SUNDAY MORNING UPDATE

PROTESTERS DECRY TRUMP IMMIGRATION POLICIES

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A group of protesters has decried President Donald Trump’s immigration policies in Connecticut.   a Families Belong Together protest took place at Williams Park in New London on Saturday.  An immigrant rights rally took place at West Hartford Center Saturday morning in conjunction with over 700 other rallies around the country.  People say they are concerned with the separation of families and jailing of parents seeking asylum on the U.S.-Mexico border.   There were calls to abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and reunite the over 2,000 children who were separated from parents in May and June.

COAST GUARD ACADEMY-SWAB SUMMER

NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) — A new class of cadets is arriving this week at the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut for the start of the training program known as swab summer.   About 292 men and women are expected for the seven-week training program that begins Monday   The new arrivals will receive haircuts, uniforms and administrative processing before a swearing-in ceremony.   Cadets attend the academy at no cost for four years and graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree and an obligation to serve at least five years in the Coast Guard.   The incoming class this year includes international students from Cambodia, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Belize, Madagascar, Palau, Mexico, Jordan, Rwanda, Ukraine and Panama.

BOATING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut’s Environmental Conservation Police is stepping up enforcement of the state’s boating under the influence laws.   It’s part of the national Operation Dry Water campaign , which began Friday and runs through July 1. The goal is to reduce alcohol- and drug-related accidents and fatalities on the waterways.   The EnCon Police also hope their presence will increase public awareness of the state’s drunken boating laws. In Connecticut, it is illegal to operate a vessel with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher — the same as operating a vehicle.   U.S. Coast Guard statistics show there were 35 boating accidents in Connecticut between 2013 and 17. Twenty-three resulted in a total of 24 deaths. Alcohol is the leading contributing factor in recreational boating deaths and a major contributor to accidents.

SEVERAL STATE PARK BEACHES BACK OPEN

(WFSB) – The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has reopened several state parks for swimming after initially closing them for bacteria concerns.   The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection reported on Friday that the water at Rocky Neck State Park in Niantic, Gardner Lake State Park in Salem, Kettletown State Park in Southbury and Mashamoquet Brook State Park in Pomfret is off limits to swimmers.   All of those parks were reopened except for Mashamoquet Brook State Park in Pomfret.   DEEP said it tests the water after storms like Thursday’s, during which rain brings runoff into bodies of water.   The water tested positive for “indicator bacteria.” All of the swimming areas will be retested later in the day on Friday with the results expected on Saturday.   People can monitor the status of state beaches here.   While lifeguards said they can’t physically pull people from the water, they can issue warnings to swimmers.

TROOPERS-UNION DUES

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A lawyer for four Connecticut troopers says a new U.S. Supreme Court ruling is likely to help the troopers win their lawsuit over thousands of dollars in union dues they say were wrongly deducted from their paychecks after they left the union.   The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that government workers can’t be forced to contribute to labor unions that represent them in collective bargaining.   The troopers have sued the state and union to try to recoup the union dues taken from their paychecks.   State officials are defending the deductions as allowable under state law.  State Attorney General George Jepsen says it doesn’t seem fair to allow some individuals to enjoy the benefits of union representation without supporting the union.

MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION

BOSTON (AP) — New England may well be the next major U.S. frontier for legal cannabis, just don’t try shopping for weed around the six-state region quite yet.  In Massachusetts, where voters approved of recreational marijuana in November 2016, Sunday is when retail sales are officially allowed to begin. But no pot stores have been licensed yet, and only a few may open in the coming months. Local resistance and the lack of marijuana testing facilities required by law are factors cited for the delay. Possession of small amounts of recreational marijuana becomes legal in Vermont Sunday. But with no provisions for pot shops, users must either grow it themselves or continue buying from illicit dealers.   Voters in Maine also backed a recreational marijuana law in 2016, but pot shops won’t open there until next year at the earliest.

STAY AWAY FROM SHORELINE NESTING BIRDS

Osprey (Greenwich Time)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut environmental officials want the public to avoid contact with large concentrations of nesting birds in coastal areas.   The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection says people should stay at least 50 yards away from the birds and avoid areas roped off or marked with signs designating nesting locations.   The agency’s Deputy Commissioner Susan Whalen says shorebirds and wading birds, such as piping plovers and egrets, need special protection throughout their nesting season, which runs from April to September. She says beachgoers are urged to keep fireworks and kites away from beach areas. Also, she says pets should be leashed at all times and kept from fenced areas.   The department is concerned that nests will get destroyed or abandoned and tiny fledglings will get trampled and killed during the summer beach season.

DRUG HOMICIDES

Kristen Coutu (Patch)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s governor has signed a bill that would allow life sentences for drug dealers who sell drugs that lead to fatal overdoses.   The measure, known as Kristen’s Law, had been opposed by some medical professionals and others who said it would excessively punish low-level dealers.   Gov. Gina Raimondo, in signing the bill Friday, issued a statement saying the version she signed is narrowly tailored, gives judges discretion in sentencing, does not include mandatory minimum sentences, and only targets drug dealers who are profiting on a public health crisis.   The governor’s office says more than 650 Rhode Islanders have died of a drug overdose in the past two years.  The law is named for Kristen Coutu, who died in 2014 of a fentanyl overdose when she thought she was taking heroin.

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