banner banner banner banner banner
State News Stories
Subscribe To This Feed

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut yacht club is denying race and national origin played roles in the club's rejection of a Muslim businessman's membership application last year.

William Murray is a lawyer for the Pine Orchard Yacht Country Club in Branford. He said the club strongly denies allegations of racism, discrimination and bigotry in a lawsuit filed by Kamran Farid, a co-founder of the fruit bouquet business Edible Arrangements.

Murray says the club's board never considers race, religion or national origin when choosing members. He said response from members against Farid's application was "unprecedented and overwhelming," but he declined to disclose the reasons.

Farid and his wife are seeking a court order for the club to stop discriminating, undisclosed damages and a suspension of the club's liquor permit.

Subscribe To This Feed

VERNON, Conn. (AP) A Massachusetts man has been charged with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle after a car he was driving fell through the ice on a pond at a Connecticut state park, leaving one person dead.

The Hartford Courant reports 21-year-old Justin McAllise, of Southbridge, Massachusetts, appeared in a Rockville court on Tuesday. His case was continued to next month.

Authorities say the car traveled about 50 yards onto the ice on a pond at Bigelow Hollow State Park in Union before falling through on Jan. 12.

One of three passengers, 18-year-old Emily Blouin, of Southbridge, Massachusetts, was declared dead at the hospital.

Authorities obtained an arrest warrant after they say a lab testing of his blood showed he had smoked marijuana before the incident.

Subscribe To This Feed

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A now-retired Connecticut police sergeant says in a newly released incident report that he kicked a handcuffed man in the head because the man refused to stop spitting blood at him.

Hartford police on Tuesday released documents in an investigation into whether officers used excessive force during the June arrests of Ricardo Perez and Emilio Diaz.

A video released in October appears to show Sgt. Sean Spell drop his left leg onto a man's head.

Spell's incident report says Diaz appeared to be high on PCP and was spitting at him. It says Spell used force after Diaz refused to stop and comply with orders.

Diaz's lawyer tells The Hartford Courant his client ``denies spitting blood at anybody.'' Spell's attorney didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

Subscribe To This Feed

NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) Police say a father is facing charges after his young daughter was found in a stroller alone on a New London street.

The girl, estimated to be 2 or 3 years old, was found by a passing motorist at about 7 p.m. Monday. The motorist took the child to a nearby fire station.

Fire Lt. Jonathan Paige tells The Day that firefighters evaluated the girl before she was sent to the hospital as a precaution.

A witness said the girl was alone on the sidewalk for several minutes.

Police tells WFSB-TV that the girl's father was found a short time later. He was intoxicated. He was charged with risk of injury to a child and state child welfare officials were notified.

No names were immediately released.

Subscribe To This Feed

BEDMINSTER, N.J. (AP) -- Three Democratic U.S. senators are increasing the pressure on the U.S. Golf Association to move next year's women's open away from a New Jersey course owned by Donald Trump.


Richard Blumenthal, of Connecticut, Edward Markey, of Massachusetts, and Bob Casey, of Pennsylvania, made the request to move next July's event away from Trump National in Bedminster in a letter sent Monday.


The senators called on USGA executive director Mike Davis to consider suspending further events at properties owned by the Republican presidential candidate because of what they describe as a "pattern of degrading and dehumanizing women" over decades.


The Trump Organization declined comment.


Trump was recorded in a 2005 video using vulgar language and apparently boasting of sexual assault. He has been accused of unwanted sexual advances by a group of women this month. He has called them liars and threatened to sue.

Subscribe To This Feed

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) -- Police in Massachusetts have arrested a Connecticut man they say got out of his car naked and started jumping and dancing in the street after striking a curb and getting a flat.


Springfield police say an officer on patrol spotted a speeding car with its lights off running stop signs at about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday.


The vehicle failed to negotiate a turn before striking the curb and blowing out the tire.

The driver eventually complied with verbal commands to get on the ground so officers could handcuff him. He was taken to the hospital for an evaluation.


Police say 30-year-old Dereck Dent, of Enfield, Connecticut, faces several driving charges and was wanted on several warrants.


He couldn't be reached for comment and it wasn't clear if had hired a lawyer.

Subscribe To This Feed

MANSFIELD, Conn. (AP) - University of Connecticut officials say there are clearly no ghosts at the former mental institution that now serves as the school's Depot Campus in Mansfield.

But the abandoned buildings at the former Mansfield Training School have made it an attraction for ghost hunters, horror filmmakers, copper thieves and the curious.

The school has put up fencing around many of the decaying buildings to keep people out, and police make regular patrols, but say that doesn't always stop trespassers.

So far this year, four people have been charged with sneaking into the buildings.

School officials say they'd like to find more uses for the more than 350-arce property, which is on the National Register of Historic places. But red tape, cleanup cost and other priorities have kept them from moving forward.

Subscribe To This Feed

OXFORD, Conn. (AP) State police say a person is dead after a pickup truck crashed into a ravine and burst into flames in Oxford.

Resident State Trooper Dan Semosky tells The Connecticut Post the crash happened around 6:30 a.m. Saturday and involved only one vehicle.

Fire officials say the truck was on fire and on its side when rescuers arrived. The victim was trapped inside.

Semosky says the state medical examiner's office is working on identifying the victim.

The cause the crash remains under investigation.

Subscribe To This Feed

LITCHFIELD, Conn. (AP) Connecticut State Police say one person is dead and several people are injured after a crash that involved multiple motorcycles in Litchfield.

Trooper Kelly Grant says the crash happened around 1:30 p.m. Sunday near state Route 63. She says at least five people were hospitalized in unknown condition.

No one has been identified. Further details on what led to the crash weren't immediately available.

Authorities are investigating.

Subscribe To This Feed

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.

Subscribe To This Feed

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.

Subscribe To This Feed

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.

Subscribe To This Feed

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.

Subscribe To This Feed

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.

Subscribe To This Feed

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.

Subscribe To This Feed

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.

Subscribe To This Feed

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.

Subscribe To This Feed

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.

Subscribe To This Feed

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.

Subscribe To This Feed

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.