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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill is trying to assure voters that the November election will be administered ``as freely and fairly as possible'' and any claims to the contrary are ``irresponsible.''

Friday's statement from Merrill, a Democrat, comes amid claims by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump that the election is ``rigged'' against him and may be soiled by widespread voter fraud.

Merrill says the state goes through numerous precautions to ensure the elections are fair. She says hundreds of elections officials, including registrars, moderators, clerks and volunteer poll workers go through a series of steps to serve the voters.

Merrill notes how addresses on voter registration forms are confirmed, the identities of voters are checked at the polls, complaints are investigated and audits are taken of results.

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Connecticut officials say the state has been awarded a $1.6 million federal grant to help fund an apprenticeship training program for aerospace manufacturing and maintenance workers.

The Connecticut Apprenticeship Expansion Rx project will serve 1,672 apprentices, with a focus on aerospace, aviation, energy and building trades.

The U.S. Department of Labor grant was announced Friday by Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and members of the state's all-Democratic congressional delegation. It comes weeks after the announced agreement between the state and Sikorsky Aircraft to build nearly 200 heavy cargo helicopters for the military in Stratford.

State Labor Commissioner Scott Jackson says expansion within several of the state's largest aviation employers will increase demand for credential aircraft and power plant mechanics. Also, he says there's been an influx of aviation-depending shipping companies.

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CORNWALL, Conn. (AP) A stubborn, low-grade fire is still burning in northwestern Connecticut after more than a month.

The slow-moving Flat Rock Fire has been burning mostly underground, affecting more than 80 acres in the Wyantenock State Forest in Cornwall, the Hartford Courant reports.

Christopher Martin, director of the forestry division at the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, says smoke from the fire has drifted over the town line into Sharon and Warren. He says the fire doesn't pose a threat to area residents or their property.

When it surfaces from below ground, the flames are only 6-to-8 inches high.

Martin says ``it's definitely more of a nuisance than a safety threat.'' He says DEEP and local firefighters are managing the fire, which is too remote for traditional firefighting.

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NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) The first woman has been appointed to oversee Central Connecticut State University in New Britain.

The Board of Regents for Higher Education voted unanimously Thursday to appoint Zulma R. Toro as the school's 13th president. Officials say Toro was chosen from three finalists following a seven-month nationwide search that attracted 69 candidates.

Richard Balducci, chairman of the board's search committee, calls Toro an ``outstanding scholar'' with ``an impressive array of accomplishments.'' Toro is currently the interim chancellor, executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock.

She will replace Jack Miller, who retired on Sept. 19. Toro is scheduled to begin her new job on Jan. 3 and will receive an annual salary of $289,500. Toro says she's ``deeply honored'' to serve as CCSU's new president.

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FARMINGTON, Conn. (AP) The Connecticut medical examiner says a student pilot killed in a plane crash that authorities believe was intentional died of burns and smoke inhalation.

Dr. James Gill announced the cause of death Thursday of the student, who his office identified as Feras Freitekh. Gill said it remains under investigation whether the death was a suicide.

Authorities said they believe Freitekh was disgruntled about his flight training and crashed the small, twin-engine plane intentionally in East Hartford on Oct. 11 while arguing with his flight instructor, Arian Prevalla. Prevalla survived.

Freitekh is a citizen of Jordan who came to Hartford in 2013 to study at the American Flight Academy. His friends say they don't believe reports that the crash was intentional.

The crash remains under investigation by federal authorities.

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) CVS Pharmacy Inc. has agreed to pay the federal government $600,000 to resolve alleged record keeping violations of the federal Controlled Substances Act at two Connecticut stores.

Federal authorities in Connecticut alleged at least 4,936 occasions when paperwork for Schedule III drugs was improperly filed or stored at a New Britain store, and at least 2,886 times at a Southington store.

The Drug Enforcement Administration describes Schedule III drugs as substances with low-to-moderate potential for physical and psychological dependence.

Authorities say accurate record keeping at retail pharmacies helps investigators keep track of how many controlled substances they should and do have on hand.

Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS says it agreed to settle to avoid litigation. CVS says it's committed to the highest ethical and businesses standards, including complying with all laws.

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STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) - A 63-year-old Long Island man has been sentenced to a year of probation after admitting he killed federally protected hawks in an effort to protect his racing pigeons.

Thomas Kapusta of Westbury, New York, had pleaded guilty in February to charges including four counts of taking, capturing and killing red-tailed hawks and Cooper's Hawks.

The hawks are protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Kapusta told authorities that the hawks were preying on the racing pigeons that he kept in a coop at his mother's home in Stamford.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Chatigny on Wednesday also ordered Kapusta to pay a $5,500 fine and perform 90 hours of community service at a local animal shelter.

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STORRS, Conn. (AP) The University of Connecticut says a false fire alarm resulted in the death of a 19-year-old student who was run over and killed by a vehicle for the campus fire department.

State police have said Jeffny Pally, of West Hartford, was sitting with her back against a garage door outside the department Sunday and was run over when the fire vehicle left for an emergency call.

University spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz said Wednesday the alarm that firefighters responded to was ``unfounded.''

The school is reviewing what activated the alarm. Reitz says it wasn't a malfunction. She says the alarm was triggered automatically, not manually.

The medical examiner's office says Pally's death was the result of blunt trauma to the head and torso and ruled an accident.

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STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's administration has ended talks to develop a $500 million transportation project in downtown Stamford.

The state had been negotiating with developers to convert the city's train station into a multi-use facility that would include office and retail space, hotel rooms and residential units.

But state officials announced in a brief written statement Wednesday that it would not be in the state's best interest to proceed further with negotiations. Little other explanation was given.

Stamford Mayor David Martin says he hopes to begin work on a new design plan for the station.

A key member of the development team for the Stamford project, L.P. Ciminelli Construction Co., was recently caught up in a federal investigation of bid-rigging in New York state. Lawyers for Ciminelli executives denied the allegations.

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - State officials have issued an amended emergency order to allow for the construction of a temporary pipeline to supply water to four Connecticut communities amid drought conditions.

The state Department of Public Health had declared a public water supply emergency in September for Greenwich, Stamford, Darien and New Canaan.

The order allowed the Aquarion Water Company to divert water from other sources of supply to the towns.

The order issued Tuesday will allow Aquarion to divert from an additional source and build a temporary pipeline to provide for customers in those towns.

The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that approximately 86 percent of Connecticut is under severe drought conditions.

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NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) - New London police are conducting an internal investigation after a college student said officers beat, kicked and threatened him with mace after he helped a domestic violence victim at a dormitory.

New London Deputy Police Chief Peter Reichard tells The Day he launched the investigation after speaking to Connecticut College's dean of students on Monday.

Lee Messier, a junior from Narragansett, Rhode Island, was charged with interfering with police on Sunday. A Facebook post he wrote about his experience was shared widely. Messier's father is chief of airport police at T.F. Green Airport in Rhode Island and is retired from the state police.

The officer who arrested Messier was fired in 2013 for his involvement in an alleged beating and pepper spray incident. The department later rehired him.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Clinton's campaign circulated an initial list of nearly 40 elected officials, military leaders and corporate CEOs to be considered for vice president last spring. The list was included among hacked emails from Clinton's campaign chairman disclosed Tuesday by WikiLeaks.

The list emailed from John Podesta to Hillary Clinton last March included several Democratic senators, including Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Tim Kaine of Virginia, who was eventually picked by Clinton.

Podesta organized the list into "rough food groups" including blacks, women, and Hispanics such as Obama administration Cabinet members Julian Castro of Housing and Urban Development and Labor Secretary Tom Perez.

Another group of possibilities that appeared to represent "outside-the-box" options included former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Tim Cook of Apple, philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates, Howard Schultz of Starbucks and retired Marine Corps Gen. John Allen.


Javier Becerra

Julian Castro

Eric Garcetti

Tom Perez

Ken Salazar

Tammy Baldwin

Kirsten Gillibrand

Amy Klobuchar

Claire McKaskill

Jeanne Shaheen

Debbie Stabenow

Elizabeth Warren

Michael Bennet

Sherrod Brown

Martin Heinreich

Tim Kaine

Terry McAuliffe

Chris Murphy

Tom Vilsack

Steve Benjamin

Corey Booker

Andrew Gillum

Eric Holder

Deval Patrick

Kasim Reed

Anthony Foxx

John Allen

Bill McCraven

Mike Mullen

Mary Barra

Michael Bloomberg

Ursula Burns

Tim Cook

Bill Gates

Melinda Gates

Muhtar Kent

Judith Rodin

Howard Schultz

Bernie Sanders

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ENFIELD, Conn. (AP) - Police say a Connecticut woman admitted to using heroin and cocaine hours before she was involved in a fatal crash on Interstate 91 in Windsor.

The Hartford Courant reports 34-year-old Katell Gunning of Newington was arraigned Monday on charges including operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs in the Saturday afternoon crash that killed 46-year-old Kevin Dutra of Colchester.

Police say Gunning failed field sobriety tests they administered. They then took her to the hospital to have blood drawn.

Police say Gunning told them she used cocaine and about 10 bags of heroin at about midnight Saturday.

Gunning's attorney argued that police were beyond the two-hour window that allowed them to get a positive chemical test to charge Gunning.

Gunning remains held on $75,000 bail.

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NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) - A man has been arraigned on a murder charge in the killing of a father of five whose body was found in a southeast Connecticut field in 2006.

Thirty-two-year-old Christopher Vincenti of New London appeared in Superior Court Monday.

He's charged with felony murder in the killing of 40-year-old Anthony Hamlin, of Groton, a member of the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation. Hamlin was found dead in Ledyard from blunt force trauma to the head in January 2006.

The Norwich Bulletin reports Vincenti's bail was kept at $1 million. The case was transferred to the New London court that handles the most serious cases.

Vincenti's attorney noted that Vincenti didn't have a criminal record and hadn't fled.

Vincenti is the second man charged in the crime.

Thirty-two-year-old Timothy Johnson faces a felony murder charge.

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OLD LYME, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut woman has retrieved half of her heart after leaving it in Ireland 26 years ago.

In 1990, a 29-year-old Laurie McGrath had buried half of a golden heart necklace with two interlocking halves that was given to her by her then-boyfriend, Bill McGrath.

The intent was that they'd both go to Ireland to dig it up someday.

The now-married East Lyme couple recently flew to Dublin for their 25th wedding anniversary and traveled to the cemetery in Castletownroche, Ireland, where the pendant was buried.

The couple dug near an Irish gravestone and found the plastic bag with part of the pendant inscribed with the words, "best friends."

Laurie McGrath tells The Day that she and Bill cried and couldn't believe they'd found the pendant after so many years.

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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - Police say a pair of shootings left three people injured over the weekend in Bridgeport.

The Connecticut Post reports the first shooting happened just before 2 a.m. Sunday. A male victim was shot multiple times in the right arm. He was taken to the hospital for treatment and is expected to survive.

Police say the second shooting occurred at around 2:15 a.m. An officer had reported shots fired in the area and tried to stop a vehicle fleeing the scene.

Police say the driver evaded capture. A man and a woman were found with gunshot wounds not considered life-threatening.

No arrests were made in either incident as of Sunday.

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NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) - Police are investigating the death of a man found unresponsive in a New London apartment as a "suspicious event."

Capt. L.J. Keating says a resident called police after finding 33-year-old Ricardo Dasilva inside at around 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

The cause and manner of Dasilva's death hadn't been determined as of Saturday evening. Police say the case is an isolated incident and poses no threat to the public.

Keating says Dasilva is from Easton but was staying at a home in New London.

Authorities are investigating.

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STORRS, Conn. (AP) - A 19-year-old student at the University of Connecticut has been run over and killed by a vehicle for the campus fire department.

A Connecticut State Police report says it happened around 1:15 a.m. Sunday after student Jeffny Pally was sitting against the bay door of the campus public safety complex in Storrs.

The report says Pally, of West Hartford, was sitting on the ground with her back against the bay door when the fire department got an emergency call and opened the door.

The report says she then fell back on the ground and the fire department vehicle ran over her.

In a statement, UConn President Susan Herbst called it "a heartbreaking and tragic loss" and extended sympathy to Pally's family and friends.

The university referred all questions to state police.

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - The General Assembly's nonpartisan fiscal office says Connecticut's main spending account is currently projected to be almost $78 million in deficit.

In a report released Thursday, the Office of Fiscal Analysis says the shortfall in the state's roughly $18 billion general fund could have been higher. However, Connecticut has received $80 million than expected from investment bank Royal Bank of Scotland as part of a recent legal settlement.

OFA notes how income tax collections have come in $80 million less than expected since July 1, when the new fiscal year began.

Len Fasano, the Senate's Republican leader, says another budget crafted by majority Democrats "has failed our state yet again."

Democratic House Speaker Brendan Sharkey predicts state revenues should improve given the new, recently announced manufacturing jobs coming to Connecticut.

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Two Connecticut labor unions are asking a judge to step in and stop the pending privatization of state-run group homes and other services for people with developmental disabilities.

The unions, CSEA and SEIU 1199, on Thursday filed a request in Hartford Superior Court for a temporary injunction to halt Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's planned layoffs of the homes' unionized state employees.

The Department of Developmental Services announced in August plans to privatize 40 group homes and other services, while cutting 605 positions. The unions, which recently filed a labor complaint, say the state cannot lay off members and contract out their services without bargaining with labor leaders.

Kelly Donnelly, Malloy's spokeswoman, says private agencies already serve the vast majority of clients. She calls the administration's actions "lawful and proper."