SUNDAY MORNING UPDATE

COURT SETS HEARING ON NEWTOWN SHOOTER’S BELONGINGS

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The Connecticut Supreme Court has scheduled arguments on whether state police have to publicly release some of the Newtown school killer’s belongings, including a spreadsheet ranking mass murders and a violent story he wrote as a child.   The hearing is set for March 1.   The Hartford Courant and state Freedom of Information Commission are appealing a decision by a lower court judge, who ruled in 2016 that state police don’t have to release documents that belonged to shooter Adam Lanza. The commission had ordered state police to release the materials.   The 20-year-old Lanza shot his mother to death at their Newtown home before killing 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012.  He killed himself as police arrived at the school.

CONNECTICUT CONSIDERS PLAN TO COVER COLLEGE TUITION COSTS

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut lawmakers are considering a proposal to help more students finish their studies at state community colleges and universities.  Legislators say they’re concerned about low rates of completion at those schools. A 2016 state report showed the completion rate for certificates and degrees at the state’s 12 community colleges was roughly 15.5 percent, using 2013 figures. That figure, however, does not account for transfers and other factors.   West Hartford Sen. Beth Bye, a co-chairwoman of the General Assembly’s higher education committee, says it’s more cost-effective to provide scholarships to students who are halfway through their college students, rather than embark on a free community college program.   But it remains unclear how much the program will cost and whether the state can afford it, given Connecticut’s ongoing budget deficit challenges.

FUNERAL TO BE HELD FOR CT TROOPER KILLED IN CRASH

Danielle Miller

SOUTHINGTON, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut state trooper killed in a traffic collision will be laid to rest this weekend.   A memorial service for Trooper Danielle Miller will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday in Southington. Her family says burial will be at their convenience.   Miller was off-duty when her cruiser and a pickup truck collided head-on on Route 69 in Wolcott on Feb. 3. She later died from her injuries.   The 27-year-old Wolcott resident was a 2014 graduate of the state police academy and was assigned to the Litchfield barracks.   The pickup driver in the crash was treated for minor injuries at a hospital and released. Authorities say the crash is still under investigation and no charges have been filed.

MAN FACES CHARGES OVER OBSCENE TEXTS TO GOVERNOR

Scott Greene (WPRI)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Police say a Rhode Island man faces criminal charges over text messages he sent to Gov. Gina Raimondo.   WPRI-TV reports 38-year-old Scott Greene, of Warwick, was charged in December with two counts of sending “crank or obscene” text messages to the governor.    He is accused of sending texts on Christmas Eve and again three days later. Details about the nature of the texts have not been released.   Greene was released on his own recognizance and was ordered not to make further contact with the governor. His attorney declined to comment.   Col. Ann Assumpico, the superintendent of Rhode Island State Police, says her agency “investigated the circumstances in this matter and took appropriate action.”

RHODE ISLAND AWARDS $3.75 MILLION TO PROTECT GREEN SPACE

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — More than $3.75 million is being awarded to help Rhode Island communities and local organizations protect green space throughout the state.  The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management announced Friday that 17 projects will receive matching grants to protect 889 acres of open space and farmland. The funding stems from the Green Economy Bond program, which was voters passed in 2016.   The initiative aims to invest $35 million to preserve open space, improve recreational facilities and clean up land and waterways.   The grants include $151,500 to acquire 15.6 acres at the headwaters of Little Creek in Portsmouth; $150,000 to acquire 75 acres on Saugatucket Road in South Kingston to help create a 120-acre stretch of protected land; and $400,000 to acquire 211.5 acres abutting Water Supply Board land in Cumberland.

RHODE ISLAND LAWMAKER PUSHES TO EXPAND OVERDOSE IMMUNITY LAW

Kenneth Marshall

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A state legislator is pushing to expand Rhode Island’s overdose immunity law to cover teens reporting alcohol-related emergencies.  WPRI-TV reports Rep. Kenneth Marshall recently introduced a bill that would expand the Good Samaritan Overdose Protection Act. The current law only applies to drug-related overdoses.   The Democrat says teenagers who witness an alcohol overdose shouldn’t fear legal consequences before calling 911. Marshall believes the bill can prevent deaths. Marshall says the bill is in response to a Rhode Island teen who was one of 18 fraternity members charged in the hazing death of Pennsylvania State University student Timothy Piazza. Piazza fell down steps after an alcohol ritual.

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