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Meat Loaf, former Conn. resident, dies at 74

NEW YORK (AP) Meat Loaf, the rock superstar loved by millions for his ``Bat Out of Hell'' album and for such theatrical, dark-hearted anthems as ``Paradise By the Dashboard Light'' and ``Two Out of Three Ain't Bad,'' has died at age 74. A family statement provided by his longtime agent says the singer born Marvin Lee Aday died Thursday night. ``Bat Out of Hell,'' his mega-selling collaboration with songwriter Jim Steinman, came out in 1977 and became one of the bestselling records in history. He was also known for his role in ``The Rocky Horror Picture Show'' and the 1993 single ``I'd Do Anything for Love.''  Meat Loaf lived in Redding in the 1990s, and later in Fairfield and Stamford. He was also a girls baseball coach in Stamford, Westport and Redding.


Lamont: Vax mandate for state employees, teachers can expire

Gov. Ned Lamont won't push for lawmakers to renew executive orders requiring certain state employees and teachers either get vaccinated or tested for COVID-19. He said that's due to both the large number of people who've gotten the COVID-19 shots and the "significant administrative burden" placed on state agencies and schools to regularly test unvaccinated staff. Lamont said Thursday he still wants mandatory vaccinations for long-term care workers and employees at state-run hospitals. Lamont has provided legislative leaders with 11 executive orders he hopes they will extend.


Norwalk official charged with murder in fatal shooting

NORWALK, Conn. (AP) - A public official in Connecticut was charged with murder Thursday after a man was shot to death Thursday inside a home she owns. Ellen Wink was being held on a $1 million, police said. It was not immediately clear if the 61-year-old has hired an attorney. Wink is the city's deputy Republican registrar of voter and served as city clerk from 2009 to 2011. Police say they were responding to the report of a domestic disturbance when they found a man suffering from multiple gunshot wounds around noon. They say Wink was detained at the scene.


Lamont: Nursing home visitors must be vaccinated or tested

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Visitors to nursing homes in Connecticut must soon show proof they've been vaccinated for COVID-19 or they've recently tested negative in order to entre the long-term care facilities. Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont signed an executive order on Wednesday that imposes the new requirement, effective Saturday. Visitors must provide proof they're fully vaccinated and, if eligible, have received a COVID-19 vaccine booster. If not, they must provide proof of a negative test. If that's not possible, visitors can take a rapid antigen test at the nursing home. The Department of Public Health plans to distribute 50,000 tests, beginning Friday, to all nursing homes for visitors.


State to help train insurance brokers for underserved cities

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Gov. Ned Lamont and Connecticut's health care exchange announced plans for a training program for licensed independent insurance brokers in the state's three largest cities. These brokers will be certified to sell insurance on the state's health care exchange and won't be tied to any particular insurance carriers. James Michel, the chief executive of Access Health CT, said the Broker Academy will expand access to health insurance in greater Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford. The first class launching in June will include 100 students. Those chosen will receive free training, a three-month apprenticeship with an experienced insurance broker, and professional development.


Stefanowski running for governor in likely expensive race

Connecticut voters may see another expensive election now that Republican businessperson Bob Stefanowski says he's running for seeking a rematch against Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont. The 2018 GOP gubernatorial candidate announced his candidacy for the 2022 election on Wednesday morning. Stefanowski says he's spending at least $10 million of his own money on his latest bid and plans to raise even more. Lamont is a successful businessperson who spent more than $12 million in 2018 and is expected to spend millions this time as well.


WCSU grad accepts insanity plea in Mar-a-Lago breach

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - The Connecticut opera singer who drew law enforcement fire when she sped through a checkpoint outside then-President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home in Florida has been found not guilty by reason of insanity. Florida prosecutors accepted Hannah Roemhild's plea during a brief hearing Tuesday with the 32-year-old singer appearing by Zoom from her home state. Federal prosecutors accepted a similar plea deal in August. Her attorneys have said she has a history of mental illness. Roemhild only spoke to acknowledge her presence during the three-minute hearing in West Palm Beach. Under terms of the agreement, she must undergo psychiatric treatment and counseling and take medications, with monthly blood tests to confirm compliance.  Roemhild graduated from Western Connecticut State University in 2011


UConn's athletic deficit rose to $47.2 million in 2021

STORRS, Conn. (AP) - UConn's athletic department reported that its budget deficit rose from from $43.5 million to $47.2 million in the 2021 fiscal year, the result of pandemic-related hits to ticket sales and other revenue. The school released the figures Tuesday as part of its athletic department's annual fiscal report to the NCAA. The gap will be made up through $42.6 million in institutional support and $4.6 million in student fees, according to the report. The school said it hopes to reduce the deficit, one of the highest in the nation, to $33.6 million during a more normal 2022 fiscal year.
 


Officials vow action after 13-year-old overdoses at school

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut officials are pledging action and urging parents to talk to their children about the dangers of drugs. That's after the overdose death of a Hartford seventh grader last week. State Rep. Liz Linehan, of Cheshire, said Tuesday that bills are likely coming this year that will require the overdose reversal drug naloxone in schools and expand training for educators on what to do if a child is using opioids. A 13-year-old student died Saturday after overdosing at the Sport and Medical Sciences Academy in Hartford. Two other students recovered after apparently being exposed to the powerful opioid fentanyl.


Motorists in Conn. mystified by 'singing road'

STONINGTON, Conn. (AP) - It's been compared to the sound of a pod of humpback whales, or the soundtrack from a horror movie. The unusual noises on a stretch of Interstate 95 in southeastern Connecticut have gotten it dubbed "the singing road," and it has motorists perplexed. Some worried their car had something wrong with its tires or bearings. Transportation officials told The Day newspaper that the sound comes from "high frequency rolling" of the roadway that's done in chilly temperatures. It's a temporary fix that's part of a general resurfacing project. A full-scale paving project likely will happen in 2024.


2 drivers killed in wrong-way crash in Connecticut

GUILFORD, Conn. (AP) - Police say a driver headed the wrong way on Interstate 95 in Connecticut crashed head-on with another car, killing himself and the other driver. Connecticut state police say the wrong-way crash happened at about 10:45 p.m. Sunday on Interstate 95 in Guilford. Police said 46-year-old Klever Cordova, of Guilford, was driving south on the northbound side of the highway when he crashed into a northbound vehicle driven by 35-year-old Jose Dias of Providence, Rhode Island. Both men were pronounced dead. The crash is under investigation.


Bipartisan U.S. Senate delegation travels to Ukraine

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Seven U.S. senators are in Ukraine to meet with that country's president and other officials. The bipartisan delegation consists of four Democrats Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, Chris Murphy, Amy Klobuchar and Richard Blumenthal and three Republicans Rob Portman, Kevin Cramer and Roger Wicker. Members said they will meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Monday to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to Ukraine as it tries to solidify its democracy while facing an increasingly belligerent Russia.


Parents mad over vaxxed-only kids' comedy basketball show

ANSONIA, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut town is coming under fire from parents after it scheduled a free comedy basketball show that is restricted to vaccinated children. The Feb. 6 show in Ansonia features the Harlem Wizards, a professional touring team in the tradition of the Harlem Globetrotters. City officials aren't backing down in limiting the event to vaccinated children. It's being sponsored by a local health care provider to thank the city for its efforts to boost vaccine rates. The New Haven Register reports about 15% of children aged 5 to 11 in Ansonia were fully vaccinated as of last week.


Connecticut boy, 13, dies days after overdosing at school

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Police say a 13-year-old Connecticut boy who apparently overdosed on the opioid fentanyl while in school has died. The seventh-grader from the Sports and Medical Science Academy in Hartford died Saturday. He had been hospitalized since collapsing at school on Thursday. Two other students at the public school were sickened after apparently being exposed to the drug. Both recovered. The victim's name has not been released because of his age. Police say the case remains under investigation.
 


Building could become museum for Black Civil War regiment

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A vacant building in Hartford could become a museum honoring Connecticut's Black Civil War regiment. An Army veteran is spearheading a project to raise $35 million to tell the story of the 29th Regiment Connecticut Infantry, the first Union soldiers to enter the defeated city of Richmond. The city-owned building also would be converted into subsidized housing for low-income veterans. Democratic U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal has offered to help the group with the federal funding process. City officials say a thorough environmental assessment must be performed before the project can go forward.
 


AG looks at high rates nursing home staffing agencies charge

Connecticut nursing home operators say they're facing a major staffing crisis that's being exacerbated by a "war" for workers with mostly out-of-state nurse staffing agencies they've been forced to hired to fill their depleted ranks. Attorney General William Tong says attorneys in the antitrust section of his office have met with state's nursing home industry officials about what he called "serious concerns" about price gouging allegations. He said he's aware of similar allegations in other states where facilities are struggling to fill positions. A top Republican also recently criticized a state policy allowing hospitals to release patients positive for COVID-19 to nursing homes.


Officer pleads no contest in shooting that injured woman

A Connecticut police officer who fired his gun 13 times at an unarmed couple's car and wounded a woman and another officer in 2019 has pleaded no contest to felony assault. Hamden Officer Devin Eaton entered the plea Thursday in New Haven Superior Court and faces up to 18 months in prison. Sentencing is set for April 8. Eaton and his lawyer declined to comment. The shooting in New Haven sparked several protests. Eaton told investigators he believed the driver of the car had a gun, but no weapons were found in the vehicle. A woman in the car was seriously wounded and another officer suffered a graze wound from a bullet fired by Eaton.


Doctors believe latest surge may be peaking in Connecticut

Doctors at Connecticut's two largest health care systems say they believe the latest wave of the COVID-19 pandemic may be peaking in the state. Their comments came as Gov. Ned Lamont's office released data Thursday showing hospitalizations falling from the day before by about 20. The chief of infectious disease at Hartford HealthCare says that the one-day data is not evidence in itself that the recent wave has peaked but that it seems to be part of a larger trend. The chief medical officer at Yale-New Haven Health says he expects a steady if slow decline in hospitalizations over the next four to six weeks.


Police officer dies after 13-year in coma from on-duty crash

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut police officer who spent 13 years in a coma following a high-speed collision with another officer's vehicle has died. The New Haven Register reported Tuesday that Officer Diane Gonzalez suffered a traumatic brain injury. The New Haven Police Department said the 60-year-old Gonzalez succumbed to her injuries Monday. On Sept. 9, 2008, she and another officer were responding to a report of a violent domestic dispute when their cars collided at an intersection in central New Haven. Gonzalez was 13-year veteran of the department.


Lamont says he may need narrow extension of COVID powers

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont and Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney are leaving open the possibility the governor may need to have his emergency powers extended under narrow circumstances as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Lamont's civil preparedness and public health emergency declarations have been extended multiple times since March 2020 and are now set to expire Feb. 15. The Democratic governor said Wednesday that his legal counsel is preparing a list of about 10 to 12 executive orders that state lawmakers should consider extending. But Lamont says he may need to extend his emergency powers for a narrow group of things.


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