SCENE FINALLY CLEARED AT WILLI FIRE
Willimantic fire crews have left the scene of a massive fire that destroyed a building at Willimantic Waste Paper Incorporated. Firefighters logged more than 36 hours battling a blaze fueled by 50 tons of construction debris. Willimantic Fire Chief Marc Scrivener confirms his crews left the scene around 8:15 this morning. Scrivener says this fire compares to the St. Mary Church fire in Willimantic-where crews remained on the scene for a nearly a day and a half. Back in July of 1981—a fire at Willimantic Waste caused nearly half a million dollars worth of damage. More than 2.5-million gallons of water was used to fight the recent blaze.
MURDER SUSPECT HEADING HOME
A 20-year old male wanted in South Carolina on a double-homicide charge is expected to be heading back home. Jeremie Tobey waived extradition this afternoon in Danielson Superior Court. He was arrested Monday afternoon as he was leaving Windham Hospital. A stolen car he was using was also seized. Tobey is accused of fatally shooting two people in his Aiken, South Carolina home on Friday. He’s also charged with grand larceny. He remains held in Connecticut, and is due back in court here March 1st, but court officials expect that date to be moved up, since he is slated to return to South Carolina.
EAST LYME MAN VICTIM OF ALLEGED STABBING
WESTERLY, R.I. (AP) – A Westerly man charged with fatally stabbing an acquaintance he said disrespected him in his own home has been held without bond. Nelson Dearce made an initial court appearance on a murder charge Monday. He didn’t enter a plea. Police say the 50-year-old Dearce arrived home at about 11 p.m. Saturday after work to find Jeremy Lehmann, of East Lyme inside. Dearce’s ex-girlfriend, with whom he still lives, and their four children were also home. Police say Dearce was upset to find Lehmann there and stabbed him multiple times. He allegedly told police the victim “was disrespecting me in my own house.” The victim was taken to Westerly Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Dearce’s family said he is a good man and a church-goer.
REBATE FOR ARTS CENTER
Good news for the Norwich Arts Center. The Broadway facility is receiving a more than 9-thousand dollar rebate through the city’s Public Utilities’ Cool Choice program to help defray the cost of a new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. The Cool Choice effort offers rebates to commercial, institutional, and residential NPU customers who install new high-efficiency HVAC systems.
Animal control officials in Lebanon are investigating a llama being attacked by a dog. The attack was reported in the area of 300 Beaumont Highway shortly before noon today. No further information available right now.
FORMER POMFRET SCHOOL TEACHER FIRED
POMFRET, Conn. (AP) – A teacher has been fired from a private school in Massachusetts over allegations that he had an inappropriate sexual relationship with one of his students at the Connecticut boarding school where he taught previously. The teacher, John Becker, was fired Friday by Northfield Mount Hermon, where he had worked for four months after leaving the Pomfret School .. The Massachusetts school said Becker denied having a sexual relationship with the Pomfret student but its investigation found he had crossed boundaries. The head of the Pomfret School said it had no information about such a relationship before he learned of the allegation from the Massachusetts school. He said the school will conduct an investigation. Connecticut state police are also investigating. Becker did not respond to a phone message seeking comment.
“BODY FLUIDS’ SUSPECT SEEKS PROBATION
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – A white former Connecticut university student accused of smearing body fluids on her black roommate’s belongings has asked for a probation program that could result in criminal charges being erased. Eighteen-year-old Brianna Brochu applied for accelerated rehabilitation Tuesday in Hartford Superior Court. A judge set a hearing on the application for March 12. The Harwinton resident is charged with misdemeanor criminal mischief and breach of peace. Police say the former University of Hartford student wrote on Instagram in October about rubbing used tampons on her roommate’s backpack and putting her roommate’s toothbrush “where the sun doesn’t shine.” Her roommate says she developed throat pain. Civil rights advocates have called for hate crime charges. Brochu’s lawyer says the roommates had a falling out and Brochu’s actions were not racially motivated.
OFFICIALS WANT KENNEDY COUSIN BACK BEHIND BARS
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut officials are asking the state’s highest court to revoke Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel’s bail and send him back to prison. The chief state’s attorney’s office filed the request Monday with the state Supreme Court. Skakel, a nephew of Robert F. Kennedy’s widow, Ethel Kennedy, was convicted in 2002 of murdering Martha Moxley in their wealthy Greenwich neighborhood in 1975, when they were both teenagers. He was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison, but another judge granted him a new trial in 2013, citing mistakes by his lawyer. The state Supreme Court reinstated the conviction in December 2016. Skakel’s lawyers asked the court to reconsider, a request that remains pending. Skakel posted $1.2 million bail after the new trial was granted and has remained free since.
RI CHILDREN LEFT ALONE PROPOSAL
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Rhode Island lawmakers are considering a bill to make leaving children alone in a car a crime punishable by jail time. The General Assembly’s judiciary committees are reviewing a bill that would bar anyone from leaving a child under age 7 unattended in a motor vehicle for more than 15 minutes. On New Year’s Day, a two-year-old girl was in the backseat of a car that was stolen and quickly recovered in Providence. If the legislation passes, violators could be fined $150 for a first offense. Subsequent offenses would be punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year in jail. A proposal to criminalize leaving children unattended in cars for longer than five minutes stalled last year. The ACLU and some parents felt it infringed on parental decision-making.