NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) Connecticut regulators are asking the two largest utilities in the state to scale back their tree-trimming programs amid criticism by property owners, government officials, environmental advocates and other groups.
The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority made the request Tuesday to the Connecticut Light Power Co. and The United Illuminating Co.
The two companies have bolstered their tree-trimming programs over the past couple years in the wake of storms that knocked down trees and cut power to hundreds of thousands of customers across the state.
The regulatory agency is investigating the company's trimming programs and is asking them to voluntarily curtail them pending a ruling by the panel. Regulators have received numerous complaints about excessive tree trimming.
The agency will meet March 27 to discuss the trimming programs.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Two Democratic leaders of the General Assembly are supporting a bill that would create a state-administered retirement savings plan for private-sector workers. Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney says they want to make sure Connecticut retirees have an opportunity to generate retirement income in addition to Social Security.
The plan would use payroll deductions and IRA's.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Martha Dean, an attorney who helped gun rights advocates challenge the constitutionality of Connecticut's recent gun control law, plans to announce her intentions to run for governor. A news release posted yesterday on the Connecticut Citizens Defense League's blog said the two-time Republican candidate for Attorney General will hold an event Monday to discuss her political platform.
Accidental heroin and cocaine deaths rose sharply in Connecticut last year from the prior year. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder calls the increase in heroin-related deaths nationwide an ``urgent and growing public health crisis'' and says first responders should carry with them a drug that can reverse the effects of an overdose.
WILTON, Conn. (AP) Wilton state Sen. Toni Boucher says she has decided against seeking the Republican nomination for governor this year and will run for a fourth term in the legislature instead.
Boucher announced Tuesday that she is dissolving her exploratory committee for statewide office. She cited an inability to meet fundraising goals. Her committee raised nearly $85,000.
Boucher leaves a crowded field of GOP gubernatorial candidates that includes Greenwich businessman Tom Foley, Fairfield state Sen. John McKinney, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti and West Hartford Town Councilman Joe Visconti.
Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy hasn't yet announced whether he is running for re-election. Malloy narrowly beat Foley in 2010.
Convicted killer Steven Hayes was found unresponsive in his death row cell Monday, and was hospitalized.
Hayes, who has been sentenced to death for his role in the Cheshire home invasion killings, was revived by correction staff and reported in stable condition last evening.
Hayes apparently saved up medication he is prescribed and took it all at once Monday in an attempt to overdose.
Hayes was the only inmate in his cell at Northern Correctional Facility when he was discovered by staff during a routine tour about 9:35 a.m.
Hayes has attempted suicide in the past. In 2010, during his trial, Hayes tried to overdose on medication, causing jury selection to be postponed.
Fairfield officials have identified a mother and daughter who died in an early morning house fire. Officials say 47-year-old Maureen Gerrity and her daughter, 19-year-old Katherine Katie O'Neill, were pronounced dead at a hospital
Maureen Gerrity dedicated her life to caring for her disabled daughter, "Katie" .
On Monday, they died together when flames tore through their home at 135 Crane St. Firefighters found them in the same bedroom, carried them out of the burning house and unsuccessfully tried to revive them.
Neighbor Donna Emond said Gerrity was "a loving, dedicated mother who lived solely to care for her special needs daughter.
The 19 year old had Angelman Syndrome and required constant care. The teenager behaved like a toddler and when she wasn't in a wheelchair, she leaned heavily on her 47-year-old mother.
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) Fairfield officials say a second woman has died in an early morning house fire.
Firefighters say they responded to the blaze on Crane Street at about 1 a.m. Monday and pulled a woman and her adult daughter from a second-floor bedroom. Both victims were taken to Bridgeport Hospital.
Authorities say one of the women died before arriving at the hospital, and the other died later in the morning. The women's names are being withheld until officials notify relatives. Officials say the mother appeared to be in her 50s and the daughter in her 20s.
Fire marshals are on the scene trying to determine what caused the fire and whether the home had smoke detectors. Officials believe the blaze started on the first floor.
NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) The family of a man who died after apparently falling into a trash compactor at New London's transfer station has notified the city that it intends to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
The notice filed with the city clerk's office this week lists as possible defendants the city, the Public Works Department, its director and manager of solid waste and recycling.
The Day reports that the notice says the city's negligence or recklessness includes a failure to properly monitor the dumping area, failure to provide proper barricading of the area, failure to follow safety protocols and failure to provide an emergency shut-off.
PLYMOUTH, Conn. (AP) Police in Plymouth are investigating the death of a pony after its dismembered remains were found in trash bags on the side of a road.
Authorities say the remains were discovered Wednesday by prison inmates who were cleaning up the area along Route 262 as part of a work release program.
Police say they do not know how the animal died and have asked for the public's help in identifying the animal.
Assistant Police Chief Robert Wright told the Republican-American that it appears the bags with the animal's remains were thrown from a vehicle because no footprints were found.
GROTON, Conn. (AP) A survey to be issued soon to female sailors across the Navy is designed to measure the level of interest in serving aboard submarines.
The responses will help guide the work of a panel led by Groton, Conn.-based admiral charged with developing options for integrating the undersea force.
The Navy reversed a ban on women in submarines in April 2010, and female officers are already serving on some submarines.
The panel led by Navy Rear Adm. Kenneth Perry is developing options for the integration of enlisted ranks as early as 2016.
A Navy spokesman, Lt. Timothy Hawkins, said the propensity for women to serve is one issue the panel is exploring along with others including modifications that might be required to the submarines and possible changes in recruiting.
ENFIELD, Conn. (AP) A former Fermi High School junior varsity boys' basketball coach who resigned following his arrest in Windsor Locks in a prostitution sting has been granted accelerated rehabilitation for first offenders that could erase the charge against him.
The Journal Inquirer reports that a Springfield, Mass., detective charged in the same sting also applied for the program.
John F. Norris was granted accelerated rehabilitation in Enfield Superior Court. He must perform 50 hours of community service.
Norris' lawyer called it a ``dark moment in his life.''
The Valentine's Day sting led to the arrest of 11, including Norris and Springfield police detective John Wadlegger of Agawam, Mass. All were charged with patronizing a prostitute.
Wadlegger filed an application for the accelerated rehabilitation program on Monday. A hearing is scheduled March 31.
CLINTON, Conn. (AP) A 17-year-old father has charged with manslaughter in the death last year of his infant daughter in Connecticut.
The teenager was returned to Connecticut on Wednesday following his arrest in Columbia, S.C., where he had moved with family members after his daughter's death in Clinton. His name was not released because of his age.
The 8-week-old girl died last March after police responded to a report that she was not breathing. She died a few days later at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Medical staff told police that the infant had injuries consistent with shaken baby syndrome.
The teen waived extradition proceedings in South Carolina and is being held in lieu of $750,000 bond at a juvenile detention center in Hartford.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) A former Waterbury police detective has been sentenced to five months in prison for obstructing a tax investigation.
Forty-two-year-old Robert Liquindoli pleaded guilty in November and was sentenced Thursday by a federal judge in New Haven.
Federal prosecutors say Liquindoli obtained fake documents to support deductions he claimed on his tax returns after he learned in 2011 that the Internal Revenue Service was investigating his accountant. They say he lied about having documents to back the claims.
Liquindoli was ordered to pay $4,490 in restitution. In addition to the prison time he faces five months of home confinement after his release, followed by seven months of supervised release.
The tax preparer, Thomas Thorndike, pleaded guilty to tax offenses in 2012 and was sentenced to six years in prison.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) A Bridgeport man who invited strippers to his home while his wife was at work has been arrested after police said he assaulted one of the women.
Marlon Powell was charged Tuesday with assault, threatening, risk of injury to a minor and impairing the morals of a minor. He was held in lieu of $10,000 bond.
The Connecticut Post reports that police say they responded to a call of a disturbance and found a woman bleeding from a large cut on her right arm. She told officers she refused sex with a man who lived in the house.
Police say the 35-year-old Powell explained he was babysitting his 7-year-old son while his wife was at work and visited a strip club.
It was not known Thursday if Powell is represented by a lawyer.
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) A spokesman for Connecticut Light Power has downplayed a utility executive's comment that it's considering charging property owners who refuse tree trimming if an outage is found to have been caused by falling limbs.
The New Haven Register reports that Kenneth Bowes, vice president for energy delivery service, told the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority on Tuesday that the utility plans to hold customers responsible for what he called ``tree-trimming refusals.''
Spokesman Mitch Gross said later that the Northeast Utilities subsidiary discussed the issue internally and is ``nothing more.''
At a public hearing later, Shirley McCarthy, chairwoman of Branford's Tree Commission, called CL&P tree-trimming practices barbaric.
Susan Bradford, a Bethany resident, said the utility's trimming crews were overzealous and mutilated 13 spruce trees on her property last June.
NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) Some of the officers who command major cutters for the U.S. Coast Guard are meeting this week at the Coast Guard Academy in New London
About 50 commanders and officers who will take command of some of the cutters this summer met Wednesday in groups to discuss sexual assault prevention, readiness issues and development of junior officers.
The Day of New London reports it's the first meeting of its kind at the academy. The cutter commanders more typically gather in Washington or headquarters for the Atlantic and Pacific areas.
The academy's superintendent, Rear Adm. Sandra L. Stosz, urged officers to spend time with the cadets who work on their ships in the summer to help encourage them to pursue careers on cutters.
The conference ends on Friday.
NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) New London has raised the minimum wage for municipal employees and contractors.
The Day of New London reports that in a 6-1 vote on Monday, the City Council raised the wage to $10.10 an hour for about 40 seasonal workers at recreation department programs. Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio says it will cost about $13,250 a year.
He says it's a nominal impact to do the right thing.
Councilor Martin Olsen cast the sole vote against raising the minimum wage, which he called ``fluff.'' He says it will require an increase in New London's budget.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and President Barack Obama are pushing for an increase to $10.10 an hour. Obama is scheduled to visit New Britain on Wednesday to highlight the issue.
The minimum wage in Connecticut is $8.70.
HAMDEN, Conn. (AP) The author of an award-winning book about death called ``How We Die'' has died in Connecticut. Dr. Sherwin Nuland was 83.
His daughter Amelia Nuland says he died of prostate cancer Monday in Hamden. She says he told her he'd built such a ``beautiful life'' and wasn't ready to leave it but wasn't scared.
Sherwin Nuland was born in New York and taught medical ethics at Yale University. He was critical of the medical profession's obsession with prolonging life when common sense would dictate further treatment is futile. He wrote nature ``will always win in the end.''
``How We Die'' was published in 1994 and won a National Book Award. In it Nuland describes how life is lost to diseases and old age. It helped foster national debate over doctor-assisted suicide and end-of-life decisions.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) A man wanted in connection with a homicide in Bridgeport has been captured in New York City.
U.S. marshals arrested Jose Miguel Torres on Tuesday.
The 36-year-old Torres is expected to be returned to Connecticut and charged in the killing of 27-year-old Pablo Aquino last July 24.
Torres was identified as a suspect immediately after the homicide and was considered armed and dangerous.
No details were available Wednesday morning.