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State Police Reports Missing Man from Nevada


NEW BRITAIN — State Police are searching for a missing New Britain man who  was last seen driving on Route 9.

According Lt. Paul Vance, Henry Williams Jr. was driving  a 2013 gray Honda  as he was  following a family member in the New Britain area.

He had a Nevada registration, 206 YKD.

Williams recently moved to Connecticut and he is not familiar with the area, police said.

Anyone who may see this car or has seen this gentleman is asked to contact State Police at 860 534-100.

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Hartford Police Investigate South End Shooting


HARTFORD —  Police are still investigating a Hartford man, who was shot in the face by a firefighter earlier this month. He was discharged from the hospital yesterday with his mouth “wire shut,” according to reports.

Jose Medina, 28, of 86 Webster St., in the South End, was discharged from Hartford Hospital Wednesday. No arrests have yet been made

According to a police report, officers responded to 86 Webster St. about 12:15 a.m. Nov. 2. after  someone reported that Medina was  accidentally shot in the head.

Police report said Medina was shot in his left cheek while he was being shown a handgun  by Hartford Firefighter Justin Wood, when it “accidentally discharged.”

The shooter was , police said. He was placed on paid administrative leave from the fire department, where he remains, according to Fire Capt. Helene Lynch.

Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley said the shooting didn’t seem  “nefarious.” Wood is licensed to carry a firearm and was cooperating with investigators, he said.

 

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Bond Commission Approves Metro-North Funds


HARTFORD — In a move to fix an “unreliable and inefficient”  New Haven-Metro North line, the  State Bond Commission approved more than $53 million for the Connecticut Department of Transportation  to begin work to replace the line’s 118-year-old Walk Bridge, a component of a larger project that will create or retain approximately 4,500 construction-related jobs, state officials said Wednesday.

The Walk Bridge, which carries over 140 trains a day and is maintained by Metro-North under contract to the State of Connecticut, malfunctioned in two separate incidents within a two week period this past summer and caused serious delays for New Haven Line commuters.

The $53 million in state funds will be used to match a $161 million federal grant awarded to ConnDOT in September under the Sandy Resiliency Project Program for states most affected by Storm Sandy. Governor Dannel P. Malloy said that Connecticut applied for the federal funding to cover the capital costs of several resiliency, or “infrastructure hardening”, projects central to the New Haven Line, including the design and full replacement of the Walk Bridge. Built in 1896, the Walk Bridge is the oldest movable bridge along the Northeast Corridor in Connecticut. The bridge will be replaced with a more resilient “bascule” or vertical lift bridge that opens for marine traffic from one side with a counterweight system and will significantly enhance the safety and reliability of commuter and intercity passenger service on the New Haven Line.

“The Walk Bridge impacts many commuters and businesses throughout New England,” said State Rep. Bruce Morris (D-140). “This bond allocation is critical. I appreciate the expedited commitment to make repairs to this aging asset.”

Other state representaives see this as a positive for all Connecticut residents.

“This bond authorization is good news, not only for Norwalk, but also for all of Connecticut,” said State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143). “The New Haven Line is essential to the economic viability of both Fairfield County and the entire state.

 

 

 

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Commission to Vote on Tech School Expansion


HARTFORD — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy recently  announced that the State Bond Commission on Wednesday will vote to approve $5 million for the continued expansion of the Connecticut Technical High School System’s  manufacturing programs, as well as funds for a new extended-hours program.

The State Bond Commission is scheduled to vote on the items at its Nov. 19, 2014, meeting at 10:30 a.m. in Room 1E of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

The governor said that this funding will help students to be  “better prepared for careers or to continue their studies in college as a result of these improvements.

State offificials said that the funds are requested to finance installation of equipment and machinery, alterations and improvements to buildings and computer and technology upgrades.

“Students in our manufacturing cluster receive the technical skills and training necessary to operate complex machines and produce high-quality products,” said CTHSS Superintendent Dr. Nivea Torres.  “Today’s manufacturing jobs require specialized computer training and Connecticut’s educational system is prepared to train young people to enter this exciting field.”

The technical system has 17 diploma-granting techinical high schools, one techical education center and two aviation maintaenance programs in the state.

Also, $434,000 is sought for extending school hours at A.I. Prince Tech in Hartford and Eli Whitney Tech in Hamden to “allow expansion of weatherization, carpentry, gas pipeline, cement masonry, and manufacturing programs,” officials said.

 

 

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Malloy to Cut State Budget


By Ann-Marie Adams, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — In an effort to close a projected $100 million deficit, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is expected to cut the state’s budget this week.

Budget Director Benjamin Barnes in a briefing held on Monday at the state Capitol said Malloy’s administration can make that cut without legislature approval.

The proposed cut is less than one percent of the general fund. Bigger cuts would have to be approved by the legislature.

“We are trying to find things that are realistic,” Barnes said. “We will try to do it in a way that minimizes the harm to the beneficiaries—the folks who use state programs.”

Barnes said that no final decisions have been made, adding “I don’t know a number yet” on the total amount of cuts.

Legislative analysts say the state faces more than a billion in 2015, a $1.32 billion deficit in 2016, and a $1.4 billion deficit in 2017.

Malloy is scheduled to deliver the next two-year budget to the legislature on Feb. 4.

Photo Credit: Ann-Marie Adams

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CT Lawsuit Against Malloy Set for Oral Argument


HARTFORD  —  Three Connecticut parents recently sued Gov. Dan Malloy and other state officials to stop a union leader from serving on the State
Board of Education.

The group, Connecticut Parents Union, on Monday will head to Hartford Superior Court for oral  arguments.

The parents seek the removal of Erin D. Benham, President of the Meriden  Federation of Teachers and Executive Committee Vice President of the
Connecticut American Federation of Teachers to the State Board of Education. The group said she can either serve as a union official or a public official, but not both.

“Classroom teachers have the best interest of kids at heart. Union leaders start to forget that. They focus on protecting the union instead
of teachers and children,” plaintiff Gwen Samuel said. “I’m not anti-good teacher, I’m anti-bad teacher, and the unions don’t know the
difference.”

Gwen and the other plaintiffs will be available for interview at the courthouse after oral arguments at approximately 11:30 a.m.

The lawsuit HHD-CV14-5038194-S SAMUEL, GWENDOLYN Et Al v. MALLOY, DANNEL P. Et Al, alleges that the appointment of the AFT Connecticut local president is clearly a conflict of interest and raises questions  about a quid pro quo for the teachers union’s contributions to Malloy’s re-election campaign. According to the complaint, before the appointment, the teachers union contributed $10,000 to Malloy’s campaign via the Connecticut Democratic State Central Committee and $250,000 to support Malloy through the Connecticut Forward  Super PAC.

For more information visit:

http://civilinquiry.jud.ct.gov/CaseDetail/PublicCaseDetail.aspx?DocketNo=HHDCV145038194S

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Gifted and Talented School Now Enrolling


HARTFORD — Selected city residents now have the opportunity to attended a school that’s designed for the gifted and talented children.

One hundred twenty-five students received offers this week to attend the Renzulli Gifted and Talented Academy, the only Hartford Public School, where enrollment is by invitation.
Parents do not have to participate in a lottery and bus transportation to and from the school will be provided.

The academy, at 121 Cornwall Street, will accommodate up to 50 new students in the fourth through eighth grades during the current school year (2014-2015), at the beginning of the second trimester on Dec. 8.

To be invited to attend, students must score at least three grades above their current grade level in all three categories. The tests are administered to all students from third grade up.

The invitation to apply is only the first step in the process of enrolling at the Renzulli Academy. The district follows up the application with a thorough examination of the prospective student’s grades, attendance and discipline record. Recommendations from each candidate’s classroom teachers are also required.

The student candidate must also demonstrate advanced levels of knowledge, outstanding communications skills, creativity, curiosity and resourcefulness in solving problems.

Open House at Renzulli Academy will be held  Nov. 24, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., and on  Dec. 1, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Further information can be obtained by visiting the school’s website at http://www.renzulliacademy.com.

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Hartford Council Approves Election Inquiry Committee


By Ann Marie Mesquita, Staff Writer

HARTFORD — Hartford residents are looking for an explanation about the delay at polling places in last week’s midterm election.

That’s why in a unanimous vote, the Hartford Court of Common Council on Wednesday approved two measures aimed at finding out why there was a 90-minute delay.

“Everyone wants to get to the bottom of this,” said Council Chair Shawn Wooden.

The first measure will allow a committee of inquiry to look into why the registrars failed to get voter lists to several polling places. The first meeting is scheduled for Friday at 4; 30 p.m. at city hall.

The second measure will look at the way the registrars’ office operates and recommend changes. This will looked at by the council’s operations, management, budget and legislative affairs committee.

Alexander Aponte will chair the committee, which includes Council members Cynthia a Jennings, Raul DeJesus and David McDonald. Council member Shawn Wooden will participate as a nonvoting member.

Mayor Pedro Segarra issued a statement to the press, saying: “I want to get to the bottom of what happened on Election Day, but more importantly make whatever changes are necessary to ensure voters can cast their ballot when they are supposed to.”

The committee will use its subpoena power to get documents and force registrars to testify about what happened on Nov. 4.

The committee is expected to finish its work by Dec. 31.

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Supreme Court Agrees to Review ObamaCare — Again


By Ann-Marie Adams, Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — In a carefully, crafted  effort to re-tool ObamaCare, the U.S. Supreme Court last Friday agreed to tackle a case related to the Affordable Care Act signed into law in March 2010.

At the heart of this case, King v. Burwell, is whether health insurance for middle-class and low-income residents should be subsidized by the federal government. Subsidies such as tax credits were included in the reform law. King v. Burwell, like the similar Halbig v. Burwell case, has a long history in thecourt system. On July 22, two U.S. courts delivered opposite rulings on the subsidies.

Without these subsidies, most small business owners or unemployed people wouldn’t be able to afford health insurance.

Halbig, one of several pending ObamaCare lawsuits, is expected to be heard again  by a full circuit court panel on Dec. 17. The King case would likely be heard next spring.

Proponents of the ACA said this is a move, though touted as an unlikely one to have direct impact on Connecticut, more than 80,000 Obamacare enrollees should watch closely. Connecticut is one of 14 states that administers its own health insurance exchange through Access Health CT.

This would be the third time the Supreme Court take up cases related to Obamacare delving slight blows to the law. In 2012, five justices upheld the requirement that most Americans must buy health insurance or pay a tax–a victory for President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats. This ruling, joined by Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., was the most significant federalism decision since the New Deal in the 1930s.  Howev3er, the court limited  expansion of Medicaid, which provides health care to poor and disabled people.

In June 2014, the court ruled that the family-owned businesses should not be forced to provide insurance that covers contraceptive services because it violates the business owner’s religious beliefs.

This latest move does not bode well for the Obama administration. That’s because the legislative branch is run by the Republicans, who have tried to repeal the law 55 times.

However, Republicans will face an uphill battle in achieving this goal through the judicial branch. One conservative spokesperson said that incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should try a conciliatory approach.

“Republicans should use reconciliation to fully repeal Obamacare,” said Ken Cuccinelli, who heads the Senate Conservative Fund.

The law had originally required states to run their own healthcare exchanges. Most states in the South rejected that idea, forcing residents to move to other states that offer Obamacare.

According to a report by the nonprofit health policy organization, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. up to 7.3 million people are expected to be on this insurance.

 

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V.A Selects CRT to Design Senior Housing


ROCKY HILL — The nation’s first assisted living resident for low-and moderate income veterans and their spouses will be in Connecticut.

That’s because the . The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs chose the Community Renewal Team to design, build and operate the senior project on the VA
Healthcare Campus in Newington,

Harry “Butch” Hansen, Commander of the American Legion Department of Connecticut, will lead the initiative to secure  innovative and affordable assisted living residence for Veterans as his ‘Commander’s Project’ for the 2014-15 program year. Research shows that the number of military Veterans needing assisted living services and senior care options will continue to grow, as the overall population ages.
“What an opportunity this is to show everyone in the state that The American Legion Family is truly behind our Veterans and what we can accomplish as a group when we all come together for one common goal,”

Hansen said in a letter he forwarded to all of the American Legion Regional Officers in Connecticut.
One of the four pillars of The American Legion is Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation, providing services and support to Veterans who need assistance, he said. There are approximately 27,000 members of the American Legion, the Auxiliary and the Sons of American Legion in the state.

“This is a way for all of us to give back to our brothers or sisters who need help,” he said.

Veterans Landing will be the first residence in the country that is specifically for older Veterans who cannot afford market-rate assisted living – typically up to $8,000 per month. It is modeled after The Retreat, CRT’s very successful affordable assisted living in Hartford, which was built almost a decade ago
as part of a demonstration pilot.
Veterans Landing will include 103 handicapped-accessible apartments with kitchenettes and emergency call systems. In addition there will be activity rooms (including a library, gym and computer lab); a convenience store; on-site medical care and physical therapy; restaurant-quality dining; and transportation for off-campus medical appointments, shopping and field trips.
Community Renewal Team’s President and CEO, Lena Rodriguez, says that her agency is delighted to be working with the American Legion.

“We are appreciative of the public spirit of our partners at the American Legion,” she said. “With the help of Legion members across the state, we will be able to raise
awareness of the needs of our aging Veterans.”
Assisted living is a health care option for seniors who need some help with activities of daily living (such as bathing, dressing, or walking) but who also want to live in an environment that emphasizes independence, dignity, and privacy.

 

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