WEDNESDAY MORNING UPDATE

EX-KLAN LEADER RESIGNS ROLE AT CONNECTICUT VFW POST

WALLINGFORD, Conn. (AP) — A day after voicing support for a Veterans of Foreign Wars leader in Connecticut convicted for bigotry crimes as a Ku Klux Klan member, the group says it does not tolerate racism and the man has resigned.   The VFW national commander said Tuesday that Scott E. Palmer stepped down as senior vice commander of Post 591 in Wallingford. A national VFW spokesman said previously it did not have concerns about Palmer’s service.   The Record-Journal newspaper reported that Palmer was among several Klansmen arrested as a part of a hate crimes investigation in the 1990s. Palmer was convicted of intimidation for punching a customer outside a gay bar. Palmer did not respond to calls seeking comment.   The local VFW’s Facebook page says  they removed Palmer. Officials there deferred questions to the national VFW.

PATH ACADEMY SURRENDERS CHARTER

Willimantic – The Day reports the Path Academy alternative high school charter school in Windham surrendered its state charter voluntarily Tuesday during a state Department of Education investigation into alleged violations that led the state to start charter revocation procedures in May.   Nearly three dozen southeastern Connecticut students had attended Path Academy, most from Norwich and New London, according to enrollment records released by the state in May. But questions over confirmation of enrollment, student records and tracking of student progress were among the problems being investigated by the state education department.   A report by state Department of Education staff in May said the academy, run by Our Piece of the Pie youth services agency, had failed to provide adequate records on a total of 128 students in the past two academy years. The state had paid $1,573,000 in charter tuition payments — $11,000 per student in each year.

LAST RESIDENTS LEAVE THAMES RIVER APARTMENTS

New London — The last residents have moved out of the Thames River Apartments on Crystal Avenue in New London.  The Day reports the 124-unit federally subsidized complex sits empty as the final few families loaded their belongings into U-Hauls and personal vehicles.   New London Housing Authority employees were on hand Tuesday to padlock the doors of each of the three nine-story buildings as the residents drove off.   Utilities were expected to be shut off this week. It will mark the end of an era that some have called a warehousing of the city’s poorest families.   The fate of the buildings is likely a wrecking ball.

DEMOCRATIC RIFT IN RHODE ISLAND

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island Democrats are in an uproar after the party endorsed a Donald Trump-voting male candidate over a sitting female lawmaker known for championing liberal causes, whose district voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton.  The decision to endorse Michael Earnheart over Providence state Rep. Moira Walsh has unleashed the frustration of many liberal women who say concerns they have about abortion rights, equal pay and sexual harassment are not being addressed by the party establishment.  Walsh says she thinks the powerful House speaker is trying to get rid of her because he doesn’t want to address women’s issues.  The party chairman says he didn’t know Earnheart supported Trump when they endorsed him, but says Walsh didn’t ask for the endorsement.   Earnheart says Walsh is at the “fringe” of the General Assembly.

GOVERNOR PUSHES SPECIAL SESSION ON ABORTION RIGHTS

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo says she would like the state legislature to return for a special session on abortion rights following the announcement of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement.  WLNE-TV reports that Raimondo called the need to codify Roe v. Wade “more urgent and necessary than ever.”   The Democratic governor’s call to protect abortion rights comes as the Trump administration moves to select a replacement for Kennedy. Many fear President Donald Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court would oppose abortion rights.   The Reproductive Health Care Act lawmakers if passed would protect the right to an abortion on a state level. Legislators say they would like to meet before Kennedy’s last day on July 31.

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