THURSDAY EVENING UPDATE

MGM OPENING EARLIER THAN FIRST THOUGHT

MGM Springfield

MGM’S planned opening of its downtown Springfield, Massachusetts casino complex has been moved up. Officials say the 960-million dollar entertainment venue is now expected to open its doors August 24th, instead of September. Relatively mild winters and steady progress on a nearby highway project are being credited for the anticipated earlier opening. The Mashantucket-Pequot and Mohegan tribes are trying to get federal and state approval to build a jointly-run casino in East Windsor, Connecticut to blunt the impact of MGM’s new facility.

COURT SAYS TRIBAL CASINOS ARE SUBJECT TO FED LABOR LAW

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A U.S. appeals court says employees at Native American casinos can receive protection under a federal labor law. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously on Thursday that federal officials reasonably concluded that the National Labor Relations Act applies to tribal employers. The judges said the law does not violate tribes’ right to self-government. The decision came in a fight over efforts to unionize employees at Casino Pauma, a Southern California casino owned by the Pauma Band of Mission Indians. A judge ruled in 2015 that the tribe committed unfair labor practices under the NLRA when it tried to stop the distribution of union leaflets.   The 9th Circuit upheld that ruling.

HOME SCHOOLING CONCERNS

Sarah Eagan (Courant)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut’s child advocate says many home-schooled children in the state are in families accused of child abuse or neglect, and there are no state regulations to protect them. Child Advocate Sarah Eagan presented a report to state lawmakers Thursday as part of an investigation into last year’s death of Matthew Tirado. The 17-year-old disabled Hartford boy suffered prolonged abuse and neglect, hadn’t been in school for a year, and his younger sister was allegedly being home-schooled.   Eagan’s office found that more than a third of 380 students withdrawn from six school districts to be home-schooled from 2013 to 2016 were in families accused of abuse or neglect. Home schooling advocates told lawmakers Thursday that some parents are wrongly being reported for neglect for violating state home-schooling guidelines that aren’t mandatory.

CANTERBURY HOME INVASION

A Preston man has been charged in connection with a home invasion in Canterbury. State Police say 30-year old Jayson Coleman went to the home of his ex-girlfriend Saturday night, and assaulted a man she had gone out with. Authorities say the victim had to be hospitalized after suffering a concussion, broken nose, jaw and eye socket. Police say the woman broke up with Coleman, after he had gotten her pregnant, and demand the baby be aborted. Coleman is being held on a 100-thousand dollar bond.

COLLEGE STUDENT ADMITS ASSAULT

A Mitchell College student from North Stonington has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting another student. 19-year old Cole Reck will serve three years probation when he’s sentenced May 21st. Court documents say Reck and an 18-year old woman were drinking on October 30, 2016 in a party in a college dorm. Reck then accompanied the woman, who was sick, back to her room. She later woke up to find the two of them in bed partially undressed. She told Reck to leave, and later reported the incident to her resident advisor, and city police. Reck claims he had consensual sex with the woman. Reck has been ordered to write a letter of apology to the victim, and to stay away from her.

BETTER MENU FOR INMATES?

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut may be spending more on meals served to inmates, bucking a trend toward cutting the cost of prison food. Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has proposed increasing the budget by 10 percent, hoping to add more nutritional items to the menu. Malloy says an investment in healthier food could save the state money on prisoner medical costs, both in and out of prison. The American Civil Liberties Union says it’s finding more inmates are chronically hungry. Ed Calderon of Bridgeport has been out of prison for 13 years but still remembers fights breaking out between hungry inmates. The financial impact of Malloy’s proposal could boost the typical daily food budget for each inmate from $2.95 to $3.25. That could mean leaner meats and more fruit on the menu.

YAWKEY WAY NO MORE

BOSTON (AP) – Boston has approved a plan to change the name of Yawkey Way, the street outside Fenway Park named in honor of a former Red Sox owner some have said was racist. The city’s Public Improvement Commission on Thursday unanimously approved a proposal by current Red Sox ownership to call the stretch of roadway Jersey Street. That’s what it was called before it was changed in 1977 to honor Tom Yawkey a year after he died. The team filed a petition with the commission in February to change the name as part of a mission to “reinforce that Fenway Park is inclusive and welcoming to all.” Yawkey’s supporters opposed the change, saying the foundation named for him has provided millions of dollars in charitable contributions that have benefited all city residents.

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