Archive for Information

SUNDAY MORNING UPDATE

LOTTERY MISTAKE

 

Connecticut LotteryROCKY HILL, Conn. (AP) — The Connecticut Lottery Corporation’s security director has been placed on paid leave following an investigation into why 100,000 eligible tickets for a special New Year’s game were mistakenly disregarded in the initial drawing.   The Hartford Courant reported Saturday that Alfred DuPuis could face possible disciplinary action after the internal probe concluded he “acted with gross neglect …of his duties.”  The leave was imposed Thursday, the same day the investigative report, obtained by the Courant, was sent to state officials detailing how 100,000 of 214,601 tickets had been excluded. The mistake required a do-over drawing and created an approximate $1 million loss.   DuPuis did not return the Courant’s messages. However, a union representing two of his subordinates who could be disciplined blamed the mistake on “systemic problems,” not misconduct or negligence.

TWO INJURED IN CAR VS. UTILITY POLE CRASH

NORWICH – The Bulletin reports two people were sent to the hospital after a car vs. utility pole crash on North Main Street in Norwich on Saturday.   According to police, the crash was reported after 3 p.m., and the two individuals were transported with non-life threatening injuries. A fire truck and several police cars were on the scene as traffic was being diverted on Saturday. An ambulance was seen leaving the site of the crash.  Both lanes of travel reopened by 3:30 p.m.

CONNECTICUT HEALTH EXCHANGE CEO TO STEP DOWN IN APRIL

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The CEO of Connecticut’s health insurance marketplace is stepping down this spring.   Democratic Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman says Jim Wadleigh will leave as head of Access Health CT in April. Wyman chairs Access Health CT’s board of directors.   Wadleigh has led the exchange for more than three years. He previously served at Access Health’s chief information officer.  Wadleigh has overseen the exchange during challenging times, including congressional efforts to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s health care law and President Donald Trump’s decision to stop federal payments to insurers.   About 108,000 get insurance through Access Health.

NEW LONDON WOMAN CHARGED WITH THEFT FROM LEDYARD RESTAURANT

LEDYARD – Police on Saturday charged a 26-year-old New London woman with stealing from a Ledyard restaurant.   The Bulletin reports police began investigating Katelyn Tarr, of 36 Mountain Ave Apt. 2, on Dec. 1 after receiving a complaint from representatives of The Grill at Two Trees of an employee stealing money, according to a press release.  Police said Tarr was charged with sixth-degree larceny and held on a $1,500 bond pending her arraignment Monday in New London Superior Court.

BLUMENTHAL TO CALL FOR $1 BILLION FOR FLU VACCINE DEVELOPMENT

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal is calling for a $1 billion federal government investment for the development of a universal flu vaccine.   The Connecticut Democrat announced the proposal Saturday at a flu shot clinic in East Hartford. He’s co-sponsoring the bill with Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey and several other Democrats.   A universal vaccine would provide protection against multiple types of the flu, rather than a select few that a typical seasonal vaccine guards against. Federal officials estimate this year’s vaccine is only 36 percent effective in preventing severe flu illness.   The legislation would provide $1 billion over five years to the National Institutes of Health for development of a universal vaccine. Blumenthal says $64 million was awarded to researchers in 2017, which he called “a pittance” compared to what’s needed.

RHODE ISLAND MAN CHARGED WITH DUI FOLLOWING FATAL JUNE CRASH

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island man is facing charges of driving under the influence in connection with a head-on crash last year that left a woman dead.   WJAR-TV reports that Kenneth DeRobbio of North Kingstown pleaded not guilty on Friday to the charge of DUI resulting in death, as well as a number of other charges, including possession of a controlled substance. He is 38 years old.   Sixty-nine-year-old Carol Isacco of Coventry died in the June 10, 2017 crash, which occurred on Ten Rod Road in North Kingstown.

DeRobbio’s bail was set at $30,000.

CAR CHASE SUSPECT SHOT BY CT POLICE DIES

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A car chase suspect who was shot by Connecticut police officers last week has died.   A lawyer for the family of 31-year-old Juan McCray confirmed Friday that McCray died at a hospital Thursday after being taken off life support.   East Hartford officers shot McCray after a chase into Glastonbury on Feb. 4.   Authorities say police responded to a report of a stolen vehicle and confronted McCray in a parking lot in East Hartford. Police say several officers were injured, and McCray sped off as officers opened fire.   Officials say McCray crashed into several vehicles during the chase, which ended when officers again opened fire and wounded McCray in Glastonbury.   David Jaffe, the lawyer for McCray’s family, says relatives question whether deadly force was necessary.   State police and prosecutors are investigating.

RI LAWMAKERS REVISIT PUSH FOR ASSAULT WEAPON BAN

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Lawmakers in Rhode Island are renewing their push to pass an assault weapon ban.   The Providence Journal reports Democratic Sen. Gayle Goldin re-introduced a bill Thursday that would prohibit high-capacity magazines. Democratic Sen. Joshua Miller and Democratic Rep. Jason Knight hope to introduce bills when the General Assembly returns from a break.   Gun control advocates have tried to pass a state ban since a federal assault rifle ban expired in 2004. Opponents have repeatedly blocked the campaigns with the exception of a law passed last year that disarms domestic abusers.   The National Education Association Rhode Island teachers union has come out in support of the proposed high-capacity magazine ban.   Both House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio didn’t offer a position on an assault weapon ban Thursday.

SATURDAY MORNING UPDATE

****WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT SATURDAY NIGHT 7PM TILL SUNDAY MORNING AT 7AM*****  4 TO 8 INCHES OF SNOW POSSIBLE

JEEP STRIKES CHILD’S STROLLER

New London police investigate an incident in which a vehicle struck a stroller, which had a child inside, in the parking lot of the New London Shopping Center on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018.  (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

(THE DAY) New London police, fire and emergency crews responded to a call reporting a Jeep Grand Cherokee ran into a child’s stroller around 12:30 Friday afternoon. The mishap happened in the parking lot of The Cake Lady Café in the South Frontage Road shopping center. Police said the child sustained a facial laceration but the injuries did not appear to be life-threatening. The child was transported to the hospital for treatment and further medical evaluation. Police are investigating.

WINTER STORMS ARE IMPACTING SNOW BUDGETS N SOME TOWNS

Parking ban in effect in Norwich because of snow - News ...

NORWICH, CT (WFSB) – Workers will be laying down tons of green salt today in preparation for the big storm expected to begin tonight. The workers said they hope all the rain we’ve received in the last couple of days will help keep it in place.Angelo Yeitz the superintendent of The Norwich Public Works Department says there will be a crew of over 20 trucks heading out as soon as the snow starts to fall. Yeitz says “Every truck’s available, Nothing’s broke down, because there’s been a nice span where everything was repaired. The city has needed over 3,000 tons of salt costing them about $250,000, making it necessary to transfer from other line items to keep up with demand. Yeitz says they’re three quarters into their overtime budget and still have to go to July. With so many storms falling after traditional work hours, the town’s overtime budget is now over 70 percent. The good news is that all of this snow is expected to melt before the weekend is over so driveways and sidewalks will not be as full.

CRUMBLING FOUNDATIONS
State Won't Sue Companies Over Crumbling Foundations | NBC ...

The State Bond Commission has approved $350,000 Friday in start-up money for the Connecticut Foundations Solutions Indemnity Company. An estimated 30,000 or more homes in eastern and central Connecticut could have foundations failing because of the presence of an iron sulfide that reacts naturally with oxygen and water, causing concrete to crack and crumble over the decades. As of Friday, the Department of Consumer Protection had received 682 homeowner complaints. Friday’s funding will cover the initial capital and professional services of a superintendent to begin operating the new indemnity company. The entity, scheduled to sunset in 2022, will manage $20 million-a-year in state funds.

WRECKS TIE UP TRAFFIC ON BOTH SIDES OF I 395 IN MONTVILLE

I-395 North Ramp Reopens After Montville Rollover Crash ...

Emergency Crews handled two wrecks on Interstate 395 near Exit 9 in Montville just before 1 p.m. on Friday. One wreck on the southbound side of the highway, the other on the northbound. State police said both crashes involved two cars and that rubbernecking was a possible cause of the second wreck. Some vehicle occupants were taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries that did not appear to be serious.

NORWICH PUBLIC UTILITIES PAID $35k TO SETTLE HARASSMENT

One month before NPU commission Chairman James Sullivan resigned, a female employee filed a harassment complaint against Sullivan. The Day reports the Norwich Public Utilities agreed to pay $35,000 in May of 2016 to settle that complaint from information found in a document obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. The four-page settlement agreement, signed May 2, 2016, didn’t not spell out the nature of the complaint, but only that the employee had filed a complaint with the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities on Sept. 16, 2015, against Norwich Public Utilities, the city of Norwich and utilities commission Chairman Sullivan. The original complaint was not provided in the FOI request, but confirmation of the withdrawal of the complaint based on the settlement was released.

GROTON WILL RECONSIDER WHETHER TO RENOVATE OLD SCHOOLS OR BUILD NEW

Groton has not yet decided whether to renovate its two existing middle schools into elementary schools or level the old buildings and build new schools and will revisit the issue. The state authorized three school construction projects for Groton during the 2017 legislative session, including converting the two middle schools into elementary schools. The town also is building a new middle school. The approvals would not change. But Groton must now demonstrate to the State Office of School Construction Grants & Review that renovating existing middle schools and converting them into elementary schools is the most cost-effective plan.

BULLYING WASN’T TO BLAME

THOMPSON, Conn. (AP) – Investigators say there is no evidence bullying played a role in the suicide of a student at the Marianapolis Preparatory School in Thompson – a finding disputed by the teen’s mother. A law firm released a report Thursday on the Dec. 4 death of Connor Tronerud, a 15-year-old boy from Sutton, Massachusetts. The Hartford Courant reports the law firm’s investigation found only one reported incident of bullying in November 2016.

CEREMONY TO MARK DEADLY NIGHTCLUB FIRE POSTPONED DUE TO SNOW

WEST WARWICK, R.I. (AP) – A ceremony to mark the 15th anniversary of a Rhode Island nightclub fire that killed 100 people has been postponed because of an expected snowstorm.  The Station Fire Memorial Foundation announced the postponement Friday. The service had been planned for Sunday at a park built at the West Warwick site of the Feb. 20, 2003, fire, which injured 230 people.  The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for the area and says heavy snow is possible and travel conditions are expected to be difficult from Saturday evening until Sunday morning. It says 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) of snow could accumulate.  A foundation spokeswoman says the ceremony will be rescheduled for May 20.  The blaze began when pyrotechnics for the rock band Great White ignited flammable foam installed as soundproofing.

FRIDAY EVENING UPDATE

COAST GUARD CAPTAIN REMOVED

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) – Coast Guard officials have temporarily removed a captain from a top post in Connecticut, citing a loss of confidence in his ability to command. Officials announced Friday that Capt. Andrew Tucci was removed from command of Sector Long Island Sound in New Haven, a post that oversees all Coast Guard activity in southern Connecticut and northern Long Island in New York. He was reassigned to the Coast Guard’s Research and Development Center in New London until further notice. The Coast Guard did not say exactly why Tucci was reassigned. Lt. Cmdr. Karen Kutkiewicz says there is an internal investigation and no discipline has been imposed. She would not elaborate. Cmdr. Kevin Reed, the deputy commander of Sector Long Island Sound, has been appointed to the command position.

PONEMAH GETS STATE MONEY

Money for Phase Two of the Lofts at Ponemah Mill project has been approved by the state bonding commission. The 6-point-1 million dollar loan will go towards adding 121 housing units to the former textile mill complex in Taftville. 74 of those units would be affordable housing. Phase one of the project, consisting of 116 apartments, was completed in November.

OVERDOSES OVER 1,000

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut’s chief medical examiner says annual drug overdose deaths in the state have topped 1,000 for the first time. Dr. James Gill announced the 2017 total Friday at a legislative hearing in Hartford. He says a preliminary count shows 1,040 people died from overdoses, a 13 percent increase from the 917 deaths in 2016. Gill says the powerful opioid fentanyl continues to play an increasing role in deaths. Of last year’s deaths, 675 involved fentanyl, up from 483 in 2016. Gill says figures for heroin-related deaths have not yet been compiled. Gill says a 300 percent increase in overdose deaths over the past five years has swamped his office and caused it to lose full accreditation status because each medical examiner is performing too many autopsies.

FOUNDATIONS MONEY

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – A Connecticut panel has awarded funding to launch a new not-for-profit insurance company that will manage state dollars that will help homeowners with crumbling foundations. The State Bond Commission approved $350,000 Friday in start-up money for the Connecticut Foundations Solutions Indemnity Company. The entity, scheduled to sunset in 2022, will manage $20 million-a-year in state funds. An estimated 30,000 or more homes in eastern and central Connecticut could have foundations failing because of the presence of an iron sulfide that reacts naturally with oxygen and water, causing concrete to crack and crumble over the decades. As of Friday, the Department of Consumer Protection had received 682 homeowner complaints. Friday’s funding will cover the initial capital and professional services of a superintendent to begin operating the new indemnity company.

GROTON SCHOOL PROJECTS BEING REVIEWED

Groton officials are now re-evaluating the best plan to renovate its schools. The town had planned to convert the two existing middle schools into elementary schools, but now may tear down the existing buildings, and put new ones in their place. A new middle school will also be built. The town would have to prove to the state that renovating instead of building new is more cost-effective. Groton would receive state reimbursements to cover part of the construction costs. Work on the new middle school is expected to start later this year, while the start date of the elementary school project depends on whether it will be a renovation or new construction.

ROOF PROJECT CONSIDERED IN BOZRAH

Bozrah residents are expected to decide at a February 27th town meeting whether to appropriate 1-point-45 million dollars to replace a deteriorating roof at the Fields Memorial School. The actual cost to the town would be about 535-thousand dollars due to state reimbursement. An architectural survey indicates the roof is 27 years old , and is leaking in spots. The town meeting begins at 7 PM at the school.

NIGHTCLUB FIRE ANNIVERSARY GATHERING POSTPONED

WEST WARWICK, R.I. (AP) – A ceremony to mark the 15th anniversary of a Rhode Island nightclub fire that killed 100 people has been postponed because of an expected snowstorm. The Station Fire Memorial Foundation announced the postponement Friday. The service had been planned for Sunday at a park built at the West Warwick site of the Feb. 20, 2003, fire, which injured 230 people. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for the area and says heavy snow is possible and travel conditions are expected to be difficult from Saturday evening until Sunday morning. It says 4 to 8 inches of snow could accumulate. A foundation spokeswoman says the ceremony will be rescheduled for May 20. The blaze began when pyrotechnics for the rock band Great White ignited flammable foam installed as soundproofing.

RI LAWMAKER URGED TO RESIGN

Nicholas Kettle

Rhode Island’s Senate president is calling on a lawmaker to resign after he was arrested on charges of video voyeurism and extortion. Democratic Senate President Dominick Ruggerio says in a written statement Friday that based on what is known at this time, Republican Sen. Nicholas Kettle should resign immediately. Ruggerio says “it is deeply troubling that a member of the Senate has been indicted on charges of video voyeurism and extortion.” He says he won’t comment further until the indictment is unsealed and more information is released. Kettle is the Senate minority whip and represents the towns of Foster, Scituate, West Greenwich, and Coventry. . His lawyer calls the video voyeurism charge “nonsense” and says he doesn’t know what the extortion charge is about. Earlier this week, the head of the Senate page program was called to testify before a grand jury.