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State News Stories

Family, clergy demand reforms after fatal shooting by police

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - Clergy and relatives of a 19-year-old man killed by a Connecticut state police trooper have met with the state's public safety commissioner to demand reforms. Family of Mubarak Soulemane and pastors asked Commissioner James Rovella on Tuesday to send the trooper home on suspension and increase de-escalation training. Officials say Trooper Brian North fatally shot Soulemane on Jan. 15 in West Haven as Soulemane sat in the driver's seat of a car and displayed a knife after a carjacking and chase. North is on administrative duty pending an investigation. Local clergy say Rovella promised to improve training and diversity within state police.

Court ruling ends long legal fight in Chinese torture case

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A federal appeals court ruling has ended a 15-year-old legal fight in the U.S. over whether a Chinese television official incited torture in his country against members of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York on Tuesday rejected a request by members of the movement to file an amended lawsuit. A federal judge in Connecticut dismissed the case six years ago. Chinese citizens accused Zhao Zhizhen, a radio and television executive in China, of inciting torture against them through anti-Falun Going programming. Zhao denied the allegations.

Man accused in wife's death requests change of venue

VERNON, Conn. (AP) - Lawyers for a Connecticut man charged with murder in the killing of his wife have requested the judge move the trial because of extensive media coverage surrounding the case. Richard Dabate, of Ellington, has maintained his innocence since he was charged in the shooting death of his wife Connie Dabate in 2017. The Hartford Courant reported Monday that Dabate's lawyers submitted a request for a change of venue on Jan. 14. If the judge declines, Dabate's lawyers have asked that Ellington residents be excluded from the jury because they would prevent him from receiving a fair trial.  

Connie Dabate was found shot to death in the basement of the couple’s home in 2015. Richard Dabate told investigators at the time that a masked man shot his wife and tied him up.

But state police found information from his wife’s Fitbit activity tracker that contradicts his story and shows she was moving around an hour after he said she was killed. Authorities also found that Richard Dabate had a girlfriend who was 10 weeks pregnant at the time of his wife’s death.

Dabate has been free on $1 million bail. He is charged with murder, tampering with physical evidence and lying to police.

Man killed by police in Waterbury during fight in home

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) - Waterbury police say a man was killed byofficers while they were checking out a report of a bullet being shot through two homes' common wall. Chief Fernando C. Spagnolo says officers received a call Monday from a property manager of the Craigie Avenue home. Officers responded at about 12:30 p.m. and fought inside a unit with a man, using "deadly force." The man was rendered medical aid and later pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene. Spagnolo said the man had an active gun permit for the state of Connecticut and a gun was found. The officers who were at the scene are expected to be OK. They were not wearing body cameras.

Man rescued after falling off railroad bridge into river

DERBY, Conn. (AP) - Authorities in Connecticut have rescued a man found clinging to rocks in the Housatonic River after he fell from a railroad bridge. The man said he was walking on the trestle bridge Sunday night when he lost his footing and plummeted into the river. He told emergency crews that he made it to a pile of rocks surrounding a pylon where he waited for help. The man was taken to Yale New Haven Hospital for treatment of minor injuries and possible frostbite.

Longtime fire marshal killed in motor vehicle crash

The longtime fire marshal of Orange, Connecticut has been killed in a motor vehicle crash. Police say Timothy Smith died after his vehicle stuck a tree Sunday afternoon on Litchfield Turnpike in Woodbridge. No other vehicles were involved in the incident,and there were no passenger's in Smith's car. The 56-year-old resident of Prospect had served as Orange's fire marshal since 1989. The crash remains under investigation. The New Haven Register reports that Smith was returning home from a fire call.

New commuter line exceeds 1 million passengers

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - More than a million riders have traveled the commuter line between New Haven, Connecticut and Springfield, Massachusetts that opened in June 2018. Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont says the Hartford Line has seen 1,075,559 passenger rides in the past 19 months. The one-millionth ride happened around Thanksgiving. Lamont's office says ridership on the line, which also serves Hartford, has been growing at a rate of 25% year-over-year. The line is also on track to exceed 750,000 passenger trips in its second year, outpacing forecasts. Lamont has proposed expanding the commuter line as part of his ten-year transportation plan.

State adds $1.1M to help combat homelessness

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut is providing more than $1 million to combat homelessness. Democratic Governor Ned Lamont said last week that the funding will support the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness' efforts to help families and individuals on the verge of homelessness. The funds complement a $2.5 million donation Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' Day 1 Families Fund made last year to the Hartford-based nonprofit. Homelessness in Connecticut decreased nearly 24% in 2019 from the prior year, according to a recent federal report. Lamont says the added funds will come from the state Department of Housing's current operating budget.

Working group recommends quality control plan for quarries

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A legislative working group has released a new quality control plan for quarries. It's in response to the crumbling foundations problem afflicting many eastern Connecticut homeowners. The concrete has been deteriorating because of the presence of an iron sulfide that's been traced to a quarry in Willington. The Model Quality Control Plan recommends quarry operators producing concrete aggregate provide Geological Source Reports to the Connecticut State Geologist. These reports would be prepared by a certified geologist and document the mining, processing, storage and quality control methods used by an aggregate producer.Meanwhile, the group found there's an adequate workforce to fix affected foundations.

Therapist charged with killing family faced fraud probe

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - A physical therapist charged with killing his wife, three children and dog in a home near Walt Disney World was being investigated for health care fraud in Connecticut. Documents unsealed Wednesday in federal court in Connecticut show Anthony Todt was being investigated by federal agents for submitting fraudulent claims for physical therapy. According to agents, the allegations involved Todt and his Colchester, Connecticut-base clinics submitting claims to Medicaid and private insurers for physical therapy services that weren't given to patients. Todt was charged Wednesday with the deaths of his wife, Megan, and their three children ranging in ages from 4 to 13.

Ex-nursing home director pleads guilty to $4M embezzlement

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - The former operator of two Connecticut nursing homes has pleaded guilty to embezzlement and tax offenses in federal court. The Connecticut Post reports 71-year-old Chaim Stern, of Flushing, New York, waived his right to be indicted in Bridgeport federal court Wednesday. A news release states the charges against him developed during his time as the operator of Bridgeport Health Care Center and of Bridgeport Manor. He is accused of stealing around $4.1 million from one of the nursing home's pension plans from 2011 to 2018. Stern is scheduled to be sentenced on April 8.

Police captain back at work 5 months after being shot

A Connecticut police captain who was shot when he intervened in a deadly shooting has returned to work after five months of recuperation. New Haven Capt. Anthony Duff thanked his colleagues and residents for their support Thursday during the department's weekly meeting to share information with community partners. Duff, a 24-year veteran, was off duty and out of uniform on Aug. 12 when he was shot three times while attempting to intervene in the killing that remains unsolved. Duff said the experience of being shot and recovering has increased his appreciation for those in his life and the kindness of strangers.

Police: Husband nearly ran over wife 2 years before killing

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Newly released search warrants in the case of a missing Connecticut mother of five allege her estranged husband nearly ran her over with a vehicle two years before she was killed. A judge unsealed nearly 500 pages of search warrants Wednesday in the case of Jennifer Dulos, who disappeared last May. Her body has not been found. Her estranged husband was charged with murder last week. He denies any involvement in her disappearance or killing. The warrants describe a volatile time in the couple's relationship in the summer of 2017, when their contentious divorce and child custody case began.

Former gas station manager sentenced to jail for larceny

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut woman accused of stealing more than $100,000 when she was the manager at a convenience store has been sentenced to five years in jail. The Stamford Advocate reports 25-year-old Julienne Julmeus, of Stamford, was arrested and sentenced Tuesday after failing to show in court and pay back the "substantial" amount of money she owed. Julmeus was the manager at the station from 2015 to 2016, where officials say she was stealing up to $17,000 per month. White also sentenced Julmeus to five years of probation, where she would be made to pay back the money she owes.

Man fatally shot by Connecticut State Police following chase

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - Officials say a man was fatally shot by Connecticut State Police after a reported carjacking. The Hartford Courant reports the unidentified man was shot by troopers at an exit in West Haven following a dangerous pursuit Wednesday night. Troopers say the man was intentionally colliding into other cars on the interstate while they were in pursuit. The man was taken to Yale New Haven, where he later died. Police say no troopers, other drivers or bystanders were hurt during the events. Officials did not disclose how many shots were fired by the three troopers involved but say their names will be released Thursday.

Police: Mother of infant who froze in 1988 won't be charged

MERIDEN, Conn. (AP) - DNA testing has helped police identify the mother of an infant who was abandoned and found frozen to death in a Connecticut parking lot in 1988. Meriden Police Chief Jeffry Cossette announced Tuesday that the mother was Karen Kuzmak Roche, who was 25 when the baby's body was found. Cossette says Roche is not expected to face criminal charges. He says the case is one of manslaughter, which has a 20-year statute of limitations. Police say Roche was remorseful when they questioned her at her home on Jan. 2, the 32nd anniversary of the baby's death.

Man accused of killing hotel worker in Anguilla sues resort

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut man charged with killing a hotel worker he says attacked his family on the Caribbean island of Anguilla has filed a negligence lawsuit against the resort company that operates the hotel. A spokeswoman for Scott Hapgood, of Darien, says the lawsuit against Auberge Resorts was filed Monday in California, where the company is based in Mill Valley. Hapgood is accusing Auberge Resorts of negligence in the hiring and supervision of Kenny Mitchel, the hotel worker killed last April. Hapgood is charged with manslaughter but claims self-defense. An email message seeking comment was left for Auberge Resorts.

Students charged with shouting racial slurs sue UConn

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Two University of Connecticut students arrested for shouting a racial slur outside a campus apartment complex have sued the school. Jarred Karal and Ryan Mucaj say UConn is violating their free speech rights by holding disciplinary proceedings that include a recommendation to remove them from student housing. They are seeking undisclosed damages and a halt to the disciplinary hearings. A UConn spokeswoman says the school doesn't comment on pending litigation. Police say Karal and Mucaj said the racial slur several times on Oct. 11, as part of a game.. The incident was recorded by a black student and sparked protests.

Education agency expects influx of students from Puerto Rico

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut education officials are expecting an influx of displaced students from Puerto Rico, following the recent earthquakes. The Connecticut State Department of Education said Monday it will provide local school districts with any guidance or technical help they may need, such as training in trauma-informed education and the best strategies for helping new students who are English learners. State education officials said they'll also work with the governor's office, the Legislature, and the congressional delegation to obtain financial support for impacted districts. Connecticut received a large influx of students after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017. The state has a large population of people of Puerto Rican descent.

Lawsuit over teen's diagnosis, treatment heads to trial

BOSTON (AP) - A lawsuit filed by the family of a Connecticut teen who was placed into state custody after a dispute over her diagnosis and put in psychiatric unit is scheduled to start Tuesday.The Boston Globe reports that the suit was brought by the parents of Justina Pelletier against Boston Children's Hospitaland those who treated her. The family seeks unspecified damages. She had been diagnosed with mitochondrial disease at one hospital, but Children's diagnosed her problems as psychiatric. Her parents disagreed with the latter diagnosis, prompting the state to take custody of the then-14-year-old girl in 2013. Children's says Pelletier received high-quality care.






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