sentenced Tuesday to repay more than $43,000.

Authorities say Freeman filed incorporation paperwork in Connecticut for a business called Tribal Organic Products, but the company didn't exist.

In December 2012, Freeman's son filed a claim for unemployment insurance benefits, saying he was laid off from the company. He received more than $13,000 in benefits between January 2013 and July 2013.

Freeman has admitted she ran similar schemes in Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

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Passenger in car that crashed into Connecticut pub dies

CANTON, Conn. (AP) - Authorities say the passenger in a car that crashed into a Connecticut restaurant has died.

Police say 86-year-old Margaret Stoppani was a passenger in a car driven by her 51-year-old son when it crashed into Lisa's Crown Hammer Pub in Canton on Monday.

Stoppani had to be extricated from the vehicle and was taken to St. Francis Hospital where she died.

Her son, Michael Stoppani, suffered minor injuries. Both lived in Canton.

The car went about three feet into the kitchen area, but even though the owner was inside the restaurant was closed and no one else was injured.

The accident remains under investigation.

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Connecticut teacher charged with exposing himself to student

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut high school teacher has been charged with twice exposing his genitals to a 15-year-old female student.

The Connecticut Post reports that Jeff Iwanicki, a teacher at Fairfield Warde High School, was freed on $50,000 bond and ordered to stay away from the girl during a court appearance Tuesday on charges including impairing the morals of a minor and public indecency.

The 44-year-old man's lawyer said his client maintains his innocence and plans to plead not guilty.

The girl told authorities she often spent free time in the graphic arts teacher's classroom working on projects.

She says the teacher first exposed himself on Nov. 2 after spilling cleaning solution on his pants. She alleges he exposed himself to her again on Dec. 2.

Iwanicki is on administrative leave.

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Committee rejects plan to end child welfare agency oversight

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A legislative committee has rejected a plan Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says will forge a new path toward ending decades of federal oversight of Connecticut's child welfare agency.

Despite Monday's vote by the General Assembly's Appropriations Committee, the "unfavorable recommendation" still moves to the House of Representatives and Senate for further consideration.

Malloy says he's disappointed with the vote, but remains hopeful the agreement will ultimately be approved.

Lawmakers have various concerns with the agreement, which sets a minimum budget of $801 million for the Department of Children and Families that lawmakers cannot change.

Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano says he has no confidence the department can comply with the goals needed to end federal oversight.

Appropriations Committee Co-Chairwoman Toni Walker says she hopes the plan can be renegotiated.

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Police investigating after 3 pizza delivery drivers held up

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) Police say they're investigating after three pizza delivery drivers were held up in New Haven.

One driver told police he tried to deliver a pizza around 1 a.m. Monday and was directed across the street. A masked man wielding a knife then demanded cash. Police say the driver was then beaten.

Police say three men around 1:15 a.m. opened a car door and tried to steal a second delivery driver's wallet and a pizza. One suspect showed a handgun and demanded money. The driver sped off unhurt.

Police say a man with a gun approached a third driver from behind as he was delivering a pizza around 1:35 a.m. The driver gave up the money. The suspect took off in his car, which was found a short distance away.

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Police: Burglary suspect left keys, cellphone at the scene

STRATFORD, Conn. (AP) A man suspected of breaking into a Connecticut animal hospital looking for drugs made it easy for police to track him down he left his keys and cellphone behind.

The Connecticut Post reports that police responded to a burglar alarm at The Pet Hospital in Stratford recently to find a rear window broken and blood on the window frame.

Inside, police say they found a trail of blood on the floor along with keys and a phone. They said it appeared the burglar was looking for drugs.

Police traced the phone to 31-year-old Nicholas Bruner and charged him with third-degree burglary and second-degree criminal mischief. He is free on $10,000 bond.

Bruner said he had lost the items, but couldn't remember where.

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Police ID Florida woman killed in I-95 crash in Connecticut

OLD LYME, Conn. (AP) State troopers have identified a Florida woman killed over the weekend in a crash along Interstate 95 in Connecticut.

The Hartford Courant reports an SUV driven by Heather Ann Otenti, of Bonita Springs, Florida, struck a wire guardrail in Old Lyme, Connecticut, on Sunday afternoon.

State police say the vehicle traveled down a steep embankment, hurtled into the air and then crashed into a tree.

Lynda Ranee Salek, also of Bonita Springs, was killed in the crash. Otenti suffered minor injuries.

State police say the crash closed the northbound side of the highway between exits 70 and 71 in Old Lyme.

Lifestar had been called to the scene but was later canceled.

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