FRIDAY EVENING UPDATE

PROSTITUTION ARRESTS IN NORWICH

Five local men have been charged with patronizing prostitutes in the Greeneville section of Norwich. City police say 50-year old David Viera of Lisbon, along with four Norwich residents: 36-year old Gabino Bravo-Palomino, 32-year old Rafael Medrano, 28-year old Christopher Anderson, and 32-year old Raymond Kanu are all out on bond, and are due in court October 12th. Police say the suspects were patronizing prostitutes around Central Avenue, and East and North Main Streets. Police say neighbor complaints alerted them to the suspicious activity.

PIZZA PLACE OWNER ADMITS TAX FRAUD

The owner of the Pizza Works Restaurant in Old Saybrook has pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return. The U-S District Attorney’s Office in Connecticut says 58-year old Robert Kehayias was charged with depositing most of the cash receipts of his business between 2010 and 2014 into personal bank accounts, instead of the business’s account. He then under-reported income on his tax returns, failing to pay some 340-thousand dollars in taxes. Kehayias is due to be sentenced January 16th, where he faces up to 3 years in jail, and a fine that could be as much as 680-thousand dollars, along with back-due taxes, interest, and penalties.

N STONINGTON VOTE MONDAY

A town-wide referendum in North Stonington Monday concerns two issues. Voters are being asked if a trail in the Chester Maine Estates housing subdivision should be privately run by a homeowners association of nearby property owners. Debate over whether the trail should be publicly or privately-owned has gone on for years. A second question asks if the town should be allowed to demolish the vacant Greene Gables building on the town-owned Hewitt Farm property. The building once housed the first Montessori School in Eastern Connecticut, and the town’s historical society has tried to get a plan together to save the building. But other North Stonington officials say it should be torn down. Polls will be open at New Town Hall from noon to 8 PM.

AGRICULTURE IS A BIG HELP

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – A study by researchers at the University of Connecticut has concluded that the agriculture industry’s impact on the state economy is worth between $3.3 billion and $4 billion.   The researchers at the school’s Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy say that is slightly down from when a similar analysis was done in 2010. They say the contraction owes to a movement toward specialty crops and some decline in traditional sectors such as tobacco farming. The industry accounts for some 21,000 jobs in the state. The study says farmland also accounts for nearly 14 percent of all the land in the state. Forests cover more than half of the state.

FROM JAIL TO YALE

Reginald Dwayne Betts,who graduated from Yale University, was allowed to become lawyer. (WFSB)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – A convicted felon who turned his life around, won acclaim as a published poet and graduated from Yale Law School has received approval to practice law in Connecticut. The Connecticut Bar Examining Committee admitted Reginald Dwayne Betts to the state bar Friday. The panel had flagged his file after he passed the bar exam to investigate whether he lacked “good moral character and/or fitness to practice law.” The 36-year-old Betts has three felony convictions for a carjacking he committed in Virginia two decades ago as a teenager. Connecticut and most other states do not prohibit felons from becoming attorneys, but they must prove they have good moral character. Betts says he is happy with the committee’s decision and appreciative of the support many people gave him.

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