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4-year-old dies, 2-year-old hospitalized after left in car

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (AP) A 4-year-old boy has died and his 2-year-old brother has been hospitalized after police say the two were left in a hot car in a Connecticut city.

West Haven police say they responded to a report of an injured person at an apartment complex Thursday afternoon and found two children suffering undisclosed medical issues.

They say the children and their father, who called 911, were treated at the scene and then taken to the hospital.

The 4-year-old died at the hospital. The 2-year-old remains hospitalized and his condition is not immediately known.

Police have not identified the boys or their father but have set up a yellow tape perimeter at the apartment complex as detectives continue to investigate.

They're asking anyone who may have seen anything to contact detectives. 


AutoZone to pay $3 million for fatal crash

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) Auto parts retailer AutoZone has agreed to pay $3.3 million to the families of three people who were killed when one of the company's trucks struck their car.

The Connecticut Post reported Thursday the Tennessee-based company is settling the lawsuit that alleged negligence in training the driver involved in the crash.

Police say 29-year-old Jesenia Valentin's car had run out of gas on a New York highway in June 2016 when it was struck from behind by a tractor-trailer owned by the company.

Valentin, a Bridgeport resident and aspiring actress, her 9-year-old daughter Angelina Rodriguez and 12-year-old niece Asyria Ferrer were killed.

Their family's lawyer says no amount of money can compensate for their tragic losses.

The driver of the tractor-trailer was not charged in the crash. 


Review of state facility ordered after teen commits suicide

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) The head of Connecticut's Department of Children and Families is ordering an independent review of a state psychiatric facility where a pregnant teen killed herself last month.

Department of Children and Families Commissioner Joette Katz on Thursday said she's seeking a review of safety measures at the Albert J. Solnit Children's Center in Middletown.

The Hartford Courant reports the 16-year-old teen, who is not being named, died of asphyxiation a day before she was to be discharged. The facility also had two other suicide attempts in March.

The June death prompted state officials to recommend additional random checks and surveillance cameras in every unit.

Katz says the facility has made other safety improvements in recent years, including altering interior fixtures like sinks, showers, bed frames and door and window handles. 


More push back on Malloy's electronic toll study executive order

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Two top Republicans in the House of Representatives are urging Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to scrap a planned vote on spending $10 million to study electronic highway tolls in Connecticut.

House Minority Leader Themis Klarides and the Finance Committee's top Republican, Rep. Chris Davis, sent a letter Wednesday to Malloy, arguing that a new governor and General Assembly should decide whether to consider tolls.

Obtained by The Associated Press, the letter says House Republicans are collecting signatures for a petition to bring the legislature into special session if the State Bond Commission approves the funding on July 25.

Malloy, who is not seeking re-election, signed an executive order on Tuesday calling for the study. He argues it will be ``invaluable'' to the next administration. 

 

One of Malloy's fellow Democrats on the State Bond Commission says he won't support the study.  State Comptroller Kevin Lembo said Wednesday tolling and transportation infrastructure are important issues to discuss, but he doesn't believe the commission should finance the study without a legislative directive.

The General Assembly last session failed to vote on a tolling study.

Lembo, who is seeking another term, says the study should be up to the next governor and legislature.

Malloy chairs the 10-member commission, which includes all Democrats and appointees except for two Republicans. 


A small tornado briefly touches down in Connecticut

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A small tornado briefly touched down west of Ashford Lake in Connecticut.

The tornado landed at about 4 p.m. Tuesday and was on the ground for about a minute.

The National Weather Service reported Wednesday that the tornado had peak winds between 80 and 85 mph and an approximate width of 225 yards. The length of the tornado path was about half a mile.

The service said it was conducting a storm survey of the area.

The Hartford Courant reports that Ashford was particularly hard hit by the series of storms Tuesday with trees falling on houses and streets. The winds also tossed a rabbit cage, killing three rabbits.  


DOJ says 6 states, NYC, cheat citizens by suing

NEW YORK (AP) A Justice Department spokesman says six states and New York City cheat law-abiding citizens by suing the federal government over immigration enforcement policies.

Spokesman Devin O'Malley commented after two lawsuits challenged the constitutionality of federal government policies requiring immigration enforcement help in return for federal anti-crime dollars.

Lawsuits in Manhattan on Wednesday were filed by New York state and city, Connecticut, New Jersey, Washington, Massachusetts and Virginia.

The lawsuit sought a court order to block policies announced last summer. Similar lawsuits have won court rulings blocking the federal action.

Zachary Carter, New York City's corporation counsel, says the federal government's efforts would cause immigrant communities to disengage from public service ``and retreat into the shadows, to the detriment of their own safety and that of the public.''  


Republicans claim Malloy toll study may be waste of money

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Republicans are criticizing Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's order for a $10 million study of electronic tolling on key Connecticut highways.

GOP Senate Leader Len Fasano says Tuesday's executive order is "an irresponsible and egotistical waste of money as he heads out of office." Republican governor candidates are also panning Malloy's plan, which also includes recommendations for ways to provide Connecticut taxpayers discounts, including tax credits, to ensure out-of-state drivers "contribute their fair share."

Malloy, who is not seeking a third term, says the study and a subsequent plan will be "invaluable" to the next governor and General Assembly as they consider how best to shore up Connecticut's Special Transportation Fund.

But Fasano says Malloy doesn't know the next administration's plans, potentially making this study "a massive waste of money."  


4 blue states sue Washington over GOP tax overhaul

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland are suing the federal government over the Republican-led tax overhaul.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in the Southern District of New York.

The tax law passed by Congressional Republicans and signed into law last year by Republican President Donald Trump caps a deduction for state and local taxes at $10,000. The deduction was especially popular in high-tax, Democratic states, where many homeowners will see big increases in their federal tax bill.

Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the tax bill was crafted specifically to hurt blue states. He says it's also unconstitutional because it interferes with state taxing authority.

Supporters of the tax overhaul dismiss the lawsuit as political and say that the changes actually reduce taxes for many residents.  


Offshore wind developer ramps up work on 3 more wind farms

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The developer of the first offshore wind farm in the U.S. says it's ramping up work on projects to supply energy to several states.

Deepwater Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski said Monday they're beginning the next, larger phase of development for a wind farm to supply power to Rhode Island and Connecticut, another for Long Island, New York, and a third for Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Providence-based Deepwater Wind has leased areas near Massachusetts and Maryland. It plans to spend millions of dollars over the next year collecting data from the locations to apply for permits and design the wind farms.

The Massachusetts Lobstermen's Association wants monitoring of lobster settlements to ensure they won't be disturbed.

Deepwater Wind opened the first U.S. offshore wind farm off Block Island, Rhode Island, in 2016.  


Police: Man shot at group as crowd left fireworks show

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) An attorney for a Connecticut man who police say opened fire as a crowd left a fireworks show says his client was targeting a group of people who had attacked him.

The Hartford Courant reports 19-year-old Michael Robinson, of Windsor, was arraigned Monday in Hartford Superior Court on multiple charges including reckless endangerment and attempted first-degree assault.

Police say Robinson shot at a group of about twenty people on a walkway at Mortensen Riverfront Plaza in Hartford Saturday night. Authorities say Robinson ran but was later apprehended.

Robinson's attorney, John O'Brien, says his client had been assaulted in an altercation earlier that night. O'Brien says Robinson wasn't firing into the crowd.

Hartford Police Lt. Paul Cicero confirmed Robinson ``wasn't firing indiscriminately.''

Robinson is being held on $750,000 bond. A judge continued the case until Aug. 6. 


Former officer files discrimination suit against Fairfield

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) A former Connecticut narcotics detective who pleaded guilty to reduced charges in connection with the theft of drugs from his department's evidence room is suing the town.

The Connecticut Post reports 40-year-old Stephen Rilling says in his lawsuit filed in May that the Fairfield Police Department discriminated against him when it failed to transfer him out of the detective division after learning of his drug addiction.

The lawsuit says the town also wrongly denied his request for disability pension after he resigned in 2017.

Rilling received a one-year suspended sentence with probation in March after pleading guilty to possession of a controlled substance and computer crime.

He is the son of Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling.

The lawsuit is seeking more than $15,000 in lost wages, benefits and back pay. 


KPMG to open new office, bringing 110 jobs

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) An international audit, tax and advisory firm is opening a new office in Connecticut and bringing 110 jobs.

Gov. Dannel Malloy announced Monday that KPMG is renovating a space in Stamford and will move into the location next spring.

The governor's office says the firm will receive a $3 million grant from the state Department of Economic and Community Development if it creates and keeps 110 full time jobs for 2 years.

The grant will go toward equipment, building improvements and other related costs.

KPMG has held another office in Stamford for the past 40 years that employs 315 people. The firm also has a Hartford office which employs 231 people. 


Lawmakers seek update on fate of farmers market program

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro wants more information about the status of a program that allows low-income people to buy fresh fruits and vegetables at thousands of farmers markets across the country.

The U.S. Rep. and fellow Democratic U.S. Rep. Sanford D. Bishop Jr. of Georgia have asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to explain how it's addressing the possible end to an online transaction platform that allows recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, or SNAP, benefits to make purchases at the markets. They've asked for an update on the federal agency's progress by July 20.

The USDA was recently notified that a company that currently provides the platform plans to shut down. In a letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, DeLauro and Bishop say the details surrounding the situation ``remain unclear.'' 


Man opens fire after fireworks display

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Police have arrested a man who they say fired multiple shots as people were leaving a fireworks display in Connecticut.

Hartford police say they arrested the 19-year-old Windsor man Saturday and charged him with unlawful discharge of a firearm, reckless endangerment and breach of peace among other offenses.

Authorities say the man fired a handgun from the upper level of a plaza in Hartford as people were leaving a fireworks display.

The gunfire caused damage to a window and building, as well as a concrete planter. No injuries were reported.

Mayor Luke Bronin says he was at the fireworks display with his family, and he issued a statement thanking police officers for responding ``professionally, quickly and effectively.''

The shooting suspect is due in court Monday. 


Woman charged in connection to stabbing

GROTON, Conn. (AP) A woman has been charged with assault in connection to a Connecticut stabbing.

Police say 32-year-old Stephanie Fialco-Garchitor is accused of stabbing another woman during a confrontation at court in the village of Poquonnock Bridge on Friday.

Fialco-Garchitor has been charged with first-degree assault and is being held on a $500,000 bond.

The victim suffered lacerations that are serious but not life-threatening to her arm and chest. Police say the victim and suspect know and confronted each other at Quincy Court.

Fialco-Garchitor is being held at York Correctional Facility.


Crews respond to small plane crash in Plainville

PLAINVILLE, Conn. (AP) Police in Plainville say crews are responding to the crash of a small plane near the town's airport.

Police and fire officials in the central Connecticut town said they could not immediately provide additional information.

The incident occurred Thursday morning near Robertson Airport. 


Man in scaffolding fall death identified

DARIEN, Conn. (AP) Police say they have identified a Connecticut man who fell 20 feet from scaffolding.

Twenty-six-year-old Nick Martinez was doing surface work at a facility in Darien on July 5 with he lost his footing.

Police responded to the building, built by Infinity Constructions Systems LLC and transported Martinez to Stamford Hospital, police tell The Stamford Advocate.

Martinez was pronounced dead. Darien police say no foul play is believed to have occurred. An investigation by the Occupation Safety and Health Administration is still under way.  


USL to expand to Hartford

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Soccer is coming to Hartford.

The United Soccer League announced Wednesday it is bringing a team to the Connecticut city next year, and they will play under the name Hartford Athletic.

The Hartford Courant reports the team will play at Dillon Stadium, which has $10 million set aside in state funds for improvements. The Hartford Sports Group says it will also invest in the stadium.

The team will use a blue and green color scheme, similar to the Hartford Yard Goats.

Mayor Luke Bronin says the new team is ``huge for the entire city,'' and Hartford Sports Group CEO Bruce Mandell says they have already seen 1,000 commitments for season tickets.

Tryouts for the team are scheduled for October, and the USL season begins March 15, 2019. 


Man pleads guilty to bank robbery of nearly $10,000

KILLINGWORTH, Conn. (AP) A New Jersey man has pleaded guilty to a bank robbery in Connecticut.

The U.S. Attorney's office says 39-year-old Lavon Young, of Union City, New Jersey, entered his plea Wednesday in connection to a bank robbery in Killingworth.

Court documents show Young and David Earl entered a TD Bank with a pellet gun Jan. 27 and told everyone to get down or they would ``blow their heads off.''

The men fled the scene with $9,754 in cash.

Officers later spotted their car in East Haven and engaged in a pursuit. Police say the men threw money out the car's windows during the chase, but officers were able to recover all but $275.

Earl pleaded guilty to the robbery in May.

Both men face up to 20 years in prison. 


Police: Man calls 911 to report fake child drowning

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Police have arrested a Connecticut man for calling 911 to report a fake drowning.

Authorities say the 34-year-old man called to report a child drowning in Hartford Monday afternoon in order to gauge emergency response times.

A witness told police the man wanted to test if authorities would respond to the city's ``poor black community.''

The man has been arrested and charged with falsely reporting an incident, interfering with police and breach of peace.

Police say the man made a similar false call five weeks ago and said armed men were trying to burglarize his home.

The man is currently being held on $30,000 bond. 


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