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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) A former Sacred Heart University student accused of lying about being raped by two school football players in Connecticut is set to decide on a plea deal offer that calls for a two-year prison sentence.

Nikki Yovino, of South Setauket (she-TAW'-kiht), New York, is scheduled to appear in Bridgeport Superior Court on Monday to tell a judge her decision on prosecutors' plea offer.

Yovino's lawyer has said she stands by her account that the two football players at the Fairfield school sexually assaulted her in a bathroom during an off-campus party in October. The players told police they had consensual sex with her.

Police allege Yovino lied because she worried a third student would lose romantic interest in her if he found out she had sex with the football players.



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EAST HAMPTON, Conn. (AP) A wedding reception has been unexpectedly cut short after a fire broke out at a Connecticut banquet hall.

WFSB-TV reports the couple was in the middle of cutting the cake Sunday afternoon when the staff at St. Clements Castle alerted guests to the fire.

East Hampton fire officials say the flames were shooting from the roof at a smaller building on the property. It took firefighters about an hour to get the blaze under control.

Firefighters say none of the nearly 50 guests were injured. The kitchen, roof and banquet hall suffered damage.

The cause and origin of the fire is still under investigation.



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SUFFIELD, Conn. (AP) Police say a milk tanker truck drove off the road and struck a Connecticut home Sunday morning.

The driver has been hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries, but none of the occupants inside the Suffield home were injured.

Police say there is no structural damage to the home, as the truck just struck the outside.

The crash is still under investigation.



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MERIDEN, Conn. (AP) An internal affairs investigation has accused a Connecticut police captain of committing 63 department policy violations.

The Record-Journal reports Meriden Police Capt. Patrick Gaynor is being accused of violations that include falsifying records, being untruthful and retaliatory conduct.

Gaynor has been on paid administrative leave since December.

City Manager Guy Scaife previously said a disciplinary decision will be made by the end of the week. On Thursday, Scaife said he is still waiting on a report from the hearing officer.

The investigation against Gaynor was launched in December after a law firm failed to substantiate his claims that the police chief had engaged in retaliatory behavior against him.

Gaynor has declined to comment, on the advice of his attorney.



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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A scientist who pleaded guilty to taking sensitive documents from a Connecticut military contractor to his native China has been sentenced to the 2 .5 years in prison he has already served.

Former United Technologies Corp. engineer Yu Long was sentenced Thursday in federal court in Hartford. He had faced four to five years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines.

Federal prosecutors say that Long's work at United Technologies involved F119 jet engines used in Air Force F-22 Raptors and F135 engines used in Air Force F-35 Lightning II aircraft. After he left the company in 2014, prosecutors say Long brought sensitive information he stole from United Technologies to China, where he worked for a state-run university.

Long's lawyers say he did not give the documents to anyone in China.



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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A recently obtained state toxicology report shows the Connecticut firefighter who died while battling a house fire in 2014 had alcohol and marijuana in his system.

The medical examiner's office had determined 48-year-old Kevin Bell died of asphyxia in October 2014 because his tank ran out of air. State safety investigators found the city had failed to properly maintain and test the air tanks Bell used.

None of the investigations launched after Bell's death mentioned whether the toxicology results had an effect on what happened during the fire.

Hartford Fire Marshal Roger Martin tells the Hartford Courant a seven-member panel that investigated Bell's death and other problems within the fire department never received the toxicology results.

Bell's family settled a lawsuit against the city for $350,000 in December.



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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A private college in Connecticut has closed its campus due to threats made against it after a professor's social media posts that he says were twisted to sound as though they referred to last week's congressional shooting in Virginia.

Trinity College says it received threats related to social media posts by Johnny Eric Williams. The campus of the liberal arts school in Hartford closed Wednesday until further notice.

Trinity President Joanne Berger-Sweeney says the professor posted a piece that concluded with a call to show indifference to the lives of bigots. She says his post was reprehensible and a dean is looking into whether college policies were broken.

Williams tells the Hartford Courant his words were twisted by some people to sound as though he was saying the victims of the Alexandria, Virginia, shooting should've been left to die.



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SHELTON, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut man is facing charges after police say he pinned a 5-year-old boy to the ground during a Father's Day party.

Police say the 33-year-old Derby man was attending a party at a Shelton day care June 16 when the child playfully took a card the man received from his son. Police say Lance Churchill chased the child, picked him up and pinned him to the ground, screaming at him in front of the other children.

Police say the 6-foot-4, 270 pound man asked responding officers to have the 5-year-old arrested.

The man has been charged with risk of injury to a minor and disorderly conduct.



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Governor Dannel Malloy has informed members of the General Assembly that his administration is developing a plan for managing state government if they fail to adopt a new two year budget prior to the start of the fiscal year that begins next week.  Malloy says his plan will maintain essential services and satisfy obligations that are critical to the functioning of the state. 

 

Malloy met with legislative leaders yesterday and stressed that while this is not his preferred method for operating, the action is necessary.  He also released five principles on how he would move forward, absent a legislative-approved plan. 

 

A detailed plan based on the principles will be finalized and released publicly before June 30th.

 

-We should not increase our projected deficit – rather, we should apportion funds according to a plan that is in balance for the entire fiscal year.

 

-We should allocate funding to first support the most essential health, safety, and human services for our most vulnerable residents.

 

-We should consider the fiscal capacity of outside organizations – including cities and towns – when apportioning reductions.

 

-We should comply with various court orders, stipulations, and mandates, including but not limited to the Municipal Revenue Sharing Account (MRSA), the Juan F. case, CCJEF, and the SNAP and Medicaid programs.

 

-We should honor our tentative collective bargaining agreements while such agreements are under consideration by state employees and by the Connecticut General Assembly.



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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Connecticut legislators have finally received some good state budget news.

Malloy's budget director, Ben Barnes, says the current fiscal year deficit has shrunk by $215.5 million, to a projected $107.2 million shortfall, since May.

In a letter sent Tuesday to State Comptroller Kevin Lembo, Barnes says the change is due to transferring revenue from various funds to cover the red ink, as well as improvements in state tax collections. The largest increase occurred in the corporation tax.

The $107.2 million shortfall for the fiscal year ending June 30 will be covered by the state's budget reserve account, leaving a balance of $128.4 million.

The Democratic governor and state lawmakers are meeting Wednesday to discuss how to fix a projected $5 billion deficit in the new two-year budget.



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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) A fired police officer is suing the Connecticut city he once worked for, claiming his rights were violated when he was dismissed.

Curtis Ray was fired by the New Haven Police Department in October 2014 after a recording surfaced of a phone call he had with a convicted drug dealer. The New Haven Register reports Ray told the drug dealer he would have informed him about a police raid had he known about it.

Ray's lawyer says the firing violates his due process rights. Ray says the city made public the investigation into his alleged rule violations before the investigation was concluded.

Ray is seeking more than $15,000 in damages and his job back.

A city spokesperson says officials are aware of the lawsuit but have no comment.



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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut special education teacher has been charged with second-degree sexual assault after police say she engaged in a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old student.

The Connecticut Post reports 31-year-old Laura Ramos has been placed on administrative leave from her position at Central High School in Bridgeport following her arrest Tuesday.

Ramos' lawyer says his client is ``cloaked in the presumption of innocence.''

Officers were called to the high school June 9 following a complaint of a sexual assault. Officers say a student at the school told a teacher Ramos had been having sexual intercourse with one of her students in the special education program.

Police say Ramos told them she had a relationship with the victim from Dec. 23, 2016 until April 2017.



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BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut teen is facing animal cruelty charges after police traced a social media post showing someone killing and mutilating a rabbit.

Police say they were able to identify the 13-year-old and locate him in Bristol after the video surfaced Sunday.

The teen, whose identity is being withheld due to his age, has been issued a juvenile court summons and charged with cruelty to animals.

Police say they are continuing to investigate.



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NEWINGTON, Conn. (AP) Police say a Connecticut Department of Transportation employee found a large package of cocaine while picking up trash.

Police say the employee was cleaning between a Dicks Sporting Goods store and a DOT property in a Newington shopping plaza when he found the package Thursday afternoon.

Responding officers say the package contained more than 1 kilogram (2.20 pounds) of cocaine.

Police seized the cocaine, and a K-9 unit checked to make sure there were no other drugs in the area.

Police are continuing to investigate.



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OLD SAYBROOK, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut woman is facing multiple charges after police say she drove 25 mph on Interstate 95 while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The Day reports the 56-year-old woman has been charged with driving too slowly, driving under the influence and failure to drive in the proper lane.

Police say a state trooper doing speed enforcement saw the woman driving over the Baldwin Bridge Thursday night with traffic backed up behind her. The bridge has a posted 65 mph speed limit.

The trooper pulled the woman over, and police say she failed field sobriety tests.

She is scheduled to appear in court June 27.



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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) Metro-North Commuter Railroad officials have confirmed their president will retire at the end of August.

Joseph Giulietti said on Sunday he plans to spend time with his family while he evaluates his career.

The commuter rail operation hired Giulietti in 2014 after a series of railroad troubles, including a train derailment and several service meltdowns.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority reports the railroad has set ridership records in 2016 in both Connecticut and New York. The New Haven Line saw a 20,000 rider increase over the previous year.

Before his appointment, Giulietti was the executive director of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority. He previously served as a Metro-North executive for 15 years.

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal says he will have to ``scrutinize closely'' Giulietti's successor.



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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - The sister of a U.S. Navy sailor who grew up in Connecticut and was killed in a collision between a destroyer and a container ship off Japan is describing her brother as "selfless."

Twenty-five-year-old Ngoc T Truong Huynh was one of seven sailors killed aboard the USS Fitzgerald on Saturday.

Lan Huynh told WVIT-TV on Sunday the family is coping as best they can.

She says they moved to Connecticut was Huynh was in eighth grade. She and her brother graduated from Watertown High School. He also attended Naugatuck Valley Community College before joining the Navy in 2014. The family moved to Oklahoma a short time later.

Lan Huynh says her brother always "had the brightest smile."

Connecticut's governor has ordered flags to fly at half-staff in Huynh's honor.

 

Flags will remain at half-staff until burial or memorial services are held, the details of which are forthcoming. 

 

"The members of the military and their families make so many sacrifices to serve our nation, and today is a sad and tragic reminder of what these men and women risk in defense of our nation every day," Governor Malloy said. "Our state and our nation are in mourning for all of those who lost loved ones onboard the U.S.S. Fitzgerald, including Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T. Truong Huynh from Connecticut. We pray for a safe homecoming for all of our troops who are stationed around the world, and thank them for their bravery and service."

"This is devastating news for the families and friends of the seven sailors we lost, for Connecticut, and the nation," Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said. "Today's tragedy reminds us in the starkest terms what an enormous sacrifice our military men and women and their families make in service to our nation. We are deeply grateful for their courage and commitment. Our hearts are with Ngoc Truong Huynh's family as they grieve, and the other families who lost loved ones."

 

“I am heartbroken by reports that a Connecticut sailor was killed among others who perished on the U.S.S. Fitzgerald. My thoughts and prayers are with the family. The Navy owes the family and the nation a prompt investigation,” Senator Richard Blumenthal said.

 

“My heart goes out to the Huynh family for their loss. Ngoc died serving our country, a debt we cannot repay. We are all grateful for his service and sacrifice,” said Senator Chris Murphy. “The crash of the U.S.S. Fitzgerald is an absolute tragedy, and I intend to get to the bottom of what happened so that the families of those we lost have the answers they deserve.”



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GREENWICH, Conn. (AP) The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is investigating after a 17-year-old was hit and killed by a train in Connecticut.

A MTA spokesman says the male teen was hit at Cos Cob station in Greenwich around 12 a.m. Sunday. The train was heading northbound from Grand Central Station.

The spokesman did not say why the teen was on the tracks.

Police have not released information about his identity.



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WALLINGFORD, Conn. (AP) One school system went above and beyond for a bullied Connecticut student to make sure she would not miss out on graduation day.

WTIC-TV reports Mackenzie Torcello spent her senior year at Lyman Hall High School with a tutor at a local library.

Torcello, who is on the autism spectrum, says years of bullying by her peers made her feel ``worthless'' and she didn't feel comfortable being near them at graduation.

The Wallingford Public School System instead arranged for a private ceremony, held Wednesday afternoon. The system says they wanted her accomplishment to be both personalized and memorable.

Torcello's mother says her daughter's teachers and counselors showed up for what turned out to be a ``great day.''

Torcello says the ceremony made her feel special.



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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) A coalition of state agencies says the drought advisory issued last summer in Connecticut can now be lifted.

Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's office announced Thursday that the Connecticut Interagency Drought Workgroup has determined stream and ground water levels, as well as water levels at most of the state's water company reservoirs, are normal or above normal across much of Connecticut.

This development comes after much of Connecticut received above-normal precipitation in May.

Last October, the workgroup issued its' first-ever ``drought watch'' for most of Connecticut. Residents, businesses and local governments were urged to voluntarily reduce water usage by around 15 percent.

The workgroup is still asking people to practice smart water conversation techniques. Those can include steps such as stopping indoor and outdoor plumbing leaks and replacing old toilets.



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