MONTVILLE SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS CHARGED
The Montville school district is reeling following revelations of a so-called student “fight club” at the high school. Three administrators have been arrested after police say they failed to report the situation. Superintendent Brian Levesque, Montville High Principal Jeffrey Theodoss, and Assistant Principal Tatiana Patten each turned themselves in this morning. A former substitute teacher at Montville High was arrested last week after being accused of running the fight club. 23-year-old Ryan Fish of Bozrah has pleaded not guilty to several charges, including reckless endangerment and risk of injury to a minor. Police began investigating in December after a student reported being roughed up at school. Levesque, Theodoss, and Patten are scheduled to appear in Norwich Superior Court on May 3rd.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut lawmakers are expected to vote on changes Democrats hope to make to the second year of the two-year state budget approved last year. The Appropriations Committee is expected to meet Friday to consider the proposal. Republican members are also expected to recommend budget changes. Ultimately, the proposals may be part of a final deal on a revised budget, which will need approval from the full General Assembly and Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. Democratic committee leaders say their plan restores funding to a number of programs cut in Malloy’s budget proposal, including fire training schools, elderly nutrition, school-based health clinics and municipal aid. Their proposal also kick starts a program designed to ultimately provide free college while increasing funding for employment and day services for people with developmental disabilities.
UNEMPLOYMENT BACK UP A BIT
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Preliminary figures show Connecticut lost 2,000 jobs in March, a drop that’s partly being blamed on the recent bad weather. Andy Condon, director of the Department of Labor’s Office of Research, said Thursday the largest job declines were in retail trade, accommodations and food services, “which may have been adversely affected by the nor’easters” that hit Connecticut. It marked the first month the state has seen a net job loss since October. The Department of Labor’s monthly employment report shows Connecticut’s unemployment rate is now 4.5 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from February. It was 4.9 percent a year ago. The U.S. jobless rate in March was 4.1 percent. Connecticut has still not recovered from the economic recession of 2008-to-2010, recouping 80.4 percent of the 119,100 jobs lost.
MISSING SALEM MAN FOUND DEAD
A Salem man reported missing this week has been found dead in a body of water at a local quarry. State police says 35-year old Thaxton Kaye was discovered Thursday at the Renz Quarry. He was pronounced dead at the scene. He had been reported missing on Wednesday. State police say there doesn’t appear to be any foul play involved. An investigation is underway.
NL WOMAN SENTENCED FOR COMPENSATION FRAUD
A New London woman has been sentenced to 18 months behind bars for fraudently collecting unemployment compensation, and then failing to appear in court for her initial sentencing. 38-year old Yveline Louissaint pleaded no contest Thursday in New Britain Superior Court. The arrest warrant says Louissaint was accused of improperly getting more than 39-thousand dollars in benefits between July, 2009 and May, 2011. She had claimed to be an American citizen, but turns out she wasn’t legally allowed to work in the U-S. She then failed to appear in court for her sentencing in October, 2015. She was arrested again in Groton last December.
MAN SENTENCED FOR BURNING HOME, AND HIMSELF
A Norwich man is to serve four years in prison for intentionally setting his McKinley Avenue residence on fire one year ago. Authorities say 29-year old Daniel Elliott-Villareal was trying to kill himself when he set the fire in the multi-family apartment building in April, 2017. Elliott-Villareal suffered burns, and had to be treated at the Bridgeport Hospital Burn Unit. Three other residents suffered smoke inhalation, and a city firefighter was injured. All eight residents were displaced. Elliott-Villareal pleaded guilty in February to second-degree arson.
CT CLOSER TO EARLY VOTING
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – The House of Representatives has approved legislation that could eventually lead to early voting in Connecticut. House members voted 81-65 on Thursday in favor of a resolution that would ask voters to amend the state’s constitution to allow people to cast their ballots before Election Day. The bill now moves to the Senate. If the legislation clears the Senate, it must be adopted again next year by both chambers in order for it to appear on the 2020 general election ballot. A majority of voters would then have to approve it. Democratic Secretary of the State Denise Merrill says more than one-third of U.S. voters cast their ballots before Election Day in 2016. Republicans unsuccessfully tried to amend the bill by requiring voters to present a photo ID before voting.
DON’T ASK ME HOW MUCH I MAKE!!
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut is moving closer toward prohibiting employers from asking applicants about their salary history. The House of Representatives on Thursday voted 142-4 in favor of such legislation, which was dubbed as this session’s “pay equity” bill. New Haven Rep. Robyn Porter, a Democrat, says the legislation will help ensure women earn equal pay for equal work in Connecticut. Porter and other proponents argue that asking for someone’s salary history can disproportionately harm women. If they were underpaid at previous jobs, women could then face being underpaid throughout their careers. The Connecticut Business and Industry Association supports the legislation, even though it marks a “significant change” in the hiring process. CBIA says the bill stemmed from “discussions and compromise between multiple parties, including the business community.” The bill awaits Senate action.
VETS JOB DISCRIMINATION
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – A Connecticut state agency has issued new guidance warning employers they could be subject to penalties if they discriminate against job-seeking veterans with less-than-honorable discharges from the military. The Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities says policies against hiring such veterans could be discriminatory because the military has issued so-called bad paper disproportionately to blacks and Latinos as well as service members who are gay or have mental health problems. Cheryl Sharp, an agency deputy director, said at a news conference Thursday it wants veterans to be evaluated by employers case by case. Advocates at the Veterans Legal Services Clinic at Yale Law School say Connecticut is the first state to take the position that discrimination based on discharge status can violate protections based on race, sexual orientation and disability.