Suspect in 1998 Connecticut death arrested in SC
SURFSIDE BEACH, S.C. (AP) - A man wanted in connection with the 1998 strangling of a Connecticut woman has been arrested in South Carolina.
Surfside Beach Police Chief Rodney Keziah says 51-year-old Gerald Brian Tuttle was arrested at a home yesterday. He faces a fugitive from justice charge and was being held without bond today pending extradition to Connecticut, where he is charged with murder.
The body of 60-year-old Gertrude Ochankowski was found floating in a shallow brook in a secluded area of East Hampton, Conn., on January 12, 1998.
Authorities said Ochankowski had been washing clothes at a laundromat when an attacker took her into a vacant apartments, sexually assaulted her, then strangled her. Her car was found outside the building, its engine still running.
Jail records listed no attorney for Tuttle.
Gun control groups still hopeful despite inaction
NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) - Despite a year of setbacks, the parents of children lost in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre insist they won't lose the fight to reduce gun violence.
After 12 months of personal suffering and political frustration, they have become key players in an effort to pressure Congress to adopt changes ahead of next fall's elections. They're backed by organizations that are sending dozens of staff into key states, enlisting thousands of volunteers and preparing to spend tens of millions of dollars to try to influence congressional campaigns.
Last December 14, a gunman using a military-style assault rifle killed 26 people inside Sandy Hook Elementary, including 20 first-graders.
Congress has enacted no new gun curbs since the shooting. And the national gun lobby seems as strong as ever, if not stronger.
HEALTH CENTER-PRIVACY BREACH
UConn says privacy breached at health center
FARMINGTON, Conn. (AP) - The University of Connecticut says an employee at the UConn Health Center inappropriately accessed personal information in the medical records of 164 patients.
Health Center spokeswoman Carolyn Pennington says the school became aware of the privacy breach on November 4, and has sent letters to all the affected patients. The incident was included in a report Thursday to the school's Board of Trustees.
In a statement, the health center says it has no evidence to suggest any of that information has been misused or misappropriated and the breach is currently being investigated.
The health center has agreed to make a third-party credit monitoring service and identity theft insurance available to the patients at the university's expense.
Pedestrian wins $12.2M jury verdict against police
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - Attorneys for a West Haven man say a jury has awarded him $12.2 million after he was hit by a van driven by a man who had been detained earlier by East Haven police.
Attorney Michael Stratton says the New Haven Superior Court jury reached the verdict today in favor of Thomas Ventura and against East Haven police. He said after police responded to a call of a suspected impaired driver in 2006 they drove the driver home and did not impound his vehicle.
Stratton says the driver returned to his vehicle and drove away, hitting Ventura, a pedestrian, blocks away. He says Ventura suffered a traumatic brain injury and fractures and required numerous surgeries.
Hugh Keefe, attorney for the police, says there was insufficient evidence to justify the verdict.
CONN PLANT-SAFETY VIOLATIONS
Conn. plant hit with $112,000 in OSHA safety fines
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Federal labor officials have accused an automotive metal forging company in Plantsville of health and safety violations involving electrical hazards and inadequate training and safe work procedures.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today proposed fines of $112,068 against Rex Forge, a division of the JJ Ryan Corp.
A representative of the company did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
OSHA says the safety violations included the use of an extension cord instead of fixed wiring and damaged electrical cords. The agency also cited electrical and fall hazards and a lack of adequate training and safe work procedures to protect workers on or near energized electrical equipment.
Warren Simpson, OSHA's director in Hartford, called the violations "prolific."
The company may contest the findings or take steps to comply.
Bristol vows strict code enforcement after threat
BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) - Bristol officials say they are undeterred in enforcing property code banning blight after an out-of-town landlord was arrested on charges of threatening to blow up City Hall in a dispute over grass that was not mowed.
The Bristol Press reports that police say Robert D'Aprile was arrested at his Stamford home and charged with threatening and breach of peace. Authorities say D'Aprile suggested he'd blow up city hall with a bomb.
D'Aprile's lawyer says his client was frustrated and had no intention of hurting anyone.
Chief Building Official Guy Morin says Bristol has zero tolerance for lack of property maintenance.
He says the dispute was tied to a $1,600 bill from the city to D'Aprile for cutting the grass and removing debris after the landlord failed to do so.
UConn approves plan to pipe in water from Tolland
STORRS, Conn. (AP) - The University of Connecticut is getting out of the municipal water business.
The school's Board of Trustees today approved a deal with the Connecticut Water Co. that will have the private company supplement UConn's water supply.
The agreement also calls for the company to supply parts of Mansfield that currently rely on the university for their water. A separate deal is being worked out with the town.
Under the agreement, the company will spend $21 million to build a 5-mile pipeline from Tolland to the campus.
The company will sell the school up to 1.5 million gallons of water daily as needed over the next 46 years.
UConn had rejected two other water proposals, which would have involved piping in water from as far away as the Farmington River.
New Haven signs over ownership of Shubert Theater
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - New Haven's mayor has signed over ownership of the historic Shubert Theater to a not-for-profit organization that has operated it for the city for more than a decade.
Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. says he is confident the 99-year-old theater will flourish under the ownership of the Connecticut Association for the Performing Arts.
The arts association has been operating the theater on a year-to-year lease but the city was responsible for capital repairs and improvements.
The city says the agreement signed today is expected to save New Haven more than $5 million over the next 10 years.
The theater began as a Broadway tryout house and today puts on a range of performances in addition to education and outreach programs.
VINTAGE RAIL CAR
Vintage Vt. rail car making its way to museum
NORTH BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) - A restored Vermont railcar that dates back to 1891 has started its journey to a new home at the Railroad Museum of New England in Connecticut.
The Rutland 260 is one of two surviving cars from the Rutland Railroad, which ceased operation in 1963. The 60-foot-long rail car was donated to the museum by the Vermont Railway. It still has its bench seats, paneling and a woodstove.
The Bennington Banner reports it was built as a passenger car, and was retrofitted in 1920 to be a "combine," a car that has space for passenger seating and freight. The Rutland Railroad's primary cargo was milk, which was transported from Vermont creameries to Troy, N.Y., before heading to New York City.
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