Archive for WICH Personality Radio

SUNDAY MORNING UPDATE

CHAIN SAW DEATH

CANTERBURY, CT (WFSB) – State police, fire, and EMS crews are on scene where one person was killed after being trapped by a fallen tree.  Crews responded to a home on Goodwin Rd in Canterbury at 3:59 p.m., according to Quinebaug Valley Emergency Communications Director, Travis Irons.  State police identified the man as 32-year-old Canterbury resident, Matthew Veloce. State Police Sergeant Eric Haglund said the Veloce was doing tree work alone at his home the time of the incident when the tree he was cutting with a chain saw fell on him, trapping him underneath. Veloce was located by his wife who called police.  Veloce was freed from underneath the tree at 4:13 p.m. and was pronounced dead on scene by 4:24 p.m. on Saturday.

2-YEAR-OLD STRUCK BY VEHICLE

KILLINGLY – The Bulletin reports a 2-year-old child was struck by a vehicle in South Killingly.  South Killingly Fire Chief Seth DeAngelis confirmed the child was hit by a vehicle in the driveway of a private resident on Ledge Road.  QV Dispatch received the call at 2:28 p.m. on Saturday. South Killingly Fire Department and KB Ambulance and Paramedics responded to the scene.  The child was taken to Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence by ambulance because Life Star couldn’t fly because of the weather, DeAngelis said.   There was no information on the condition of the child.

WATERFORD ROBBERY

Two Suspects in Ulta Robbery

Waterford Police say a white female in her 50’s and a white male in his 30’s stole approximately $800 in merchandise from Ulta Saturday at 8:11 pm. They threatened to stab the manager with a hypodermic needle if she tried to stop them from leaving. The two then left in a black Hyundai Elantra no plates. Anyone with information is asked to contact Waterford police..

POSSIBLE PIPE BOMBS

NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — Newtown Police say a substance found in two devices has been sent to a forensic laboratory to determine if it’s part of a pipe bomb.  The objects were discovered Friday evening after an officer was sent to a South Main Street trailer park for a report of vandalism to a motor vehicle. The officer was then shown the two suspicious items.  Newtown Police said in a Facebook posting on Saturday that the immediate area was subsequently cleared. The Connecticut State Police Bomb Squad arrived and rendered the devices safe.  Police say a brief on-site examination revealed the two devices were filled with “an energetic substance,” which now awaits further analysis.

ELECTORAL COLLEGE-CONNECTICUT

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — It’s now up to the House of Representatives to act on legislation that would require Connecticut to join a group of states wanting to pool their Electoral College votes for the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote.  House members of the General Assembly’s Government Administration and Elections Committee on Friday narrowly passed the bill on a partisan 8-7 vote. A Senate version of the legislation died on a tie vote.  Democratic Sen. Mae Flexer of Killingly, the committee’s Senate Democratic co-chairwoman, says she’s proud of the House Democrats for “sticking together and doing the right thing for America.”   Opponents of the bill, however, question how Connecticut would even benefit from the legislation.  Eleven states have so far joined the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact since 2006.

ROAD RAGE SHOOTING

MANCHESTER, Conn. (AP) — Manchester Police say a man was shot multiple times during a confrontation that appears to have been prompted by a case of road rage.  The overnight shooting occurred at 12:30 a.m. early Saturday in the area of Clinton Street. Police say a 39-year-old man sustained non-life-threatening injuries. He was taken to Hartford Hospital for treatment.   The incident remains under investigation.

TRUMP RALLIES

(WJAR)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Police had to form a line between supporters and opponents of President Donald Trump at the Rhode Island State House to prevent violence from breaking out at a spirited political rally.   The Providence Journal reports there were about 1,000 demonstrators on hand for Saturday’s event.  The dueling factions had marched from Providence City Hall to the State House together, with the Trump supporters in the lead. The newspaper reports there was no trouble until the entire group reached the State House. Pushing and shoving then ensued.   Providence Police and Rhode Island state troopers then formed a standing barrier to separate the two noisy groups. The rally ended at around 12:45 p.m. after police ordered the demonstrators to leave the State House area.

SENATE-SUPREME COURT-RI

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Both U.S. senators from Rhode Island say they’ll vote against Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.  Democrats Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed announced their positions Friday, joining other Democrats opposing Gorsuch. Whitehouse is on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He questioned Gorsuch about “dark money” in elections funneled to groups not required to disclose donors.  Whitehouse told The Providence Journal that he pressed President Donald Trump’s nominee on major issues during confirmation hearings this week and came away dissatisfied. He says he’s also concerned about reinstating a Republican-appointee majority on the court.  Reed says Gorsuch seems to favor the expansion of corporate power over individual rights and has a propensity for ruling against workers in labor and employment disputes.   Reed called Gorsuch a poor choice for the Supreme Court.

SCALLOP GRANTS

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The federal government says the sale of scallops will help pay for 17 projects related to fisheries and marine science.   The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the money is coming from the scallop “research set-aside program.”   The agency says the projects are awarded pounds of scallops that have been “set aside” for this purpose. Applicants partner up with fishermen to harvest the set-aside award to generate money for their research.   NOAA says this year’s awards are expected to generate more than $15 million. One of the projects will allow Coonamessett Farm Foundation of East Falmouth, Massachusetts, to research the impact of the Atlantic sea scallop fishery on loggerhead sea turtles.   Another will allow UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science & Technology to measure swimming capacity of flounder species.

SATURDAY MORNING UPDATE

NO INJURIES REPORTED IN EAST LYME HOUSE FIRE

East Lyme, Ct. – Niantic, Flanders and Old Saybrook firefighters were called to 148 Old Black Point Road around 5:20 friday afternoon to a three story house fire. The New London Day reports the 93 year old owner had left and returned about an hour later to find the home engulfed in flames. The windswept blaze spread quickly to the second and third floors. By 8PM most of the building was heavily charred. There were no injuries reported.

ROAD CLOSURE FOR LOCAL ROAD RACE

RoadRaceRunner.com Logo

The Norwich Police Department will be closing Scotland Rd at Lillibridge Rd on March 25th, 2017 from 9:00am to 10:30am to assist with the 24th Annual St Joseph School 3 Mile race to be held in Baltic, CT. No vehicular Traffic will be allowed onto Scotland Rd (Northbound) in the area of Lillibridge Rd. All traffic during this 1.5 hours will be diverted

CONNECTICUT DELEGATION PLEASED WITH OBAMACARE REPEAL FAILURE

Citizens celebrating The Supreme Court Ruling on ObamaCare

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation say the country avoided “disaster” when Republican efforts to repeal “Obamacare” failed.
President Donald Trump and Republican leaders removed the repeal bill off the House floor Friday when it became clear it would fail badly.  Connecticut’s all-Democratic delegation said Friday that the Republican plan would result in millions of Americans losing their health insurance and give tax breaks to the rich.  Sen. Richard Blumenthal called the GOP failure a “meltdown” that marked “a massive failure of governance by a reckless, irresponsible administration and its partisan congressional leadership.”   Sen. Chris Murphy says the Republican plan might not be dead for long. He believes the president and Republicans in Congress will try to revive their efforts to undermine former President Barack Obama’s health care law.

ADVOCATES SEEK BETTER AWARENESS OF SAFE HAVEN BABY LAWS

Advocates seek better awareness of Safe Haven baby laws

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Lawmakers and advocates say not enough people, especially teenagers, know about Safe Haven laws that allow parents to drop off a newborn at a hospital or police station – no questions asked.  Concerns in Connecticut come after an infant’s body was discovered this week inside a bag in a reservoir.  One Connecticut lawmaker says he’d like to see legislation passed this session that would require students to learn about the state’s law during high school health classes.  All 50 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have Safe Haven laws with varying provisions in place, with the goal of protecting newborns from abandonment or even infanticide. But many of the laws were passed without funding for public awareness campaigns.

TUITION HIKE RECOMMENDED FOR CONNECTICUT STATE UNIVERSITIES

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – The president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system is recommending tuition hikes.The proposal from Mark Ojakian calls for increases of 4 percent each of the next two years at state universities and 2.5 percent at community colleges. That would raise annual in-state tuition to $10,482 next fall at the system’s four state universities, which does not include the flagship University of Connecticut.  Tuition would increase to $4,276 at 12 community colleges next fall.
The Board of Regents Finance Committee is meeting next week to discuss the proposal and a vote is scheduled for April 6. Ojakian said Friday that the increase does not close the system’s deficit. He said he wants to keep schools affordable and avoid burdening students more than necessary.

REPORT MANS ESCAPE FROM DETENTION FACILITY WAS PREVENTABLE

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – An investigation into how an inmate broke out of a Rhode Island prison and went on the run for five days has found that the escape was preventable, inexcusable and directly related to a series of human errors. James Morales fled the privately run Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls Dec. 31.  The board of directors for the corporation overseeing the prison released a summary of its investigation Friday.  It says a search of Morales didn’t uncover a cutting device in his shoe and he was left unattended in the recreation yard, giving him time to climb a basketball hoop and cut through fencing.  Three employees remain on paid administrative leave. One resigned.
The board says it’s removing free standing basketball hoops and enhancing security.
Morales was captured in Massachusetts.

RI SENATORS TO VOTE AGAINST SUPREME COURT PICK GORSUCH

Supreme Court nominee delivers opening statement

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Both U.S. senators from Rhode Island say they’ll vote against Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Democrats Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed announced their positions Friday, joining other Democrats opposing Gorsuch.  Whitehouse is on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He questioned Gorsuch about “dark money” in elections funneled to groups not required to disclose donors.  Whitehouse told The Providence Journal that he pressed President Donald Trump’s nominee on major issues during confirmation hearings this week and came away dissatisfied. He says he’s also concerned about reinstating a Republican-appointee majority on the court.  Reed says Gorsuch seems to favor the expansion of corporate power over individual rights and has a propensity for ruling against workers in labor and employment disputes.   Reed called Gorsuch a poor choice for the Supreme Court.

EX-NEWPORT POLICE UNION PRESIDENT ARRAIGNED ON FRAUD CHARGE

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – A former head of the police union in Newport has been arraigned on a wire fraud charge after acknowledging he spent tens of thousands of dollars of union money on himself. A not guilty plea was entered for Christopher Hayes during the hearing Friday in U.S. District Court in Providence. He has agreed to eventually plead guilty as part of a deal with federal prosecutors.  Prosecutors say he took more than $70,000 from 2009 to 2014 when he was the president of the Fraternal Order of Police in Newport.  Hayes retired from the force in 2015 amid an audit of union finances.

TROOP D OFFICERS ENGAGE IN STOLEN VEHICLE PERSUIT

Teen Intentionally Strikes Cruiser with Stolen Car During Pursuit: State Police

Brooklyn, Ct. – State police were led on a stolen vehicle pursuit from Killingly, through Plainfield, and into Brooklyn where troopers tried to box in the vehicle. The car swerved and hit several mailboxes, intentionally struck the passenger side of the police vehicle, causing it to run head on into a tree, then drove off the road into a stone wall near Laurel Hill. Troopers apprehended Chad Barrett and his passenger Nathan Cordell. Barrett declined medical treatment and Cordell was transported to Day Kimball for minor injuries. Barrett is facing numerous charges including Larceny 1st and Reckless Endangerment. He’s being held on a $50,000 bond. Cordell was held on a $5000 bond. Both were scheduled to appear in Danielson Superior Court on March 24th.  The trooper suffered minor injuries was treated and released.

MAN ARMED WITH KNIFE THREATENED GIRLFRIEND AND HER BROTHER

Stonington, Ct. – Stonington police, were called to a Pawcatuck home just before midnite Wednesday  night where a Waterford man was refusing to leave his girlfriend’s home, had a knife, and was threatening the woman and her brother.  On arrival the man repeatedly told police to shoot him. Officers trained in crisis intervention were able to engage with Lucas Paige until an officer was able to subdue him from behind without injury. Paige was charged with first-degree criminal trespass, second-degree threatening and 2nd degree breach of peace. He did not have a knife in his possession, but one was found nearby. He was arraigned in New London superior court on Thursday.  

 

FRIDAY EVENING UPDATE

TUITION HIKES PLANNED

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Mark Ojakian

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – The president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system is recommending tuition hikes. The proposal from Mark Ojakian calls for increases of 4 percent each of the next two years at state universities and 2.5 percent at community colleges. That would raise annual in-state tuition to $10,482 next fall at the system’s four state universities, which does not include the flagship University of Connecticut. Tuition would increase to $4,276 at 12 community colleges next fall. The Board of Regents Finance Committee is meeting next week to discuss the proposal and a vote is scheduled for April 6.  Ojakian said Friday that the increase does not close the system’s deficit. He said he wants to keep schools affordable and avoid burdening students more than necessary.

TECH SCHOOL SPENDING UNDER INVESTIGATION

Nivea Torres

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – The superintendent of the Connecticut Technical High School System reportedly spent $84,000 in taxpayer money for memberships for 1,300 local educators in a national group while she ran for election for a vice president’s seat with the organization. The Hartford Courant reported Friday that Superintendent Nivea Torres bought the memberships for the nonprofit Association for Career and Technical Education in September. The newspaper reported nearly 240 of the 1,300 educators for whom she bought memberships were eligible to vote in the election, which she lost. Torres has been placed on paid leave while state education officials investigate more than $4.5 million in spending by the Technical High School System. Torres’ lawyer says she did nothing wrong and the memberships were part of an improvement plan for the school system.

SENTENCING DELAYED

Justine Barber

Sentencing for a former Brooklyn woman has now been put off until May 5th, as Danielson Superior Court judge Jack Fischer reviews the case.  29-year old Justine Barber was scheduled to receive 2 years in prison, and five years probation, after confessing to giving a fatal overdose of sleep medicine to her 8-month old daughter in 2015.  The judge was apparently moved Friday when Barber delivered an emotional plea to the judge. Barber’s ex-boyfriend, Kevin Hartshorn was sentenced to two years in prison one week ago for the child’s death, and was admonished by the same judge for what he described as the defendant’s despicable and uncaring behavior regarding the infant’s overdose.

EX-PRIEST SENTENCED IN GUNS-EXPLOSIVES CASE

Paul Gotta

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – A former Connecticut Roman Catholic priest has been sentenced to nine months in prison for helping a teenager buy thousands of rounds of handgun ammunition and giving him 2 pounds of explosives powder. Paul Gotta was sentenced Friday in federal court in Hartford. The former priest at two parishes in East Windsor pleaded guilty last year to explosives and firearms charges. Prosecutors say Gotta helped the 17-year-old boy purchase the ammunition in 2012, bought explosives powder for him and helped him build a pipe bomb. In 2013, Gotta was suspended from the priesthood after he was accused of sexually assaulting a minor. Prosecutors later dropped the charge as part of a deal in which he pleaded guilty to breach of peace and received no jail time.

FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE

SOLID TRIBUTE TO HUSBAND

A massive Mississippi live oak tree, struck by lightning is on its way to Mystic Seaport to be used in the restoration of the Mayflower II.  The property owner wanted to donate the damaged tree to honor her late husband, who died in Hurricane Katrina.  Diane Brugger contacted the Seaport after hearing about the 30 month restoration of the replica of the Pilgrim’s ship from a Connecticut friend.

NORWICH GETS GRANT

A group made up of Norwich government, human services and business representatives received a $15,000 grant on Thursday to improve low income families financial stability.  Norwich was one of 10 Connecticut cities to be awarded the Working Cities Challenge Grant from the Boston Federal Reserve. The Norwich team will work on a plan to invest in economic development and job training to meet local needs.

WOMAN DUE IN COURT

A woman being held in Massachusetts on charges stemming from carjackings in Putnam and Thompson last November was extradited to CT yesterday to face charges. Celina Cousineau of Rhode Island was also charged in an October robbery at a Putnam restaurant. She is scheduled to be arraigned today in Danielson Superior Court.

MURPHY BUDGET PRESENTED

North Stonington First Selectman Shawn Murphy gave a detailed presentation of his  $4.99 million proposed budget to the Board of Finance on Wednesday.  That adds up to a 3% increase. Rising health costs, wage hikes and salary for the two Resident State Troopers prompted the proposed hike in the general government operating budget.

TRAINING PAYS OFF

Stonington Police used a technique known as de-escalation to end a standoff with a man who claimed to be armed . On Wednesday night, they were called to a Pawcatuck home where Lucas Page of Waterford was refusing to leave his girlfriend’s residence and threatening occupants with a knife.   Page was outside the home when police arrived and refused to comply with their instructions, telling them to shoot him.  An officer with crisis intervention training stepped in to diffuse the situation.  Page was taken into custody and charged without injury.

TAX INCREASE?

A projected 6-point-4 million dollar increase in fixed costs is causing concern for New London officials as the budget process begins. That number includes an expected 2-point-2 million dollars in teacher pension contributions as required in Governor Malloy’s budget plan. City councilor Don Venditto says the Governor is clearly trying to balance the state’s budget on the backs of local municipalities and says he wants no part of any new taxes. Mayor Mike Passero says the city is being forced to pay for the state’s mistakes.  He is scheduled to deliver his budget proposal to the city council on Thursday, March 30th.

THURSDAY EVENING UPDATE

NEW CONVENTION CENTER

Mohegan Sun CEO Kevin Brown at press conference Thursday (WICH)

More major convention shows are expected to come Mohegan Sun’s way, with the unveiling Thursday of a new Exposition Center, to be built near the resort facility’s Winter Entrance.  The exposition center will feature 131-thousand square feet of exhibition space, including an 18-thousand square foot ballroom, entertainment space, and 18 meeting rooms. Mohegan Sun officials say last year’s overwhelmingly successful Barrett-Jackson car auction held there convinced them to move ahead on the exposition center project. It’s expected to open next summer, in time for the 2018 car auction.

 

 

 

WYMAN TRASHES TRUMPCARE

CT Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman

The Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act continues to draw criticism from Connecticut Democrats.  Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman says the GOP health care proposal is nothing more than a tax cut bill.  She says a total of 724-thousand Connecticut residents have obtained health insurance since the passage of Obamacare. 

 

MARIJUANA DEBATE CONTINUES

Connecticut lawmakers are continuing to weigh the pros and cons of a bill that would legalize and regulate recreational marijuana.  Supporters say legalizing pot will take the revenue from sales away from criminals and raise huge amounts of money for the state.  Opponents say legal pot will lead to more drug addiction.  

EMBEZZLEMENT TRIAL

The trial of a Connecticut woman charged with embezzling about $200,000 from her employer has ended with a hung jury.  The judge on Wednesday declared a mistrial in the case of Lauri Villa, of Willimantic, after the jury said it was deadlocked.  The 54-year-old Villa, a bookkeeper for Lebanon farmer and trucking company owner James Grover, is charged with embezzling the money over a 10-year period.  Grover testified that Villa stole the money by giving him blank checks to sign for what he thought were routine expenses, and then making them out to herself or to cash.

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