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Conn. clergy sets vigil for Mideast Christians

HAMDEN, Conn. (AP) Members of the clergy and others have planned a vigil and prayer service at Quinnipiac University to show support for Christians persecuted in the Middle East.

The Reverend Jordan Lenaghan, the Catholic chaplain at Quinnipiac, says local members of the clergy are showing support for Christian churches in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq and Syria.

Islamic State militants have targeted religious minorities such as Christian, Yazidis and minority Shiite Turkmens.

Lenaghan says the vigil is a human right events intended to raise awareness of the recent destruction of communities dating back nearly 2,000 years.

Local Greek Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox and Assyrian Orthodox clergy are scheduled to participate.

The service is set for 8:15 p.m. Wednesday at the academic quadrangle at Quinnipiac and is open to the public.

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Seymour lawyer accused of drug-money laundering

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) A Waterbury man convicted of participating in a drug-trafficking ring has testified that a Seymour lawyer was laundering money.

Bruce Yazdzik said in U.S. District Court in New Haven Tuesday that Ralph Crozier knew Yazdzik's money came from drug sales and that he helped Yazdzik establish businesses and make investments to make the money seem legitimate.

Crozier's attorney Michael Hillis, said Crozier was asked by federal authorities for help in an investigation about corruption in Waterbury after he was detained last year and was indicted when he couldn't tell them anything.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Kale described Crozier as Yazdzik's ``do everything'' lawyer who went too far.

The case centers on $30,000 that Yazdzik said he invested in Brightside Solar, a company run by Crozier's law partner in Seymour.

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Man in military jacket prompts school lockdown

SOUTHINGTON, Conn. (AP) A Southington middle school has been locked down when a staff member reported seeing a man in a military jacket in the building.

The man wearing the suspect jacket in the John F. Kennedy Middle School on Tuesday was a student.

The New Britain Herald reported that the school was placed in lockdown for two hours.

Sgt. Jeffrey Dobratz said the man didn't look as if belonged in the school, but that there was no threat.

The student was not identified and was not charged.

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Jepsen raises privacy issues with new Apple watch

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen has raised concerns about the privacy protections with Apple's new Apple Watch.

Jepsen wrote to CEO Tim Cook on Monday asking about the recently introduced product's ability to store, collect and use consumers' health information.

He told the Connecticut Post he's encouraged by Apple's ``representations'' that personal health information will be encrypted on the Apple Watch and users will decide which applications gain access to their health data.

Still, Jepsen said questions remain about data collection and storage and he's requested a meeting with company representatives.

Jepsen is asking Apple what information the Apple Watch will collect from users and how Apple will obtain consent to collect and share such information.

A representative of Apple did not immediately return a call Tuesday morning seeking comment.

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Fire site in Bridgeport too hot for inspection

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) Four days after a massive fire leveled a Bridgeport factory, firefighters were extinguishing remaining hot spots.

The Connecticut Post reports that Deputy Fire Chief Dominick Carfi said 99 percent of the hot spots had been put out by Monday. He said some collapsed areas are still difficult to reach.

The investigation has not begun because officials must make sure the property is cold.

Environmental officials believe a chemical that washed into the Pequonnock River, Bridgeport Harbor and Long Island Sound was a dye.

A state ban on commercial shellfishing in Long Island Sound from Milford to Norwalk has been reduced to Bridgeport, Fairfield and Stratford.

State aquaculture officials have begun collecting oysters and clams off Bridgeport to be inspected for semi-volatile and volatile organic compounds and heavy metals.

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Arrest in robbery of autistic man in Connecticut

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) A 27-year-old Connecticut man has been charged with stealing $100 in birthday money from an autistic man in a crime that was captured by video cameras.

Police say they charged Steven St. Jacques of Stamford on Monday with second-degree larceny after a search of his home turned up clothing that matched those worn by the suspect in the video.

Police say they received important tips after posting the video of last Tuesday's robbery on YouTube.

They say St. Jacques pretended to befriend the victim and then tricked him into handing over his money.

Members of the police union collected $1,300 and presented it to the victim on Monday.

St. Jacques has no listed phone number and could not be reached for comment. He was due in Superior Court on Tuesday.

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Charges dropped against Greenwich tennis coach

GREENWICH, Conn. (AP) Charges have been dropped against a Greenwich High School tennis coach who was accused more than four years of shoving a police officer.

New York State Police alleged that Connie Jones pushed a New York state trooper during a traffic stop while returning with her team from a match in Westchester County, New York, in 2010. Jones denied the claim and fought it despite several chances to plead to lesser charges.

Jones tells the Greenwich Time she stuck to her guns.

The accusation cost the 60-year-old Jones her job.

She was charged with breach of peace when the incident started with a player on the team bus hurling a bagel out a window, hitting a passing car.

The state moved to not go forward and nolled the charges after re-evaluating the evidence.

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Report: Income inequality cuts Conn. tax revenue

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A new report says tax revenue in Connecticut is more volatile than in most other states as capital gains and stock trades for the rich gyrate while wages earned by everyone else have barely increased since before the recession.

The report released Monday by credit rating agency Standard Poor's also says tax revenue growth has slowed to 7.3 percent since 2009 from a high of 10.8 percent in the 1980s.

The report says average annual growth of state tax revenue nationwide fell to 5 percent in 2011 from 10 percent in 1980 while the share of total income for the top 1 percent of earners doubled.

Connecticut is home to a large number of investors, business executives and other high net-worth individuals. It's among the 10 states with the highest levels of income inequality.

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Hoarding blamed for fire that injured family of 3

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch blamed hoarding for a fire that critically injured a couple and their 2-year-old daughter.

Finch said material was fuel for the apartment fire on Sunday. The Connecticut Post reports Deputy Fire Chief Robert Petrucelli said firefighters were hampered by piles of clothing stacked nearly to the ceiling and narrow aisles through which firefighters could not fit.

The fire began around 12:30 a.m. in a second-floor, corner apartment.

Firefighters found resident Marisol Estrada and her 2-year-old daughter Allianna, in a bedroom beneath piles of clothing. Firefighters carried them to safety through a window.

Estrada and her husband, building superintendent Jose Roman, were in critical condition at Bridgeport Hospital with burns and smoke inhalation.

Allianna was taken to Shriners Hospital for Children in Boston in critical condition.

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Some fishing spots off limits after fire damage

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) -- Fishing was temporarily halted along a stretch of Long Island Sound on Friday following a massive fire at a Bridgeport warehouse that cut power to hundreds of homes and forced evacuations, Connecticut environmental officials said.


Pollution from Thursday night's fire at a warehouse that is home to a roofing company and perfume-recycling company night prompted the temporary closure of fishing areas in Bridgeport Harbor and more than a 20 mile stretch along the coast from Norwalk to Milford.


Later Friday, the off-limits area was scaled back to the Bridgeport shoreline from Fairfield to Pleasure Beach, which was closed to swimming. Shell fishing remained banned from Fairfield to the Housatonic River.


The U.S. Coast Guard said it will help enforce the shutdown and examine the extent of the problem.


Environmental officials said they found a large amount of red foam from a local waterway. Airborne chemicals from the companies also were a factor, but were minor, officials said.


Fire officials said the blaze was reported before 7 p.m. Thursday and continued for hours. Firefighters were still dousing the smoldering site with water on Friday afternoon.


"There were a few chemicals involved, but none has been deemed to be hazardous and most people are being allowed to return home," William Kaempffer, spokesman for the city's police and fire departments, told the Connecticut Post.


"The fireballs and the heat were like nothing I have ever seen," Mayor Bill Finch said. "Thankfully, no one was seriously injured. There was no loss of life."


Two firefighters were treated for minor injuries.

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Coast Guard academy superintendent to continue job

NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) In a break from past practice, the U.S. Coast Guard says Rear Adm. Sandra L. Stosz, superintendent of the Coast Guard Academy, has been selected to continue as a rear admiral in the Coast Guard.

She became the first woman ever to lead a U.S. military academy when she began her tour at the academy in New London in 2011. The Day of New London reports that spokesman David Santos says her tour was due to end in the summer of 2015.

Stosz's continuation is a change because superintendents of the academy typically retire after completing their time in the post.

Santos says the superintendent's post caps a Coast Guard officer's career.

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DA: Hartford kidnapping planned for over year

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) Prosecutors say a Colorado man accused of kidnapping a 14-year-old Connecticut girl he met online had been planning to abduct her for more than a year.

Boulder County Deputy District Attorney Tim Johnson told a judge Thursday that 53-year-old Timothy Wind drove from Longmont, Colorado to Hartford to get her in August. He then allegedly took her to New York, New Jersey and Kansas on a trip that the girl said he called a ``honeymoon.'' The Daily Camera reported it included a visit to the place where the girl's parents met.

Police found the girl at Wind's apartment Wednesday and he was later arrested.

According to the arrest affidavit, a friend said the girl had been claiming to have a boyfriend named Tim for about a year.

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Hartford Archdiocese seeks $1M verdict overturned

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) The Archdiocese of Hartford is asking the state Supreme Court to overturn a $1 million verdict for a man who claimed abuse by a priest in the early 1980s.

The Connecticut Post reports that the archdiocese says the law extending the statute of limitations for such lawsuits is unconstitutional.

Thomas McNamara, the lawyer for the former altar boy who filed the complaint, said issues raised by the archdiocese do not have merit.

The man who claimed abuse at age 13 by the Rev. Ivan Ferguson in Derby between 1981 and 1983 won the verdict in Superior Court in 2012.

Ferguson died in 2002.

The legislature extended the statute of limitation on sex assault cases to 30 years from when a complainant reaches 18. The law was made retroactive.

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Bridgeport fire leads to environmental damage

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) A massive fire at a warehouse that houses a roofing company and perfume-recycling company in Bridgeport has forced evacuations of residents, cut electrical power and led to pollution and a ban on fishing in the Long Island Sound.

Connecticut environmental officials said Friday morning they have temporarily closed fishing areas in Bridgeport Harbor and on the Sound from Norwalk to Milford. The U.S. Coast Guard said it will help enforce the shutdown and examine the extent of the pollution.

Environmental officials said they found a large amount of red foam from a local waterway.

Fire officials said the blaze was reported before 7 p.m. Thursday and continued to burn hours later.

No serious injuries were reported. Two firefighters were treated for heat-related illness.

About 1,500 homes were without power shut as a precaution

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Connecticut home invasion inmate seeks kosher diet

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) One of two men convicted in the killings of a mother and her two daughters in a 2007 Connecticut home invasion is suing the state, claiming his rights are violated because he's being denied kosher food in prison.

The New Haven Register reports that death row inmate Steven Hayes describes himself as an orthodox Jew and claims he's been requesting a kosher diet since May 2013.

Hayes also says denying him a kosher diet violates his Eighth Amendment right that forbids cruel and unusual punishment because he must eat non-kosher food to survive.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Correction declined to comment and said the lawsuit has been referred to the attorney general. A spokeswoman said the attorney general will respond in court.

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Missing Connecticut girl found in Colorado

LONGMONT, Colo. (AP) A 14-year-old Connecticut girl missing since last month has been found in Colorado and the man suspected of kidnapping her is under arrest.

Acting on a tip from the FBI, police in Longmont, Colorado say they got a found the girl in an apartment there on Wednesday afternoon. Shortly afterward, they arrested 53-year-old Timothy Wind on suspicion of second-degree kidnapping and Internet exploitation.

The Longmont Daily Times-Call reports that Wind is suspected of traveling from Longmont to Connecticut and bringing her back to Longmont.

The girl was last seen on Aug. 25 when her family says she asked for permission to go outside.

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Conn. man arrested on charges of making hoax calls

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A Wethersfield man has been arrested on federal charges of calling in hoax threats to emergency services to draw responders, such as SWAT units and bomb squads.

Federal officials say Matthew Tollis was arrested Wednesday on charges of making calls earlier this year in Connecticut and other states.

The offense is called ``swatting,'' referring to false calls to draw SWAT teams.

The 21-year-old Tollis and others are accused of using Skype to make hoax threats involving bombs, hostage taking, firearms, and mass murder.

He was identified as a participant in at least six incidents, including a bomb threat in April to the University of Connecticut and to schools and other locations in New Jersey, Florida, Texas and Massachusetts.

Tollis is detained. His Hartford lawyer did not immediately return a call Thursday seeking comment.

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Suspect accused in fatal shooting, pistol-whipping

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) A suspect accused of fatally shooting a man, then pistol-whipping him after he fell to the ground has been arraigned on murder and other charges.

Alejandro Hernandez was arrested Wednesday in the killing of 24-year-old Deleone Smith.

The Republican-American reports that witnesses told police that Hernandez, a convicted drug dealer, and Smith confronted each other outside a liquor store and Smith put a gun to Hernandez's throat.

Hernandez pulled out a pistol and shot Smith numerous times as bystanders ran for cover.

His lawyer, Jerry Attanasio, said he believed there is a ``legitimate self-defense claim,'' referring to a witness' statement that Smith held a gun on Hernandez.

Hernandez was held on a $2 million bond after being arraigned Wednesday in Waterbury Superior Court.

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Sister says injured senator making progress

STONINGTON, Conn. (AP) The sister of a Stonington state senator says her brother Andrew Maynard continues to make ``encouraging'' progress recovering from a traumatic brain injury.

In a statement released Tuesday by the Senate Democrats, Denise Mahoney said there's no diagnosis that would ``preclude a full recovery.''

The 52-year-old Maynard is co-chairman of the General Assembly's Transportation Committee. He was injured in an early morning fall outside his Stonington home in July.

His sister said Maynard is undergoing physical and occupational therapy, including speech therapy. She said he is able to read, manipulate a smartphone, and answer ``yes'' or ``no'' questions but still has difficulty speaking.

She said there's no reason to think he won't be able to fulfill his duties if he is re-elected this fall.

His Republican challenger is Kevin Trejo of Groton.

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Conn. wins $8.2 million to upgrade freight rail

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Eastern Connecticut has won an $8.2 million federal grant to upgrade freight rail.

Democratic Congressman Joe Courtney calls the grant a big win that will help boost economic development in the region and drive more traffic through the port of New London.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says the state is working to modernize Connecticut's rail system and link it to the national freight rail network.

The state Department of Transportation will upgrade the rail line to meet new freight standards, including increased weight capacity. The state will upgrade 19 miles of outdated rail through Franklin, Norwich, Stafford and Willimantic.

Elected officials in Connecticut, backed by regional business owners and Genesee Wyoming Inc., owner of New England Central Railroad, lobbied federal transportation officials for the money.

New England Central is contributing $2 million.


Ice Bucket Challenge COMPLETED!!

Rich Minor accepted the challenge from his friend to donate to the ALS Association AND do the Ice Bucket Challenge.

His "bucket" of choice...well, that's where Westchester Tractor came into play.

Check it out!




Who's this beautiful hunk of man meat?

It's 32 year old Chris Soules,

a farmer from Iowa and the new Bachelor!


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