SUNDAY MORNING UPDATE

CONNECTICUT BUDGET-PARKS

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut’s state parks will remain open through Labor Day, despite the lack of a two-year budget. A Department of Energy and Environmental Protection spokesman said there is enough money to operate the 109 parks, thanks to revenue collected from parking, campgrounds and other fees. Funding for some state programs, such as summer youth employment, will be eliminated because the governor will have to run state government using only his limited executive authority.

STATE POLICE RAMPING UP ENFORCEMENT

Chris Valente

Trooper Chris Valente on the road as he patrolled for the holiday weekend. (WFSB)

HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – Thousands of drivers will be commuting to their destinations for the long, Fourth of July weekend, and state police are increasing patrols to ensuring that those drivers remain safe.   Using traditional, marked and non-traditional, unmarked cars, State Police throughout the state are focusing on drunk drivers, aggressive drivers, speeding, as well as making sobriety checks.    From midnight on Saturday morning, to 7:30 a.m., State Police responded to over 720 speeding violations and 21 DUI arrests.   Troopers are asking drivers to take it slow, call a ride if intoxicated, and obey move over laws if troopers or tow trucks are responding to a call.

OPERATION DRY WATER WEEKEND

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — State environmental conservation police are stepping up enforcement of boating under the influence laws over the holiday weekend. Operation Dry Water Weekend, which runs through Sunday, is part of a nationally coordinated effort to increase public knowledge about the dangers of operating a vessel while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. There were three fatalities on Connecticut’s waterways in 2016.

DAYVILLE FIREFIGHTER ARRESTED AGAIN

Todd Wakefield

Todd Wakefield

KILLINGLY, CT (WFSB) – A Dayville firefighter has been arrested again, this time for leaving the scene of an accident while responding to an emergency call.   State Police said Todd Wakefield was operating a fire truck on June 27 responding to a motor vehicle accident.  While responding, the truck Wakefield was operating sideswiped a vehicle that had pulled over to the shoulder.   Police said instead of stopping and reporting the accident to State Police or emergency dispatchers he continued on the call.  Police also said Wakefield attempted to then mislead Troopers when questioned about the incident, claiming the driver of the vehicle had failed to pull over and continued driving.   Despite that Wakefield was operating an emergency vehicle, with lights and sirens active, police found he failed to operate with due regard for the safety of those around him.   Police said based on several factors, including witness statements and surveillance video from the fire truck, they were able to determine Wakefield was at fault for the crash.  He was issued a misdemeanor summons for unsafe passing and evading responsibility.

FORMER STATE SENATE MINORITY LEADER PASSES AWAY

WATERTOWN, CT (WFSB) – Watertown resident and Former GOP Minority Leader of the Senate, Dick Bozzuto died on Sunday morning.   Bozzuto founded Bozzuto Associates in Watertown which markets insurance and other related products.   Mr. Bozzuto was active throughout his life, involved in numerous civic organizations such as the Connecticut Jaycees, and as the Director of the Waterbury Foundation.

NEW LAWS

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A batch of new Connecticut laws is taking effect, including Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s effort to reduce the number of people detained in jails for minor offenses because they can’t afford to post bail.   Saturday marked the first day of the new fiscal year. It’s also one of a handful of days in the year when new laws take effect.   Under Malloy’s legislation, judges will be prohibited from setting money bail for misdemeanor charges unless they determine the defendant is facing a family violence crime, is likely to fail to appear in court, is likely to obstruct justice or presents a danger to the community.   Other new laws include legislation placing limits on opioid prescriptions and requiring state education agencies to develop a plan for universal pre-kindergarten beginning in 2022.

38 STUDIOS

38_Studios_LogoPROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A judge has granted Rhode Island’s attorney general a court order to temporarily block the release of documents from the investigation into the state’s failed $75 million deal with the video game company started by former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling. WPRI-TV reports that Attorney General Peter Kilmartin successfully petitioned a Superior Court judge to issue a temporary restraining order Friday in the 38 Studios investigation.

SUMMER MEALS PROGRAM

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island has kicked off its summer meals program. First Gentleman Andy Moffit and Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Ken Wagner launched this year’s Summer Food Service Program in Central Falls this week. Meals are provided for free to children in needy areas.

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