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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Preliminary figures show Connecticut lost 1,200 net jobs in July, but a state labor official says job growth still remains strong.

Andy Condon, director of the Department of Labor's Office of Research, said Thursday the decline ``does not materially affect the growth we have seen to date.'' He said the state's three-month average job growth ``remains strongly positive.''

On a percentage basis, Condon says construction and manufacturing remain the fastest growth sectors in Connecticut's labor market.

The Department of Labor's monthly employment report shows Connecticut's July unemployment remains unchanged from June, at 4.4 percent, seasonally adjusted. It was 4.6 percent a year ago. Nationally, the U.S. jobless rate in July was 3.9 percent.

Connecticut has now recovered 86.1 percent, or 102,600 of the 119,100 jobs lost in the 2008-2010 recession. 

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) Police in Connecticut are swarming a city park near Yale University and searching people's homes for drugs in an effort to prevent more overdoses from a batch of synthetic marijuana.

More than 70 people were hospitalized in a 24-hour period in New Haven.

City Police Chief Anthony Campbell says increased patrols are on the New Haven Green, where most of the overdoses occurred Wednesday. Campbell said Thursday that officers are executing search warrants in an effort to get all the bad ``K2'' off the streets.

Campbell said it appears one of three suspects who were arrested was giving the drug away for free in an effort to get people hooked.

Mayor Toni Harp says plans are being finalized for President Trump's drug czar nominee, Jim Carroll, to visit New Haven on Monday.

 

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NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut city has tweaked the sign for Paul Manafort Drive after the name agitated some residents.

The Hartford Courant reports that city workers put up a new sign this week to make clear that the New Britain street is named after the elder Paul Manafort, a former mayor. The sign now says Paul Manafort Sr. Drive.

Some people pushed for the street alongside Central Connecticut State University to be renamed after the younger Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman, was indicted. Jurors began deliberating in Manafort's financial fraud trial on Thursday.

But Republican Mayor Erin Stewart said the street name would stay because it honors the elder Manafort. Stewart said on Thursday called the new sign a ``small clarification.'' 

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) Authorities say more than 70 people have overdosed from suspected synthetic marijuana at or near a Connecticut city park.

Officials say most of the overdoses happened on the New Haven Green, a downtown park near Yale University, throughout the day Wednesday. No deaths have been reported, but authorities say two people had life-threatening symptoms. Some people fell unconscious and others vomited.

Police said they arrested a man believed to be connected to at least some of the overdoses. The suspect's name wasn't immediately released.

Synthetic marijuana is plant material sprayed with chemicals that has been blamed for overdoses nationwide.

More than a dozen people overdosed on synthetic marijuana at the same park on July 4. 

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ORANGE, Conn. (AP) Police say scammers posing as representatives of an electric utility bilked businesses in one Connecticut town out of more than $4,200.

Authorities said Tuesday the scammers pretended to be United Illuminating and called Orange businesses saying they were behind on their bills.

The callers said the businesses needed to pay or their electricity would be shut off, and then requested payment through gift cards or other non-traditional methods.

Police say the scammers are sophisticated. They may have knowledge about the utility customers and even provide a callback number with a greeting similar to the utility's customer service line.

Authorities say people should verify all information before making a payment over the phone, and if a caller insists on payment through a prepaid debit card, it is likely a scam. 

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WOLCOTT, Conn. (AP) Police in Connecticut say a thief stole a woman's car as she prepared to pump gas.

The theft happened at a Cumberland Farms in Wolcott Tuesday night. Surveillance video shows the suspect leaving another vehicle as the victim gets out of her car to pump gas. The suspect got into the car and drove away.

The victim grabbed onto the passenger door and was dragged before she fell to the ground.

Authorities say the woman suffered minor injuries.

Wolcott police say there have been other incidents where purses or vehicles were stolen while the victim was standing close by. Police say drivers should take the keys out of the ignition while pumping gas. 

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WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) The driver of a stolen car in Connecticut crashed into two other vehicles while leading police on a chase.

A white Toyota Camry was reported stolen around 3 p.m. on Tuesday from Farmington. Avon police tried to stop the car on Route 44.

The driver turned at one point and drove the car into the path of an Avon detective's car forcing it off the highway to dodge an incoming vehicle.

Avon police say the driver, a juvenile, was arrested after officers caught the car in West Hartford with a spiked strip. 

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SOUTH WINDSOR, Conn. (AP) A firefighter has been taken to a Connecticut hospital to be checked for possible heat exhaustion from battling a motorcycle dealership fire.

The Hartford Courant reports firefighters responded to a small fire at MAX BMW Motorcycles in South Windsor on Tuesday morning. The smoke was billowing out of the building when firefighters discovered it was coming from an electrical panel on a wall.

Eversource shut of power, and the fire was put out. Investigators are trying to determine the cause of the fire. 

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NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) Police in Connecticut are investigating the attempted abduction of a 12-year-old boy in New London.

Authorities tell WVIT-TV the victim told police he was walking in Fulton Park Tuesday afternoon when a man wearing a ski mask tried to drag him towards a parked car. Police say the victim broke free and ran away.

Authorities say the suspect fled the area.

Police say the man was driving a silver four-door Honda.

Anyone with information is asked to contact New London police 

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BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) A bear took a stroll into an unlikely snack venue a Connecticut liquor store.

The mid-sized creature lumbered across a parking lot in Bristol around 2 p.m. Monday, getting close enough to the entrance of Crazy Bruce's Liquors to trigger a sensor that automatically opened an outer door.

The Hartford Courant reports video from inside shows the bear walking around the foyer while an employee locks an inner door. One unassuming customer also walked into the lobby as an employee unlocked the door and ushered him in.

The bear eventually figured out how to leave, and the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection was notified. 

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Connecticut is receiving a $10 million grant that will be used to increase access to care for individuals with substance abuse and mental health disorders.

Gov. Dannel Malloy says Monday the funding will also be used to address the opioid crisis by improving access to medication-assisted treatment.

Malloy, a Democrat, says the grant will be used to serve over 2,000 individuals.

It will pair physical health providers with mental health and substance use providers in Bridgeport, Hartford and Waterbury. These areas have been identified as areas with high rates of patients who have high Medicaid expenses and behavioral health diagnoses.

The grant is through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and will be proctored by the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. 

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STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) A former employee of a nonprofit dedicated to assisting immigrants is alleging he was fired unfairly after he reported his supervisor for exploiting day laborers.

Carlos Alberto Amaya said laborers who came to Building One Community would sometimes paint walls, shovel snow or do other maintenance work at the offices in Stamford while they waited for paid jobs. He said they were occasionally compensated with gift cards but often worked for free.

A video recording provided by Amaya shows three immigrant laborers describing mistreatment by the nonprofit, including unpaid labor.

The nonprofit's executive director Catalina Horak said immigrants at times volunteer to clean or take out trash after an event but never do free labor at the center. She said an internal investigation found the accusations to be unfounded. 

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GUILFORD, Conn. (AP) Supporters of a dog that has been under a euthanasia order for a year are planning a rally to call on local officials in Connecticut to return the pet to its family.

The gathering for Simon the mixed breed is set for Sunday at Guilford Town Hall. Organizers are expecting hundreds of people.

The 8-year-old canine has been locked up in the town animal shelter since biting a teenager in the leg last year. Town officials ordered that the dog be euthanized, and its owners are appealing to the state. Local officials say they can't take any action during the appeal.

David Young and his family adopted Simon from a rescue group in 2011. They say the teenager trespassed onto their property and threatened the dog with a lacrosse stick. 

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NORTH FRANKLIN, Conn. (AP) - The state's environmental protection agency is unveiling a new event to highlight Connecticut's fish and wildlife resources.

Discover Outdoor Connecticut Day will be held on Sept. 22 at the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's Franklin Swamp Wildlife Management Area in North Franklin.

The free, daylong event will include a host of demonstrations and clinics, as well as children's activities, such as a scavenger hunt. There will also be live birds of prey and waterfowl, an outdoor skills clinic held by L.L. Bean, field dog demonstrations, an archery range, shooting clays, backyard bass casting, fly casting, fly tying, a portable sawmill and an electric vehicle.

There will also be a moose calling demonstration and competition.

The agency says families are invited to bring a picnic lunch for the event.  

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NORWALK, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut aquarium is asking boaters to help avoid more turtle deaths.

The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk is asking boaters on the Long Island Sound to slow down after the deaths of two sea turtles in the last month.

The Stamford Advocate reports the turtles were struck by boats, and the carcasses found in Stratford and near Sheffield Island. Aquarium representatives say one of the animals had three ``obvious propeller gouges'' up its shell. Both turtles were loggerheads, one adult, and one juvenile.

Four species of sea turtles swim around the Sound during the summer, including the Kemp's ridley and leatherback turtles, which are endangered.

The aquarium recommends boaters reduce speeds in shallow waters and near sea grasses, where turtles feed.

 

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NORWALK, Conn. (AP) The remnants of a centuries-old Native American fort and several thousand artifacts have been found at a railroad bridge construction site in Connecticut.

State Department of Transportation officials on Thursday announced the fort and artifacts, some believed to be more than 3,000 years old, were discovered in Norwalk around the 122-year-old Walk Bridge, a commuter rail span that is scheduled to be replaced. They were found during a planned archaeological survey.

Experts believe the fort was used for trade between Native Americans and Dutch settlers sometime between 1615 and 1640. They say the fort is on top of a 3,000-year-old Native American site. No evidence of human remains was found.

Officials say the site of the fort will be removed, but all the artifacts will be preserved and analyzed. 

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SEYMOUR, Conn. (AP) Authorities in Connecticut are investigating an incident involving a high school football team.

Police received a complaint concerning the Seymour High School football in May. Seymour Police Chief Paul Satkowski said Thursday the department couldn't disclose any details about the investigation ``in an effort not to compromise the integrity of the investigation.''

Superintendent of Schools Michael Wilson tells The Connecticut Post the district is ``committed to having a football program.'' Wilson says that a training program has been in place throughout the summer.

Police say they don't have a timeline for the investigation. 

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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) Police say a Korean man stalked his ex-girlfriend around the world before being arrested in Connecticut.

Bridgeport officers say they arrested 61-year-old Kwak Kyu Dong on Wednesday while responding to a report of a woman screaming in a bank parking lot.

The Connecticut Post reports the woman told authorities she was in an abusive relationship with Dong and she fled. She said he tracked her down in Hawaii, Alaska and Bridgeport, where she has a friend. Police say Dong obtained her bank account information.

Dong is charged with stalking. He was brought to Bridgeport Superior Court in handcuffs and leg restraints Thursday. A judge continued the case to Friday so a Korean interpreter could be located.

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) Police in Connecticut are searching for one or more suspects involved in a shooting that left a man injured in the groin.

A 27-year-old man was shot shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday night in New Haven. He was taken to Yale New Haven Hospital by a couple who saw him screaming on the street.

Police say the man would not answer their questions.

Residents of the area told police they saw a Nissan Versa crash into a utility pole shortly after the shooting. Video footage obtained by police shows a crashed Nissan, and that there may have been more than one shooter involved. Police are asking anyone who saw the crash or shooting to reach out to New Haven detectives. 

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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) Connecticut environmental officials say a hawk that attacked people may have been suffering from neurological issues related to West Nile virus.

The Advocate reports Environmental Conservation Police captured the juvenile red-tailed hawk Tuesday in Bridgeport after it injured at least two people. It was taken to a bird rehabilitation facility in Weston.

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection spokesman Chris Collibbe says it appears the bird was suffering from ``some sort of neurological issues.'' Collibbe says it's possible the health issues were caused by West Nile virus.

Experts say raptors are susceptible to the virus.

Mosquitoes with West Nile virus have been found this year in: Bethany, Bridgeport, Darien, Easton, Franklin, Greenwich, Hartford, Madison, New Canaan, New Haven, Stamford, Stratford, Waterbury, Waterford, West Haven and Weston. 

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