State news

Hackers stole nearly $1M from Save the Children charity

BOSTON (AP) - Save the Children says hackers stole nearly $1 million from the nonprofit through a sophisticated email scam.

The Boston Globe reports that scammers hacked into the email of a worker at the charity's U.S. offices last year, posed as an employee, and created false invoices and other documents to fool the nonprofit into sending nearly $1 million to a fraudulent entity in Japan.

The scammers claimed the money was needed to purchase solar panels for health centers in Pakistan, a country where Save the Children has worked for decades.

The Save the Children Federation , the Fairfield, Connecticut-based U.S. affiliate of the international organization, said its insurance reimbursed all but $112,000 of the stolen funds.

The charity has since tightened its cybersecurity and bank transfer protocols to prevent fraud.

Man convicted of threatening judge appeals to Supreme Court

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut man convicted of threatening the judge in his divorce case is arguing free speech rights in taking his case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Edward Taupier, of Cromwell, has filed documents asking the court to hear his appeal of a Connecticut Supreme Court ruling in September that rejected his free speech arguments.

Taupier is serving an 18-month prison sentence for threatening Judge Elizabeth Bozzuto. Prosecutors said Taupier sent an email to six acquaintances in 2014 that described Bozzuto's home and how certain rifles could be fired at it from a nearby cemetery.

He was sentenced to four more months behind bars in September for Facebook posts urging people to kill judges and employees at the Middletown courthouse.

Taupier asked the nation's highest court Monday to hear his appeal.

Sports arena ordered to pay $200,000 over boy's injury

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - The owners of a Connecticut sports arena have been ordered to pay $200,000 to the family of an 8-year-old boy who fell out of the stands while trying to high five hockey players.

The Connecticut Post reported Thursday a jury ruled in favor of David and Laure Friedman in their negligence lawsuit against the owners of Webster Bank Arena.

According to the lawsuit, their son was attending a Sound Tigers hockey game in November 2013 when a railing gave way and he fell 5 feet onto the floor below.

The lawsuit says the boy, now 13, suffered a concussion and head trauma that has impacted his ability to "carry on and enjoy all life's activities."

Lawyers for arena owner Harbor Yard Sports and Entertainment have not returned calls for comment.

Fireball seen from Connecticut to eastern Canada

At least a dozen people say they saw a bright fireball blazing across the night sky in New England.

The American Meteor Society says it received reports from Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire and New Brunswick.

More might have seen it if not for the timing. The fireball was reported shortly after midnight Wednesday.

Jeff Beam of Falmouth wrote to the American Meteor Society that it was like a "slow-motion Roman candle or something."

Meteorologist Chris Legro of the National Weather Service tweeted that fireball was "bright enough to light up the whole sky."

Abuse reports to state child welfare agency increase

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - The Connecticut Department of Children and Families has seen an increase in reports concerning suspected abuse following recent incidents at schools.

DCF spokesman Gary Kleebatt tells The Day "news about schools and reporting to the department has created more awareness" which in turn has led to more reporting. Kleebatt says the department adjusted staff and updated its phone system.

The department adopted a new online filing system this month in response to the influx of calls. School officials and other mandated reporters can file claims for "non-emergent child abuse and neglect concerns."

The superintendent of Montville schools who was charged with failing to report a student "fight club" stepped down in October. A Norwich Free Academy coach was charged with sexually assaulting two students in September.

Man charged with killing girlfriend held on $2M bond

EAST LYME, Conn. (AP) - Authorities say a Connecticut man fatally stabbed his girlfriend multiple times in the hotel room they shared after she said she wanted to break up.

Avery Hallbrooks, of East Lyme, was held on $2 million bond at his court appearance Wednesday.

The victim, 25-year-old Corina Zukowski, of East Lyme, was found suffering from stab wounds Monday night in a room at the Starlight Inn in the Niantic section of town.

She was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Police arrested the 28-year-old Avery Hallbrooks on Tuesday.

Prosecutors say the couple had been dating and had one child together. Zukowski had three children total.

Hallbrooks told police that one of Zukowski's ex-boyfriend's stabbed her, then later said she stabbed herself while he tried to stop her.

Mayor's son denies embezzling from restaurants he ran

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - The son of a Connecticut mayor has pleaded not guilty to embezzling more than $80,000 from two restaurants he ran.

The New Haven Register reports that Stephen Rossi, the son of West Haven Mayor Nancy Rossi, entered his pleas Tuesday to first-degree larceny, first-degree computer crime and criminal impersonation.

He asked for a jury trial and the judge continued the case to Jan. 7. He remains free on $50,000 bond.

Neither Rossi nor his lawyer commented outside court.

Rossi was manager of the Sitting Duck restaurants in Trumbull and Stratford.

Police were alerted to possible embezzlement by the restaurants' owner.

Investigators say an audit determined Rossi took cash from sales and inflated inventory - pocketing the difference. Authorities say they have video of Rossi pocketing cash from the Trumbull restaurant.


Malloy defends jobs record at final Bond Commission meeting

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Outgoing Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is defending his job creation record, saying multimillion-dollar state investments are bearing fruit.

The Democrat made the comments Tuesday following his final meeting of the State Bond Commission, which he has chaired for the past eight years. The panel has approved numerous grants and loans to help attract, grow, and sustain businesses in Connecticut. Such financial assistance was criticized during the recent governor's race.

Malloy says the state has assisted more than 100 companies this year that have promised to retain nearly 24,000 jobs and add 11,000 more, calling it "real and substantial progress."

Connecticut has recovered about 90 percent of the jobs lost during the 2008-2010 recession. Malloy attributes the remaining 10 percent to the downsizing of state and local government, which he supports.


Veteran, mayor help rescue teen from burning home

WOLCOTT, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut town mayor and a Vietnam war veteran have helped rescue a teen from a burning home.

WTNH-TV reports 18-year-old Jamil Lawrence thanked his rescuers Tuesday, saying, ``I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you guys.''

Paul Wozniak Sr., who served in the Vietnam War, says he was driving by when he saw flames shooting from the home in Wolcott last Thursday.

He entered the home and found Lawrence, who was recovering from surgery on both of his legs and struggling to walk.

Wolcott Town Mayor Thomas Dunn also saw the house on fire, and the two men helped Lawrence escape the home.

Fire officials say the home sustained extensive damage.

Gov.-elect Lamont appoints general counsel, senior adviser

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - Incoming Connecticut governor Ned Lamont has named his administration's top legal counselor as well as his top strategy adviser.

The Democratic governor-elect on Monday named Superior Court Judge Robert Clark his general counsel and Colleen Flanagan Johnson as senior adviser.

Clark will oversee legal operations for the governor's office, as well as provide expert and strategic advice on legal matters.

Flanagan Johnson will oversee the governor's communications operation, and provide strategic counsel to Lamont and other senior officials on communications, policy, and political matters.

Lamont said Clark and Flanagan Johnson "are experienced public servants who are deeply committed to helping Connecticut become more inclusive and prosperous for all."

Clark previously served 14 years in the state attorney general's office. Flanagan Johnson previously worked in the private and public sectors.

Police: 1 dead in weekend crash in Granby

GRANBY, Conn. (AP) - Police in Connecticut say a Massachusetts woman died in a three-vehicle crash over the weekend.

Granby Police Capt. William Tyler says the crash took place on Route 10 in Granby at about 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Tyler says 58-year-old Holly Norton, of Southwick, Massachusetts, was taken to the hospital where she later died. She was alone in her vehicle.

Authorities say five people were involved in the crash and everyone else declined medical attention at the scene.

The North Central Municipal Accident Reconstruction Squad is investigating the crash. No charges have been filed.

Ex-building manager gets prison for allowing drug activity

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - The former manager of a Connecticut apartment building who knowingly allowed the building to be used as a drug trafficking hub has been sentenced to more than two years in prison.

Federal prosecutors say 63-year-old Franklyn Nieves was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport to two years and four months behind bars and two years of probation. He pleaded guilty in May to maintaining a drug-involved premises.

Prosecutors say Nieves allowed the six-unit building in Hartford to be used to store, process and distribute heroin and fentanyl. Nieves, who also lived in one of the units, was aware of the drug trafficking activity and even helped to secure the basement for drug activities. He also knew a 17-year-old youth was selling drugs out of the building.

Famed herbalist's widower facing deadline to disclose assets

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) The widower of famed herbalist Adelma Grenier Simmons is facing a final deadline to provide a full accounting of his assets or face sanctions in a dispute over his late wife's once-acclaimed herb farm in Connecticut.

Eighty-one-year-old Edward Cook has been ordered to return to Hartford Superior Court on Tuesday after failing three previous times to disclose all assets. The Journal Inquirer reports that Judge Matthew Budzik warned Cook about possible sanctions.

A lawyer for Simmons' estate is trying to evict Cook from the Coventry farm, which has fallen into disrepair and tax debt.

Simmons and Cook were married for about four years when she died in 1997 at age 93. She was credited with popularizing the use of herbs in American cooking and published more than 50 books and pamphlets.

New Haven firefighter charges after dispute over boots

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) A high-ranking Connecticut firefighter is facing charges for allegedly assaulting a woman over a pair of boots.

Police say New Haven Battalion Chief Herschel Wadley was arrested last week and charged with third-degree assault and disorderly conduct. He is scheduled to appear in court Dec. 18.

Police say an off-duty Wadley became upset when a woman who works for the vendor that supplies equipment to the department told him the $100 boots he wanted were not on the city approved clothing list.

Police allege Wadley told the women to ``fudge'' the paperwork, threatened to steal the boots, then grabbed the back of the woman's neck and shook her.

He was placed on administrative leave.

Wadley denied touching the woman and said his threat to steal the boots was a joke.

Firefighters help deliver baby at the firehouse

NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) Firefighters in Connecticut have helped with an unexpected delivery.

The New London Fire Department's battalion chief says their crew just came back from a call Friday night when a man pulled up to the firehouse and said his wife was having a baby.

Firefighters helped deliver a baby boy in the car, and officials say both mom and baby are doing well.

The department issued a statement on Twitter Friday saying, ``great job to all.''

The names of the family have not been released.

Police: 1 teen killed, another injured in apartment shooting

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Police have arrested a 24-year-old man in connection with a shooting in Hartford that left one 17-year-old boy dead and another injured.

Police say William Moore, of Bristol, was arrested Thursday and charged with murder and first-degree assault.

Officers responded to an apartment building around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday and found the teens suffering gunshot wounds on the second floor.

One, identified as Karlonzo Taylor, later died.

The other youth remains hospitalized in serious but stable condition. His name wasn't released.

Police say neither teen lived in the building.

Lt. Paul Cicero said the shooting stemmed from a feud between Taylor and Moore.

Moore is being held on $1.5 million bond pending arraignment Friday. It wasn't clear if he had a lawyer.

The death was the city's 20th homicide of the year.

130 gravesites disturbed at Connecticut cemetery

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - Officials say about 130 graves were disturbed at a Connecticut cemetery that includes the remains of Civil War veterans to make way for new graves over the past seven years.

Police and other officials in Bridgeport, Connecticut, held a news conference Thursday, hours after the longtime caretaker at Park Cemetery was arrested.

Complaints from relatives of those buried at the cemetery led police to search the property in September. Officials say gravestones and human remains were moved to make way for the newly dead, while human bones, casket pieces and broken gravestones were found in the woods.

Caretaker Dale LaPrade was charged with felony interference with a cemetery and released on a promise to appear in court Dec. 18. She declined to comment.

Relatives called the arrest justice for their loved ones.

State's last death-row inmate resentenced to life in prison

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) The last man sentenced to death in Connecticut has been resentenced to life in prison for the killings of a woman, her 9-year-old daughter and a Good Samaritan.

The Connecticut Post reports 51-year-old Richard Roszkowski said during his Thursday hearing he is remorseful for what happened that day.

His sentence was converted as a result of a 2015 state Supreme Court decision that declared the death penalty unconstitutional.

Roszkowski was convicted in 2009 of felony murder charges for fatally shooting 39-year-old Holly Flannery, her daughter, Kylie, and 38-year-old Thomas Gaudet in Bridgeport in 2006.

Police said Roszkowski stalked Flannery after she broke up with him and falsely believed she and Gaudet were romantically involved.

Roszkowski was the last of 11 death-row inmates resentenced to life in prison.


Connecticut police shoot man who fired on them while fleeing

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Connecticut State Police say two Hartford officers shot and injured a man who opened fire on them while fleeing a traffic stop on foot.

Officers on patrol at about 12:15 a.m. Tuesday tried to pull over a vehicle operating erratically.

The vehicle attempted to elude officers before it stopped.

One occupant fled on foot, while the other sped away in the car.

Hartford Chief David Rosado in a statement said as officers Michael Fallon and Brian Kearney pursued the man on foot, he turned and opened fire. The officers returned fire and struck the man in the leg. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition. His name wasn't released.

The officers were taken to the hospital although neither was struck by gunfire.

Police are still looking for the second suspect.

Connecticut man gets 75 years in prison for killing woman

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut man convicted of fatally stabbing his girlfriend, injuring her best friend and then fleeing the state with his 6-year-old daughter has been sentenced to 75 years in prison.

The Connecticut Post reports that 41-year-old Oscar Hernandez remained defiant at his sentencing Tuesday, proclaiming his innocence and saying ``God knows I didn't do it.''

Hernandez was convicted in October of murder and other charges.

Authorities say Hernandez stabbed 26-year-old Nidia Gonzalez and her friend in the couple's Bridgeport apartment in February 2017, then took off with their daughter, setting off a three-state search that ended when he crashed in Pennsylvania.

Gonzalez was stabbed in the neck six times, her windpipe and carotid artery punctured.

Hernandez said the women stabbed each other during a drunken argument over a cellphone.

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