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STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) -- A Connecticut man who rolled into a jewelry store in a wheelchair, asked to see a $37,000 watch, then got up and sprinted out with the expensive timepiece has been sentenced to six years behind bars.

 

The Stamford Advocate reports that 37-year-old Larry Johnson was also sentenced Wednesday to eight years of probation.

 

The Waterbury man pleaded guilty in September to robbery, larceny and assault.

 

Authorities say Johnson entered a Stamford jewelry store in a wheelchair in May 2015 and asked to see a Rolex watch. Once he had the watch, he got out of the wheelchair, used pepper spray on the clerk and the security guard, and knocked the guard to the ground as he fled.

 

Johnson was tied to the theft by a fingerprint on the wheelchair.

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VERNON, Conn. (AP) -- A driver who struck and fatally injured a Connecticut teacher in a middle school parking lot has been acquitted of manslaughter but convicted of other charges.

 

A judge on Thursday delivered the verdicts against Elizabeth Everett, whose SUV who struck 65-year-old math teacher Dawn Mallory. Mallory died from her injuries two weeks later.

 

Everett had dropped her son off and was backing up in an area reserved for school buses in the parking lot of RHAM Middle School in Hebron on March 14, 2014. Prosecutors said she had a blood alcohol content of .07, just below the legal limit to drive.

 

The 52-year-old Everett was acquitted of second-degree manslaughter but the judge found her guilty of misconduct with a motor vehicle and unsafe backing. The misconduct charge is a felony.

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SOMERS, Conn. (AP) -- State officials say four housing units at Connecticut's medium-security prison in Somers have been closed in response to a declining crime rate that has led to a smaller inmate population.

 

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Correction Department said Wednesday that the units closed at Osborn Correctional Institution once housed more than 400 inmates combined.

 

The Correction Department has relocated inmates to housing units in other state prisons. Malloy previously estimated that closing the units at Osborn would save the state about $2.2 million a year.

 

The closing of the four units will have no impact on prison staffing.

 

Osborn opened in 1963. The prison housed more than 2,000 inmates at its peak. The current inmate population is less than 1,400.

 

The state's total prison population is about 14,800.

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President-elect Donald Trump will nominate wrestling executive Linda McMahon to serve as administrator of the Small Business Administration, a Cabinet-level position.

Trump says McMahon will be a ``champion for small businesses and unleash America's entrepreneurial spirit all across the country.''

McMahon is the co-founder and former chief executive of World Wrestling Entertainment, the professional wrestling organization.

She ran two expensive, contentious, yet ultimately unsuccessful campaigns for the U.S. Senate in her home state of Connecticut. She's also a sought-after Republican donor.

In a statement, McMahon says she's honored to join an economic team that will ``promote our country's small businesses and help them grow and thrive.''

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STORRS, Conn. (AP) UConn is planning to hike a number of its fees, charging students more for room and board, transit and some academic programs.

UConn's Board of Trustees approved the hikes at its meeting Wednesday morning.

The school is planning to increase its housing and board fees over three years, by about 3 percent a year.

The transit fee would go from $120 to $160 a year, if the state approves its UPass program, which would allow college students to ride for free on any Connecticut public transit bus.

UConn also is creating a $250 fee per semester for international students to cover UConn's costs of administering visa compliance.

UConn President Susan Herbst says she will create a committee to look at ways to simplify the school's fee structure.

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WATERTOWN, Conn. (AP) Police in Connecticut are investigating the theft of dozens of toys collected for underprivileged children from a Watertown church.

Police tell The Republican-American of Waterbury that someone entered the locked First Congregational Church between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Monday and took about 36 wrapped gifts.

The gifts included toys, clothes and diapers.

Investigators say there were no signs of forced entry at the church, and last weekend was the deadline for gift collection, so the thief likely knew the items were there.

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NORWALK, Conn. (AP) A social studies textbook that says some slaves in Connecticut were cared for like family members is being pulled from fourth-grade classrooms in Norwalk.

Norwalk public school officials said they began reviewing the book, ``The Connecticut Adventure,'' after a parent raised concerns last month about its depiction of slavery.

Hearst Connecticut Media reports the district's chief academic officer, Michael Conner, said in a letter to parents that the textbook minimizes the impact and implications of slavery.

The book by John W. Ifkovic was published in 2001 by Gibbs Smith Publishing. In a chapter on slavery in Connecticut, the book says, ``Compared to other colonies, Connecticut did not have many slaves. Some people owned one or two slaves. They often cared for and protected them like members of the family.''

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MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (AP) -- The creator and director of the Broadway hit "Hamilton" will serve as honorary chairs of a committee giving someone a shot at a four-year scholarship to their alma mater.

 

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Thomas Kail will help choose the first recipient of the Wesleyan University Hamilton Prize for Creativity, which was announced in June.

 

The full-tuition scholarship will be awarded to an incoming student who submits a written work judged to "best reflect originality, artistry and dynamism."

 

In addition to Miranda and Kail, the 14-member committee will include other noted Wesleyan alums including Lemony Snicket author Daniel Handler, singer Amanda Palmer of the punk duo Dresden Dolls, and Matthew Weiner, creator of the TV show "Mad Men."

 

Kail and Miranda graduated from the Middletown, Connecticut, university in 1999 and 2002, respectively

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Hartford man has been convicted of orchestrating the robbery and murder of a man during the prospective sale of two Craigslist items.

The Hartford Courant reports the jury convicted 25-year-old Rashad Moon of felony murder, robbery and conspiracy on Monday. He faces more than 60 years in prison when he's sentenced Feb. 1.

Prosecutors say 23-year-old Marvin Mathis fatally shot 40-year-old Felix DeJesus, of Cromwell, as he was waiting to meet a potential buyer in May 2013 in Hartford.

Prosecutors say Moon set up the robbery and got Mathis to carry out the crime. Mathis' attorney has said Mathis has a range of intellectual and psychiatric issues. Mathis faces the same charges.

Moon's attorney argued that Mathis wasn't as limited as the state made him out to be.

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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - A three-judge panel has found that a Bridgeport man who fatally shot a construction worker at a work site shortly after inquiring about working there did so because he wanted the man's job.

The Connecticut Post reports the panel on Monday found 34-year-old Gregory Weathers guilty of murder in the March 2015 death of 31-year-old Jose Araujo, of Milford.

Weathers faces up to 75 years behind bars when he's sentenced Feb. 3.

The panel rejected testimony from both defense and state psychiatrists who testified that Weathers suffered from a mental disease or defect, finding the evidence insufficient to establish Weather's insanity claim.

Authorities say Weathers walked onto the construction site looking for a job and shot Araujo after he was told he'd have to fill out an application.

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GROTON, Conn. (AP) - The Navy has christened its newest attack submarine, a $2.7 billion vessel named for the state of Colorado.

The 377-foot-long Colorado is the 15th in the Virginia class of attack submarines, which are equipped to carry out warfare against submarines and surface ships as well as conducting surveillance and delivering Special Operations troops.

The submarines are built in a partnership between Electric Boat and Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia at a cost of $2.7 billion apiece. Construction of the Colorado began in March 2012 and its contract calls for delivery to the Navy by September.

The Colorado's sponsor is Annie Mabus, the daughter of Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. The christening ceremony took place Saturday at the Electric Boat shipyard in Groton, Connecticut.

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GROTON, Conn. (AP) - Police in Groton have arrested a New York City man and charged him in connection with selling counterfeit concert tickets.

Police say 23-year-old Fred T. Lyons met with an undercover detective in Groton Friday and attempted to sell him counterfeit concert tickets to an event at an area casino. They say when officers identified themselves to Lyons, he pushed them out of the way and ran. He was captured after a brief chase.

One officer was treated for minor injuries.

Lyons is charged with assault on a police officer, two counts of interfering with a police officer, conspiracy to commit larceny and forgery. He's being held on $50,000 bond. It wasn't immediately known if he's represented by a lawyer.

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WESTPORT, Conn. (AP) - Police in Connecticut say a roofing contractor was killed and a co-worker was seriously injured when they fell off a roof at a three-story home that was under construction.

Police say the two men were working on a roof in the coastal town of Westport when they fell around 12:45 p.m. Sunday.

Emergency responders found one of the men dead at the scene. The other worker was hospitalized with injuries considered life-threatening.

The men weren't immediately identified. Police say no foul play is suspected.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating.

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WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) - A former Connecticut Boy Scout troop leader has been sentenced to five to seven years in prison after admitting under a plea deal to sexually assaulting three boys during scouting trips to Massachusetts in the 1990s.

The Telegram Gazette reports 53-year-old David Kress, of Thompson, Connecticut, pleaded guilty Thursday in Worcester, Massachusetts to seven counts of statutory child rape.

Kress must register as a sex offender and receive sex offender counseling. His sentence was recommended by both prosecutors and his attorney.

Prosecutors say Kress molested members Troop 66 during trips to Nichols College in Dudley, Massachusetts. He was the troop's scoutmaster.

Boy Scout officials have said Kress was relieved of his volunteer duties.

Kress faces similar charges in Connecticut.

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut lawmaker wants the state to bail out about 20 people and businesses in the state that are owed about $270,000 by a now-defunct organization that operated Connecticut's official flagship, the Amistad schooner.

Democratic Rep. Diana Urban, of North Stonington, is proposing a bill for the 2017 legislative session calling for the state to borrow money to pay Connecticut-based creditors of Amistad America.

The group went into state receivership and was dissolved last year after running up $2 million in debt. A new organization is operating the vessel.

The 129-foot Baltimore clipper is a replica of a slave ship seized by African captives in 1839. They were jailed in New Haven, but won their freedom in a landmark case that began in Connecticut and ended in the U.S. Supreme Court.

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BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) - Police are investigating a possible case of animal fighting at a convenience store in Bristol.

Officials with the state Department of Revenue Services assisted by the police Narcotics Enforcement Team responded to Tropical Market convenience store on Thursday on a routine revenue service inspection.

Bristol police say that while they were there they saw evidence of a possible animal fighting operation.

Police obtained a search warrant and discovered two caged roosters in the basement of the store along with other items used to care for the birds and treat any possible injuries.

The roosters were removed from the property. No arrests have been made. The investigation is ongoing.

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - A New Haven man convicted of fatally stabbing a man 51 times in his apartment three years ago is headed to prison.

New Haven Register reports 47-year-old Semmion Watson was sentenced Thursday to 45 years behind bars for the Oct. 5, 2013 death of 44-year-old Anthony Stevenson Sr. A three-judge panel in September found Watson guilty of murder and selling narcotics.

Police say Watson had admitted that Stevenson came to his apartment to buy drugs. But the judges didn't accept Watson's claims that Stevenson came after him with a knife and stabbed him after the two got into an argument, citing the nature and extent of the wounds suffered by both men.

The defense says Watson maintains he acted in self-defense.

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PLAINVILLE, Conn. (AP) -- State Rep. Betty Boukus, who served more than two decades in the General Assembly before losing a high-profile re-election bid last month, has died. She was 73.

 

House Speaker Brendan Sharkey's office said Boukus, who co-chaired the legislature's powerful bonding subcommittee, died Friday. She had been battling cancer.

 

The Plainville Democrat was a teacher by training, but had served in the House since 1994.  She was defeated in November by her Republican opponent, Dr. William Petit, who became a national figure after a 2007 home invasion in Cheshire that took the lives of his wife and two daughters.

 

Sharkey remembered Boukus as a caring lawmaker who understood that her legislative decisions had a human impact.

 

Boukus is survived by her husband, Gary, two adult children and four grandchildren.

 

Governor Dannel Malloy has directred the State flags to fly at half-staff in honor of Boukus.  State flags should be lowered beginning immediately until sunset on the date of interment, which has not yet been determined.

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) Yale University's president has appointed a panel to consider whether to rename a residential college named for an ardent supporter of slavery.

President Peter Salovey said the panelists will use the recommendations of a university committee that on Friday released guidelines to follow when the school considers changing building names.

Yale has been under pressure to change the name of Calhoun College, named for former Vice President John C. Calhoun, an alumnus and supporter of slavery.

Friday's report from the Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming says changing the name of anything at the Ivy League school should be an exceptional event done only when the person was honored for a ``legacy fundamentally at odds with the university's mission.''

The committee cautioned that renaming should not have the effect of erasing history.

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - The Connecticut Department of Children and Families is investigating after authorities say a 4-year-old girl left school and started walking home alone after she was sent to the office to be picked up early.

Police say the girl was going to be picked up early Tuesday from the Thirman Milner School in Hartford but was sent to the office prematurely.

When she didn't see her mother, police say the girl walked about a half-mile to her home and was spotted by a woman who then followed her to make sure she got home safely.

No criminal action has been taken. The school is conducting an internal investigation.

Hartford Public Schools interim Superintendent Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez tells WVIT-TV that they have started to revise procedures for all schools.

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