MEMORIAL TO OPEN AT SITE OF 2003 FIRE THAT KILLED 100 PEOPLE
WEST WARWICK, R.I. (AP) – A memorial is due to open at the site of a 2003 nightclub fire in Rhode Island that killed 100 people. The memorial at the site of The Station nightclub fire in West Warwick is scheduled to open Sunday with a ceremony that’s expected to draw hundreds of people. The blaze began when pyrotechnics for the rock band Great White ignited flammable foam that lined the club’s walls as soundproofing. It was engulfed within seconds. More than 200 people were injured. Gina Russo is a fire survivor and president of the foundation that has worked for years to secure the land and raise the money to build the park. She says she hopes now that it’s built, she can finally let go of some of the guilt of surviving.
STUDENTS AND COPS CANVASSING NEW LONDON; COYOTES
With Coyotes becoming a huge problem in New London County Dozens of students and police officers are teaming up and canvassing the south end of New London walking from house-to-house, handing out flyers and talking to residents. Small dogs have been attacked or killed recently in some resident’s backyards. One woman saw coyotes surround her 92-pound dog. If you see a coyote, you should not approach it. People should keep small animals inside or keep them with their owners. Parents should also monitor small children.
FEDERAL TAXPAYER ADVOCATE ADDRESSES CRUMBLING FOUNDATIONS
The federal taxpayer advocate says she’s working to help Connecticut homeowners whose foundations are crumbling receive federal tax relief. U.S. Reps. John Larson and Joe Courtney, both Democrats, were told Friday by National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson that her office sent a request to the IRS’ Office of Chief Counsel seeking “priority guidance” on granting tax relief to the homeowners, such as a casualty loss deduction. Olson leads the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers resolve problems. She testified at a Ways and Means Oversight subcommittee hearing Friday.
Larson said as many as 30,000 homes could be affected by the crumbling foundations problem, which was traced to a concrete mix containing an iron sulfide. It can cost upward of $200,000 to repair some foundations.
U.S. SENATOR DOESN’T AGREE WITH LIEBERMAN AS FBI CHIEF
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – One of Rhode Island’s U.S. senators says he doesn’t think former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman should be the next FBI director. Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse told reporters Friday it’s his “strong opinion” that the next FBI director should have considerable federal law enforcement experience and shouldn’t be a politician or “even a recently recovering one like Joe Lieberman.” He says Lieberman is a “great guy, but not this job, not now.” President Donald Trump had said Thursday he was “very close” to naming someone to replace FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired on May 9. He has said Lieberman was among his top choices. The president did not announce his pick before leaving Friday on his first foreign trip. He’d previously said he might announce his nominee before leaving.
Putnam police say a Danielson man was arrested for breaking and entering. James Saritelli is being investigated as a suspicious person for conspiracy and breaking and entering in an incident Gloucester, Rhode Island Friday morning. And is being charged as a fugitive from justice. Hes being held on a $100 thousand dollars bond. Tax advocate working to help failing foundation homeowners
DEAD TEENS DAD SAYS COP SHOOTING NOT JUSITFIED
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – The father of a teenager shot to death by a Connecticut police officer during a traffic stop does not believe the shooting was justified.
Juan Negron’s son, Jayson, was killed and a young man was wounded when a rookie Bridgeport police officer opened fire on the SUV they were in on May 9. Bridgeport police have said officer James Boulay fired his gun when he was nearly run over by a stolen vehicle driven by Jayson Negron after a chase.
Juan Negron’s lawyer, Michael Rosnick, says his client disputes the police story, including that the SUV was stolen, that there was a chase and that the officer was in danger. Rosnick spoke on Juan Negron’s behalf as both of them held a news conference Friday.
A city spokeswoman declined to comment Friday.
PEDIATRICIAN CONVICTED OF RAPING PATIENTS LOSES APPEAL
DOVER, Del. (AP) – A Delaware judge has rejected an appeal from a former pediatrician serving life in prison after he was convicted of raping scores of patients. The judge dismissed Earl Bradley’s latest appeal on procedural grounds on Thursday. The judge said there’s no new evidence to suggest Bradley is innocent, or that there is any new rule of constitutional law that might be applied retroactively to his case. The judge also noted it is difficult for Bradley to argue that he is innocent, given that he videotaped the criminal acts for which he was convicted. Bradley was convicted by the same judge in 2011. He waived his right to a jury trial after a motion to suppress evidence was denied. Bradley is currently imprisoned in Connecticut after being transferred from a Delaware prison last year.
FIREFIGHTERS BATTLING BRUSH FIRE AND ANGRY RATTLESNAKES
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Firefighters battling a brush fire near the Appalachian Trail in western Connecticut have been dealing with another threat this week – rattlesnakes. The blaze has burned about 200 acres near Kent since Wednesday, with 17 departments helping to keep it contained. Kent Volunteer Fire Chief Alan Gawel says the fire disturbed the dens of the Timber rattlers, and well over a dozen snakes have been spotted fleeing the heat, including one that slithered between the legs of a firefighter. No one has been bitten, but authorities have alerted hospitals to make sure they have a supply of anti-venom. A spokesman for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection says once the fire is out, wildlife experts will go in looking to rescue any injured snakes.
STATE REACHES DEAL WITH STATE FARM TO SPONSOR MOTORIST HELP
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – The Connecticut Department of Transportation has reached an agreement with State Farm insurance that will allow the agency to continue the Connecticut Highway Assistance Motorist Patrol. The program, which has been in operation for more than two decades, patrols the highways and helps stranded motorists free of charge. With new funding provided through the sponsorship program with State Farm, coupled with federal funding, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says the state can ensure “that this highway safety program can continue providing the same high level of service” while reducing the state’s costs. Connecticut officials are grappling with a projected $2.3 billion deficit in the new fiscal year. The new program will now be known as the CTDOT State Farm Safety Patrol. State Farm operates similar initiatives in 15 other states.