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HIV Testing Day Slated for June in CT Cities


NEW HAVEN — Planned Parenthood of Southern New England will offer free rapid HIV testing services at select health centers in Connecticut this June.

National HIV Testing Day is June 27.

In the United States, more than 1.2 million people are living with HIV. In Connecticut, there are more than 10,200 people living with HIV. Almost one in seven do not know they are infected.

“You cannot tell by looking at someone if they have HIV – the only way to know is to get tested. We invite all people who do not know their status to come for a free test,” said Judy Tabar President & CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. “National HIV Testing Day is a reminder that getting tested for HIV is an important step in stopping the spread of HIV and taking care of ourselves.”

In an effort to promote early detection and a healthy community, PPSNE will be offering free rapid HIV tests at select health centers during normal business hours on Monday, June 27.

Appointments are not necessary, but encouraged. Everyone who gets tested on June 27 will receive a free information bag that includes fun giveaways, educational brochures and safe sex supplies. The following health centers in Connecticut will be providing free rapid tests:

Bridgeport Health Center

211 State Street

Bridgeport, CT 06604

8 AM – 3:30 PM

Hartford Health Center

1229 Albany Avenue

Hartford, CT 06112

11 AM – 6:45 PM

New Haven Health Center

345 Whitney Avenue

New Haven, CT 06511

9 AM – 6:30 PM

“Our health centers are open to everyone and we are here to answer any questions or concerns anyone may have. Once you know your status, there is a lot you can do to protect your health, including practicing safer sex,” said Tabar. “The sooner you know your status, the sooner you can get any treatment and information you might need. Early treatment can help prevent serious health problems in the future.”

To make an appointment or for more information, call 1 (800) 230-PLAN (7526) or visit ppsne.org.

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Insurance Commissioner to Face Ethics Board


By Fran Wilson, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — Connecticut residents will have their say on whether the state’s commissioner’s participation in an insurance merger was a lapse in judgment.

The Connecticut Office of State Ethics on Tuesday will begin  a 30-day comment period in connection with a declaratory ruling petition from Common Cause CT.

The group is bringing this before the ethics board because they questioned Insurance Commissioner Katharine Wade’s participation in the Cigna/Anthem merger.  The deadline for submitting comments is 5 p.m. on July 20, 2016.

At its regular meeting held on June 16,  the Board voted unanimously to grant the petition to issue a declaratory ruling submitted by Cheri Quickmire, Executive Director of Common Cause of Connecticut.  By law, a declaratory ruling constitutes a binding statement of agency law.

The 30-day comment period is an opportunity for comments from those interested in this issue.

Comments may be sent by email to ose@ct.gov or mailed or otherwise delivered to the Office of State Ethics at 18-20 Trinity Street, 2nd Floor, Hartford, CT 06106.

Submissions must be marked Proposed Declaratory Ruling 2016-A.  All comments are “public records” and will be posted at www.ct.gov/ethics.

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State Officials: Unemployment Down, Job Fair Set for June


WETHERSFIELD – More than 30 employers will be on hand to meet with jobseekers during the Middlesex County Career Fair taking place at the Radisson Hotel Cromwell, 100 Berlin Road, Cromwell this June.

 

The career fair, which will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  on June 20,  is sponsored by the Connecticut Department of Labor, Middlesex Chamber of Commerce and Workforce Alliance.

 

Certified Professional Résumé Writers from the Labor Department will be available to meet individually with jobseekers who would like their résumés reviewed at no cost. Employees from the agency will also be on site to answer questions visitors may have about Labor Department programs and related workforce services.

 

Directions to the Radisson Hotel and a list of participating employers can be found by visiting the Connecticut Department of Labor’s website at www.ctjobsfairs.com. There is no cost for parking and admission for jobseekers is free.

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UN: 65 million People Displaced Last Year


By Ann-Marie Adams, Staff Writer
NEW YORK, NY — More than 65 million people were displaced and had to flee their home countries, according a United Nations reports released on Monday.

That staggering figure represents the number of people in Britain and France, according to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees report. The number of refugees rose by 5.8 million in 2015 over last year’s figure. And the 65 million displaced to date hits a record high , UN officials said.

The Commissioner also reported that many refugees are mainly displaced by rising violence, insecurity, and persecution.

Of the 65.3 million displaced, 21.3 million fled their home countries, and 40.8 million remain displaced inside their countries.

UN officials said the number of displaced refugees have jumped since the outbreak of Syria’s civil war in 2011.

And Palestinians are the largest group of refugees, at more than five million. Syrians are second, at 4.9 million, Afghans are next at 2.7 million, and Somalians at 1.1 million.

Outside the Middle East and Africa, there is also a growing number of refugees from Central America. In 2015, there was a 17 percent rise in those fleeing their homes.

In a statement to the press, Secretary of State John Kerry said that the war in Syria alone has displaced more than 11 million people – half of that nation’s pre-war population. Millions more have fled Daesh’s atrocities in Iraq, civil wars in Yemen and South Sudan.

Also, political violence in Burundi, and Boko Haram’s rampages through Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger, and Chad have contributed to that staggering figure.

“The refugees we welcome to the United States will join previous generations who have come to this country to escape violence and persecution – threats to human life and dignity that remain all too real today,” Kerry said.

President Barack Obama noted the resilience and courage of refugees across the nation and said the United States has an open door policy toward most refugees.

“Protecting and assisting refugees is apart of our history as a Nation, and we will continue to alleviate the suffering of refuges abroad, and to welcome them here at home, because doing so reflects our American values and our noblest traditions as Nation.”

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Hartford Residents Now Have Special Services


HARTFORD —  Mayor Luke Bronin on Tuesday announced the launch of a new Hartford Resident Service Center

The center, located on the ground floor of City Hall 550 Main St., comes after many local residents complained about city services serving mostly people who live in the suburbs.

The Resident Service Center is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and representatives are available to help residents navigate City Hall and report quality of life concerns.

“For years, it’s bothered me that the resident service center on the first floor of City Hall was empty and dark, while residents wandered around looking for help,” Bronin said. “Now, when residents come in seeking information or assistance, they’ll see our welcome center staffed and ready to help…. I hope this new welcome center will send a strong message that we are focused on serving our customers – the residents and taxpayers of Hartford.”

The Resident Service Center will be staffed by representatives of Hartford 311, which has been moved into the Office of Community Engagement.
The Resident Service Center can be accessed anywhere within the City from both landlines and cell phones, and should only be used for non-emergencies.

*   Mobile: Download the Hartford 311 app for your iPhone or iPad from the Apple Store
*   Web: http://www.publicstuff.com/submit
*   Email: 311@hartford.gov
*   Phone: dial 3-1-1 or (860) 757-9311 from landlines

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Consumer Protection Warns of Electricity Scam


HARTFORD — Utility scams are on the rise again according to the Department of Consumer Protection.  Consumer protection said scammers are taking advantage of individual consumers and businesses by scaring them into thinking they will have their electricity turned off.

 

According to information submitted to the agency, utility scammers will call an individual or business, and tell them their power will be turned off if they don’t pay a large sum of money. The caller insists that the consumer send the money via wire transfer in the next 45 minutes. Once the individual or business wires the money – it’s gone.

 

“Scammers will often try and get businesses or consumers to act immediately, and that’s almost always a red flag,” said Deputy Commissioner Michelle Seagull, “We want to make sure consumers know that they can always take a step back to verify whether or not they truly owe their utility company money. If you believe you’ve paid your bills on time, you probably have.”

 

State officials recommend hanging up immediately if you get one of these calls, and call the number for customer service listed on your utility company statement, or check your statement online through your secure account to verify that you have paid your bill. Taking those extra few minutes to verify you have paid your bills properly can save you hundreds of dollars.

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Obama Delivers Remarks After “Deadliest” Mass Shooting in Florida


 By Ann-Marie Adams | @annmarieadams

WASHINGTON, DC — President Barack Obama called for flags to be lowered to half staff on Monday in what he said was the deadliest shooting in the nation’s history.

Early Sunday, a gunman shot 49 people and wounded 53 other people at a gay club in  Orlando, Florida.

“This was an act of terror and hate,” Obama said in his speech to the nation today from the White House.

After a vigil was held by the state’s Muslim and LGBT communities on Sunday evening at the state Capitol building to speak out against the violent mass shooting in Florida, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin extended condolences to the mass shooting victims in Orlando.

“We grieve today for all of the victims of the horrific attack in Orlando: for the dozens of innocents killed and wounded, for their loved ones and their families, for the LGBT community, for the City of Orlando and for our country,” said Bronin. “The City of Hartford extends our deepest condolences, our prayers, and our commitment to stand united in the face of terror.”

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy also directed flags to be lowered to honor the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando. U.S. and state flags in Connecticut will fly at half-staff beginning immediately until sunset on June 16, 2016, he said.

Gov. Rick Scott called for a moment of silence across the nation at 6 p.m. Sunday. And states of emergency were declared for the city of Orlando and for Orange County.

Sources said that FBI agents interviewed the gunman, Omar Mateen, 29, of Fort Pierce, Florida,  in 2013 and 2014 but thought he was not  a threat.

Mateen called 911 during the attack to pledge allegiance to ISIS and mentioned the Boston Marathon bombers, according to a U.S. official, according to reports.
Orlando police then shot and killed Mateen.

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Foodshare Summer Meals Begin This June


HARTFORD —  This summer Foodshare is partnering with several organizations to present Summer Meals Madness, a series of basketball events that will inform, engage and excite kids—and everyone 18 and under will receive a free meal.

Summer Meals Madness will run June through August at locations across the region, including Hartford, New Britain and Windsor. The program will offer
  • Free meals for all kids 18 & under, with information on free meals locations near you this summer. Mini skills clinics, with support from local athletes
  • A basketball competition for kids of all ages—winners will be invited to compete in our championship event in early August!
  • Special guest appearances by Fox 61 or iHeart Media
  • Prizes & Giveaways
For a complete list of participating sites, visit us online or call (860) 286-9999.

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Police: Student Detained After Threat to Hartford School


HARTFORD — A 19-year-old man was detained and later arrested after an anonymous post made on a school app, state police said.

The man, Gian Carlos Diaz,  is a student believed to be the suspect that made the threat after a locked down a tech school in Hartford.

Police arrested him man in connection with a threatening “anonymous post” made on an after school app that sent all four Ansonia Public Schools into lockdown in on May 23.
Through investigation, police arrested 19-year-old Ansonia resident and senior at the high school.

Police charged Diaz on Friday with first-degree and second-degree threatening and second-degree breach of peace.

Diaz was released on a $5000 bond and is expected to appear in court on June 17.

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New England Patriots Players to Visit Hartford


HARTFORD — New England Patriots defensive back, Duron Harmon and former Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo will join students at Alfred E. Burr Elementary School in Hartford, CT on June 6 for an epic field day.

The kids were awarded this experience as a result of Dannon Danimals and Fuel Up to Play 60’s commitment to inspire kids to fuel up with nutritious choices and get active for at least 60 minutes a day, organizers said.

This year Leslie Barrett, an Alfred E. Burr Elementary teacher found one of six Danimals “Golden Bongo” yogurts to win the field day and a $5,000 grant for her school. The school plans to apply the grant towards health and wellness programming.

 

 

 

 

 

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