THURSDAY EVENING UPDATE

POTENTIAL DROWNING  

Savin Lake

State police are investigating a possible drowning in Lebanon.  Troopers were called to Savin Lake around 10:50 this morning to remove a 72 year old male from the water.  He was taken to Backus Hospital in Norwich where he was pronounced dead.  State police say there is no criminal aspect to the death.  The man’s identity has not been released.

FENTANYL BLAMED FOR DEATHS

Fentanyl caused the deaths of two people in New London in recent months, according to the Chief state medical examiner.  17-year old Luis Roman, a member of the high school wrestling team, died from fentanyl toxicity April 23rd. He was found unresponsive in his Linden Street home, and later died at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital.  Meanwhile, 36-year old Lebro Mei died from acute fentanyl intoxication. His body was found on the former Edgerton School property May 7th. Finally, the medical examiner also determined 31-year old Jonelle Quamme died March 20th from a drug overdose.  She was found in the Ramada Inn in Groton.  All deaths were ruled accidental.

REPRIEVE FOR STAMFORD IMMIGRANT

Nelson Rosales Santos (center) with wife Patricia and son Christian

Advocates for a Stamford immigrant who faces deportation to Honduras despite the need for a kidney transplant say a six-month reprieve won’t be long enough. Supporters, including Democratic Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy rallied Thursday evening in front of Hartford’s federal building in support of Nelson Rosales Santos, who entered the country illegally 30 years ago. Supporters say the 49-year-old would not have immediate access to dialysis in his native country and the deportation would amount to a death sentence. They say his doctors in Connecticut won’t perform the surgery without assurances that he will be in the U.S. for at least a year for follow-up treatments.   Santos has asked President Donald Trump to “be nice,” and says he feels like he and others are being treated worse than animals.  Earlier today, Senator Richard Blumenthal says Santos had been granted a six month stay. He had been slated to return to Honduras on Monday.

VIGIL PLANNED

A candlelight vigil is scheduled tomorrow evening in front of the home where a Sprague man was killed last December.  The family of Steven DeVost say they’re frustrated there hasn’t been an arrest yet in the 32-year old man’s murder, which happened at his Bay Street residence December 14th.  His three children and girlfriend were home at the time. Family members say the vigil is not only to remember Steven, but to keep the murder case in the public eye.  State Police say it’s still an active investigation. The vigil begins at 6:30 PM.

MALLOY HAS WATER PLAN 

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has signed an executive order to implement a new plan for managing Connecticut’s water into the future. The Democratic governor says he ordered the state’s Water Planning Council to implement the plan Thursday. The General Assembly received the plan in January but didn’t act on it.   Some lawmakers and water companies took issue with the plan declaring water a public trust. They questioned whether that would limit resources available to water utilities.  Malloy says his order recommits to the definition of water as a public trust. He says water should be protected for the public’s interest. A 2014 state law directed the water council to create a plan so water resources are managed consistently throughout Connecticut.
Malloy says it’s the first of its kind for Connecticut.

LATEST LABOR NUMBERS

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – A new report shows that Connecticut has gained more than 4,000 jobs while its unemployment rate remained the same.  Thursday’s monthly Department of Labor employment report indicates Connecticut gained 4,100 net jobs in May.  The state’s unemployment rate for that month remained at 4.5 percent. The national unemployment rate was 3.8 percent in May.  Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says the state’s efforts to retain and grow private sector jobs, while shrinking the size of government, are paying off.   Private sector employment accounted for all of the job growth in May. The government sector lost positions.  The labor department says May’s increase in jobs overcame most of the job losses in March and April. It says there was surprising strength in retail trades and a good showing in financial activities.

LEGAL POT SALES MAY BE DELAYED IN MASS. 

BOSTON (AP) – Prospects for retail pot shops opening for business in Massachusetts by a July 1 target date appear to be dimming. The state’s Cannabis Control Commission met Thursday without issuing the first commercial business licenses under the state’s voter-approved recreational marijuana law. Steven Hoffman, the commission chairman, told reporters that regulators hope to begin issuing licenses “shortly,” but added he couldn’t offer a specific date. Hoffman describes the July 1 date for retail sales given in the law as an “arbitrary deadline” and not a mandate. He says regulators are still awaiting background checks and other information on the more than two dozen entities that have applied for retail or other types of marijuana business licenses. He says, “We are going to do this right.” The panel’s next meeting is Tuesday.

MEDICAL POT MAY GET MORE EXPENSIVE IN RI

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Rhode Island lawmakers are considering requiring medical marijuana dispensaries to pay 50 times more for their licenses, making the fee the highest in New England by far. The latest budget proposes increasing the annual fee from $5,000 to $250,000.  House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello says it would align Rhode Island with other states and he doesn’t think dispensaries would mind. New Hampshire has charged up to $80,000. The fee is $50,000 in Massachusetts, $25,000 in Vermont, $12,000 in Maine and $5,000 in Connecticut. Chris Reilly, spokesman for the state’s largest dispensary, The Thomas C. Slater Compassion Center, says the shop was more concerned about the governor’s plan to expand the number of licenses than about paying a higher fee. Rhode Island lawmakers decided not to grant more licenses. The House votes on the budget Friday.

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