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President Obama to Visit Boston

WASHINGTON —  President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit Boston on Monday to deliver remarks at the Greater Boston Labor Council Labor Day Breakfast.

The Council is the regional arm of the AFL-CIO and includes 161 local unions representing about 90,000 members in 24 communities in the Boston area.

Obama is now visiting Alaska to address climate change.

The White House is expected to release more details about Obama’s trip in the next few days.





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Hartford Police Offer $5,000 Award for Suspect

By Fran Wilson, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — Hartford Police are offering a reward for a suspect in the shooting of a local pastor and another local man in the city.

Police said there’s a $5,000 reward for information leading to the capture of Aaron Taylor for shooting Pastor Augustus Sealy while he was planting flags outside the First Church of the Nazarene at 932 Capitol Ave.

Taylor also allegedly shooting and wounding Robert Jones at 402 Garden St.  in Hartford on the same day he shot Sealy, police said.

“We believe that he is a very dangerous individual, and we do not want him harming anyone else within our community,” Mayor Pedro Segarra said on Thursday.

Taylor is  charged with attempted murder and first-degree assault.

According to police Taylor apparently left the state, police said.

A convicted felon, Taylor recently returned, said Deputy Chief Brian Foley

Police are asking nyone with immediate information about Taylor is being asked to call 911. General information about Taylor can be directed to Lt. Brandon O’Brien at 860-757-4089.

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Connecticut to Send Fire Crew to Montana

HARTFORD — The Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection will send a 20-person fire crew to Montana to help the U.S. Forest Service fight wildfires on Thursday.

The crew is a part of more than 30,000 trained firefighters from across the nation that has responded to burning forests in the western states and Alaska, where President Barack Obama is now on his second day of a trip to highlight climate change.

This is the second crew the department sent to help with wildfires since Aug.4. The state is a part of the reciprocal aid program under the U.S. Forest Service. The crew consists of seven staff members and 13 local firefighters. They will leave from the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in New Hampshire.

About 8 million acres of  forest were affected by brush fire, officials said. The brush fire rapidly exploded in Clarkston on Friday at about 11 a.m. By 4 p.m. the fire burned about 700 acres of forest.

American forests play a crucial role in mitigating climate change. Obama had pledged to take new approaches to climate change. The trip was to push his agenda to address carbon pollution by reducing carbon emissions by 12 percent.


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Hartford Opens Cooling Center for Heat Wave

HARTFORD — In preparation for the heat wave heading to the state, Hartford officials have opened several cooling  centers.


Mayor Pedro Segarra on Monday announced that Public Library branches are open from Monday through Thursday.


Temperature are expected to reach up to 90-degrees with humid conditions.


“These cooling centers are available to anyone in need of a place to escape the heat and humidity. Please stay cool and remember to look after your relatives and neighbors,” Segarra said.


Cooling Centers:

  • North End Senior Center, 80 Coventry Street, 8:30am-5:00pm
  • South End Wellness Center, 830 Maple Avenue, 8:30am-5:00pm
  • Parkville Senior Center, 11 New Park Avenue, 8:30am-3:30pm
  • Hispanic Health Council, 175 Main Street, 8:30am-4:30pm
  • Hispanic Senior Center, 45 Wadsworth Street, 8:30am-4:30pm


Hartford Public Library branches are also available for residents and visitors:

  • Hartford Downtown Public Library, 500 Main Street, 10:00am to 8:00pm
  • Albany Library Branch, 1250 Albany Avenue, 12:30pm to 5:30pm
  • Barbour Branch, 281 Barbour Street, 12:30pm to 5:30pm
  • Camp Field Branch, 30 Campfield Avenue, 12:30pm to 5:30pm
  • Mark Twain Branch, 55 Forest Street, 12:30pm to 5:30pm
  • Park Branch, 744 Park Street, 12:30pm to 5:30pm
  • SANDS/Ropkins, 1750 Main Street, 12:30pm to 5:30pm
  • Goodwin, 460 New Britain Avenue, 12:30pm to 7:30pm
  • Blue Hills Branch, 649 Blue Hills Avenue, 12:30pm to 7:30pm

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State Official to Discuss Nuclear Deal on Iran

HARTFORD — Connecticut residents seeking to understand the Iran nuclear agreement can have their questions answered at a community forum on Thursday in Hartford.

Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) will host Chris Backemeyer of the U.S. Department of State for a community forum on the Iran nuclear agreement.
The meeting will be held Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at a location to be announced.



This  meeting is a part of President Barack Obama’s overall strategy to win approval of the Nuclear deal with Iran.

Larson supported Obama’s Iran agreement on July 31. Backemeyer is the Deputy Coordinator for Sanctions Policy, and served as the lead sanctions expert in the P5+1 negotiations with Iran will help demystify why the U.S. is helping to stop Iran from building a bomb and what it means to Americans.

“Obviously this is a complex issue, and there is a significant amount of information to be debated and considered,” said Larson. “I am hosting this forum in the hopes of providing more information and gathering additional feedback. It is an honor to have Mr. Backemeyer join me, and I know my constituents will benefit greatly from his insights.”

In the weeks since the announcement of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA), Larson has attended numerous briefings both classified and otherwise with officials in the State Department and intelligence community.

He has also spoken directly with President Obama, and gathered feedback from constituents and advocacy groups on both sides of this agreement. His full statement can be found here.

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CT Unemployment Hits Seven-year Low of 5.4 Percent

Connecticut gained 4,100 jobs in July as the unemployment rate fell to a seven-year low of 5.4 percent, marking three consecutive months of job growth that have brought the state’s unemployment rate close to the U.S. average of 5.3 percent.

Average private-sector weekly pay was $958.91, up 2 percent over a year ago. The increase represents a gain in buying power, since the consumer price index rose by just two-tenths of a percent.

The report released Thursday by the Connecticut Department of Labor was one of the rosiest since the start of the state’s slow recovery from the great recession of 2008. The unemployment rate hasn’t been as low as 5.4 percent since May 2008.

“This is good news – our state should recognize the progress we’re making,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in a statement. “Jobs are dramatically up, the unemployment rate is significantly down, and we’re on track to reach private sector job levels that the state hasn’t seen since before the Great Recession.”

Overall, the state now has regained 102,000 jobs, or 85.7 percent of the 119,000 seasonally adjusted positions lost from March 2008 to February 2010, when the recovery began. The private sector now has recovered 97 percent of the 111,600 jobs it lost.

“Connecticut is certainly recovering, and we seem to be accelerating somewhat,” said Peter Gioia, an economist at the Connecticut Business and Industry Association. “But we’re not alone in that other states still seem to be outperforming us.”

Massachusetts, with a larger economy, gained 7,200 jobs in July and has an unemployment rate of 4.7 percent.

Democratic legislative leaders saw only positive news in the report.

“Connecticut’s economic development policies are helping businesses create jobs, and the state’s job training programs like STEP-Up are preparing workers for a 21st century economy. There’s more work to do but this is extremely positive news,” said Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven.

“Early on, the General Assembly partnered with Governor Malloy to make smart, targeted investments aimed at creating jobs, and our efforts are bearing fruit,” said Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, D-Norwalk.

The report comes as the state’s business climate still generates bad press. General Electric, headquartered in Fairfield, is considering moving out of state, blaming Connecticut’s fiscal environment.

The report is based on preliminary nonfarm employment data for July gathered by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Six of the 10 “super sectors” tracked by the BLS gained jobs, led by 1,600 jobs in health and education, 1,100 in financial activities, 1,000 in government and 600 in manufacturing.

Construction was the biggest loser, seeing a loss of 2,300 jobs. But it still has net growth of 1,900 over the year.

Growth was uneven throughout the state, with gains in the Harford region and lower Fairfield County and losses in the New Haven market and eastern Connecticut. Danbury reported no changes.

The private sector numbers in Connecticut have a built-in anomaly: Two major employers — the tribal casinos of eastern Connecticut — are owned by sovereign governments and are listed as public-sector employers.

The casinos have been shedding jobs for months in the face of new competition in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York.

Connecticut unemployment rate over time

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Hartford Police Seize Marijuana Plants

HARTFORD — Police on Thursday arrested owners of a marijuana factory on Ansonia Street in the North End.

Jaleel Wooley, 24, and Jamie Grant, 36,  of Hartford, were charged with growing 92 marijuana plants at 39 Ansonia St., police said.

Detectives from the Vice and Narcotics Division received a tip on Tuesday night and arrested the two suspects on Thursday after they visited the home and sawtall plants growing outside.

Police also seized packaged marijuana package for sale.


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Hartford Police Arrest Local Man for Illegal Firearm

HARTFORD — Hartford police on Monday arrested a local man for allegedly possessing a gun illegally and resisting arrest.

Amauris Flores, 21, of Hartford, was charged with criminal possession of a firearm, violating his probation from a protective order and interfering with police.

Flores, a convicted felon was taken into custody after police interrogated him at his Main Street apartment on Monday. Police found him in possession of a loaded .22 caliber revolver, which is a violation of his probation, police said.

Officers said Flores  “forcefully pulled away” from officers when they tried to apprehend him. He was handcuffed after police chased him, police said.

Flores is being held on a $350,000 bond.

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State Officials Close 23 Nail Salons for Violations

WETHERSFIELD — After a surprised investigation into the employment practices of beauty shops, the Department of Labor closed 23 salons, including five in Hartford, state officials said.

The investigation, officials said, is in response to several complaints from nail salon employees and recent news articles about questionable health and employment practices at nail salons.

According to State Labor Commissioner Sharon M. Palmer, as a result of these investigations the wage division recovered more than $47,350 in owed wages for the employees – primarily for required minimum wage payments – and expects to collect additional money for workers.

An additional $79,000 in civil penalties was levied and collected for under reporting payroll and paying employees in cash and $21,300 for wage and hour violations.

Unannounced visits to the salons on Aug. 3 resulted in Stop Work orders being placed on the following establishments:

  • Hartford: La Nails, American Nails, Modern Nails, Pink Nails, Touch Nails
  • New Haven: Magic Nail and Spa, Fashion Nail and Spa, Outo Nails
  • Stamford: Fiji Nail Salon, Cozy Nail Salon, Classic Nails, Lux Nails, Ace Nails
  • Branford: Oasis Nails, Pretty Nail and Spa, Sera Nail Salon, Town Nails, Simply Nails
  • Westport/Darien/Southport: Posh Nail and Spa LLC (3 locations), Queen Nail and Spa, Finger Nails


According to Gary Pechie, Director of the Wage and Workplace Standards Division, labor agents and investigators determined that workers were being paid in cash with no payroll records, wages were below the minimum wage of $9.15 per hour, and no overtime payment was being provided.

Officials said all 23 salons are now in compliance with state workplace laws and have been allowed to resume operations.



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State Police Arrest Berlin Man for Child Pornography

BERLIN — After state police Berlin man on Wednesday was arrested for child pornography distribution.

Cory Korchman, 25, of 110 Shrub Road in Berlin was arrested on Aug. 11 after state Police Computer Crimes Unit initiated an investigation into child pornography and seized a computer and multiple computer related items.

Korchma was taken into custody and transported to Troop H-Hartford where he was processed.

He is  held on $ $150, 000 bond, and presented in court on Aug. 11.



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