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Woman upset by wedding pleads guilty to arson


STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) A woman has pleaded guilty to setting fire to a Stamford home that belonged to her ex-boyfriend's mother.

Authorities say 34-year-old Felicia Langley of Norwalk set the fire days after discovering that her ex-boyfriend had married her cousin.

The Advocate of Stamford reports that Langley pleaded guilty Wednesday to third-degree arson. She also pleaded guilty to a third-degree burglary charge for breaking into her old boyfriend's apartment and stealing the dress her cousin was married in.

The fire set in August 2012 caused more than $100,000 in damage.

Langley told detectives that she could not eat after learning of her ex-boyfriend's marriage and became even angrier when the couple would not return her calls and her cousin changed her telephone number.

She faces a year in prison.

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Vengeful note left in 2 boys' murder


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut woman who shot and killed her two young grandsons before committing suicide last year left a note to the boys' parents saying they did not deserve to have the children.

The letter described in a police report suggests a vengeful motive for the shootings by 47-year-old Debra Denison. The report was obtained by The Associated Press through a Freedom of Information request.

Denison picked up 2-year-old Alton Perry and 6-month-old Ashton Perry at a day care center in North Stonington on Feb. 26, 2013, drove to a nearby lake and killed them. Family members said Denison struggled with mental health problems and had attempted suicide several times.

Denison's husband told police that the revolver used in the shootings belonged to him and was left unloaded in their house.

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Second wave of milder flu hitting Northeast


NEW YORK (AP) A second, milder wave of flu is hitting the Northeast.

Months ago, the flu season seemed to be winding down. But health officials on Friday reported widespread flu-like illnesses in six states. Rhode Island is the latest to join the list which includes Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Jersey and New York.

Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the flu season started in December and peaked by mid-January, and most of the illnesses were swine flu.

But, as happens some years, there's a second wave of a milder flu strain.

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Forum on drug abuse hears from recovering addicts


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) People who abused heroin and other drugs described how they quit as officials called for a comprehensive approach to deal with what they called an epidemic and scourge.

Several people spoke at a forum in New Haven on Thursday about their recovery, describing challenges ranging from shame to insurance. But they say they eventually found effective programs that helped them stay clean and end a cycle that would have led to prison or death.

Experts say the stigma associated with drug addiction is a barrier and called for breaking the silence by highlighting the large number of success stories.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal called heroin abuse an epidemic and scourge. He and Sen. Chris Murphy are calling for more money for treatment, stepped up law enforcement and greater education.

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Conn. House overwhelmingly passes UTC tax credits


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) The Connecticut House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved a $400 million tax credit exchange deal, reached by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's administration with the state's largest private employer, United Technologies Corp.

Legislation endorsing the tentative agreement reached between the state and UTC passed Thursday on a bipartisan 134-4 vote, with four Republicans in opposition.

It now moves to the Senate for final legislative action.

Malloy applauded the House vote. He said the deal requires UTC to invest up to $500 million to expand its aerospace research and development and manufacturing facilities over the next five years. UTC also expects to invest up to $4 billion in research and other capital spending in the state.

House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero supported the bill but expressed concerned about the large sums involved.

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New Haven teen charged in killing


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) A New Haven man has been charged in the shooting death of a teenager and wounding another youth in March.

Police said Thursday that 18-year-old Jeffrey Covington has been charged with first-degree murder, assault and weapons violations in the shooting death of 17-year-old Taijohn Washington and and the shooting assault of 16-year-old Travon Washington at Lilac and Butler Streets.

Police say an investigation uncovered evidence which identified Covington as the lone shooter.

Covington was being held on a $2 million bond. It was unclear if he had an attorney.

Police Chief Dean Esserman says the department is ``committed to the families of our community with the hope that we have brought justice and relief to these grieving families.''

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Rifle seized after squirrel shooting in Milford


MILFORD, Conn. (AP) Police say they found an unregistered assault rifle and three large-capacity magazines in the home of a Milford man accused of shooting a squirrel.

The New Haven Register reports that James Toigo has been charged with unlawful discharge of a firearm, cruelty to an animal, reckless endangerment, breach of peace, failure to register an assault rifle and possessing large-capacity magazines.

Police officers were directing traffic in the area when they say they heard a gunshot.

Toigo was taken into custody after police said he shot the squirrel. Nielsen said the assault rifle was not used in the shooting.

He was released and is due back in court May 13.

Toigo's phone number is unlisted and it wasn't known Thursday morning if he's represented by a lawyer.

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Bridgeport grocer accused of food stamp fraud


BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) A Bridgeport grocer has been charged with buying food stamps from customers and using the money to buy bulk merchandise.

Aslam Khawaja tells the Connecticut Post he was trying to help poor people in the community.

He was charged Wednesday with larceny by defrauding a public community, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Authorities say that from March through December 2013 Khawaja paid cash to 128 customers for their food stamp benefits at 50 cents to a dollar of benefit. He's accused of using the benefits to buy $45,000 in bulk merchandise, including 1,200 cases of Red Bull energy drinks he sold at his store.

Undercover officers patronized the store several times with food stamp cards.

Khawaja posted $100,000 bond and is due to be arraigned April 22.

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Abuse allegations detailed against ex-priest


ENFIELD, Conn. (AP) Authorities say a former East Windsor priest sexually assaulted a teenage parishioner, making the boy remove his clothes for his paychecks and causing him to seek hospital treatment for the abuse.

The Journal Inquirer reports that according to an arrest warrant unsealed in Enfield Superior Court on Tuesday, the Rev. Paul Gotta was charged on March 31 with two counts of second-degree sexual assault and five counts of fourth-degree sexual assault. Police say the incidents occurred between January 2012 and February 2013.

His lawyer did not immediately return a call Thursday morning seeking comment.

Police say the abuse contributed to the boy's willingness to participate in illegal activities for Gotta such as buying ammunition online and illegally buying guns.

Gotta is free on a $100,000 bond and due back in court May 13.

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Man charged with assaulting infant daughter


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A man has been arrested and charged with assaulting his 2-month-old daughter who is hospitalized in critical condition.

Hartford police say 32-year-old Marcus Rooks of Manchester was arrested Tuesday and charged with first-degree assault and risk of injury to a minor. His bond was set at $1 million.

Police were called to a home in Hartford on Monday afternoon with a report of an unresponsive baby. The infant girl was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Police say Rooks had an outstanding warrant for his arrest out of Hartford on a third-degree assault charge.

It was not immediately clear whether he has an attorney.

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Metro-North officials to meet with Conn. commuters


STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) Connecticut commuters expect to hear from Metro-North officials about the commuter railroad's 100-day improvement plan.

The executives, including the senior vice president of operations, were scheduled to address the Connecticut Commuter Rail Council on Wednesday during the group's monthly meeting. Open to the public, the 7 p.m. meeting will be held at the South Western Regional Planning Agency in Stamford.

The council said Metro-North's improvement efforts and operational issues will be discussed. Metro-North President Joseph has said the railroad's priorities are to operate safely, communicate better and restore performance.

The commuter council is an independent state board that acts as an advocate for Metro-North commuters. Chairman Terri Cronin said ``getting back to meaningful dialogue with Metro-North on rail performance'' is a critical element of the council's duties.

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Father, son plead not guilty to child porn charges


NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) A father and son have pleaded not guilty to possession of child pornography.

The Day of New London reports that 25-year-old Brian Faford and 57-year-old Donald Faford, both of East Lyme, were free on $75,000 bonds after their appearance in court in New London on Tuesday.

Police say the elder Faford told detectives he had found pornography on his son's computer account and saved it to his own account.

Police say computers seized from the home contained hundreds of images and videos of suspected child pornography.

At his lawyer's request, Brian Faford is permitted by the judge to use a word processing program for school and use his mother's computer to access two websites needed for his coursework.

The computer is subject to searches by the probation department.

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Connecticut man accused sending sex photos


NORWALK, Conn. (AP) Authorities say a?27-year-old Westport man sent photos of himself having sex with his ex-girlfriend to her new husband.

The Hour of Norwalk reports that Steven Krasilovsky was arraigned on a charge of second-degree harassment in Norwalk Superior Court on Monday.

Krasilovsky's lawyer, John P. Thygerson, said the unidentified woman filed a civil restraining order against Krasilovsky who could not fight the order because he was in Israel at the time. When he returned to the United States, Krasilovsky had the restraining order voided and his ex-girlfriend filed a police report.

Thygerson said the alleged victim is seeking relief in criminal court when she failed in her civil lawsuit.

He says Krasilovsky denies any criminal conduct.

Police say the explicit photos were provided as evidence.

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Conn. 'knockout game' bill clears committee vote


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A key legislative committee is moving along a bill that would increase criminal penalties for sucker-punch attacks, despite some lawmakers questioning whether the legislation is needed.

The revamped bill, which passed the Judiciary Committee on a 31-10 vote Monday, would impose a mandatory minimum two-year prison sentence for those who intentionally cause serious physical injury, and without provocation, knock someone unconscious by striking a victim in the head.

The legislation would also require any violator age 16 or 17 to automatically be transferred to adult court. A judge could later send the case back to juvenile court.

Proponents said the bill sends a strong message to assailants who attempt to knock out random victims with a single punch that such behavior won't be tolerated.

The bill moves to the Senate.

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Cyanide poisoning in suicide shuts neighborhood


FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) Fairfield fire officials say a man who committed suicide by drinking potassium cyanide prompted a hazardous materials alert that shut part of a neighborhood.

Assistant Fire Chief George Gomola told the Connecticut Post that the unidentified man left a note warning first responders. He locked the house and went to bed before swallowing the poison.

A portion of the neighborhood was shut Monday night, but neighbors were not in danger.

Fairfield police were notified at about 6 p.m., but the identity of the caller was not disclosed.

Friends who were concerned they hadn't heard from the man found the house locked.

Gemola and Assistant Police Chief Chris Lyddy said first responders called for support from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's hazardous materials team.

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Health woes vex neighbors of tire warehouse fire


TORRINGTON, Conn. (AP) A tire fire in Torrington that stopped burning more than a week ago has led to health concerns among local residents.

The Toce Brothers Co. warehouse fire began April 3 and was extinguished the next day. Water from fire hoses cascaded along the road containing bits of rubber.

More than 1 million gallons of water and hundreds of gallons of foam extinguished the fire.

The Republican-American reports that debris were strewn along the curb, around storm drains and filled in crevasses. Roads were coated with what looked like black paint.

Health officials say residents do not face significant health or environmental risks especially if they take all reasonable steps to clean their property.

Pamela Colucci says her dog's paws were black and sticky after a recent walk.

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Large crowds cheer UConn champion basketball teams


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Huge crowds have turned out for a downtown Hartford victory parade celebrating the national championships won by the University of Connecticut men's and women's basketball teams.

Cheers grew louder as the truck carrying the UConn band approached in the parade Sunday. By the time the men's and women's basketball teams went by the crowds were ecstatic.

Men's coach Kevin Ollie waved from the front of a parade truck while guard Ryan Boatright held up a hand displaying the No. 1 sign.

The UConn men's team beat Kentucky for the national title April 7, and the women's team defeated Notre Dame for its record-breaking ninth championship.

UConn is the only school to win the men's and women's Division I basketball championships in the same year, which they accomplished in 2004.

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'Combative' suspect dies after police use stun gun


EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) State Police say a 22-year-old suspect in custody for an alleged domestic dispute has died after police tried to subdue him with a stun gun.

Police say Jose Maldonado of Manchester was arrested early Sunday morning after East Hartford police responded to a complaint of a dispute. Police say he damaged a vehicle occupied by a family including two adults and three children. Police say one adult was injured by broken glass.

Police say Maldonado was combative and resisted arrest. He was taken to East Hartford Police Department for booking on charges of risk of injury to a minor, assault and resisting arrest.

Police say he again became combative and was subdued by a stun gun. Police say he seemed to suffer medical distress. He died at Hartford Hospital.

State Police are investigating.

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Missing man's family appeals defamation award


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) The family of a Waterbury man who has been missing for the past decade is going to the state Supreme Court to fight a nearly $53,000 defamation lawsuit judgment.

The New Haven Register reports that relatives of William ``Billy'' Smolinski Jr. are appealing a ruling last month by the state Appellate Court. The court upheld a lower court ruling ordering the family to pay damages to Smolinski's former girlfriend, Madeleine Gleason of Woodbridge.

Gleason sued Smolinski's mother and sister in 2006 alleging they harassed her, defamed her and falsely accused her of involvement in Smolinski's disappearance. Gleason and Smolinski broke up just before he disappeared in 2004.

No arrests have been made in the case.

Smolinski's mother, Janice Smolinski, says her court appeal involves First Amendment and victims' rights.

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State police investigate infant death in Putnam


PUTNAM, Conn. (AP) Connecticut State Police are investigating the death of an infant in Putnam.

Police say someone called 911 before dawn Friday from a private home and reported the infant was unresponsive. Emergency medical personnel provided treatment but the child was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

State Police Major Crime detectives interviewed witnesses and the office of the chief medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.

The child's identity was not immediately released.

 

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