WEDNESDAY EVENING UPDATE

BUDGET DEAL MAY BE NEAR

Governor Dannel Malloy

Tomorrow, on what will be Connecticut’s 76th day without a state budget, Governor Dannel Malloy says he’s hopeful that lawmakers will vote on a tax and spending package. He told reporters in Windsor Locks this afternoon that he’ll review one proposal that would add a surcharge on cell phone bills as a new revenue stream for the state— but he was non-committal. It’s unclear if that idea will make it into a final budget package.

FATAL TRAIN CRASH

THOMPSON, Conn. (AP) – Authorities say one woman has died and another woman suffered serious injuries when they were struck by a train in Thompson. State police say the women were struck at about 1:30 a.m. today. Police say 26-year-old Morgan Nordby had been knocked down an embankment and was pronounced dead at the scene. The other woman, 28-year-old Brittany Lefleche, was conscious and alert when rescue workers reached her but suffered life-threatening injuries and was taken to the UMass Medical Center in Worcester. Both victims are from Thompson. An autopsy is scheduled and the investigation is ongoing.

EX-AIRMAN SENTENCED FOR HAVING SEX WITH PLAINFIELD GIRL

A former airman who received an honorable discharge from the Air Force despite acknowledging he had a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old in Plainfield has been sentenced to five years in federal prison on child sex charges. Nicholas Murphy was sentenced Wednesday afternoon. He pleaded guilty in June to federal charges of traveling from Rhode Island to Plainfield in 2015 to have sex with the girl. Prosecutors say Murphy avoided a dishonorable discharge by convincing the Air Force that he believed the teen was at least 16 years old. But authorities cast doubt on that story, saying the two communicated over Facebook, where the teen’s page included her actual date of birth. They say she also had sent Murphy a message about being excited to start the ninth grade.

RI MAN PLEADS IN HOSPITAL SHOOTING

Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (AP Photo / Toby Talbot)

A Rhode Island man accused of fatally shooting his mother in the intensive care unit of New Hampshire’s largest hospital has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail. Travis Frink is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his mother, 70-year-old Pamela Ferriere. She was fatally shot Tuesday at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, where she was being treated for an aneurysm. The 48-year-old Frink was handcuffed and said nothing in court. Prosecutor Jane Young asked that Frink have no contact with his stepfather, Robert Ferriere, who told police he witnessed the shooting. Defense lawyer Rebecca McKinnon agreed to the request. A police affidavit says Frink told officers he went to the hospital to kill his mother. No reason or motive was given.

$$$ SOUGHT TO FIGHT GUN RANGE PROPOSAL

An October referendum in Griswold may be held to ask residents if the town should appropriate 75-thousand dollars from its rainy day fund to pay an attorney to fight a possible state police gun range. State officials have been in negotiations with the owner of a 113 acre site on Lee Road to build a 55-thousand square foot firearms training complex. Griswold’s Board of Selectmen has approved sending the proposed 75-thousand appropriation to the Board of Finance for its okay. If that happens, the measure then goes to a town meeting and referendum. Town approval is not required for the state to build the gun range.

SCRAPYARD SALE MOVES AHEAD

David Waddington (right), with son & grandson (The Bulletin)

The auction sale of the former Shetucket Iron and Metal Scrapyard in Norwich along the city’s riverfront has been approved by a Superior Court judge. Connecticut Scrap owner David Waddington purchased the site back on July 29th, and plans to continue to operate the property as a scrapyard, but says he’s willing to talk with city officials about the future use of the site. Norwich alderman Tucker Braddock tried unsuccessfully to have the city bid on the property, so it could be converted to a municipal fishing area and park. He says he has spoken to Waddington about the idea, and hopes to bring it before the City Council before his term ends in November.

NL MAN SENTENCED IN SHOOTING

A New London man will serve 10 years in prison in connection with a May, 2014 shooting. 34-year old West Robinson had pleaded guilty to one count of illegally possessing ammunition because he’s a convicted felon. Authorities say Robinson shot someone during an altercation near Maple Avenue in the city. He’s been incarcerated since his June, 2014 arrest. He has multiple previous felony convictions. Yesterday’s sentence from U-S District Judge Vanessa Bryant also has Robinson undergoing three years of supervised release after his prison term, and performing 200 hours of community service.

SETTLEMENT IN MALPRACTICE SUIT

Backus Hospital

More than 2-point-6 million dollars has been awarded to the estate of a Ledyard man who died at Backus Hospital in Norwich due to a brain bleed. The attorney representing 63-year old Gary Wheelis says he was admitted to the hospital in December, 2012, due to a piece of chicken stuck in his throat. Wheelis’s attorney says his client showed symptoms of a stroke after undergoing an endoscopy, and was given a blood thinner, even though he already was taking two similar medications. Jury selection for the trial had been scheduled for this summer, before the announced settlement.

ALLEGED FLUTE PAWNER

A 19-year old Old Lyme resident is due in court tomorrow for allegedly stealing four flutes from Lyme-Old Lyme High School, and selling them to a New London pawn shop. Police say Brian Winters stole the musical instruments worth a total of more than 3-thousand dollars, including a Yamaha flute valued at 13-hundred dollars. All of the flutes have been returned to the school. Winters is out on 13-hundred dollars bond, and is to be arraigned in New London Superior Court.

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