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
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
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
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
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
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.