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State Offers Aid to Companies for Employment


WETHERSFIELD – Southwest Connecticut employers are invited to learn more about the Subsidized Training and Employment and Training Program (Step Up) as well as a variety of other hiring and tax incentives designed to benefit their businesses by attending a May 29 conference being held in the Westport Inn Ballroom.

Officials said that the conference aims to target companies of any size that can learn about the opportunities and benefits available to their business, including the wage reimbursement program through Step Up, low interest financing under the Small Business Express Program, assistance on recruitment and business plan development, and tax incentives for equipment upgrades and job creation initiatives.”

Taking place from 8 to 10:30 a.m., the event, begins with networking and light refreshments at 7 a.m. Employers can pre-register online for the conference by visitingwww.StepCT.com or more information can be obtained from Dolores Ryan, BridgeportAmerican Job Center by contacting her at dolores.ryan@ct.gov or (203) 455-2602.

Additional conferences, also to be held from 8 to 10:30 a.m., will be offered on the following dates:

  • June 3, Progress Square Industrial Park, 32 Valley Street, Bristol
  • June 5, Western Connecticut State University, Westside Ballroom, 43 Lake Avenue Extension, Danbury
  • June 11, Goodwin College, Main Campus – Auditorium, 1 Riverside Drive, East Hartford
  • June 12, University of Connecticut’s Torrington campus, 855 University Drive, Torrington
  • June 19, Simsbury High School Auditorium, 34 Farms Village Road, Simsbury
  • June 24, Three Rivers Community College, 574 New London Turnpike, Norwich
  • A future conference is also being planned for the town of Meriden.

 

Posted in Avon, Bloomfield, Business, East Hartford, Glastonbury, Hartford, Manchester, Nation/World, Neighborhood, New Britain, Simsbury, West Hartford, Wethersfield, WindsorComments Off

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New Britain Man Arrested for Fraud


NEW BRITAIN – A New Britain man was arrested on Friday and charged with illegally collecting more than $20,000 in Unemployment Compensation benefits, state officials said.

XHEVDET RRAHIMI (also spelled Rrahami), 37, of 30 Seymour Rd in New Britain, was charged with one count  first-degree larceny because he alleged defrauding a public community and for unemployment compensation fraud, according to the office of the Chief State’s Attorney.

First degree larceny by defrauding the community is a class B felony punishable by not less than one year nor more than 20 years in prison and/or up to a $15,000 fine.

The arrest is the result of an investigation conducted by the Unemployment Compensation Fraud Unit in the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney following a complaint by the Connecticut Department of Labor.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Rrahimi fraudulently collected approximately  $20,816 in unemployment benefits between June 2011 and October 2012, when, in fact, he was employed.

Unemployment benefits have been designated as economic support for individuals who have become unemployed through no fault of their own. The benefits are funded by employers doing business in Connecticut.

Rrahimi was released on a $10,000 non-surety bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for May 8, 2014, in Superior Court, G.A. No. 15, New Britain.

 

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CCSU Releases Evidence Photos of Monday’s Lockdown, President’s Statement


NEW BRITAIN — For Central Connecticut State University President Jack Miller, one can never be “too vigilant” in the wake of Sandy Hook Elementary School and other nationwide campus shootings.

In a statement to the press on Tuesday, Miller explained the reason for the college’s lockdown.

“As further information unfolds from yesterday’s campus emergency incident, two observations have become clear to me about the world in which we now live. First, you can never be too vigilant nor react too strongly to the threat of violence. All potential threats must be taken very seriously, and the response must be a reaction to worst-case scenarios.”

Miller’s statement came on Tuesday after CCSU released evidence photos that caused a college-wide lockdown for almost five hours until state and local police apprehended David Kyem, 21, a CCSU student who after leaving a Halloween Party at the University of Connecticut over the weekend entered campus with his G.I. Joe outfit, which was a camouflage pants, a tactical vest, and a mask as he made his way to this dorm at James Hall.

But his costume was a bit too real for some, who panicked and called the police at about 12:30 p.m.

Click here to listen and watch surveillance tape.

Police releases the picture of the jacket the CCSU senior wore (see featured photo). The pictures were striking. See below:

 

On sight, Kyem caused alarm among some students. A senior from Newington, he later apologized for causing a commotion, fear and confusion.  New Britain Police charged him with breach of peace, and he posted at $1,000 bond.

Miller added that “As an educational institution we must continue to educate our students and ourselves about the perception of threat. Behavior that causes widespread fear among our students and staff cannot and will not be tolerated.”

Yesterday, Gov. Dan Malloy also released this statement:

“I want to commend state and local law enforcement for their quick response.  While there was no act of violence today, the actions taken once these reports came in are exactly why it is so important to say something if you see something.  Unfortunately, incidents like these will occur, but today showed us the ideal way for them to conclude – with no one seriously harmed.”

 

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U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis Should Seek Answers from DECD, Others


U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis’ meeting today with elected officials, political candidates, community activists and residents in the Greater Hartford region should tackle this burning question: Why is there $12 million for minority businesses sitting at the Department of Economic and Community Development in a time when these businesses are bruising from a deep economic recession and a long recovery?

In a region where Latino and black jobless rates dwarf the state’s recently reported jobless rate of 9 percent, DECD has yet to distribute the allocated money to small and minority business owners, who are likely job creators for many Hartford residents.  We hope that besides her roundtable discussion, press conference and other meetings around the state today, she makes a beeline to DECD.

Hartford has the highest jobless rate in the state. The overall unemployment rate for the city is reportedly 17 percent. The Latino jobless rate is 25 percent. The black jobless rate is 27 percent. These figures do not factor in the number of people who have stopped looking for work after one or two years of unemployment or underemployment.

Moreover, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra added 14 people to the unemployment line this week, in an effort to balance the city budget.

Besides pontification from pundits and politicians, we need to see leaders taking actions to create conditions that promote economic growth, so that businesses can hire more city residents. Distributing the money to Hartford’s small businesses would allow at least two hires by each company and at the same time help build capacity to provide better services to city residents. It all seems elementary. Yet there is so much malaise in all sections of the city. And the biggest obstacle seems to be the very people who are purportedly community leaders.

Solis must question these community leaders and local officials about their seemingly inability to coordinate efforts to create conditions that help businesses grow so that they can provide jobs.

The $12 million can provide many jobs. News that that much money allocated specifically for minority businesses was just sitting at DECD met puzzled participants at a small business summit for urban business sponsored by the state National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and other entities. The irony was that the summit provided possible answers to this predicament. It was clear that summit organizers failed to inform local business owners of the summit within a one-mile radius of the Artist Collective on Albany Avenue, where the event was held. The  auditorium was packed with mostly business owners, who traveled from New Haven and Bridgeport. And the few Hartford business owners present heard the news from friends in other parts of the state—not in Hartford.

The one-day summit had so many key people present to help these businesses. It was also unbelievable that more effort was clearly not made to inform business owners about this economic-boosting opportunity right in thier backyard.

How unfortunate.

 

Posted in Bloomfield, Business, East Hartford, Editoral, Featured, Glastonbury, Hartford, Manchester, Nation/World, New Britain, Simsbury, West HartfordComments Off

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Election Day For New Britain State Rep Set


HARTFORD – Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Friday announced that a special election to fill a vacancy for State Representative in the 24th General Assembly District, covering parts of New Britain and Newington, will be held Tuesday, Jan. 10.

The seat became vacant on Nov. 15 following the resignation of Tim O’Brien, who was elected mayor of New Britain in the November 8 municipal elections.

Under state law, the Governor is required to issue a Writ of Special Election, and a special election must be held within 46 days of its issuance.

The writs, one for each of the town clerks of New Britain and Newington, were filed today and are attached.

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West Nile Virus Found in New Britain


NEW BRITAIN – The State Mosquito Management Program today announced that mosquitoes trapped in New Britain on July 20 tested positive for West Nile virus.

The result represents the first positive mosquito identified in New Britain by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) this year. The WNV was also found in Westport.

“As expected, we continue to find mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus in more locations in lower Fairfield County and are now seeing an expansion into central Connecticut,” said Dr. Theodore G. Andreadis, Chief Medical Entomologist, CAES. “Over the next few weeks and into early fall, we expect to see further build-up of West Nile virus with increased risk for human infection throughout the state, especially in densely populated communities.”

In 2011, WNV-positive mosquitoes have been trapped in six municipalities: Bridgeport, Greenwich, New Britain, Orange, Stamford, and Westport. No Connecticut residents have been identified with illnesses related to WNV infections this year.

For information on West Nile virus and what you can do to prevent getting bitten by mosquitoes, visit the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program Web site at www.ct.gov/mosquito.

 

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Murphy for Senate Campaign Releases Poll Results


NEW BRITAIN — In case you missed it, two Democratic contenders have officially entered the race to replace Sen. Joe Liberman, who announced last week he won’t seek reelection.

Former state Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz was the first. Then Rep. Chris Murphy released an announcement video last week, in which he pledges to respond to every single constituent phone call, e-mail, and note.

Today, the Murphy for Senate campaign released results from its first poll, which surveyed 500 people statewide Jan.3-5, 2011.

According to his own poll, he wins the race if election were held today.

Link to the polling memo (.pdf)

Murphy’s release states that in a two-way race with either Linda McMahon or Rob Simmons as the Republican candidate, Murphy is the frontrunner. Murphy currently has a 19 point lead over McMahon (54 percent to 35 percent) and a 12 point advantage over Simmons (46 percent to 34 percent).

Murphy is also well-positioned in a Democratic primary race against Susan Bysiewicz. In a head-to-head race among likely Democratic primary voters, Murphy has a solid 9 point lead over Bysiewicz, 40 percent to 31 percent, according to Murphy’s campaign manager, Kenny Curran.

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City Partners With Bike Walk Summit


HARTFORD — In an effort to realize a bike and walk friendly city, the city has joined with the Connecticut Bike Walk organization to hold a summiton Saturday at Central Connecticut State Univeristy in New Britain.

The Nov. 13  Bike Walk Summit from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. will create a  forum for city and community leaders to continue the work toward a Healthy Hartford by planning the changes needed to improve resident’s ability to bike and walk across the city, Hartford officials said.

“With the goal of changing the culture of transportation to make bicycling and walking safe, feasible and attractive for a healthier, cleaner Connecticut, the organization Bike Walk Connecticut will bring us together to have these important conversations,” said Carlos Rivera, Director of the Hartford Department of Health and Human Services.

To register for this event,  visit www.bikewalkct.org.

For additional information, call Bike Walk Connecticut at 860-904-2420

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Sales Tax-Free Week In Time For School Shopping


WEST HARTFORD — Here’s one opportunity to save on back to school shopping: tax-free week.

The state’s 10th annual sales tax-free week will begin Aug. 15 and run through Aug. 21. The tax holiday allows shoppers to purchase individual items of clothing and footwear priced under $300 without paying the usual 6 percent sales tax.

“Both consumers and retailers benefit from this annual end-of-summer ritual: Families get a price break and store owners get increased ‘foot traffic’ in their stores,” said Gov. Jodi Rell who kicked off the event yesterday at West Farms Mall. “That’s good for our economy and, in turn, good for keeping and growing jobs – our top mission right now.”

The sales tax free week increases the usual $50 exemption on clothing and footwear. Special clothing or footwear primarily designed for athletic activity or protective use, accessories, and jewelry do not qualify for this exemption.

“Connecticut has one of the longest-running sales tax holidays and is one of the few states to give shoppers and retailers the benefit of an entire week of tax-free shopping,” said Department of Revenue Services Commissioner Richard Nicholson.

Shoppers can take advantage of sales, coupons and store discounts to build on the savings from the tax exemption. Because sales tax is applied after the use of any coupons or discounts, if the final price is less than $300, the sale is exempt, Rell said.

Layaways and rentals of clothing or footwear under $300 are also tax-free during the week. For purchases of $300 or more, sales tax is calculated on the full cost of the item.

For answers to questions about the Connecticut Sales Tax Holiday Week, the Department of Revenue Services (DRS) has posted details on its website at www.ct.gov/drs. The DRS website also has links to other publications to help consumers understand the regular sales and use tax exemption on clothing and footwear.

Tips for smart back-to-school

shopping

The best strategy for back-to-school shopping? Get organized, stock up on the basics, and look for sales and promotions.

Start your back-to-school shopping with a game plan. Even if your child’s teacher hasn’t provided a list of school supplies, you can’t go wrong by sticking with the basics and taking advantage of back-to-school sales (many states offer “tax-free days” during this season). Here’s how:

Make a list and get your child involved.

Use the recommended or required supplies from your child’s school or teacher as a starting point. If you don’t have a list yet, check with parents at your school who have older kids. They might have good advice about what is required in your child’s grade. Or check our recommendations for elementary,middle, and high school. Sit down with your child and go over your list together. You’ll be teaching her how to get organized, a skill that applies to more than shopping.

Separate wants from needs.

Most school supplies don’t go out of style, and your child will happily use the unsharpened pencils his older sister didn’t use. But as any parent with last year’s superhero notebook knows, beware the power of trends. Rather than getting into an argument with your older child about whether a backpack with headphones is essential because “everybody is getting one,” try setting a budget for supplies. It will help your child set priorities, learn how to manage money, and start saving his allowance for the items your budget won’t allow.

A note from the teacher: You’ll be doing your child’s teacher a favor if you stick to supplies without gimmicks. Pencil sharpeners that light up are distractions in class, says Jane Ann Robertson, Arizona’s 2004 Teacher of the Year and a GreatSchools consultant. “Keep supplies to the necessary and useful versus fancy and fun.”

Take inventory.

Sort through last year’s supplies to see what is left over or can be reused. (Having trouble finding last year’s stuff? Resolve to set up a place to keep your school supplies together this year.)

Read more here.


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Police Arrest Three Teens on Wyllys Street


HARTFORD — Three teenagers were arrested for allegedly trying to steal three scooters.

Two 16-year olds from New Britain and Bloomfield were arrested, charged with third degree criminal trespass and released because of their age. The 16-year-old from New Britain was charged with carrying a pistol without a permit along with third degree criminal trespass. He was referred to Hartford Juvenile Court, police said.

The names and addresses of the two 16 year olds were not released because of their ages, police said.

The third suspect, Jack Rodriguez, 19, of 114 Vanderbilt St., West Hartford, was arrested and charged with third degree criminal trespass.

Hartford police said police responded Sunday at about 5: 30 p.m. when a resident called to say three teenagers were  in the backyard at 9 Wyllys St. attempting to cut the chain off three scooters.

Police said they found three teenagers trying to take three scooters.  Officers arrived and secured a 16 year old from New Britain,  a 16 year of from Bloomfield, and a 19-year old from West Hartford.

During a frisk of the 16 year old from New Britain, officers found a loaded Bryco .380 semi-automatic firearm, police said.

Posted in Bloomfield, Hartford, Neighborhood, New Britain, West HartfordComments Off

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