FRIDAY EVENING UPDATE

GOP BUDGET PLAN PASSES STATE SENATE

The state Senate has passed a Republican backed budget plan, with three Democrats bucking their party’s leadership. The plan, which includes no tax hikes and large spending cuts passed the upper chamber Friday afternoon on a 21-15 vote. It now heads to the House of Representatives, where it is expected to fail. The Democrats, who control the legislature, have their own proposal, which includes a new 49-cent monthly surcharge on cellphones, a new vacation home tax, higher taxes for hospitals, a 25-cent charge per trip on ride-sharing services like Uber and a 45-cent-per-pack cigarette tax increase. That plan failed to come up for a vote in the House early Friday morning. The budget is two months late. The plan is for the fiscal year that began July 1 and the year beginning next July 1.

CONCERN ABOUT ANOTHER BRAC

Sub Base, Groton

Earlier this month, Senators John McCain of Arizona and Jack Reed of Rhode Island sponsored a proposal to begin another federal process of examining the possible closure of military installations. That’s not sitting well with Connecticut senator Richard Blumenthal, who says the Groton Sub Base would be threatened by the BRAC process, as it was in 2005. Groton senator Heather Somers says members of Congress have no idea how important the Sub Base is to her state. Somers says her colleagues in the state senate are establishing a task force to oppose the BRAC process.

LOCAL SERVICE SCHEDULED FOR WOMAN KILLED IN NH HOSPITAL

Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (AP)

Memorial services have been scheduled in Canterbury for a woman whose son is charged with shooting her in the intensive care unit of New Hampshire’s largest hospital. A service for 70-year-old Pamela Ferriere will be held Sept. 30 at the Westminster Congregational Church. She will be buried in Connecticut. Her son, Travis Frink, of Warwick, Rhode Island, is accused of killing her Tuesday and has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. Ferriere was fatally shot in her room at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire where she was being treated for an aneurysm. Frink’s stepfather says Frink had post-traumatic stress disorder from his time in the military.

CONVICTION IN MURDER OF ECSU STUDENT

Jermaine Richards (WFSB)

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) – A Connecticut man has been convicted of killing and dismembering his college student girlfriend after a third trial. Jermaine Richards was convicted of murder Friday after four hours of jury deliberations over two days. The remains of Alyssiah Wiley, a 20-year-old Eastern Connecticut State University student, were found in Trumbull, about a month after she was last seen with Richards outside her Willimantic dorm in April 2013. Two previous trials had ended with deadlocked juries. The 34-year-old Richards denies killing Wiley. His lawyers pointed to the lack of physical evidence showing where or how she died. Wiley’s family and friends testified Richards was jealous, possessive and had been physically violent with her. They told the jury she had planned to end their relationship. Richards’ bond was raised Friday to $5 million.

ARREST NUMBER 15

A convicted felon from Norwich has been arrested for the 15th time in the past 12 years. City police say 29-year old Devan Jarmon is charged with first-degree burglary after allegedly breaking into a Shipping Street apartment in July of last year. He was served with an arrest warrant Thursday while appearing in Norwich Superior Court on other charges. Police say he entered the apartment by removing a window air conditioner, but fled when police arrived. Jarmon is being held on a 150-thousand dollar bond, and remains in the custody of the state Department of Correction.

NEEDLE-EXCHANGE BEGINS IN NEW LONDON

The first needle-exchange program in New London County in now in operation. Drug addicts and others who inject drugs can get clean needles for free on Friday afternoons at the Alliance for Living facility on Broad Street in New London. The first such program in the state was established in New Haven back in 1990. Health officials say needle-exchange efforts have proven to dramatically reduce the number of new cases of HIV infections. Information regarding drug treatment and support services are also offered at the Alliance for Living site.

WATCHING OUT FOR JOSE

DEEP RIVER, Conn. (AP) – Marinas, coastal residents and others in the Northeastern U.S. are keeping a wary eye on Tropical Storm Jose. The storm is forecast to pass well offshore of North Carolina early next week and could then menace New England. At the Brewer Fiddler’s Cove Marina in Falmouth, Massachusetts, manager Scott Carpenter said one customer had asked for his boat to be hauled out ahead of the storm, but they have not made other storm-related plans. The National Hurricane Center has encouraged East Coast residents from North Carolina on up to monitor the storm’s progress. The storm was centered about 485 miles southwest of Bermuda on Friday and had weakened to a tropical storm, with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph. It is expected to regain hurricane strength.

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