DEATH PENALTY BAN STAYS IN PLACE
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – The Connecticut Supreme Court has upheld its landmark ruling declaring the state’s death penalty unconstitutional and abolishing capital punishment. The court released its 5-2 decision Thursday in the appeal of Russell Peeler Jr., who had been on death row for ordering the 1999 killings of a woman and her 8-year-old son in Bridgeport. The boy, B.J. Brown, was to testify against Peeler in another murder case. Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and lawmakers in 2012 abolished the death penalty but only for future murders. That left 11 men, including Peeler, still facing execution. In another death row inmate’s appeal last year, justices ruled 4-3 that the 2012 abolishment must apply to those who remained on death row because the death penalty was unconstitutional. Justices reconsidered that decision in Peeler’s appeal.
MONEY FOR MUSEUM APPROVED
The Senate Appropriations Committee, as expected , passes a measure that provides funding to the proposed National Coast Guard Museum in New London. Senator Chris Murphy says the measure authorizes $5 million and is good seed money to make the museum a reality. Murphy also calls the appropriation a down payment on getting some of the exhibits ready for display. The legislation, part of funding for the Homeland Security Department, would also prohibit the Coast Guard from moving the Coast Guard Band out of New London, where it has been for 90 years. There’s been a study conducted into the possibility of relocating the band to Washington, DC.
EB INVOLVED IN RI SCHOOL TRAINING PROGRAM
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – U.S. Navy contractor Electric Boat is partnering with Rhode Island schools to help train about 180 students for marine industry careers over the next two years. Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo announced the new partnership Thursday at Coventry High School. Raimondo says the initiative will prepare students for ship-fitting and marine manufacturing jobs by building their skills in welding and electrical services. Groton, Connecticut-based Electric Boat will partner with six of Rhode Island’s career and technical schools. Electric Boat is a subsidiary of General Dynamics Corp., headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia. The governor’s office says it eventually hopes to have 350 students a year graduating from marine industry career programs. Electric Boat has obtained $369,500 in funding from the state through the Real Jobs Rhode Island job-training initiative.
SELFIES AND SEALS DON’T MIX
BOSTON (AP) – The feds have a warning for beachgoers in New England over Memorial Day weekend: Don’t take selfies with the seals. Federal officials say people who approach a seal pup can put both themselves and the animal at risk. In a statement Thursday, the Greater Atlantic Region of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries said it’s not unusual for a mother seal to leave her pup on the beach for up to 24 hours while she feeds. But if the mother sees people near her pup, she might feel it is too dangerous to return and abandon her young. The statement also notes that wild animals act unpredictably and seals can leave a “lasting impression” with their powerful jaws.