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State News Stories

Dulos friend pleads not guilty in missing mother case

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut attorney charged in connection with the disappearance and presumed death of a mother of five has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit murder. Kent Mawhinney will continue to be held on $2 million bond after a brief court appearance Thursday. His attorney did not comment while leaving the courthouse. Mawhinney was a friend and attorney who represented Fotis Dulos in civil matters. Dulos' estranged wife, Jennifer Dulos, has not been seen since May when when she dropped her children off at school in New Caanan. Fotis Dulos was charged with her murder but died last month.

Jury clears hospital in controversial medical abuse case

BOSTON (AP) - A Massachusetts jury has ruled that Boston Children's Hospital wasn't medically negligent in its treatment of a Connecticut teen who spent nearly a year in state custody after doctors suspected her parents of medical child abuse. Thursday's verdict in the malpractice lawsuit brought by the family of Justina Pelletier capped a high profile dispute that drew national media attention and sparked a broader debate over parental rights. Doctors and Pelletier's parents disagreed on whether the cause of her numerous health problems, which included an inability to walk, talk or swallow, were medical ailments, as her parents maintained, or largely psychological.

Police: Man showing off gun accidentally shoots himself

KILLINGLY, Conn. (AP) - A Maine man visiting his sister in Connecticut is facing numerous charges after police say he accidentally shot himself in the thigh while showing off his gun. Mountain Robicheau, of Wesley, Maine is free on $50,000 bond, according to court records. He appeared in court Tuesday where he faced charges including three counts of carrying a pistol without a permit. Police responded to the hospital for a report of a person with a gunshot wound to his left thigh. Robicheau told police he was at his sister's Killingly home and showing her the handgun when his finger slipped.

Connecticut governor drops proposal for highway tolls

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont says he is dropping his plan for highway tolls for trucks. He expressed frustration Wednesday with legislative leaders who've delayed a vote on the issue. The General Assembly had planned to vote Thursday on a wide-ranging transportation improvement plan that included truck-only tolls. But the Democratic governor said the Senate needed more time. He said at a news conference that he thought it was time for a "pause." Senate Democrats still say they hope to hold a vote next week on a plan with 12 toll gantries on 18-wheeler trucks. GOP lawmakers question whether that will happen.

Authorities: Counselor defrauded Medicaid of $100,000

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - Authorities say a licensed drug and alcohol counselor from Connecticut defrauded Medicaid of more than $100,000 in part by filing fake claims for services to patients who were in the hospital, imprisoned or even dead. The state Division of Criminal Justice said Wednesday that 56-year-old Ethel Bethea, of New Haven, was charged Tuesday with first-degree larceny by defrauding a public community, health insurance fraud and 15 counts of third-degree identity theft. She is free on $150,000 bond pending a court appearance scheduled for March 6.

State trooper says in lawsuit reassignment was retaliation

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut State Police sergeant says in a lawsuit that state public safety Commissioner James Rovella retaliated against him because the sergeant reported the sexually inappropriate lunch conversation of a colleague. Sgt. Timothy Begley says in his suit he was reassigned from the state police counterterrorism unit to a midnight patrol shift last March in apparent retribution for his role in filing the complaint on behalf of a female member of the unit who complained of a colleague's sexually inappropriate remarks. Rovella's aide said the department would not comment on a pending lawsuit.

Man charged in Ansonia woman's killing pleads not guilty

MILFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut man has pleaded not guilty to charges that he killed his girlfriend and the mother of his still-missing toddler daughter. Jose Morales, father of missing 1-year-old Vanessa Morales, appeared in Milford Superior Court on Tuesday where he entered the plea relating to the death of Christine Holloway, who was found dead in her Ansonia home last December. He is being held on a $5 million bond. Authorities are still looking for Vanessa, who has brown eyes and brown hair, is 2-feet, 2-inches tall, and weighs about 17 pounds. An email seeking comment was sent to his lawyer, Norman Pattis.

Teen charged in random beauty spa stabbing ruled competent

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut teenager charged with stabbing a woman at random in the parking lot of a beauty spa has been ruled competent to stand trial. Eighteen-year-old Ellis Tibere, of Guilford, was in court Tuesday. He faces charges including attempted murder in connection with the attack Jan. 6 in Westport. A panel of mental health professionals found that Tibere does not show signs of psychiatric illness or cognitive deficits. Police say the 33-year-old victim, a Greenwich resident, was sitting in her car prior to an appointment when someone with a knife and wearing a mask opened the door and attacked her.

US lawmaker defends meeting with Iran FM in Munich

WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. Chris Murphy is defending a weekend meeting he held with Iran's foreign minister in Europe that President Donald Trump suggested may violate U.S. law. The Connecticut Democrat said Tuesday his meeting with Mohammed Javad Zarif was important because it is dangerous not to talk to one's enemies. On hearing of the meeting, Trump said it sounded as though Murphy had violated an obscure, little-used federal law that bars private citizens from conducting official diplomacy. Murphy has been a harsh critic of Trump's policy toward Iran but said he was not acting on behalf of the administration. He said he raised numerous issues in the meeting that comes as the Trump administration seeks to increasingly isolate Iran with its "maximum pressure campaign."

Police arrest suspect, identify victim in Hartford shooting

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Police say a suspect has been arrested in the Hartford nightclub shooting that left one dead and several others injured. Hartford police Lt. Paul Cicero said Monday that 30-year-old Joshua Saez, who was also struck by gunfire and is recovering at a hospital, was arrested. Saez is accused of fatally shooting 28-year-old Marquis Treadwell, of Hartford, following an argument early Sunday at the Majestic Lounge, a nightclub in the city's south end. Saez is also accused of shooting a woman who was with Treadwell and a third person. The gunfire at the club left a total of five people shot. Saez is being held on $1.75 million bail and is charged with murder, assault charges and various firearm charges.

Yale students start drone delivery service on campus

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - A group of students at Yale University has set up a drone delivery service on campus. Kiki Air promises to deliver candy, snacks and other small items to students using their new app. The service is currently being tested using a small group of students. Developers say the users order items from their phones and receive them at one of several drop locations around campus in a padded envelope attached to a drone. The startup won a $150,000 grant from Y Combinator, a California-based investor. The company's founder, senior Jason Lu, says his company grew from a class project.

Big turnout expected at latest hearing on vaccine exemption

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A large turnout is expected once again on the latest proposal in Connecticut to eliminate the state's religious exemptions from certain vaccines for public school students. The General Assembly's Public Health Committee is scheduled to hold a public hearing Wednesday on this year's bill. The legislation is expected to be one of the most closely watched bills of this year's short, three-month legislative session. Hundreds of vaccine skeptics and religious rights advocates already rallied outside the state Capitol on the opening day of the General Assembly earlier this month, demanding legislators oppose any efforts to end the exemption.

Connecticut bill prohibits discipline for unpaid lunch bills

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut lawmakers are considering legislation to address school lunch debt. The General Assembly's Committee on Children will hold a public hearing Tuesday on a bill prohibiting disciplinary action against public school children who have unpaid school lunch bills. The proposal would also allow any public or private entities to pay off such debt. Various Connecticut school districts have seen school lunch debts on the rise. The issue has also sparked controversies across the country. A Pennsylvania school district apologized last year for warning parents who were behind on their lunch bills that their children could end up in foster care.

Police: 1 dead, 4 wounded in Connecticut club shooting

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - The mayor of Connecticut's capital city says illegal handguns were involved in a nightclub shooting that killed a man and wounded four other people. The gunfire erupted inside the Majestic Lounge in Hartford at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday. Mayor Luke Bronin says officers were stationed outside the club because of previous problems there and heroically ran inside when they heard the gunfire, possibly saving other lives. Officials say a 28-year-old man died, and two males and two females were injured. Two victims were in surgery Sunday morning and two others were in stable condition. No suspects are in custody.

Man wounded, another arrested after casino stabbing

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. (AP) - A Massachusetts man has been charged with misdemeanors in connection with the stabbing of a Rhode Island man at a Connecticut casino. Mashantucket Pequot Tribal police say the victim was stabbed shortly after 1 a.m. Saturday at the Centrale Fox Tower bar at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Authorities say the victim, 34-year-old Donovan Alves, of Providence, is in stable condition at a hospital in Norwich. Police charged 40-year-old Robert Haines, of Chicopee, Massachusetts, with breach of peace and third-degree assault, both misdemeanors. Officials say Haines was not charged with stabbing Alves. It's not clear who stabbed Alves.

Bipartisan bill would cap insulin costs in Connecticut

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut lawmakers say there's bipartisan support this session for a bill that would place limits on out-of-pocket costs for insulin-dependent diabetics. There are an estimated 355,000 diabetics in the state and many have seen the price of the life-saving drug skyrocket in recent years. A group of Democrats and Republicans have been working on legislation that would cap total out-of-pocket costs for insulin and diabetic supplies, such as test strips and glucose testing monitors, at $100 a month. Similar legislation that caps just insulin costs was recently enacted in Colorado and Illinois. Drug companies say they offer insulin affordability programs.

Education Department probes foreign gifts to Yale, Harvard

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - The U.S. Education Department is investigating foreign gifts made to Harvard and Yale as part of a broader review of international money flowing to American universities. The department said Wednesday it is reviewing whether the Ivy League schools potentially failed to report hundreds of millions of dollars in donations and contracts in countries including Saudi Arabia, Iran and China. The department previously opened investigations at Georgetown University and Texas A&M as part of a campaign to scrutinize foreign funding and to improve reporting by universities. Yale and Harvard said they were reviewing the government's requests for records.

Town Councilman resigns, cites social media harassment

CHESHIRE, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut councilman has resigned from the town council after serving for dozens of years, citing harassment he and his family have endured on social media. The New Haven Register reports that Republican Paul Bowman said Wednesday that he and his family have been the victims of personal attacks on social media for years. Bowman turned in his letter of resignation after this week's council meeting and said he will devote time to a variety of causes in Cheshire. Council Chairman Rob Oris says Bowman had "stellar" service and that him leaving is "a big loss" to the council and community.

Attorneys seek to limit graphic images seen in murder trial

GRISWOLD, Conn. (AP) - Attorneys for a Connecticut man accused of killing three people are attempting to keep jurors in his upcoming murder trial from seeing too many graphic images. Sergio Correa has pleaded not guilty to charges including murder, home invasion, robbery and arson. The Day reports his attorneys are seeking a court ruling requiring prosecutors to state the relevance of each photo or video clip they plan to show to the jury. His sister has said she and Correa repeatedly stabbed Matthew Lindquist and beat his parents with a baseball bat. Correa's jury trial is scheduled to start the first week of March.

1 man killed, 1 injured while standing in bus stop enclosure

HAMDEN, Conn. (AP) - One man was killed and another was seriously injured when the bus stop enclosure they were in was struck by a car. Police in Connecticut say the men were taken to Yale Haven Hospital after the crash early Wednesday morning. One man later died. Their names were not made public. The investigation indicated that the northbound car crossed over the southbound lanes and struck the enclosure. The driver was identified as 31-year-old Pinky McBurrows, of Ansonia. She tried to flee the scene on foot but was quickly apprehended. She faces several charges including reckless driving. It could not be determined if she has an attorney who could respond to the charges.

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