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New Fairfield Man Files Appeal

A New Fairfield man convicted last year in the stabbing death of a Newtown man is appealing his guilty verdict. Patrick Griffin filed a direct appeal with the state Appellate Court, challenging his conviction on two counts of first-degree manslaughter related to the 2022 incident. The case unfolded after police responded to Griffin’s residence and found James Edward Knapp Jr. with a fatal wound. Griffin claimed self-defense, but he was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Griffin’s appeal questions the sufficiency of evidence and trial court rulings.


Soil Testing Offered Saturday

Property owners in the Candlewood Lake Watershed are invited to participate in an annual soil testing event on Saturday. Hosted by the Candlewood Watershed Initiative, it aims to scientifically analyze lawn and garden soils to determine nutrient composition. This helps homeowners make informed decisions about fertilization, preventing unnecessary applications that can harm plantings and contribute excess nutrients to Candlewood Lake. Samples can be dropped off at designated sites in New Fairfield, Sherman, and New Milford tomorrow from 8 a.m. to noon. Results will include gardening tips and discount coupons for local garden centers.


Layoffs Adding Up Amid Increasingly Difficult Economic Times

Here in Connecticut, recent news of layoffs has reverberated across various industries. The most recent development as we told you just days ago, comes from Sikorsky, which confirmed plans to lay off around 400 employees in response to the cancellation of a new armed scout helicopter project by the Army. This decision follows a prior round of layoffs last October. However, Sikorsky is not alone. Other notable layoffs in the state include Walgreens closing a distribution center, resulting in 322 job losses; Freight Handlers, Inc. laying off 383 workers; CVS announcing layoffs affecting 521 employees statewide; and the merger of People’s United Bank/M&T Bank leading to the layoffs of 747 workers in Connecticut.


Magic Mushroom Approval? Not So Fast…

Efforts to decriminalize small amounts of so-called “magic mushrooms” here in Connecticut have hit a roadblock. The legislative Transportation Committee declined to vote on the legislation, effectively halting the initiative for this year. Advocates had hoped to leverage the therapeutic potential of the mushrooms for conditions like PTSD and depression. But some lawmakers on the Transportation Committee cited concerns about road safety and messaging to drivers as reasons behind the decision. The bill, which would have imposed fines for possession of small amounts, may resurface as an amendment in other legislation before the General Assembly’s adjournment on May 8.


A Sporty Expansion!

Here’s some exciting news for Connecticut sports enthusiasts! Western Connecticut State University has announced plans to expand its athletic offerings by adding seven new teams over the next two years. The expanded roster will include women’s golf, men’s and women’s ice hockey, and indoor track and field for both men and women. The university is wasting no time and has already begun recruiting athletes to join these new programs. The expansion according to the school, is a commitment to enhancing the athletic experience for students and boosting the university’s sports presence.


Police Audits Recommended

In response to the fake ticket scandal involving Connecticut state troopers, a national consultant is recommending monthly audits of police traffic stops in the state. The goal is to restore public confidence and ensure data integrity. The proposed audits would involve random checks of three traffic stops per officer per month, with additional assessments for stops involving use of force or other police interactions. The consultant also suggested using artificial intelligence to predict and address problematic patterns in real time.


Southbury Man Admits To Gun Charges

A Southbury man has admitted guilt in a case involving illegal possession of sawed-off shotguns and silencers. 44 year old Anthony Englehardt confessed to a federal court about the firearms, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. The situation began when Torrington police received reports that Englehardt discharged a rifle in a city home, in violation of a protective order requiring his firearms surrender. Englehardt was apprehended by Connecticut State Police, and he is now facing multiple charges. A search of his Southbury residence turned up 10 firearms, six silencers, and over 1,000 rounds of ammunition. Englehardt’s sentencing date is yet to be set, though he could face a decade in prison.


State Ag Attorney Netted In Fraud Scheme

A lawsuit filed in federal court alleges a Connecticut Department of Agriculture attorney orchestrated a $1.4 million fraud scheme. Bloomin Properties LLC, a New Jersey real estate company, claims that Carole Briggs, the attorney in question, sent fraudulent electronic communications requesting closing funds for a property purchase. The company deposited the funds into a bank account set up by Briggs, believing the communications were legitimate. Connecticut officials believe no state funds were involved in this incident.


Coalition Pursuing Federal Funding

A coalition of New England states has come together to pursue federal funding for transformative energy projects aimed at boosting grid reliability and resilience. Led by agencies like Connecticut’s DEEP and Massachusetts’ Department of Energy Resources, they’ve jointly submitted two applications to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Grid Innovation Program. One is expected to provide up to 4,800 megawatts of renewable energy. The other aims to bolster interregional transmission capacity between New York and New England, potentially increasing transfer capacity by 1,000 megawatts. If successful, they could significantly benefit 15 some million residents and businesses.


Connecticut Nears Top Of Most Expensive States To Live In

Connecticut has clinched a high rank on the Cost-of-Living Index charts, signaling it’s not the cheapest place to call home. The Council for Community and Economic Research reveals our state’s index stands at a hefty 121.6, soaring well above the national average of 100. That means living costs here are about 21.6 percent pricier compared to the U.S. norm. One big factor driving up these is housing. Connecticut boasts some of the steepest housing prices nationwide, nearly 35 percent above the average. Food prices here are also higher than the norm. The priciest areas to hang your hat are Hawaii and Washington, DC.


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