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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A former Connecticut governor who was twice convicted on felony charges is scheduled to be released from federal custody.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons says former Gov. John Rowland will be released from a halfway house Sunday, nearly a year early from his 30-month sentence.

The 61-year-old Republican had been transferred to the halfway house from a prison camp in Pennsylvania.

Federal officials previously declined to explain Rowland's early release, citing privacy laws. A message left with the prisons bureau was not immediately returned Thursday.

Rowland was convicted in a corruption scandal that forced him to resign from the governorship in 2004 and sent him to prison for 10 months.

He was convicted in 2014 of plotting to hide political consulting roles through sham contracts in two failed 5th congressional district campaigns. 

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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) A fatal shooting in Bridgeport left one man dead and another in critical condition.

The Connecticut Post reports the men arrived at separate hospitals shortly after 12:30 a.m. Thursday suffering from gunshot wounds.

Police say a man who was brought to St. Vincent's Medical Center died shortly after 6 a.m. The man in critical condition had been taken to Bridgeport Hospital.

Their names have not been publicly released.

Police say it appears the shooting took place near Asylum and Plymouth streets. It's the city's fifth homicide this year. 

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Hartford's deputy police chief says it is too soon to know if an officer injured in a stabbing will be able to return to the force, but she is in ``good spirits'' as her recovery progresses.

Deputy Chief Brian Foley told WFSB-TV on Thursday that Officer Jill Kidik is moving ``in a positive direction.'' He says the city's police officers are hopeful that she will able to rejoin them when she is fully healed.

Kidik was repeatedly stabbed in the neck last week while responding to a tenant-landlord dispute. Her jugular vein and trachea were lacerated.

The suspect has been ordered held on $2 million bail on attempted murder and other charges. 

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) The Stop & Shop supermarket chain has issued a recall for its store brand frozen broccoli after listeria was found during routine testing of the product at a store in Connecticut.

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection said Wednesday that the company issued a voluntary recall after a positive listeria test at a store in South Windsor. The recall applies to 16 ounce bags of Private Brands Frozen Broccoli Cuts.

Stop & Shop is based in Massachusetts and has stores throughout New England, New York and New Jersey. More information on the recall is available at the company's website .

The federal government says about 1,600 people get sick from listeria each year. The bacteria can cause dangerous complications for pregnant women, including miscarriages and stillbirths. 

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) A judge has denied a former Connecticut volunteer fire chief's appeal of his conviction for embezzling from the town where he worked.

The Republican-American reports an attorney for Paul Perrotti argued in the appeal that the government did not reach the threshold of proving that a minimum of $5,000 was stolen.

The appeals court denied the claim Monday, saying the government could reach the threshold based on fraudulent billings in 2012 and 2013.

Perrotti was sentenced to three months in federal prison in 2016 after he was convicted of using more than $25,000 from the Town of Middlebury to pay for personal items and business expenses.

Prosecutors say he wrote checks to employees, his company's vendors and third parties.

Perrotti's lawyer says they are working to reargue his case.

 

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A 44-year-old woman has been identified as Hartford's latest homicide victim.

Police say Lydia Tirillo was found on a city street just after 9 p.m. Wednesday by officers responding to the city's automated gunfire detection system, which picked up five gunshots.

Tirillo was suffering from gunshot wounds to the torso and leg. She was taken to St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

There was no word on arrests and police are still investigating, but they think Tirillo was targeted and the shooting was not a random act.

Deputy Chief Brian Foley says it does not appear to be a domestic violence situation. He says the victim was known to police.

Police will be reviewing area surveillance cameras. 

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut jury took less than two hours to convict a man of felony murder.

The Hartford Courant reports a jury took less than 90 minutes Tuesday to convict 29-year-old Philip Williams for charges connected to the July 2015 killing of Everett Scott.

He faces a minimum of 25 years in prison. A second person is awaiting trial for the same killing.

Williams is also charged with attempted first-degree robbery, and will be sentenced in July.

Prosecutors say it is not clear who fired the shot that killed Scott, but that Williams and the other man tried to rob Scott of cocaine. An attorney for Williams could not be identified. 

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut police department says an outdoor shooting range located in a residential neighborhood will be moved next month after years of resident complaints.

People living in New Haven's Newhallville neighborhood have long argued that the police training range was inappropriate for the area. They said the sound of gunfire could frequently be heard from their homes, a park and nearby schools.

WTNH-TV reports that a police spokesman says the range will be gone by mid-June. It is being moved to a new indoor facility at a former Army Reserve Center. 

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SOUTHINGTON, Conn. (AP) The victim of a weekend house fire in Connecticut has been identified as a 78-year-old woman.

Fire officials say Loretta Miron was the only person in the Southington home that went up in flames on Saturday night. Her body was found in the kitchen and she died Sunday at the hospital. Her dog also died in the blaze.

The state fire marshal's office and Southington Fire Department are investigating the cause of the fire that took hours to get under control.

However, no foul play is suspected.

Miron was listed as the owner of the home built in 1968. 

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NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (AP) The Connecticut medical examiner's office has confirmed the identity of man who barricaded himself on his property before dying in an explosion that also injured nine police officers.

The agency said Monday that testing showed the man was 60-year-old John Sayre and that he died of explosive and thermal injuries. Medical examiners couldn't determine if his death was an accident, suicide or homicide.

A regional SWAT team responded to Sayre's North Haven home on May 2 on a report of a barricaded man. Officials said Sayre's wife told police that she had escaped the property after being held hostage for several days. She wasn't hurt.

A barn behind the house exploded during the standoff. The nine officers survived their injuries.

The cause of the explosion remains under investigation. 

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HAMDEN, Conn. (AP) A teen girl has been arrested in connection to five Connecticut students being sent to an emergency room for consuming tainted cookies.

The New Haven Register reports the 15-year-old girl was detained Monday after students from Hamden High School were taken to the hospital for eating what police are calling, ``marijuana cookies.''

Police say the students appeared to be under the influence of drugs and were sent to the school nurse earlier. They reported feeling ill after eating cookies brought in by another student.

The students were sent to Yale New Haven Hospital as a precaution and have since been released. The girl, who has not been identified, is charged with five counts of risk of injury to a minor, and is scheduled to appear in juvenile court in New Haven. 

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HAMDEN, Conn. (AP) A former Connecticut police officer accused of distributing anabolic steroids to colleagues has pleaded guilty in federal court.

Former Hamden officer Bryan Kelly entered the plea Monday and faces up to 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine when sentenced.

Investigators say they found more than 25,000 pills and 500 vials of steroids while investigating Kelly. They say he used some of the drugs himself and distributed some to friends and colleagues.

Kelly was a police officer at the time of the investigation. The 46-year-old has since retired from the force.

Sentencing has not been scheduled. 

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Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim says he's pushing ahead with plans to petition his way onto the primary ballot, in hopes of ultimately challenging Greenwich businessman Ned Lamont for the Democratic nomination for governor. Retired Greenwich executive Guy Smith is also collecting signatures to try to qualify for the August 14th primary.
 
Democrats have endorsed former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz for lieutenant governor, but the veteran politician is facing what could be a tough primary challenge.  Eva Bermudez-Zimmerman, a 30-year-old labor negotiator from Sandy Hook, managed to win nearly 40 percent of the support of the delegates at  the convention.
 
Democrats have endorsed Secretary of the State Denise Merrill for a third term.
 
State Comptroller Kevin Lembo faced no opposition, and automatically became the nominee. He is seeking a third term.
 
Stamford Representative William Tong has been nominated for attorney general.  Two candidates, Wethersfield state Senator Paul Doyle and former federal prosecutor Chris Mattei of Hartford received enough support from delegates at Saturday's convention to automatically qualify for the primary. 
 
Connecticut Democrats are closing out their convention by endorsing former Hartford City Council President Shawn Wooden for state treasurer, but he faces a challenge this summer.  Former Wall Street trader Dita Bhargava, and Hartford attorney Arunan Arulampalam secured enough delegate support to automatically qualify for the primary. 

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A former Connecticut death row inmate who raped and killed a 21-year-old woman in 2002 is set to be resentenced to life in prison the result of the state's elimination of capital punishment.

Lazale Ashby is due in Hartford Superior Court on Monday. He is one of 11 former death row inmates whose sentences have been, or will be revised because of the state Supreme Court's 2015 ruling that the death penalty was unconstitutional.

Ashby was convicted in the killing of single mom Elizabeth Garcia in Hartford.

He was supposed to be resentenced last month, but prosecutors asked a judge to postpone the hearing so that Garcia's daughter could attend. Her daughter, 17-year-old Jayleah, was 2 when her mother was killed. 

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A Hartford police officer is expected to make a full recovery from stabbing injuries sustained when she responded to a tenant-landlord dispute.

The Hartford Courant reports Officer Jill Kidik is expected to survive. Hartford Deputy Chief Brian Foley made the announcement Sunday.

Kidik was stabbed multiple times Thursday when Chevoughn Augustin allegedly knocked her to the ground, and stabbed her with a large ceramic kitchen knife in the neck while placing her in a choke hold. Two nearby maintenance workers disarmed Augustin. She is being held on $2 million bail on an attempted murder charge.

In a Friday court appearance, Augustin's public defender Victoria Pells said that Augustin is a community volunteer and helps people with their taxes.

Kidik was trying to handcuff the woman before the stabbing. 

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Connecticut officials are canceling rail and bus fare increases scheduled to begin on July 1.

Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker (REHD'-eh-kur) announced Thursday the increases and service cutbacks are no longer needed because the revised state budget adequately funds Connecticut's transportation account for the short-term.

Redeker called it ``great news for Connecticut commuters'' and commended lawmakers for passing a budget that maintains full funding for public transportation by accelerating the planned transfer of motor vehicle sales tax revenues from the state's main spending account.

The Special Transportation Fund was projected to become insolvent beginning fiscal year 2019, prompting the transportation agency to propose a 10 percent fare increase for all rail commuters, a 14 percent fare increase for bus riders and service reductions. 

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NORWALK, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter for kicking his girlfriend during a drunken fight, causing her to fall and suffer a fatal head injury.

The Stamford Advocate reports that 60-year-old Paul Bjerke entered the plea Thursday. He was charged with causing the death of 48-year-old Liza Zemlok in their mobile home in Norwalk in April 2017.

Investigators say Bjerke kicked Zemlok, causing her to hit her head on a piece of furniture. They say she then locked herself in a bedroom, where she was later found dead.

Bjerke's public defender called it a tragic situation. He says the couple had ``a very loving relationship'' that sometimes got out of control after they had been drinking.

Bjerke faces five years in prison when he is sentenced July 20. 

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SHELTON, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut firefighter charged with setting a fire outside his firehouse is now facing child pornography charges.

The Connecticut Post reports 57-year-old William Tortora, of Shelton, was arrested Wednesday after images of children involved in sex acts were discovered on his cell phone.

He's been charged with third-degree possession of child pornography and promoting a minor in an obscene performance.

Tortora has been in custody since his March 1 arrest. He's being represented by the public defender's office.

Police say Tortora and Gregory Bomba, a former volunteer firefighter, set boxes that were on the back of a pickup truck on fire outside the Echo Hose Company firehouse in February. Tortora then drove around until the burning boxes flew off.

Both men were charged with arson, reckless endangerment and criminal mischief. 

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Hartford police say a city officer has been stabbed in the neck while responding to a disturbance and a suspect is in custody.

Deputy Chief Brian Foley says the female officer was stabbed at a downtown apartment building at Constitution Plaza on Thursday morning. Her condition wasn't disclosed.

The names of the officer and suspect have not been released.

Police closed streets in the area.

No other information is available.  

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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - A New York woman charged with lying about being raped by two college football players now says she never told investigators she was sexually assaulted.

Nikki Yovino, of South Setauket, New York, was in a Connecticut court Wednesday for a hearing on the defense's motion to keep her alleged confession that she made up the rape allegation out of trial.

The Connecticut Post reports a prosecutor appeared surprised when the former Sacred Heart University student said she never told police she was sexually assaulted. She testified she told police "something happened in the bathroom at the party with these two guys that I didn't want to happen."

Yovino said two Sacred Heart football players raped her in 2016. The players said the encounter was consensual.

Yovino is charged with falsely reporting an incident. 

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