THURSDAY EVENING UPDATE

STATE LAYOFFS POSSIBLE

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says his budget office has developed a “statewide workforce reduction contingency plan” in case the administration can’t reach a labor savings deal with state employees. The Democrat said collective bargaining units were formally notified Thursday about the plan. That step allows the state to begin issuing layoff notices to more than 1,000 individuals in May, if necessary. Malloy says those 1,000 reductions would be “a first step toward resolving” the state’s estimated $1.7 billion deficit.  Malloy says informal talks with union officials are “ongoing and constructive” and hopes layoffs ultimately won’t be necessary. The two-year budget he unveiled in February relied on $700 million in state employee savings in the first year. This contingency plan would result in more than $80 million in savings.

GROTON SCHOOL MEETING FRIDAY

Groton school officials and the town council will meet again Friday night at 6:30 to discuss the continuing education budget controversy.  Superintendent Michael Graner is hoping the council will restore half of a 5-point-2 million dollar cut in school funding the panel made, part of an overall 8-million dollar town spending cut, to avoid a substantial property tax increase.  Graner says if the funding restoration is made, property taxes would go up for the average homeowner by 77-dollars.  The two sides had a contentious budget discussion Wednesday night, with the superintendent daring the town council to reaffirm its spending cut.  Friday’s meeting is at the Groton Town Hall Annex.

NORWICH FIRE

A house fire in Norwich sends one person to the hospital.  The blaze broke out just after 8:00 Thursday morning on the first floor of the multi-family home at 27 McKinley Avenue.  Roger Fuller was able to make it out of the house safely.  He says he tried to help the victim, but  there was just too much smoke to enter the house.  Fire officials arrived on the scene quickly and found the victim unconscious.  No word on what caused the blaze.  A total of ten people have been displaced.

NL TEEN FILES SUIT

An 18-year old New London woman has filed a civil lawsuit against a Waterford landlord.  The unnamed female says 47-year old Richard Bruno raped her numerous times while being videotaped.  The suit seeks at least 150-thousand dollars in damages for emotional distress, lack of privacy, and psychological harm.  Authorities say the girl was 17 when the alleged rapes occurred at a Mountain Avenue residence owned by Bruno. They say he paid her money and small amounts of pot in return.   Bruno is currently behind bars at the Bridgeport Correctional Center on charges of producing child pornography and trying to get a 13-year old girl to have sex with him.  He faces a divorce trial in July.

NFA LOOKING INTO SOCIAL MEDIA POST

Norwich Free Academy officials are looking into a social media post Wednesday that told NFA students and staff “Don’t go to school”.  The post has been traced to a student in Bend, Oregon.  NFA officials say campus security and city police have been in communication with school and police officials in Bend, with police there having spoken to the student’s mother. A memo from NFA administration to student’s parents is urging them to remind their children to use good judgement as to what they put on social media.

HERNANDEZ BRAIN BEING DONATED

BOSTON (AP) – Authorities in Massachusetts say Aaron Hernandez’s brain is being turned over to university researchers now that they’ve ruled his death in prison a suicide.
The Worcester County district attorney says the state’s chief medical examiner had withheld some tissue samples from the ex-NFL star’s brain as part of the effort to confirm he took his own life. Now that that’s not in question, officials say the brain will be released to Boston University’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center in accordance with the wishes of Hernandez’s family. The center is a leader in research into the effects of concussions on the brain – something the NFL has been preoccupied with in recent years.
Earlier Thursday, Hernandez’s lawyer Jose Baez had accused the medical examiner of “illegally” holding the brain.

SANDY HOOK DEATH THREATER IN COURT

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) – The woman charged with sending death threats to a man whose 6-year-old son was killed in the 2012 mass shooting at a school in Newtown, Connecticut, has returned to court in Florida. Court records show 57-year-old Lucy Richards made a brief appearance Wednesday in federal court in Fort Lauderdale where she was ordered held without bail. Richards was arrested in the Tampa area after failing to show up at a March 29 hearing for a planned guilty plea and sentencing.
She was to plead guilty to a charge of interstate transmission of a threat to injure for threatening Lenny Pozner, the father of Noah Pozner who died in the Sandy Hook school shooting. Prosecutors said she told them she believed the shooting was a hoax.
No other court dates have been set.