RULEY PARK DEDICATED
A Norwich artist who was once reviled for his race and his marriage to a white woman, is now being honored with a memorial park in his name. Family members and other supporters of the late Ellis Ruley saw their long-sought goals of recognition and respect for the self-taught African-American painter realized today with the dedication of a municipal park on the Hammond Avenue property where Ruley lived until his untimely death in 1959. His paintings have received greater national recognition in the past couple of decades, with a book, and soon a movie, being released about his life and work. Ruley’s nephew and niece, Ellis Ruley, Junior, and Judith Montgomery, both say the park will be a place they’ll visit often. One of the members of the Ellis Ruley Park Committee, Lottie Scott, says the new facility is a great start, but says Norwich should also throw an annual festival in Ruley’s name to celebrate the local arts.
JOBS CENTER OPENED
A special ceremony is held to mark the grand opening of a new American Jobs Center in Uncasville. Congressman Joe Courtney says the facility will play a critical role in providing local employers with skilled workers. The Uncasville job center is the by-product of a collaboration between the state Department of Labor and the Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board. A similar facility recently opened in Willimantic.
FLAGS AT HALF-STAFF FOR WATERFORD AIRMAN
NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is directing U.S. and state flags to fly at half-staff this weekend in honor of an airman who died while stationed in the United Arab Emirates. The Democrat announced Friday that flags should fly at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Saturday. That’s the same day a funeral service will be held in New London for U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. James Tyler Grotjan of Waterford.
U.S. Defense Department officials say the 26-year-old died July 12 at a medical center in Germany from injuries sustained in a non-combat incident at the Al Dhafra Air Base.
Malloy says Grotjan “gave his life in service to our nation, and he will never be forgotten.” The airman was about two months into a six-month deployment.
CASINO TALKS STALLED IN MASS
BROCKTON, Mass. (AP) – Massachusetts gambling officials are postponing discussions about a resort casino for the southeastern part of the state at least until the fall. Mass Gaming & Entertainment has asked the state to reconsider its application for a casino license for a proposed $700 million resort in Brockton. But the state Gaming Commission decided Thursday to postpone consideration of the request until September. The panel says its focused on the late August opening of MGM’s $960 million casino in Springfield.
Mass Gaming & Entertainment is hoping regulators reconsider its application without reopening the licensing competition to others. Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby has expressed interest in seeing if other casino developers are interested, however.
The commission denied the company’s application in 2016. Mass Gaming & Entertainment is backed by Rush Street Gaming, of Chicago.
DANIELSON MAN ACCUSED OF HITTING AUTISTIC CHILD
A Danielson man is facing charges of repeatedly hitting a five-year old autistic boy in the face. State police say 29-year old Billy Baron was arrested after officials at the Brooklyn Elementary School last December noticed bruises on the child’s face. Police say the suspect’s brother confirmed the assaults. Baron has several other pending court cases, and is out on a promise to appear in Danielson Superior Court August 2nd.
SENTENCING SET FOR CANTERBURY GARAGE BURGLAR
Sentencing is scheduled for October 5th for a Canterbury man who has pleaded guilty in connection with two garage burglaries. 41-year old Gary Roberts is accused of breaking-into a South Canterbury Road home in March of last year, and stealing various tools from the garage, including an 850-dollar drill press. He’s also facing charges of stealing several items from a North Canterbury Road garage, including a chainsaw, ukulele, and a 22-caliber rifle. Roberts isn’t allowed to possess a firearm, as he’s a previously convicted felon. He could face as much as five years in prison.
VIDEO RELEASED OF KIDS IN HOT CAR
WEST HAVEN, Conn. (AP) – Surveillance video shows two young brothers in Connecticut getting into a hot car on their own without any adults around before one of them died.
West Haven police said Friday that the recording shows 4-year-old Dusan Jenkins and 2-year-old Davion Jenkins getting into their family’s vehicle after leaving their apartment unaccompanied on July 19. It also shows their father getting them out of the car and bringing them inside. Both boys were brought to a hospital, where Dusan later died. Police say Davion is now back at home. Police say it’s not clear how long the boys were in the car. Their father called 911 at about 3 p.m. that day. No charges have been filed. Police are still investigating and are asking anyone with information to contact them.