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State Headlines

Ex-scout leader gets 5-7 year prison term for molesting kids

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) - A former Connecticut Boy Scout troop leader has been sentenced to five to seven years in prison after admitting under a plea deal to sexually assaulting three boys during scouting trips to Massachusetts in the 1990s.

The Telegram Gazette reports 53-year-old David Kress, of Thompson, Connecticut, pleaded guilty Thursday in Worcester, Massachusetts to seven counts of statutory child rape.

Kress must register as a sex offender and receive sex offender counseling. His sentence was recommended by both prosecutors and his attorney.

Prosecutors say Kress molested members Troop 66 during trips to Nichols College in Dudley, Massachusetts. He was the troop's scoutmaster.

Boy Scout officials have said Kress was relieved of his volunteer duties.

Kress faces similar charges in Connecticut.

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Lawmaker wants state to bail out Amistad creditors

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut lawmaker wants the state to bail out about 20 people and businesses in the state that are owed about $270,000 by a now-defunct organization that operated Connecticut's official flagship, the Amistad schooner.

Democratic Rep. Diana Urban, of North Stonington, is proposing a bill for the 2017 legislative session calling for the state to borrow money to pay Connecticut-based creditors of Amistad America.

The group went into state receivership and was dissolved last year after running up $2 million in debt. A new organization is operating the vessel.

The 129-foot Baltimore clipper is a replica of a slave ship seized by African captives in 1839. They were jailed in New Haven, but won their freedom in a landmark case that began in Connecticut and ended in the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Police seize 2 roosters from basement of convenience store

BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) - Police are investigating a possible case of animal fighting at a convenience store in Bristol.

Officials with the state Department of Revenue Services assisted by the police Narcotics Enforcement Team responded to Tropical Market convenience store on Thursday on a routine revenue service inspection.

Bristol police say that while they were there they saw evidence of a possible animal fighting operation.

Police obtained a search warrant and discovered two caged roosters in the basement of the store along with other items used to care for the birds and treat any possible injuries.

The roosters were removed from the property. No arrests have been made. The investigation is ongoing.

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Man convicted of stabbing man 51 times gets 45 years

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - A New Haven man convicted of fatally stabbing a man 51 times in his apartment three years ago is headed to prison.

New Haven Register reports 47-year-old Semmion Watson was sentenced Thursday to 45 years behind bars for the Oct. 5, 2013 death of 44-year-old Anthony Stevenson Sr. A three-judge panel in September found Watson guilty of murder and selling narcotics.

Police say Watson had admitted that Stevenson came to his apartment to buy drugs. But the judges didn't accept Watson's claims that Stevenson came after him with a knife and stabbed him after the two got into an argument, citing the nature and extent of the wounds suffered by both men.

The defense says Watson maintains he acted in self-defense.

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Plainville lawmaker Betty Boukus dead at 73

PLAINVILLE, Conn. (AP) -- State Rep. Betty Boukus, who served more than two decades in the General Assembly before losing a high-profile re-election bid last month, has died. She was 73.

 

House Speaker Brendan Sharkey's office said Boukus, who co-chaired the legislature's powerful bonding subcommittee, died Friday. She had been battling cancer.

 

The Plainville Democrat was a teacher by training, but had served in the House since 1994.  She was defeated in November by her Republican opponent, Dr. William Petit, who became a national figure after a 2007 home invasion in Cheshire that took the lives of his wife and two daughters.

 

Sharkey remembered Boukus as a caring lawmaker who understood that her legislative decisions had a human impact.

 

Boukus is survived by her husband, Gary, two adult children and four grandchildren.

 

Governor Dannel Malloy has directred the State flags to fly at half-staff in honor of Boukus.  State flags should be lowered beginning immediately until sunset on the date of interment, which has not yet been determined.

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Yale committee recommends standards for college name change

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) Yale University's president has appointed a panel to consider whether to rename a residential college named for an ardent supporter of slavery.

President Peter Salovey said the panelists will use the recommendations of a university committee that on Friday released guidelines to follow when the school considers changing building names.

Yale has been under pressure to change the name of Calhoun College, named for former Vice President John C. Calhoun, an alumnus and supporter of slavery.

Friday's report from the Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming says changing the name of anything at the Ivy League school should be an exceptional event done only when the person was honored for a ``legacy fundamentally at odds with the university's mission.''

The committee cautioned that renaming should not have the effect of erasing history.

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Police: Girl, 4, leaves school, starts walking home alone

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - The Connecticut Department of Children and Families is investigating after authorities say a 4-year-old girl left school and started walking home alone after she was sent to the office to be picked up early.

Police say the girl was going to be picked up early Tuesday from the Thirman Milner School in Hartford but was sent to the office prematurely.

When she didn't see her mother, police say the girl walked about a half-mile to her home and was spotted by a woman who then followed her to make sure she got home safely.

No criminal action has been taken. The school is conducting an internal investigation.

Hartford Public Schools interim Superintendent Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez tells WVIT-TV that they have started to revise procedures for all schools.

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Principal resigns amid investigation of photographing girls

WETHERSFIELD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut school principal has resigned two months after he was suspected of taking photographs of little girls with his cellphone at a Wal-Mart store.

John Bean was the principal of Highcrest Elementary School in Wethersfield. He was placed on administrative leave after his arrest in September. Parents learned about his resignation Wednesday in an email from the school district.

The 46-year-old Bean was charged with interfering with police and breach of peace after a store security worker and a police officer approached him in the Hartford store.

A police report said Bean was allegedly seen trying to photograph girls between the ages of 6 and 8.

Bean previously worked at schools in Tolland and South Windsor, where he was teacher of the year in 2004.

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Connecticut trooper suffers minor injuries in cruiser crash

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut State Police trooper escaped serious injury when his cruiser rolled over several times in Bridgeport.

Trooper Matthew Losh was driving north on a rain slickened Route 25 just before midnight Wednesday when he lost control, veered into the median, struck a guardrail and rolled over several times. The cruiser came to a rest on its roof.

The 33-year-old Losh was wearing his seat belt and suffered some minor abrasions on his right hand. He was taken to St. Vincent's Medical Center for treatment and released.

The cruiser had to be towed from the scene.

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Man charged with crashing stolen car, leaving boy, 4, dead

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - A man has been arrested after police say he stole a car in New Haven and crashed it into an SUV in Branford, killing a 4-year-old Hamden boy.

Police say 18-year-old Tyler Carey, of East Haven, was driving a stolen car on Sunday and crashed after he refused to pull over for a traffic stop.

Carey faces charges including reckless endangerment and risk of injury to a minor stemming from the crash. Court records indicate his bail was lowered on Monday from $500,000 to $250,000.

The Hartford Courant reports court records show Carey is also scheduled to appear in a Norwalk court Wednesday on separate charges involving a stolen car, a chase and a crash in June.

An attorney for Carey couldn't immediately be located to comment on his behalf.

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Drug dealer in fatal overdoses case gets 7 years in prison

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut man who sold fentanyl-laced cocaine that killed three people and sent 14 others to the hospital after he overdosed on the same drugs has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

A federal judge in Hartford imposed the punishment Tuesday on Frank Pina. The 57-year-old New Haven resident pleaded guilty in August to possession and distribution of a substance containing cocaine.

Pina was among three men arrested on drug charges in connection with the 17 overdoses that occurred in New Haven in June. Authorities said the victims thought they were buying cocaine, but the drugs were laced with the powerful opioid fentanyl.

Prosecutors say Pina sold the drugs only days after overdosing himself.

Pina had argued that he shouldn't be sent to prison for more than four years.

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Worker admits he accepted food stamps for cigarettes, bongs

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut grocery store worker has admitted in federal court that he unlawfully allowed customers to exchange food stamps for cigarettes, bongs, hookahs and glass smoking pipes.

Prosecutors say 40-year-old Raul Monarca-Gonzalez pleaded guilty Monday to unlawful use of food stamp benefits and conspiracy.

Authorities say he and others at WB Trade Fair Grocery in Waterbury let customers redeem food stamps for cash and ineligible items between 2014 and this year.

Prosecutors say the store redeemed $3.2 million in benefits over 18 months, but should've only been able to redeem up to $240,000 annually.

Monarca-Gonzalez's attorney says his client understands little English and did what his boss told him, never receiving a dime from the transactions.

The Republican-American reported what the food stamps were exchanged for. Monarca-Gonzalez faces up to five years in prison.

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Ex-teacher gets plea deal in student sex assault case

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - A former Madison high school teacher accused of sexually assaulting a teenage student and having inappropriate contact with another has accepted a plea deal in the case.

Thirty-nine-year-old Allison Marchese pleaded guilty Monday to charges that include reckless endangerment and threatening. She faces up to three years in prison when she's sentenced March 3.

Marchese was arrested last year on sexual assault and risk of injury charges.

An affidavit said a 17-year-old student told police he received a selfie of Marchese scantily dressed. It also said a 15-year-old student told police Marchese wrote that she could not concentrate during class because he was so attractive.

Marchese's attorney says his client pleaded under the Alford doctrine. That means Marchese doesn't admit guilt but acknowledges there's enough evidence for a conviction.

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Trial begins for man charged in Craigslist killing

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - The trial has begun for a Hartford man accused of setting up a robbery that led to the fatal shooting of a man selling items on Craigslist.

The Hartford Courant reports 25-year-old Rashad Moon went on trial Monday on charges of felony murder, robbery and conspiracy. He's being represented by a New Haven attorney and has been jailed since his June 17, 2013 arrest.

Police say 23-year-old Marvin Mathis fatally shot 40-year-old Felix DeJesus, of Cromwell, as DeJesus was waiting to meet a prospective buyer on the night of May 8, 2013 in Hartford.

Court records say Moon is accused of getting Mathis to carry out the crime. Mathis' attorney has said his client has a range of intellectual and psychiatric issues. Mathis faces the same charges as Moon.

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Police: Bridgeport man raped woman after finding her dog

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) Authorities say a man raped an 18-year-old woman after finding and returning her lost dog.

The Connecticut Post reports that 30-year-old Robert Rivera was released on $250,000 bond after being charged Monday with first-degree sexual assault and unlawful restraint.

Police say the woman was home alone on July 28 when her dog ran away. She told investigators a short time later that Rivera, her neighbor, knocked on her door holding the dog.

The woman says after she put the dog in her bedroom, Rivera grabbed her, threw her on a couch in the living room, and raped her as she screamed for help.

Police say DNA connects Rivera to the crime.

Rivera told investigators he found the dog but denied raping the girl.

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Trial to be held 10 years after Connecticut parkway deaths

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A trial over whether Connecticut government is responsible for the deaths of a New York couple killed when a tree crashed onto their car on the Merritt Parkway has been scheduled for next June, 10 years after the accident.

Joseph Stavola and Jeanne Serocke-Stavola died and their two sons were injured in the Westport accident. Their sons were 7 and 9 at the time and now live with family in the Hartford area.

Relatives of the Pelham Manor, New York, couple asked the state claims commissioner in 2008 for permission to sue the state, as required by law. Their request wasn't approved until 2013.

The lawsuit alleges negligence and bystander emotional distress and names the state and Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker as defendants.

State officials deny the allegations.

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Police: Driver with kids in car traveled at 123 mph

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Connecticut State Police have charged a man they allege was driving 123 mph with three young children in his car.

Ricardo Torres was arrested Saturday on charges of reckless driving, risk of injury to a minor and reckless endangerment. He was released after posting $5,000 bail. It wasn't immediately known if he has an attorney.

Police say the 41-year-old Terryville man was clocked going 123 mph in a 55 mph zone on Interstate 84 in East Hartford.

Police say a woman was in the passenger seat and children ages 5, 9 and 12 were in the back.

Torres is due in court on Dec. 13.

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Police: 4-year-old child killed in crash of stolen vehicle

BRANFORD, Conn. (AP) Connecticut State Police say a 4-year-old Hamden boy was killed and a 15-year-old East Haven boy was injured when the stolen car they were in crashed after a police pursuit.

Police responded to the crash on U.S. Route 1 in Branford near an Interstate 95 off-ramp around 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

It began when East Haven police tried make a traffic stop for motor vehicle violations.

But the driver of the 2016 Toyota Corolla took off and police pursued the vehicle onto I-95 before breaking off the chase.

When the car got off the highway onto Route 1 it crashed into a Honda Element. Three occupants of the Corolla got out and ran way.

The driver was later found, but police continue to investigate.

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Hartford police investigate shooting of man sitting in car

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Hartford police are investigating the death of a man they believe was shot while sitting in a car.

Deputy Chief Brian Foley tells the Hartford Courant the man was discovered Friday morning, in a grassy lot at the corner of Maple Avenue and Bond Street. Foley says he was apparently sitting in the vehicle when shots were fired. He says police believe "he got out of the car, ran and collapsed."

The man, who appears to be in his 20s, was taken to Hartford Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

He has not yet been identified.

An NBC Connecticut television crew at the scene reports the car was damaged by gunfire. Police believe the shooting is drug-related.

This story has been corrected to show the man was found in a grassy lot after apparently being shot in a car.

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Agency hopes to clear up confusion over CT Grown produce law

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut's Department of Agriculture is hoping to clear up confusion about a relatively new law that attempts to ensure that fruits and vegetables advertised as being grown in Connecticut actually were grown in the state.

Officials say compliance among farmers was erratic over the summer, the first full season for the Connecticut Grown labeling requirements.

Inspectors issued nearly 50 warnings to growers and vendors at farmers' markets who failed to post signs identifying the name and address of the farm where the produce originated. In some cases, the products were grown at a Connecticut farm other than the one selling them.

George Krivda, the agency's chief of staff, says the agency decided it still needs to provide more education to farmers to ensure everyone abides by the same rules.

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Blumenthal seeks to regulate cyber bots buying up toys

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal says he plans to propose legislation that would crack down on third-party sellers using cyber bot technology to buy out inventories of hot holiday toys.

The Democrat announced his proposal while appearing at the Toy Chest in West Hartford on Black Friday.

Blumenthal says the software programs automatically locate and purchase large quantities of inventory that are then offered for sale in a matter of seconds, squeezing out regular consumers. They later resell the items at high prices.

He says the situation has led to some toys becoming nearly impossible to buy online or in stores at retail prices.

Blumenthal previously introduced a similar bill aimed at so-called ticket bots, which intentionally bypass security measures on ticket sales websites to buy up tickets for resale.

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New Haven man fatally shot near SCSU campus

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - New Haven police are investigating the slaying of a local man who was fatally shot overnight near the Southern Connecticut State University campus.

Police spokesman David Hartman says 30-year-old Dyrail Martaye Reddick suffered multiple gunshot wounds in a parking lot outside an apartment complex.

Hartman says officers from New Haven and neighboring Hamden were dispatched to the scene shortly after 3 a.m. Thursday after a report of several gunshots.

Reddick was taken to Yale New Haven Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Investigators believe Reddick was shot following an argument.

Hartman says authorities captured and detained one of two men who crashed a car into a tree and fled on foot shortly after the shooting. Police say it remains unclear whether the pair was involved.

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Veterans' meal prep program to be offered at Rocky Hill site

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut's Department of Veterans Affairs is teaming up with a Chester-based nonprofit group to help veterans and their families with meal preparation.

Braveminds assists caregivers of veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury and PTSD. The group will hold its Caregivers Kitchen program at the agency's Rocky Hill campus.

Participants learn how to cook a meal together. They're later sent home with a packet of recipes and ideas for faster ways to prepare meals.

Dr. Kara Gagnon is founder of Braveminds. She says the Caregiver Kitchens allow "healing to happen through the preparation of meals and gathering families together."

The goal is hold the events monthly. The next one is scheduled for Dec. 11 at the Commandants House.

About six or seven military families are expected to participate.

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Running lovers get engaged in the middle of a road race

MANCHESTER, Conn. (AP) - When it comes to marriage, these two Connecticut runners are hot to trot.

High school and college sweethearts Scott Bernier and Torie Taylor got engaged in the middle of a Thanksgiving road race before a large crowd of friends, family, fellow competitors and total strangers.

The Hartford Courant reports it happened at Thursday morning's Manchester Road Race. In the middle of the race, 25-year-old Bernier abruptly dropped to a knee and proposed to 23-year-old Taylor.

She said yes - and onlookers burst into cheers.

The couple met at East Catholic High School and continued to date at the University of Connecticut.

They've run the Manchester race - one of the oldest and largest "turkey trots" in the U.S. - together every year since 2009.

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Hartford police arrest 2 in connection with shooting of girl

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Two men have been arrested following a drive-by shooting that left a 10-year-old girl with a gunshot wound to the face in Hartford earlier this month.

Police say the shooter in the Nov. 6 incident was a 17-year-old Hartford male. They say the driver was 22-year-old Kwanze Fluker, of Bloomfield.

The unnamed teen was expected in juvenile court Wednesday. He faces first-degree assault, reckless endangerment and other charges.

Fluker will be arraigned Monday in Superior Court on a charge of conspiracy to commit first-degree assault. He's also a suspect in other recent shootings.

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

The Hartford Courant reports a bullet remains lodged beneath the girl's eye but is to be removed this week. Police say a family member had been the intended target.

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State regulators trim proposed UI electric rate increase

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) Connecticut's Public Utilities Regulatory Authority has trimmed approximately $40 million from the rate increase requested by electricity distributor United Illuminating Company

PURA released its proposed final decision Wednesday. Commissioners will issue a final ruling Dec. 14.

UI requested a rate increase to address operating deficiencies of approximately $66 million in 2017, $20 million in 2018 and $12 million in 2019. The company proposed increasing residential customer rates by roughly 5 percent in each of the next three years, beginning Jan. 1.

PURA's decision will still allow revenue to increase approximately $41 million in 2017; $14.4 million in 2018 and $3.4 million in 2019. PURA estimates customers rates will increase 2.1-to-2.7 percent beginning January.

UI serves approximately 330,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in the greater New Haven and Bridgeport areas.

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Police: Waterbury man faces gun, drug charges after search

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) A Waterbury man is facing drug and weapons charges after police say he unlawfully had assault rifles, handguns and silencers, as well as cocaine and heroin.

The Republican-American reports 32-year-old John Grandpre has been jailed on $750,000 bond following a search of his home on Monday.

Grandpre was convicted of assault in 2012 and police say he isn't allowed to have firearms.

Police say they found eight silencers, two assault rifles, several handguns and numerous high capacity magazines in his garage.

They say they found another gun in Grandpre's car, along with a small amount of crack cocaine, 20 bags of heroin, prescription pills and drug paraphernalia.

It wasn't immediately known if Grandpre has an attorney.

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Police: Couple charged after son, 8, found wandering road

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (AP) The parents of an 8-year-old autistic boy are facing charges after authorities say he was found wandering partially clothed on a road in Connecticut.

Thirty-five-year-old Nicole Glaser and 38-year-old Matthew Glaser, of Middletown, were arraigned Monday on charges of risk of injury to a minor. They are being held on a surety bond of $50,000.

Police say their son was found nearly a mile away from their Middletown home at a busy intersection on Saturday morning. Officers had received three separate calls regarding the child.

Police say both adults allegedly told them they had drank alcohol and don't remember what had happened the morning their son was found.

WTNH-TV reports an attorney for the couple says they've ``spent their entire lives dedicated to the health and welfare of their child.''

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Grand jury indicts NYC man after party death

NEW YORK (AP) A 25-year-old New York City resident has been indicted following the death of a Connecticut man who went missing after a party at a luxury Manhattan apartment.

The panel voted Monday to indict James Rackover, who owned the East Side apartment where authorities say 26-year-old Joseph Comunale was stabbed 15 times.

Prosecutors won't reveal the indictment charges until Rackover is arraigned in December.

He and co-defendant Lawrence Dilione were charged last week with concealment of a human body, hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence.

Investigators have been working to determine who killed the Stamford, Connecticut man before his body was found in New Jersey.

Both defendants deny wrongdoing.

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Police: Couple had sex in McDonald's lot in front of boy, 6

ORANGE, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut couple is facing charges after police say they engaged in sexual activity in a parked car with a 6-year-old boy in the back seat.

Police in Orange say two McDonald's employees were leaving the restaurant on Nov. 15 when they spotted two people engaged in sexual activity in the front seats of a car. They say the child was in the back seat, awake and alert.

Police say they arrived to find 28-year-old Kimberly Onorato partially undressed. Police say Onorato and 27-year-old Rory Clark stated they had only been cuddling.

Clark and Onorato are both charged with impairing morals of a minor and breach of peace. Online court records don't list lawyers for the pair.

The child was turned over to a relative. Police also contacted child welfare authorities.

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Bicyclist, 49, killed in collision with car in Connecticut

BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) - Police in Connecticut say a bicyclist died following a collision with a car over the weekend.

Police say a preliminary investigation shows the 49-year-old bicyclist was traveling north from a gas station when he collided with the vehicle just before 5 p.m. Saturday in Bristol.

The bicyclist was taken to Bristol Hospital where he died. He wasn't immediately identified.

Police say the car's 75-year-old driver wasn't hurt. An investigation was underway on Saturday night.

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Police investigating death of man found on walking trail

KILLINGLY, Conn. (AP) - State police are investigating the death of a man whose body was found on a walking trail in the town of Killingly.

The man was found on the trail along U.S. Route 6 around 10 a.m. Sunday. Trooper Kelly Grant says officers have determined there's no criminal aspect to the man's death.

Police say the death appears to be medically related. The man hasn't been identified.

The medical examiner's office will determine the cause and manner of death. Police say there's no threat to the community.

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Sacred Heart University pays $31.5M for former GE campus

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) Sacred Heart University has purchased General Electric Co.'s former world headquarters campus in Connecticut for $31.5 million.

John Petillo, the president of the Roman Catholic university in Fairfield, says the school is growing rapidly and the 66-acre property was too good to pass up.

GE is moving its corporate headquarters to Boston.

Sacred Heart says it plans on turning the GE property into an ``innovation campus,'' by moving its School of Computing to the site and developing programs in the health and life sciences and technology fields. The university's education school and business office will also move to the site by early next year.

Elements of the Jack Welch College of Business, named after the former GE chief executive, will also move to the property.

Long-term plans include performing arts and athletic facilities.

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Mom of infant tossed from bridge loses home in fire

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (AP) - A woman whose infant son died last year after he was allegedly thrown from a bridge now has seen her home severely damaged by a fire.

Middletown's mayor said Adrianne Oyola and her mother "lost everything" in a fire that broke out in the kitchen of their apartment Wednesday night. Mayor Daniel Drew asked on Facebook for donations from residents to help the family recover from the fire.

Oyola's 7-month-old son, Aaden, died in July 2015.

His father, Tony Moreno, has been charged with murder.

Police say Moreno threw the boy into the Connecticut River around the time he exchanged angry text messages with the boy's mother, telling her "Enjoy your life without us now" and "Your not a parent anymore."

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Gay veteran, 91, seeks upgrade of 'undesirable' discharge

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - A 91-year-old veteran who was dismissed from the U.S. Air Force as "undesirable" in 1948 because he's gay is suing in Connecticut to have his discharge status upgraded.

The federal lawsuit was filed Friday by H. Edward Spires against the secretary of the Air Force and asks for his discharge status to be changed to "honorable."

Spires says after the repeal of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy in 2010 he applied for an upgrade but was rejected by the Air Force Board for Corrections of Military Records, which noted personnel records were lost in a 1973 fire.

The Air Force says it can't comment on pending litigation.

Attorneys for Spires say he's in poor health and would like a military funeral but that won't be possible without an upgrade.

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Cops: CT man who left daughter, 6, in NYC bus depot arrested

NEW YORK (AP) - Authorities say they've arrested a Connecticut man believed to have abandoned his six-year-old daughter in a Manhattan bus terminal as he fled from police.

Officials announced Friday that Elmer Gomez Ruano was picked up by a fugitive task force in Brooklyn.

Investigators had been pursuing the 32-year-old Ruano since the girl was discovered in the Port Authority bus terminal Monday.

Officials say the girl lead officers to her Stamford, Connecticut, home where authorities discovered the dead body of her mother.

The Daily News reports Dionicia Bautista-Cano's death has been ruled a homicide.

Connecticut police say there were signs of a struggle where her body was found.

Ruano was in custody and unavailable to comment. It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

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Two Men Charged In Death of Stamford Man

A three-state investigation into the murder of a Stamford man whose body was believed to be found in a shallow grave is focusing on what happened in the New York City apartment building where he was last seen over the weekend.

 

Investigators revealed Thursday that some sort of argument led up to the fatal stabbing of 26-year-old Joseph "Joey" Comunale, of Stamford. Police have arrested 25-year-old James Rackover and 28-year-old Lawrence Dilione, who are charged with second-degree murder, concealment of a human corpse and tampering with physical evidence. Dilione is also charged with hindering prosecution.

 

The party was held in a fourth-floor apartment, and Comunale was there with two other men and three women, who he had just met at a nightclub that night. The argument happened at some point, and police said Comunale was stabbed 15 times in the chest.

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I 84 Motorist Killed Standing Outside Car

A New Britain man standing outside his car when another car crashed into it on I-84 eastbound died when he fell over a concrete barrier and down to the train tracks below Tuesday night. 

20 year old Mark Lopez was outside a car that had stopped in the left lane near Exit 49 when it was hit from behind about 9:30 p.m. A passenger in the stopped car, a Chevrolet Aveo, was not injured.

 

The driver of second vehicle, an Acura TL, was also not injured. The Department of Transportation said Tuesday night that three lanes of the highway were closed immediately following the accident. The cause of the crash was under investigation on Wednesday. State police are looking for any witnesses to contact Troop H at 860-534-1000.

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Driver of vehicle involved in high-speed police chase dies

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - Massachusetts State Police say the driver of a vehicle that crashed in Springfield after a high-speed police chase that started in Connecticut has died.

Massachusetts troopers were alerted at about 12:30 a.m. Friday that Connecticut State Police were pursuing a car that had refused to stop for them on Interstate 91 north.

Connecticut troopers broke off the pursuit at the state lane and a short time later a Massachusetts trooper spotted the vehicle and gave chase at speeds of up to 100 mph.

The car lost control when trying to take an exit ramp in Springfield and crashed. The male driver, and lone occupant of the vehicle, was taken to the hospital where he died.

No name was released.

The crash remains under investigation.

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Man pleads guilty to setting fire in Norwich home

NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) - A Norwich man who said he heard voices in his head when set fire to a backpack in the basement of a city home has pleaded guilty.

The Bulletin reports that under a deal with prosecutors, 45-year-old Kenneth Barbour Jr. pleaded guilty to second-degree arson.

Under terms of the deal, he will receive five and a half years in prison followed by four and a half years of special parole at sentencing scheduled for Jan. 19.

Prosecutors say at about 2 a.m. on Oct. 16, 2015, Barbour started the fire in a duplex with 14 residents, including seven children.

He left the home, but later called 911 to report the fire. The residents escaped unharmed even though they were all asleep at the time of the fire.

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Connecticut to expect less revenue in next 2-year budget

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - When Connecticut lawmakers return to the Capitol in January, they'll find less money than first expected.

New revenue estimates for the upcoming two-year state budget show the state's main spending account, the general fund, can expect about $208 million less in fiscal year 2017-18 and about $297 million less in fiscal year 2018-18.

Connecticut operates on two-year budget cycles. The new fiscal year begins July 1.

Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, a Republican from North Haven, says lawmakers cannot wait until the new legislative session in January to address the state's budget challenges.

A spokesman for Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's budget office says state revenues are actually growing, "albeit slowly." Chris McClure says the administration will present lawmakers with details about the state's budget challenges next week.

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Man charged in hit-and-run that killed Connecticut mother

MERIDEN, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut man has been charged in connection with a hit-and-run that authorities say killed a mother after she pushed her 7-year-old daughter to safety.

Police say 21-year-old Alex Checa, of Meriden, surrendered Wednesday. He faces charges including evading responsibility causing the death of a person.

Police say 40-year-old Dania Cedeno-Delrosario and her daughter, Denisse, were crossing a Meriden street Oct. 7 when the mother was struck. Cedeno-Delrosario died at a hospital. Her daughter suffered minor injuries.

Police say the driver fled, but a mirror and casing were found at the scene.

Checa was arraigned in court Thursday. A judge kept bail at $250,000 and continued the case to Dec. 15. It wasn't clear if Checa has a lawyer.

WFSB-TV reports Checa's family apologized to Cedeno-Delrosario's relatives outside court Thursday.

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Police search for suspect in fatal shooting of teen

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) - Police in Connecticut are searching for a man accused in the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old last weekend.

Police said Thursday they've obtained an arrest warrant charging 21-year-old Erick Malone with murder and other offenses in the Saturday shooting death of Jahliek Dieudonne in Waterbury.

Dieudonne was found suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was taken to a hospital where he later died.

Police say Malone is considered to be armed and dangerous.

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Coast Guard pilot honored for Pacific rescue

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Coast Guard pilot has been honored for helping rescue nine colleagues whose cargo plane crashed on a hillside on the western Aleutian Island of Attu off Alaska in 1982.

Capt. William Peterson was inducted Thursday into the Wall of Gallantry at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. He previously received the military's Distinguished Flying Cross.

The now-retired resident of Richland, Washington, flew a rescue helicopter in heavy fog and high winds to get to the crew of the Coast Guard plane that crashed while trying to land at a base on Attu.

Peterson and his crew rescued five victims by trekking a mile up the hill and carrying them back down on stretchers to the helicopter.

The nine people who were rescued all survived. Two other crew members died.

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Investment firm to create up to 600 new jobs in Connecticut

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A global investment management firm plans to expand its headquarters and operations in Connecticut over the next decade, creating up to 600 new jobs.

Gov. Dannel Malloy said the $72 million project by AQR Capital Management will also retain 540 jobs and increase the firm's economic impact in the state.

AQR was established in New York before moving its operations to Connecticut in 2004. Since then, the Greenwich-based firm has grown by more than 500 employees.

The Department of Economic and Community Development - through the First Five program - will provide up to $28 million in loans and up to $7 million in grants to support the expansion project.

State funding will be disbursed in multiple phases as the company reaches certain job creation and retention milestones.

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Police: Man, woman seriously hurt in New Haven shooting

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - Police are investigating a shooting at a housing complex that left a man and woman seriously injured in New Haven.

Police say the 28-year-old man and 39-year-old woman, both of New Haven, were brought to Yale-New Haven Hospital around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Police say the man was shot several times and is in serious but stable condition. The woman is in critical condition. Authorities didn't immediately identify them.

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Coast Guard pilot to be honored for North Pacific rescue

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Coast Guard pilot is being honored for helping rescue nine colleagues whose cargo plane crashed on a hillside on the western Aleutian Island of Attu off Alaska in 1982.

Capt. William Peterson will be inducted Thursday into the Wall of Gallantry at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. He previously received the military's Distinguished Flying Cross.

The now-retired resident of Richland, Washington, flew a rescue helicopter in heavy fog and high winds to get to the crew of the Coast Guard plane that crashed while trying to land at a base on Attu.

Peterson and his crew rescued five victims by trekking a mile up the hill and carrying them back down on stretchers to the helicopter.

The nine people who were rescued all survived. Two other crew members died.

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Hundreds protest Trump election win at UConn

STORRS, Conn. (AP) - Several hundred people have marched across the University of Connecticut campus protesting Republican Donald Trump's election as president.

Students, faculty and staff demonstrated Wednesday chanting slogans including "Donald Trump is not my president," holding signs saying "support immigrants" and carrying rainbow flags.

Many in the crowd expressed anger and disappointment, and said they plan to fight Trump's agenda, including building a wall at the Mexican border and not letting Muslims into the country.

Eeman Abbasi is a junior psychology and neurobiology major at UConn. She says as a Muslim student she feels the American people told her Tuesday night that even though she was born in this country she doesn't belong here.

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Connecticut officials urge health insurance sign-ups

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut's governor and lieutenant governor are urging residents to still sign up for health insurance through the state's exchange, despite the election of Republican Donald Trump as the nation's next president.

Trump has said, if elected, he would immediately repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, both Democrats, said Tuesday that Access Health CT will continue to help people without health insurance find private or government-funded Medicaid coverage. The latest open enrollment period ends on Jan. 31.

Wyman says if there are any changes made to the federal Obamacare law, "we will address them." She said Connecticut's priority will be "ensuring affordable, accessible, high-quality healthcare for our residents."

More than 800,000 receive coverage through Access Health CT.

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Republicans make major strides in Connecticut legislature

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut's Democratic controlled General Assembly will become decidedly more Republican when lawmakers return in January.

In Tuesday's election, the GOP picked up enough seats to create an 18-to-18 partisan makeup in the state Senate, marking the state's first tied Senate since 1893. Meanwhile, Republicans greatly narrowed the Democrats' advantage in the House of Representatives, with unofficial results showing a 79-72 breakdown.

Republicans on Wednesday credited voter frustration with the state's budget and economy, coupled with momentum created by Donald Trump, for the overwhelming legislative victory.

Senators and staff are trying to determine how a tied Senate will operate. While it appears the Democrats will still hold sway, considering Democratic Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman can break tie votes, there are still many questions about how committees and leadership roles will operate.

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EPA removing unsafe liquids from 2 derelict industrial sites

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) - Federal environmental regulators say they're trying to contain and remove as much as 200,000 gallons of dangerous liquid chemicals and compounds found in storage tanks at two abandoned industrial properties in Waterbury.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tells the Republican-American it has authorized $1.8 million to remove the chemicals, which includes more than 3,000 gallons of cyanide and 20,000 gallons of strong acids. There are also bases and oils.

Officials say most of the chemicals will be removed within weeks. Overall cleanup of the tanks could take up to eight months.

The chemicals were found amid city plans to clean and redevelop the industrial land.

Mayor Neil O'Leary says he plans to work with fire officials to see if there are similar hazards elsewhere.

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Hartford man pleads guilty in crash that killed elderly man

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Hartford man who police say drove drunk and caused a fiery crash that led to the death of an elderly man has pleaded guilty.

The Hartford Courant reports 44-year-old Alexander Rivera entered the plea Monday under the Alford doctrine to charges that include second-degree manslaughter with a motor vehicle. Under the doctrine, a defendant doesn't admit guilt but acknowledges there's enough evidence for a conviction.

Authorities say Rivera was traveling westbound in August 2015 when he hit an eastbound vehicle, shoving it backward 52 feet. The car then came to a rest and caught fire.

Prosecutors say the vehicle's passenger, 81-year-old Lawrence Trim, suffered injuries that left him a quadriplegic. He died about eight months later.

Rivera faces six years in prison when he's sentenced Jan. 20.

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New Haven man gets 11 years in fake prescription scheme

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A New Haven man is headed to federal prison for his role in a scheme to sell opioids obtained through fake prescriptions.

New Haven Register reports that 38-year-old Alejandrino DeJesus was sentenced Monday to 11 years behind bars. He pleaded guilty in August to one count of conspiracy to acquire oxycodone by fraud or forgery.

Investigators say those involved in the conspiracy obtained the personal information of medical practitioners and used the information to create fraudulent prescriptions.

Authorities say the members also purchased legitimate prescriptions for oxycodone from individuals and then used "runners" to fill the prescriptions at pharmacies throughout Connecticut.

Federal prosecutors say DeJesus was one of the key members who recruited and transported the runners.

DeJesus's lawyer says his client was motivated by his own drug addictions.

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10-year-old girl shot in face in Hartford

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Hartford police are investigating after a 10-year-old girl was shot in the face on a city street.

Police say the shooting occurred at about 3:45 p.m. Sunday on Branford Street, in what was described as a quiet and safe neighborhood.

Officers responding to 11 shots detected by the city's gunfire detection system learned that the girl's father had brought her to the hospital.

Police found five 9 mm casings in the street and saw gunfire damage to a home. A witness told police the gunfire appeared to have come from a black vehicle, which fled the scene.

The girl was transferred to Connecticut Children's Medical Center. Police say she is stable.

There was no word on arrests.

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Teenager fatally shot in Waterbury over weekend

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) Waterbury police continue to investigate the fatal weekend shooting of a 17-year-old boy.

Deputy Chief Fernando Spagnolo says the victim was shot three times, once in the head, in front of a housing complex on Porter Street at about 4:20 p.m. Saturday.

He was taken to Waterbury Hospital where he died about two hours later. His name has not been released.

Police say they are pursuing ``some strong leads'' but had not announced any arrests.

A makeshift memorial has grown at the site.

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1 dead in East Windsor trailer home fire

EAST WINDSOR, Conn. (AP) Authorities say one person has died in a fire at an East Windsor mobile home.

An officer on patrol spotted the blaze at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday.

The officer saw smoke coming from a trailer located behind Sofia's Restaurant. He kicked in the front door to see if anyone was inside but was pushed back by heavy smoke. Other officers arrived at the scene and tried to get inside the trailer by other means, but were unsuccessful.

Once the blaze was put out by firefighters, the victim was found inside.

No name has been released.

Residents of several nearby trailers were evacuated but no one else was hurt.

The fire's cause remains under investigation.

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Police arrest 3 in connection to Rhode Island fatal shooting

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) - Authorities say three people have been arrested in connection with a fatal shooting in Rhode Island.

WPRI-TV reports that 33-year-old Juscelina DaSilva was arrested in Providence; 32-year-old Julio Cano was arrested in Framingham, Massachusetts; and 26-year-old Trearra Hudgen was arrested in Hartford, Connecticut.

Authorities were seeking the three in connection with the fatal shooting Monday of 29-year-old Matthew Reverdes in Pawtucket. Police have not disclosed a possible motive.

Police in Connecticut said Hudgen was arrested Thursday while walking out of a store in Hartford. She was scheduled to appear in court on Friday on a fugitive from justice charge.

Rhode Island State Police worked with the U.S. Marshals office to make the arrests.

It could not immediately be determined if the three had lawyers.

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Coast Guard Academy cadet found guilty of 2 sex assaults

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Coast Guard Academy cadet has been found guilty of sexually assaulting two other cadets and sentenced to eight years in prison.

Cadet Anthony Livingstone, of Plainfield, New Jersey, also was dismissed from the service at his court-martial Friday.

Livingstone was found guilty Thursday of charges including two counts of sexual assault. The court-martial took place in Norfolk, Virginia. Livingstone has the right to appeal his conviction and sentence.

A spokesman for the academy in New London, Connecticut, says investigators were looking into an assault that took place on campus in September 2015 when they learned of another in December 2013. Livingstone also was accused of threatening the two women to prevent them from cooperating with law enforcement.

The two women testified against Livingstone during the court-martial.

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Jepsen: State laws don't address deteriorating foundations

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen is reiterating that state consumer protection laws don't provide relief to homeowners with deteriorating foundations, believed to be crumbling because of a naturally occurring mineral.

In a letter sent Friday to the governor and consumer protection commissioner, Jepsen said state law has "never prohibited, limited or otherwise regulated the presence of pyrrhotite in residential foundation construction."

Jepsen also submitted a report from experts hired by his office and the Department of Consumer Protection. It concluded pyrrhotite is a "necessary contributing factor" in concrete deterioration.

The report doesn't address how much of the mineral can cause deterioration or how many homes are potentially affected.

Officials were asked to investigate whether laws were violated in connection with homes in eastern Connecticut showing signs of deterioration.

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Man gets 25-year term in strangling death of acquaintance

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - A New Haven man is heading to prison for strangling an acquaintance and setting fire to his city apartment.

The New Haven Register reports that Demetrius Robinson was sentenced Thursday in New Haven to 25 years behind bars for the 2015 death of 56-year-old Willie Evans.

Robinson pleaded guilty in August to first-degree manslaughter and second-degree arson under a plea deal. He originally faced a murder charge.

Police say Robinson killed Evans then set fire to his public housing apartment to cover up the crime. Investigators initially thought Evans died from smoke inhalation, but the medical examiner determined Evans died from "neck compression homicide."

Prosecutors say the men knew each other and records show multiple phone calls between the two.

Robinson declined to speak in court.

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Day care worker charged after toddler breaks arm

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) - A worker at a Waterbury child care center is facing charges after a 3-year-old girl went home with a broken arm.

Adnelly Moipard is charged with third-degree assault and other offenses in connection with the girl's injury, which occurred late last month.

The girl's mother says her daughter's arm was hanging awkwardly when she went to pick her up, so she brought the child to the hospital, where arm fractures were confirmed.

Police say the 60-year-old Moipard is seen on security video grabbing and dragging the girl by the arm.

Moipard tells WFSB-TV that the girl was misbehaving and denied dragging her. She says the girl was throwing books and hit her arm on a bookcase.

Moipard is free pending her next court appearance.

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Women's college in Connecticut considers enrolling men

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A women's college in Connecticut could soon begin enrolling men as it deals with a decline in enrollment.

The president of the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford says she is setting up a task force to consider making the college coed after enrolling only women for 84 years.

President Rhona Free tells the Hartford Courant that a slight increase in the number of undergraduates could create a more vibrant campus life and having men on campus could strengthen certain programs, such as business and actuarial studies.

Small colleges around the country are facing challenges related to growing competition and declining state funding for higher education.

The University of St. Joseph has 747 undergraduates this year, down 58 students since 2012.

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Connecticut headache misdiagnosis suit settled for $2M

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut doctor has agreed to pay $2 million to settle a lawsuit brought by a woman who said the physician misdiagnosed her severe headache.

The Connecticut Post reports that Dr. Donald McNicol, of the Norwalk Medical Group, agreed to the settlement with Margaret Gabriele on Wednesday just before the case went to trial.

Gabriele said in the suit that she went to see McNicol on Sept. 7, 2011, for "the worst headache" of her life. The lawsuit said McNicol did not perform an appropriate physical and neurological examination and failed to recognize Gabriele may have been suffering from a neurovascular event.

The suit said as a result, Gabriele suffered an aneurysm resulting in permanent injury and causing her to need assistance "in all aspects of daily living."

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Police: Decomposing body found in Connecticut apartment

MERIDEN, Conn. (AP) - Police in Connecticut says the death of an elderly man whose decomposing body was found in a Meriden apartment is considered a homicide.

Officers were called to the apartment around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday for reports of a dead body.

Police say based on the state of decomposition, the man did not die recently.

Authorities didn't immediately release the man's name pending notification of family. An autopsy is scheduled.

Police are also asking for the public's assistance in locating the victim's car, which is missing. It is described as a blue 2014 Nissan Sentra with Connecticut license plate 642YVE.

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Officials announce Connecticut hotline for abuses at polls

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut and federal officials are announcing a hotline for anybody to report rights abuses or fraud at the polls on Election Day.

Workers from the Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission will staff the hotline during the voting hours on Tuesday.

The office of Connecticut's top federal prosecutor says its representatives and the FBI will be in touch with state officials to receive any complaints. An assistant U.S. attorney, Susan Wines, has been appointed to oversee the district's handling of complaints of fraud and rights abuses.

The hotline number is 1-866-733-2463.

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