ROWLAND GETTING OUT
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland, who was twice convicted on felony charges, is scheduled to be released from federal custody. The Federal Bureau of Prisons says Rowland will be released from a halfway house Sunday, nearly a year early from his 30-month sentence. The 61-year-old Republican had been transferred to the halfway house from a prison camp in Pennsylvania. Federal officials previously declined to explain Rowland’s early release, citing privacy laws. A message left with the prisons bureau was not immediately returned Thursday. Rowland was convicted in a corruption scandal that forced him to resign from the governorship in 2004 and sent him to prison for 10 months. He was convicted in 2014 of plotting to hide political consulting roles through sham contracts in two failed congressional campaigns.
RABID RACCOON ATTACK
Plainfield officials are reminding the public to stay away from stray animals and wildlife, after a man was bitten by a rabid raccoon in Moosup. The town’s animal control officer responded to a Lake Street residence around 3:50 Tuesday afternoon to find a man had been bitten by a raccoon who ran out from behind a vehicle, climbed his pants leg, and bit him. He is now getting rabies shots. The raccoon was taken to the state public health lab in Rocky Hill, where it was determined it was infected. Town officials are also reminding the public to not leave food outside for pets, and make sure pets are properly vaccinated against rabies.
NPU UNION CONTRACTS APPROVED
New contracts have been reached with two labor unions representing workers at Norwich Public Utilities. The city’s Utilities Commission has reached three year agreements with unions representing 94 electrical workers, and 44 management personnel. The contracts include 3-percent raises, double employees’ health care co-pays, and a first-ever yearly bonus for electrical union workers who live in the city, or are relocating there. The bonus would be 35-hundred dollars for each eligible employee. The new contract takes effect July 1st, and runs through the end of June, 2021.
NEW NAVY EXCHANGE OPENED
A ribbon-cutting ceremony is held for the new Navy Exchange retail store at the Groton Sub Base. The 13-point-9 million-dollar expansion project took two and half years to complete. Captain Paul Whitescarver says the exchange will serve as a one-stop shop for the local military community. The new Navy Exchange features a brand new food court and a new escalator. It also includes lawn and garden seasonal departments as well as the former package store.
State police have released the identity of a man found dead in Colchester last Friday. 36-year old James Stone was found dead at his 95 Stanavage Road address. Authorities have identified it as a suspicious death, but say there is no threat to the public. Detectives from the Eastern District Major Crime Division are investigating.
MOST STATE PARKS READY FOR HOLIDAY
Memorial Day Weekend marks the start of the busy summer season at Connecticut state parks. Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Rob Klee says state residents are entitled to free basic admission under the “Passport To Parks” program– funded by a 10-dollar surcharge on vehicle registrations. He says it provides a vital funding stream to keep the parks running. Only three state parks remain closed following last week’s violent weather: Sleeping Giant in Hamden, Wharton Brook in Wallingford, and Squantz Pond– at the request of the town of New Fairfield, which is still in cleanup mode.
NEW RI CASINO TO OPEN A MONTH AHEAD OF SCHEDULE
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – A new casino in Tiverton, Rhode Island, could open sooner than expected. The group behind the casino announced Thursday that the Twin River casino will open Sept. 1, not Oct. 1. The $140 million casino near the Massachusetts border was initially supposed to open in July but was pushed back because of issues with the work site. John Taylor Jr., the chairman of Twin River Management Group, says the construction teams allowed for an accelerated opening. The 100,000-square-foot space will feature 1,000 slot machines, 32 table games and five eateries. The property also will include a parking garage and an 84-room hotel. Taylor says much of the exterior work is completed, and crews are working to install the ceiling grid, light fixtures and security cameras.