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SATURDAY MORNING UPDATE

PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS UPDATE ON THIS SEASONS FLU

Spring Flu Hits Connecticut and Northeast Harder than Rest ...

New Haven, Ct. – According to the state Department of Public Health, twenty-one deaths are now linked to the flu, It’s being labeled the worst flu season in recent memory and swamping a number of hospitals across Connecticut. Of the deaths, 17 were among patients over the age of 65, two were between the ages of 50 and 64, one was between 25 and 49 years old and 1 was between 5 and 17 years old.  The DPH said 14 were associated the influenza A and seven were linked to influenza B. Yale-New Haven Hospital, the Connecticut Department of Public Health and the Department of Public Health with the City of New Haven addressed this season’s rampant outbreak of the flu yesterday in in New Haven. They said the number of flu hospitalizations has risen dramatically since the start of the season at the end of the summer. The flu is considered to be widespread in Connecticut. Doctors and public health officials also advised that getting a flu shot can help, regardless of the type of flu it guards against. According to the DPH, influenza activity has remained high in Connecticut over the last few weeks. The state said it’s seeing three types of the flu virus. The two strains are influenza A, which has been more predominant, and influenza B, which we usually don’t see until later in the flu season.

ROOMING HOUSE OWNER APPEALS CONDEMNATION

Tenants in Norwich were evicted from their home when it was condemned (WFSB)

The owner of the rooming house on Boswell Avenue condemned by city officials for violations, filed a strongly worded six-page appeal Friday, calling the city’s actions “malicious, inappropriate” and an abuse of power. James Liang is seeking a public hearing by the Building Code Board of Appeals and said he plans to call former tenants and friends as witnesses to show that the city’s Jan. 2 condemnation was erroneous. Norwich Human Services provided temporary housing in local hotels for some of the 14 tenants and assisted with relocation costs, which will be billed to the building owner.

MILLSTONE PERFORMS REQUIRED WEAPONS CHECKS

U.S. Regulators Inspect Millstone Over Leaking Valve ...

Regulators ordered the Millstone Power Station recently to complete weapons checks and inventories after an investigation revealed a former security armorer failed to perform proper checks and then falsified records. Millstone owner, Dominion prepared a full inventory of in-service and out-of-service weapons for security officers in December, according to the Nuclear Regulator Commission. Dominion also provided regulators with a report on when each weapon was last test-fired, cleaned, serviced and inspected. The NRC says all weapons were accounted for and serial numbers verified.

ALL OPTIONS STILL BEING CONSIDERED FOR MONTVILLE CARNIVAL

San Gennaro Feast and Carnival in Montville | The Citizen ...

Montville town officials say the addition of alcohol sales at the annual Montville Carnival would require town councilors to waive a rule banning alcohol on public grounds. But say they will continue to look into “all options!” A proposal by the council to waive the rule, drew criticism and concern from some public safety officials in town, while some residents also voiced opposition. Some town officials say they were surprised by the reaction. The idea to bring new offerings to the carnival, is a way to generate more revenue from the event, and defray the costs of running the carnival.

REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER ARRESTED AGAIN FOR NON-COMPLIANCE

Norwich Sex Offender Arrested for Failing to Register ...

Raymond Warren

Norwich Police Detectives located and arrested a Norwich sex offender when he failed to report a change of address as required.  Raymond F. Warren Jr. age 60, of 44 West Thames Street was convicted in 2002 of Sexual Assault 3rd Degree, defined as a sexually violent offense. Warren was charged with two counts of Sex offender Registry-Failure to Verify Address and two counts of Sex Offender Registry-Failure to Report Address Change. Warren was processed at Norwich Police Headquarters and held on a $10,000.00 bond pending his arraignment friday at Norwich Superior Court.

POSSIBLE HOUSING FOR ELECTRIC BOAT RECRUITS

Ponemah Mills site plan extended - News - The Bulletin ...

As Electric Boat recruits to fill 14,000 positions over the next 10 years, a question often posed by non-local applicants: What about housing? EB officials toured the Lofts at Ponemah Mills in Taftville yesterday. Their about a half hour drive from the Groton shipyard. The units are a mixture of market rate and affordable rental prices based on tenants’ incomes. Prices range from $880 to $1,400 per month depending on the size of the unit.

STONINGTON B&B BURGLARY SOLVED

Stonington police detectives used a combination of technologies and time-tested investigative techniques to track down two burglars who sneaked into the Orchard Street Inn Bed & Breakfast last Halloween night and carried away a safe weighing more than 200 pounds and containing $5000 dollars. Jerome Taylor of New London and Ashley Harnois of Woonsocket, R.I., who also are accused of prostitution and home invasion crimes in Norwich and Groton last fall. Taylor is being held at Corrigan Correctional Harnois is bring at York Correctional. Both have scheduled court appearances in February.

OLD LYME SELECTMEN OUTLINE TASKS FOR POLICE COMMITTEE

Welcome to Old Lyme | Old Lyme, CT | Pinterest | Lyme disease

The Old Lyme Board of Selectmen are looking to form a committee that will study feasibility issues with a possible collaboration for police services with East Lyme. The Police Services Options Committee also will analyze the town’s current policing model, policing needs and consultant services that could help in researching the issue. The town currently participates in the resident state trooper program.

FEMA EXTENDS TEMPORARY HOUSING BENEFITS

A young girl receives a pair of new shoes

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – FEMA has agreed to extend temporary housing benefits for three more days to 36 Puerto Rican families living in Connecticut after being displaced by Hurricane Maria. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s office said the Democrat learned of the latest extension Friday on a phone call with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s administrator. It comes a day after FEMA informed the state it was reversing an earlier decision to extend temporary assistance through Feb. 14.

BANK OFFICIAL GETS ONE YEAR IN PRISON

Webster Bank Manager Sentenced for Stealing More Than $500K From Customer Accounts

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP WVIT) – A Connecticut bank manager accused of stealing more than half a million dollars from the accounts of elderly clients has been sentenced to just over a year in prison. Forty-seven-year-old Carrie Caesar was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty to charges of theft, embezzlement and misapplication by a bank officer and employee. Authorities say she stole the money between 2003 and 2016 and targeted clients who were about 80 or older.

FALL RIVER TO SUE DRUG COMPANIES OVER OPIOID OVERDOSE CRISIS

Here's why Minnesota has a big problem with opioid ...

FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) – Fall River is planning to sue pharmaceutical companies over what officials say is the role the companies played in the ongoing opioid overdose crisis.
WPRO News reports Friday that Fall River Mayor Jasiel Corriea said he has no doubt of a connection between the pharmaceutical companies and people dying because they’ve become addicted to heroin and other opiates. The city responded to 919 opiate overdoses last year and had 63 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2016. Fall River isn’t alone.
In December, Greenfield, Massachusetts filed a federal lawsuit against several distributors and manufacturers of opioid medications, joining a growing list of municipalities and states seeking to recoup costs of dealing with the overdose epidemic. One of the defendants in the Greenfield lawsuit, Purdue Pharma, has said they “vigorously deny these allegations.”

SPEAKER:  REFERENDUM UNLIKELY ON PAWSOX STADIUM PROPOSAL

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Rhode Island’s House Speaker says it’s unlikely that lawmakers will ask the public to vote on the fate of a proposed new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox.  Democrat Nicholas Mattiello said Thursday that his colleagues were overwhelmingly opposed to the idea of a referendum on proposed public subsidies for the project. Mattiello had previously said he was open to it.  Mattiello says the general consensus after a meeting of House Democrats was that it is the legislature’s responsibility to decide the issue.  The state Senate has approved the use of public funds for the stadium, but Mattiello says members of the House want changes to reduce the state’s share of the financial risk.  Under the Senate’s plan, the state would pay for $23 million of the $83 million stadium.

TOM BRADY DODGES MEDIA QUESTIONS ABOUT RIGHT HAND ISSUE

Let's all break down photos of Tom Brady's gloved throwing hand

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) – New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady dodged questions from the media yesterday when asked about his availability for Sunday’s AFC championship game against Jacksonville. Brady wore red gloves and responded to several other questions about how much he practiced or how he sustained the injury by saying “I’m not talking about that.” Brady is listed as questionable for Sunday after being a limited participant in yesterday’s practice.

FRIDAY EVENING UPDATE

SAILOR RESCUE

Image result for uss north dakota

SS North Dakota (The Day)

NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) – A submarine commander is praising the way his crew responded when a sailor intentionally shot himself aboard the Groton-based vessel. The USS North Dakota was about 150 nautical miles from the base on Jan. 12 when the petty officer shot himself in the shoulder with a government-issued rifle. The sailor was in an ambulance in New London within about seven hours. The submarine’s skipper, Cmdr. Mark Robinson, said in a post on its Facebook page that the crew acted heroically to treat the sailor and transfer him from the cramped sub to a tug boat at sea at night. The post has since been deleted. The sailor has been recovering from surgery at a hospital in New Haven.

SMALL EXTENSION GRANTED

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – The Federal Emergency Management Agency is extending temporary housing benefits for three more days to 36 Puerto Rican families living in Connecticut after being displaced by Hurricane Maria. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s office says the Democrat spoke by phone Friday with FEMA Administrator William “Brock” Long, who informed him of the reprieve. Malloy and the state’s U.S. senators were surprised to learn Thursday that FEMA had rescinded an earlier decision to extend transitional shelter assistance through February 14. FEMA informed Malloy’s office on Thursday the money was being stopped, acknowledging the extension had been granted in error. Democratic U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal is calling FEMA’s three-day extension “a weak attempt at damage control.” Malloy’s office says the state will continue to assist the evacuees after the three days run out.

SEX OFFENDER ARRESTED AGAIN

Raymond Warren (Norwich PD)

Norwich police say a convicted sex offender in the city has been charged for the fifth time in the past seven years for failing to follow the requirements of being on the offender list. Police say 60-year old Raymond Warren was charged Friday with two counts of failing to verify his address and failing to report an address change. The alleged violations occurred last year. Warren is being held in lieu of 10-thousand dollars bond. The West Thames Street resident was required to register as a sex offender for life in 2002 after being convicted of third-degree sexual assault of a minor. He has been a convicted felon since 1976.

DRUG FACTORY WITH CHILDREN

Tyler Ayotte-Pierce (CT State Police)

A Killingly man is accused of running a drug factory out of his home while two young children were there. Police say 24-year old Tyler Ayotte-Pierce was leaving his residence on Saint James Row around 7:30 this morning, when police stopped him. Police found multiple packages of crack cocaine in his bedroom, as well as some marijuana, digital scales, and a facsimile firearm. An 8-year old and 3-year old in the residence were taken into state custody. Ayotte-Pierce is out on 50-thousand dollars bond, and is due in court January 30th.

FORMER RI LAWMAKER PLEADS IN NAKED CASE

Robert Watson

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – A former high-ranking Republican lawmaker in Rhode Island has pleaded not guilty to breaking into a neighbor’s home while naked. Former House Minority Leader Robert Watson appeared in Superior Court Friday. He’s charged with felony breaking and entering. Watson was released on $10,000 personal recognizance. He was ordered to seek counseling and not to trespass on his neighbor’s property in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. Police say Watson was seen running across his street naked and entering his neighbor’s house in November. Patrolmen found him naked and bleeding. The homeowner told police it was the second time Watson entered his home without permission. Watson spent more than two decades in the State House, retiring in 2012. His attorney, Timothy Williamson, says it’s too early to comment.

FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE

SEALES TAKES MID-TRIAL PLEA DEAL

Shaquan Lee-Seales (WTNH)

The murder trial of Shaquan Lee-Seales for fatally shooting 29-year-old Gilberto Olivencia came to an abrupt end Thursday when the New London man pleaded guilty to reduced charges that carry a 15-year prison sentence. The state offered Lee-Seales a better deal as the prosecution prepared to start calling civilian eyewitnesses to testify, including two men involved in a drug dispute with Lee-Seales that police said had motivated the shooting. The jury had heard two days of testimony from first responders when Lee-Seales opted for the plea deal.

SAIL MEMORIAL GETS CLEAR SAILING

USS Groton

The Groton City Planning and Zoning Commission has approved a change to zoning regulations to allow the future memorial for the sail of the town’s namesake nuclear attack submarine on Bridge Street. Prior to the unanimous decision, the small park was not a permitted use in a general com­mer­cial zone. The USS Groton, a Los Angeles-class attack sub, was the third Navy ship named for Groton. Built at Electric Boat, it was launched in October 1976, commissioned in July 1978, and decommissioned in November 1997.

FLU’S BAD

In the last several weeks, Influenza activity has rapidly increased statewide, prompting health officials to prepare for the expected uptick in calls for the flu shot. Backus Hospital in Norwich last week alone had 73 new flu cases. Backus had seen 64 total cases all season. Most were the expected Type A strain. Across the state, influenza activity has rapidly increased since the beginning of the new year. Statewide emergency department visits attributed to the flu are continuing to increase. Health officials say it’s still not too late to receive the flu vaccine and get benefit from it.

COP IN TROUBLE

A state cop based out of Troop D in Danielson has been placed on an administrative capacity as a result of facing an impaired driving charge when he was found asleep behind the wheel of a vehicle in Brooklyn on New Year’s Day. State police responded to a noise complaint around 2 a.m. in the area of Riverwalk Drive when they found Patrick Dragon inside a vehicle with loud music playing and the engine running. After police roused Dragon, he was taken into custody after failing a sobriety test. He was released on a $500 bond and is due in Norwich Superior Court on Monday.

OLD LYME GOING SOLAR

The Lyme-Old Lyme school district has been authorized by school officials to negotiate an agreement with one of the larger solar installers in the northeast. The plan is to install solar panels on all of the district’s five buildings by the start of the next school year. If approved, the district would enter into a power purchase agreement with Greenskies Renewable Energy with no cost outlay for the installation of the panels. The company would install, own, maintain and monitor the equipment, while the district would pay for power at a certain rate for a 15-to-20-year period. The solar panels have the potential to save the district more than $100,000 per year on its electric bills, or more than $2 million over a 20-year period.

CARNIVAL MAY GET BEER TENT

The Montville Parks and Recreation Commission said it plans to consult with police and fire department leaders to explore featuring a beer tent at the town’s summer carnival. Officials say proceeds from a beer tent could help cover the cost of a headliner band and fireworks display at the event. The commissioners said a proposal to waive rules banning alcohol on public grounds jumped the gun at last week’s Town Council meeting, sparking a social media backlash even though the group was still only exploring the idea.