HAITIAN FLAG FLYING IN CT
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has directed the flag of Haiti to be flown at his Hartford residence in response to vulgar remarks attributed to President Donald Trump about immigrants from Africa and Haiti. The Democrat said Friday the nation’s diversity should be celebrated, not denigrated. The Haitian flag was also flown at Hartford City Hall. Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano says the president’s comments were “beyond inappropriate and offensive” and “fly in the face of what it means to be Republican and an American.” Fasano, who declined to be a Trump delegate, called on Trump to “apologize for these disrespectful and outrageous comments.” Trump disputes accounts of the language he used during Thursday’s meeting with U.S. senators, but hasn’t denied the most controversial word attributed to him.
KING DAY NOTED IN NORWICH
Over 80 people attend the 33rd annual Martin Luther King Jr. birthday luncheon at Norwich Free Academy. The keynote speaker was Elizabeth Garcia Gonzalez, executive director of Centro de la Comunidad in New London. She says it’s important to pursue Dr. King’s dream of uniting the country, something that, in her opinion, President Donald Trump is not doing. Sprague state senator Cathy Osten says President Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric is setting the country back. Today’s event was sponsored by the Norwich NAACP.
FISH MARKET ON I-95
STONINGTON, Conn. (AP) – A tractor trailer carrying 45,000 pounds of raw fish overturned along the Connecticut and Rhode Island border, catching drivers in heavy traffic during their morning commute. Police say the driver lost control of the truck around 5 a.m. Friday, spilling its cargo along Interstate 95 in Stonington near Exit 91. All northbound lanes were temporarily closed as crews cleaned up the spilled fish. Authorities say the unidentified driver suffered minor injures and was hospitalized as a precaution. Officials reopened the highway around 12:30 p.m.
NEWTOWN REPORT FINALLY RELEASED
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut State Police say in a new report on the Newtown school massacre that unnecessary personnel potentially contaminated the crime scene by stepping on bullet casings and glass shards before they were collected for evidence. State police released a long-awaited report Friday that reviewed their response to the 2012 shooting that killed 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The report concludes state police handled the response effectively, but it makes numerous recommendations about crime scene integrity, how to deal with victims’ families and other issues. One recommendation is limiting access to the crime scene to authorized personnel. The report says uninvolved police officials and “dignitaries” were allowed in and disrupted the crime scene. The report does not specifically address why it took more than five years to complete.
TWO COAST GUARD CADETS DISCIPLINED
NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) – Two white cadets at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy have been punished for harassing a black classmate. A spokesman for the academy in New London says the commandant of cadets ruled at a hearing Thursday that the cadets violated regulations and ordered discipline including demerits and marching tours. The academy says one of the cadets played a racially offensive song in the black cadet’s room. After leaving to tell a peer counselor, the black cadet returned to find the background screen on his computer had been changed to show the Mississippi state flag, which includes the Confederate battle flag. An investigator in December recommended the students be charged with violations of the Regulations of the Corps of Cadets over the October episode.
EX-SCHOOL EMPLOYEE CLAIMS BIAS
A former employee of the New London School system has filed a complaint of gender bias. Timothy Wheeler claims his contract as the district’s Executive Director of Operations and Information Technology wasn’t renewed last year because of a discrimination and sexual harassment complaint filed against him by another former district employee, Katherine Slufik, who he supervised. Slufik agreed to drop her complaint after reaching a 125-thousand dollar agreement with the school board. The state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities is reviewing Wheeler’s claim.
PLAINFIELD MAN SENTENCED ON DRUG CHARGES
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) – A Plainfield man has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison for selling a woman the fentanyl that led to her overdose death in 2016. Federal prosecutors say 35-year-old George Kinney was also sentenced Thursday to three years of probation after pleading guilty in October to possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, heroin and fentanyl. Police responded to a Plainfield motel in August 2016 where they found the 38-year-old woman dead. The investigation found that Kinney had provided the drugs to the victim and her boyfriend. When he was arrested last May, police found bags containing heroin and fentanyl in his pickup truck that had identical labeling to the bags found in the victim’s hotel room.
AETNA STAYING PUT
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – CVS Health Corp. says it has no plans to move Aetna from Connecticut’s capital city, reversing last year’s announcement by the insurance giant that it would move its headquarters to another state. Friday’s statement comes days after New York City halted a $9.6 million incentive package. CVS Health announced in December it was buying Aetna. At that time, Aetna said all of its locations would be evaluated as part of the merger. In Friday’s statement, CVS said it views Hartford “as the future location of our center of excellence for the insurance business.” CVS Health will continue to be headquartered in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. Aetna traces its roots in Hartford to 1819. It employs about 6,000 people in the state. News of the headquarters moving was seen as a blow to Connecticut.
GUBERNATORIAL HOPEFUL DROPS OUT
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – There’s now one less candidate in the crowded race for Connecticut’s next governor. Democrat Dan Drew, the mayor of Middletown, and his running mate, state Rep. Liz Linehan of Cheshire, announced Friday they are ending their campaigns for governor and lieutenant governor. In a message posted on Facebook, the two say “it became very difficult to raise the required funds to qualify for public financing.” Even though Drew says he raised $280,000 since the start of his exploratory committee last January, his most recent campaign finance filing showed he had a balance of $7,877, with $15,429 in outstanding expenses. More than two dozen candidates are running or considering a run for the seat being vacated by Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who decided not to seek a third term.