ALL BETS OFF FOR NOW FOR LEGALIZED SPORTS BETTING
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says a planned special legislative session to take up legalized sports betting appears unlikely because there’s resistance among Connecticut legislators to discuss the issue now. The Democrat told reporters Wednesday that his administration was “within days” of reaching an agreement with the Mashantucket-Pequot and Mohegan tribes about three weeks ago. But he says those talks have been put on hold, saying he doesn’t “see a reason to go further at this point.” A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision cleared the way for states to legalize sports betting. But Connecticut must be careful not to legalize something that would risk its revenue-sharing agreement with the tribes, who own the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos. While Malloy blamed legislative Republicans for the holdup, lawmakers say there’s bipartisan opposition.
MGM SPRINGFIELD APPROVED FOR OPENING
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) – Massachusetts’ first resort casino has been given the green light to open after a successful test run. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Wednesday granted formal approval for the grand opening of MGM Springfield on Friday.
Commission officials observed dry runs of gambling operations Aug. 16 and 20 at the $960 million casino, hotel and entertainment complex. The commission says it will continue to monitor casino operations post-opening and issue a final operations certificate in September. The casino is considered the first of its kind for Massachusetts. A more modest slots parlor is open near Rhode Island and Wynn Resorts plans to open a large resort near Boston next year. The native American tribes that operate Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun resort casinos also propose another Connecticut casino in East Windsor to compete with MGM Springfield.
WAIT CONTINUES IN FIGHT CLUB CASE
Another continuance in the Montville High School slapboxing case. The cases against three school administrators and a former substitute teacher will now return to court September 25th. The delay was granted today, after requested evidence was given to defense attorneys, including student cell phone videos of the slapboxing fights that occurred last fall. School Superintendent Brian Levesque, Principal Jeffrey Theodoss, and assistant principal Tatiana Patten are all on paid leave due to charges of failing to report the fights in substitute teacher Ryan Fish’s class to the state. Fish was fired in October.
MURDER SUSPECT ARRAIGNED
NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) – The suspect in the fatal shooting of a man whose body was found in the basement of a New London home in December is back in Connecticut. Police say 19-year-old Jamir Johnson was taken into custody Tuesday and charged with murder and other offenses in the Dec. 9 death of 21-year-old Quvonte Andre Gray, who was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head. He was arraigned today in New London Superior Court, where his bond was set at 1-and a half million dollars. His next court date is September 12th. Johnson had been in the custody of police in Halifax, Massachusetts, since July 31, where he was a suspect in a series of car break-ins. He is being held on $1.5 million bond. New London police Chief Peter Reichard says Johnson had been a person of interest in the shooting, and investigators had tried talking to him “a number of times … to no avail.”
NL OVERDOSE VICTIM ARRESTS
NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) – New London police are looking for a woman in connection with dumping the dead body of an overdose victim in May. Authorities say they have a warrant for the arrest of 38-year-old Gabrielle Fox on charges of removing the body of a deceased person, tampering with evidence and conspiracy to commit tampering with evidence. Police say Fox was one of three people who left Lebro Mei’s body in a lot “without regard” on May 7after he’d overdosed and suffered medical complications. Another accomplice, 51-year-old William Dietz, was arrested Aug. 14, and police say 54-year-old William Garrett will be arrested when he appears in court Sept. 5 on unrelated charges. Garrett is already in custody for misdemeanor strangulation, disorderly conduct and drug possession charges.
CT-BASED K OF C SPEAKS OUT AGAINST PRIEST SCANDAL
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – The leader of the world’s largest Roman Catholic fraternal group is condemning clergy sex abuse and calling for reforms in the church, including a renewed commitment to celibacy by priests. Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Connecticut-based Knights of Columbus, made the comments in a letter to the group’s nearly 2 million members Tuesday. Anderson cited revelations this year including sexual abuse allegations against retired archbishop of Washington Theodore McCarrick and a grand jury report accusing church leaders of covering up the abuse of more than 1,000 children or teenagers by some 300 Catholic priests in Pennsylvania since the 1940s. He urged priests who abused children to provide a full accounting of their misconduct. Anderson also called on Knights of Columbus members to help in a “rebuilding” of the church.
POSTHUMOUS PRESIDENTIAL TRIBUTE TO CT SERGEANT
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor to an Air Force sergeant born in Connecticut, who died trying to save a Navy SEAL in Afghanistan. Trump presented the medal to the widow of Tech. Sgt. John A. Chapman, a native of Windsor Locks, at the White House. The President commended Chapman for his bravery and for having helped save more than 20 American service members. Chapman’s helicopter came under heavy fire in Afghanistan in March 2002, throwing Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Neil Roberts onto enemy-infested Takur Ghar mountain. The remaining members of Chapman’s special operations team crash-landed nearby and boarded another aircraft to mount a rescue attempt for Roberts. Chapman was critically injured by enemy fire, but continued to engage the enemy.
LARGE, SMART INCOMING CLASS FOR UCONN
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – The new freshman class at the University of Connecticut represents the largest in the school’s history, with approximately 5,500 students. More than 4,000 hail from 164 of Connecticut’s 169 cities and towns. UConn President Susan Herbst said Wednesday the class of 2022 is also academically exceptional. The incoming students averaged 1306 on their SAT scores, higher than any previous UConn class. Herbst says the school is “competing with many of the best schools in America for talented Connecticut high school graduates.” She credits UConn’s “winning formula” of good academics, faculty and campus facilities at a value for Connecticut families and students. About 3,764 of the freshmen will be based at UConn’s main campus in Storrs, where they’ll begin moving into residence halls on Friday. Classes begin Monday at all campuses.
ANOTHER ARREST FOR UNLICENSED REPAIR SHOP
A Ledyard woman has been charged with operating an unlicensed auto repair shop. 42-year old Jessica Carlebach is due in court September 13th. The arrest stems from a February complaint from someone who said he or she took their vehicle to J and K Towing, pre-paid for the work, but nothing was done. Police later determined the business was denied a license by the state. Carlebach was arrested without incident Tuesday. She’s the second person to be charged in connection with the unlicensed business. 38-year old Kyle Hair was arrested last month.
LOTS OF TREES SHOULD COME DOWN
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut officials say the state is plagued by millions of dead or dying trees at risk of falling, potentially putting the public at risk. The Hartford Courant reports many of the trees are suffering from years of drought and damage from invasive insects such as the gypsy moth and emerald ash borer. Local officials and private tree-care companies are trying to take down the trees most at risk of falling, but the large number is creating a backlog and some municipalities are running out of funding for tree removals. State Department of Transportation spokesman Kevin Nursick says the problem will “easily outpace the capabilities of state forces.” University of Connecticut Extension System associate professor Tom Worthley says if the trees aren’t removed soon, someone will get hurt or killed.
PAWTUCKET SAYS IT COULDN’T COMPETE WITH WORCESTER
PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) – Rhode Island’s governor and Pawtucket’s mayor say it would’ve been irresponsible to offer the Pawtucket Red Sox a deal similar to the one Worcester made. Team officials signed a deal Friday that aims to move the Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox to Massachusetts. Worcester plans to borrow about $100 million to finance construction of a new stadium. Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo and Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien said in Pawtucket Wednesday that neither the state nor the city could’ve afforded to offer that much and it would’ve been irresponsible to try to compete. They offered to help the team build a new $83 million stadium in Pawtucket. The PawSox would’ve been expected to contribute $45 million. Raimondo says the owners are multi-millionaires and they wanted more from taxpayers.