THURSDAY EVENING UPDATE

NEWTOWN REPORT DUE TOMORROW

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut State Police say they are releasing a report Friday on the agency’s response to the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown that left 26 children and educators dead. Police have not explained why it has taken five years since the shooting to complete the after-action report in which agencies review officers’ actions in an emergency situation. A 20-year-old gunman killed 20 first-grade children and six educators inside the school before killing himself. Officers from the Newtown Police Department were the first to respond to the scene. A prosecutor’s report in 2013 said that nearly six minutes passed between the arrival of the first Newtown police officer and the time officers entered the school. Officers were not able to intervene before the gunman turned the gun on himself.

NEW ENGLAND LOOKS TO BAN OFFSHORE DRILLING

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – Bipartisan members of New England’s congressional delegations have introduced a bill to prohibit oil and gas drilling off the New England coast. The New England Coastline Protection Act would prohibit oil and gas extraction activities in New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It’s a response to the Trump administration’s plan to open nearly all U.S. coastlines to offshore oil and gas drilling. The legislation introduced Thursday is co-sponsored by every senator and member of congress from the coastal New England states. They say the plan threatens coastal communities, fisheries and the economy. Democratic Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline says the coastline supports good-paying jobs and economic growth in every community in Rhode Island. Several of the delegations have also written to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke opposing the plan.

STATE UPHOLDS PATIENT-DOCTOR CONFIDENTIALITY

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut’s highest court has ruled on an issue that most people may think is already settled, saying doctors have a duty to keep patients’ medical records confidential and can be sued if they don’t. The Supreme Court’s 6-0 decision Thursday overturned a lower court judge who said Connecticut had yet to recognize doctor-patient confidentiality. The high court’s ruling reinstated a lawsuit by former New Canaan resident Emily Byrne against the Avery Center for Obstetrics & Gynecology in Westport. Byrne, who now lives in Montpelier, Vermont, alleged the doctor’s office sent her medical file to a court without her permission – allowing the father of her child to look at it and use the information to harass her. The Avery Center argued there is no duty for doctors to keep patients’ information confidential.

JUDICIAL MARSHALL FACES DRUG CHARGES

A Judicial Marshall at Norwich Superior Court is on unpaid administrative leave after being charged with possessing and selling drugs. 36-year old Adam Clarke of Norwich was charged December 19th, after being taken away from his post. Police say they found in his car 1-point-8 grams of heroin laced with fentanyl, and a bottle of methadone prescribed to someone else. His car and cell phone was also seized. Clarke is out on bond, and is due back in New London Superior Court February 8th. His attorney says Clarke is in a drug treatment program. His case may be transferred to federal court.

JURORS DISMISSED IN TRIAL

Testimony in a New London murder trial will now begin tomorrow. Two jurors were excused today, one of them an alternate, after they raised issues related to the case. 23-year old Lee-Seales is accused of murdering Gilberto Olivencia on Grand Street in December, 2015, hours after allegedly robbing and assaulting a 17-year old drug dealer who the defendant claims “disrespected him”. One juror, a local schoolteacher, was excused today after she says students talked to her about the case, while an alternate was dismissed after saying he couldn’t convict someone based on circumstantial evidence. The case will proceed with the remaining jurors.

DAY PUBLISHER RETIRING

The publisher at the Day of New London is stepping down later this year. Gary Farrugia says he’ll be retiring by the mid-2018, saying now’s a good time to let someone else take over. Farrugia says the newspaper had a good period of stability in 2017. The 66-year old has been the Day’s publisher since 2002. He’ll remain on the paper’s board of directors, and will be a part-time consultant to a company marketing firm. A Philadelphia-based recruitment firm will conduct a nationwide search for Farrugia’s successor.

NO ACCELERATED REHAB FOR PUTNAM MAN

A Putnam man accused of selling a Bobcat loader without the owner’s permission has been denied accelerated rehabilitation in an effort to clear his record. Danielson Superior Court Judge Jack Fischer says the charges against 68-year old Jack Monahan are too severe to qualify him for the diversionary program. Monahan is charged with selling the loader to Danielson-based Barry Builders for 65-hundred dollars, well below its estimated 25-thousand dollar value. Monahan agreed to store the loader for its owner, but he says he sold it in 2013 because the owner owed him 68-hundred dollars for landscaping work. The case has been continued to February 14th.