HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Connecticut commuters will get a break from road construction over the Labor Day weekend.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Thursday that all construction and paving on state roads and highways will be suspended over the long holiday weekend to help ease traffic congestion.
Construction will be suspended beginning at 6 a.m. Friday and resume at 8 p.m. Tuesday. Only emergency work will be performed.
Malloy said holiday travelers should not have to worry about additional delays because of roadwork during the weekend.
The Department of Transportation is on pace to resurface 340 miles of two-lane state roadways this construction season, which typically runs from April 1 through Nov. 30. So far, about 160 miles have been completed.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) More than 170 current and former New Haven firefighters are suing the city in federal court over lost wages.
The New Haven Register reports that 174 firefighters claim the fire department failed to accurately calculate their regular rates for overtime compensation, which they say violates the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Union President James Kottage says the alleged miscalculations have been a problem during the former and current mayors' administrations.
The firefighters are seeking back pay compensation, liquidated damages equal to each firefighter's unpaid compensation and other fees.
Kottage says he believes that amount will add up to seven figures.
The city's lawyer declined comment.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Authorities say they've arrested a man suspected of shooting two men, including a pastor outside of his church in Hartford.
Police obtained a warrant in May charging 25-year-old Aaron Taylor of Windsor with criminal attempt to commit murder and assault. He was taken into custody in East Hartford just hours after authorities announced a $5,000 reward for information leading to his capture.
Police said 54-year-old Augustus Sealy, of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, was shot May 24 in the leg and shoulder outside of the First Church of Nazarene while planting small U.S flags on the church lawn.
Police said about 14 minutes after Sealy was shot, 27-year-old Robert Jones of Hartford was shot multiple times.
Taylor is being held on $1.35 million bond. It's unclear if he has an attorney.
MANCHESTER, Conn. (AP) Authorities say a Connecticut man's attempt to stop suspected shoplifters ended with him flying on the hood of a car as they tried to get away.
Police were called to a Manchester supermarket around 4:15 p.m. Tuesday for a shoplifting complaint. Police say a security guard saw a woman hide items in her purse. They got into a scuffle after the guard confronted her outside.
Capt. Christopher Davis says a man witnessed the altercation and tried to stop her from escaping.
Davis says the man held onto the hood as she was driving away and punched a hole into the windshield while on top of the car. He jumped off with minor injuries.
Police arrested two suspects on multiple charges after a chase on Interstate 84 into Hartford.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A former East Hartford man has been indicted on charges he allegedly robbed a postal worker of more than $21,000 in Hartford last year.
The U.S Attorney's office says 37-year-old Dion Thompson was charged Wednesday with robbery of a postal employee and theft of government property.
Prosecutors say Thompson and another man robbed the victim at gunpoint at the Barry Square Post Office on Sept. 9, 2014 as he was loading post office proceeds into a USPS vehicle.
Prosecutors say they stole nearly $22,000 in cash, checks and money orders.
Thompson is facing up to 20 years in prison. He's currently incarcerated in Colorado on unrelated charges. It's not clear if he has an attorney.
MYSTIC, Conn. (AP) Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has found himself upstaged by a beluga whale during a tourism news conference at the Mystic Aquarium.
Malloy was standing in front of the Alaskan Coast exhibit on Wednesday touting an increase in summer tourism in Connecticut when a whale named Juno swam over to the glass to watch the proceedings.
The whale hovered over the governor's shoulder and pressed its head to the glass as photographers recorded its antics. The whale became an Internet sensation in 2011 after a video surfaced of it interacting with a mariachi band playing for a wedding at the aquarium.
Belugas also are called white whales. They're social animals and communicate using assorted whistles and clicking sounds.
The Democratic governor says attendance at nearly two-dozen venues surveyed by the state is up 5 percent over last year's totals.
NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) One of three prison employees charged with having a sexual relationship with a female inmate at a correctional institution has been sentenced to 90 days in prison.
The Day reports 47-year-old Jeff Bromley, of Willimantic, pleaded no contest to second-degree unlawful restraint Tuesday in New London Superior Court.
Authorities said Bromley bought food and small gifts for the inmate, took photographs of her and had sex with her in a prison basement and laundry room.
Authorities said state police were called to the Janet S. York Correctional Institution on Oct. 31, 2014, after the inmate said she had sex with three correction officers and worried she was pregnant. Pregnancy tests were negative.
The cases against the two other officers are still pending.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) Bridgeport police say two people have been arrested in connection with a shooting at a city housing complex in June that left one man dead and eight people injured, including a woman struck by a stray bullet while inside her apartment taking a shower.
Department spokesman Kevin Coughlin on Wednesday identified those arrested as Jamal Hamilton and Levan Bennett. Both are being held on $1 million bond.
They are scheduled to appear in court Wednesday to face charges of murder and eight counts of first-degree assault. It was not immediately clear if the suspects had lawyers.
Police say two men wearing hooded sweatshirts opened fire at about 1 a.m. on June 11 on a group of people hanging out in the parking lot of the Trumbull Gardens complex.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A 19-year-old Connecticut woman who police say disposed of her dead newborn boy in a trash bin last year has pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter.
The Hartford Courant reports that Geralyz Sotomayor-Cruz entered the plea Tuesday and faces a sentence of 10 years in prison, with 18 months to serve.
Police said the East Hartford woman, 18 at the time, hid her pregnancy from her family because she was afraid of how her mother would react.
Prosecutors say she gave birth to the boy on Aug. 12, 2014 at her home, put him in a plastic trash bag and carried it to a garbage bin outside the house. Officials determined the newborn died of asphyxia and ruled the death a homicide.
Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 30.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) Connecticut state forensic scientists have confirmed a torso found in New Haven last month is most likely that of a 54-year-old homeless man whose severed arms and legs were found earlier.
New Haven police spokesman Officer David Hartman said test results were received Monday.
Ray Roberson's death is considered a homicide. His legs were found July 15 in thick foliage along the fence line of the State Street railroad station. His arms, which did not have hands attached, were found hours later on a ledge underneath a nearby bridge.
The torso was found July 30 in an abandoned building police searched after getting a tip Roberson may have spent time there. He was last seen in May.
A memorial service was held Saturday in New Haven for Roberson, a former painter and landscaper.
PLAINVILLE, Conn. (AP) Authorities say a Connecticut couple has been charged in the alleged abuse of their 3-year-old daughter.
Police began investigating 23-year-old Richard Martel and 28-year-old Danielle Wells, both of Plainville, after Wells reported a domestic incident July 6. Police say she told them Martel had been abusing their child.
Martel was arrested last week after police say they confirmed he had hurt the girl on multiple occasions. Police say the child had extensive injuries and a hospital evaluation concluded that those injuries were ``diagnostic of inflicted trauma.''
The child is in the custody of the Department of Children and Families. Police say Wells was arrested Sunday for allegedly allowing the abuse to occur.
Both are due in court this month. It's not clear if either has an attorney.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut man has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $80,000 from a bank in Windsor during an armed robbery earlier this year.
The U.S Attorney's Office says 27-year-old Davis Johnson pleaded guilty Monday to one count of armed bank robbery.
Prosecutors say the Enfield man was one of two men accused of robbing a First Niagara Bank branch on Jan. 10.
Prosecutors say the two men were armed with guns when they demanded two employees to open the vault. Authorities said they collected almost $82,000 from the vault and took money out of the teller drawers. A search of Johnson's home found the money and a loaded handgun.
He is facing up to 20 years in prison when he's sentenced in December.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Hartford police are looking for five armed, masked men who rushed into a woman's home, claimed to be police officers, then realized they may have hit the wrong apartment.
The woman told police she was home alone when she heard banging on the rear door at about 8:45 p.m. She said the men forced the door open and yelled that that they were police. She said they ordered her to the floor and tied her up.
Police said the woman then heard one of the men say they were in the wrong apartment. They stole her cellphone and left.
Police said a neighboring apartment also was burglarized while no one was home. Investigators don't know if the incidents are connected.
SUFFIELD, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut mother was charged with risk of injury to a child after police say she left her 8-month-old son alone in a running car.
Police say an employee at the Highland Park Market in Suffield called police around 4:46 p.m. Sunday to report there was a baby alone in a black Audi with the engine running.
Police say they found 37-year-old Lisa Marie Murphy of Suffield opening the driver's door with the employee standing behind the car. They say the windows were rolled up.
Police say Murphy told them she left the boy in the air-conditioned car for ``five minutes.''
The infant was not injured and police placed him in his father's custody.
Murphy is due in court on Monday.
WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) Waterbury police are appealing to the public to help them solve the slaying 16 years ago of a city woman.
The Republican-American reports the skeletal remains of Army veteran Cassandra Pulliam Laney were found by a construction worker in a closed factory in December 1999.
Investigators determined that her body had been there several months and that she was the victim of a homicide. She was in her late 20s at the time of her death.
Laney was identified as the victim only recently.
Lt. Michael Slavin, head of the detective bureau, says a case this old presents lots of challenges, so they are hoping someone who remembers Laney comes forward with some clues. The factory where her body was found has since been demolished.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) An 86-year-old man convicted of sexually assaulting a Bridgeport girl has been spared prison time, but was barred from Cape Verde where had been living.
The Connecticut Post reports that Joseph Livramento was sentenced Friday to a five-year suspended sentence and three years' probation. Superior Court Judge Robert Devlin cited his age and ill health.
In a statement to Devlin, the victim and her mother asked that he prevent Livramento from returning to Cape Verde off the coast of Africa where they now live.
The girl, who was assaulted at age 7, is now 14. She said she is disgusted Livramento was not jailed.
His lawyer argued that Cape Verde can accommodate Livramento and the girl. The judge ordered Livramento to stay away from Cape Verde during his probation.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Connecticut environmental officials say they closed hiking trails at a Burlington wildlife area after a hiker reported that a bear approached her.
Dennis Schain, spokesman for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, said Friday the agency closed trails at Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area.
He said the agency set a trap and will euthanize the bear if wildlife biologists get the opportunity. The bear is about 1-1/2 years old and weighs 150 pounds.
Video taken by the hiker shows the bear had previously been tagged by agency staff.
Schain says the bear followed the hiker and circled her when she stopped walking. He says the bear's behavior is unusual because the animals generally don't approach people.
The trails are closed until further notice.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) The first results from Connecticut's new standardized Smarter Balanced exams appear mixed. While more students than expected are excelling at English language arts, the scores show a need for improvement in math.
While the math scores matched state estimates, Education Commissioner Dianna Wentzell said Friday there's ``significant room for improvement'' and announced a new council to assist teachers.
This year, the Smarter Balanced tests replaced the Connecticut Mastery Test and Connecticut Academic Performance Test for students in grades 3 through 8 and 11. About 267,000 students took the test and schools have been eagerly awaiting the scores.
Results show more than 55 percent of students are meeting or exceeding the achievement level for English and about 39 percent for math. Officials have warned the scores would look lower than previous test scores.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Officials say smoke from an electrical malfunction has caused the emergency room at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center to be evacuated and 30 patients to be relocated at the facility.
The Courant reports that fire officials say the malfunction caused smoke to go into a vent in the emergency room around 9:30 p.m. Thursday. There was no actual fire.
Hospital spokeswoman Fiona Phelan says the patients have been moved to other parts of the hospital. She says the hospital's power is affected and backup generators are being used in some areas.
The emergency room is expected to reopen by early Friday.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A Hartford man who was driving drunk and hit and killed man in March faces seven years in prison.
The Hartford Courant reports that Luis Acosta on Thursday was found guilty after entering a plea under the Alford doctrine to second-degree manslaughter with a motor vehicle. While he did not agree with the prosecution's case, he did not walk to risk a longer prison sentence at trial.
Authorities say the 37-year-old Acosta swerved around stopped traffic, ran a red light, and struck 38-year-old Frankie Morales as he walked out of a market. Morales died a short time later.
Prosecutors say Acosta's blood alcohol content at the time of the crash was .34, more than four times the legal limit to drive.
Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 30.