SUNDAY MORNING UPDATE

CONNECTICUT KICKS OFF SALES TAX-FREE WEEK

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Back-to-school shoppers can soon expect at least a 6.35 percent break on their purchases.   Connecticut’s 18th annual sales tax-free week begins on Sunday.  Consumers will not have to pay the state’s 6.35 percent sales tax on retail purchases of most clothing and footwear items priced under $100.   The week runs from Aug. 19 through Aug. 25.   There are no limits on how many items a consumer can buy. Each individual item, however, has to be priced less than $100 to qualify for the tax break. The tax will be calculated on the final sales price of an item, after all reductions are applied.   Connecticut retailers often offer additional clothing and footwear discounts during the annual week.   The initiative costs the state about $4.8 million in lost revenue.

COLCHESTER HOME DESTROYED BY FIRE

(NBC CT)

COLCHESTER, CT (WFSB) – A fire official said six crews helped to knock down a fire at a home in Colchester on Sunday morning.   Deputy Chief Don Lee of the Colchester Fire Department said firefighters responded to 80 School Road at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday evening.   Lee said flames could be seen as far as two miles away.   While battling the fire, a propane tank was venting which caused the flames to be much larger.   According to Lee, it took firefighters nearly an hour and a half to knock down the fire.   The entire home and a car are completely demolished.   Obtaining water was an obstacle for firefighters because there were no fire hydrants in the vicinity of the home.   Water tankers from East Hampton, Gardner Lake, Salem, Hebron, and Marlborough responded to assist in the assignment.   No one was injured.   The homeowners and their pets were not home at the time of the fire.

WOMAN RESCUED AFTER FALLING OVERBOARD

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island woman has been rescued after apparently falling off a sailboat and being stranded for hours on an island in Narragansett Bay.   The U.S. Coast Guard says the woman said she fell off her husband’s 39-foot sailboat sometime Friday afternoon as they were sailing from Newport to East Greenwich.   The woman, who authorities haven’t identified, was found on Prudence Island at around 4 a.m. Saturday by a passing boater who heard her cries for help. The Providence Journal reports the woman had mild hypothermia but refused treatment.   Her husband was found around 2 a.m. in Warwick after he ran his sailboat aground. The man told local police he thought his wife was below deck and didn’t realize she was missing.   The state and local officials say they’re investigating.

AIRPORT OPEN HOUSE

Groton — In conjunction with National Aviation Day, The Day reports the Groton-New London Airport is holding its fifth annual open house and walking tour on Sunday, with outdoor drone-flying demonstrations as a new attraction.   RC Propbusters and AerialScope are doing the demonstrations, Connecticut Airport Authority spokesperson Alisa Sisic said.   In addition, the Williams School Student Drone Club will have its drone on display. Aerial Imaging Solutions, a new exhibitor this year, will provide information on drone usage for marine biologists and scientific purposes.   The event is organized by the Connecticut Airport Authority, Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce and Mystic Jet Center.   The event, which in the past has attracted more than 500 people, will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The airport is located at 155 Tower Avenue.   One of the new exhibitors this year is the Connecticut chapter of the Ninety-Nines, an international organization of female pilots that was founded in 1929.

RECOUNTS PLANNED IN 2 TIGHT LEGISLATIVE RACES

HARTFORD, CT (AP) – Town clerks in Montville, Waterford, Stratford and Bridgeport are facing a deadline to conduct recounts in two Connecticut General Assembly primary races.   State law requires they finish the recounts by Tuesday.   Initial results show an eight-vote difference between the top two candidates in a three-way Democratic primary for the 38th Assembly District, which includes Montville and Waterford. Waterford Representative Town Meeting member Baird Welch-Collins leads nurse manager Patrick Murphy. The winner will face Republican state Rep. Kathleen McCarty.  There’s a six-vote difference in the Republican primary for the 23rd state Senate District seat that’s being vacated by the retiring Democratic Sen. Ed Gomes.

SENATORS SAY WHITE HOUSE WHISTLEBLOWERS ARE PROTECTED

HARTFORD, CT (AP) – Two New England senators are urging White House lawyer Don McGahn to remind executive branch employees of their rights under federal whistleblower laws.   Democratic U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Edward Markey of Massachusetts wrote to McGahn on Friday.   The two said White House employees, like all federal employees, are protected if they disclose information about waste, fraud, and abuse.   Blumenthal and Markey said they’re concerned the White House and President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign are requiring employees to sign non-disclosure agreements as a way to silence potential whistleblowers.  The two said federal employees can’t be muzzled when seeking to disclose malfeasance or illegal activity.   White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said every administration has used non-disclosure agreements.   Those agreements have pertained to the disclosure of classified information.

GEORGE WASHINGTON LETTER TO BE READ AT OLDEST U.S. SYNAGOGUE

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — A letter from George Washington will be read at the nation’s oldest synagogue to celebrate freedom of religion.   The annual reading is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday at the 255-year-old Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island.   Touro Synagogue holds an important place in the history of the nation’s commitment to religious liberty. In 1790, Washington visited Touro, then sent its congregants a letter saying the government of the United States “gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.”   The synagogue, dedicated in 1763, is a national historic site that draws tens of thousands of visitors annually.   U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, plans to join Salve Regina University President Jane Gerety at the synagogue for the 71st annual reading of the letter by the Touro Synagogue Foundation.

SCHOOL OF NAVY CHAPLAINS RETURNS

Sen. Jack Reed

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — A school for U.S. Navy chaplains is returning to Rhode Island. Democratic U.S. Sen. Jack Reed said Friday the Navy plans to relocate the Naval Chaplaincy School and Center and about 20 jobs from Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina to Naval Station Newport in Rhode Island, effective March 1, 2019.   Reed says the school was in Newport in 1951 and moved to South Carolina because of consolidations made in 2005.   The school is responsible for chaplains’ education and professional development.   Currently, new chaplains begin training at the Officer Development School in Newport, then go to South Carolina. Navy chaplains will no longer have to go to the Army base to continue their training.   There are more than 800 Navy chaplains. Reed says he’s thrilled the school is returning.

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