PRESCRIPTION DRUG HEIST
3 more charged in $80M heist in Connecticut
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - Federal authorities have charged three more Florida men in the theft of about $80 million in prescription drugs from an Eli Lilly warehouse in Connecticut.
The 2010 heist is believed to be the largest theft in Connecticut history, and included thousands of boxes of Zyprexa, Cymbalta, Prozac, Gemzar and other drugs.
The U.S. attorney's office says Yosmany Nunez of Southwest Ranches, Alexander Marquez of Hialeah and Rafael Lopez of Miami were indicted on conspiracy and theft charges for their alleged participation in the theft at a warehouse in Enfield.
An attorney for Lopez says the evidence will show he's innocent. An attorney for Nunez declined comment. A message was left for Marquez's lawyer.
Two other men were previously charged in the case.
Professor apologizes for remarks that angered GOP
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - An adjunct English professor at Eastern Connecticut State University is apologizing for comments he made about congressional Republicans that drew the ire of the state GOP's chairman and led the House minority leader to demand an apology from the floor of the House of Representatives.
In a written statement, Brent Terry, said Tuesday he "allowed my own political opinions to color the discussion" during a creative writing class on Monday.
Terry said he regretted the language he used and apologized to any students in the room who were offended.
In an audio tape of his remarks posted online, Terry said if Republicans take control of Congress, "colleges will start closing" because "they don't think money should go to giving you people dangerous ideas about how the world should be run."
Conn. man charged with strangling wife
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) - A New Britain man is facing a charge of strangling his wife to death.
Prosecutor John Malone says 41-year-old Luis Velez was being held on $1 million bond after he was arraigned Monday in New Britain Superior Court. He was charged with murder in the death of his 33-year-old wife, Johana Gallego.
Police found the victim Saturday.
Malone says Velez claimed infidelity was the issue. The prosecutor says Velez also told police he served 16 years in prison in Puerto Rico for a fatal shooting and three years for vehicle homicide.
A telephone message left with a public defender who represented Velez in court was not immediately returned.
Velez is due back in court on May 5.
Conn. bill adds text messages to Do Not Call List
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut lawmakers are attempting to modernize the state's "Do Not Call Registry" and include unsolicited text messages as well as phone calls.
A bill that would add text messages to the list of prohibited activities unanimously passed the Senate on Tuesday. The bill also increases penalties for violations from $11,000 to $20,000 per violation. It now moves to the House of Representatives.
Senators were considering several consumer-protection related bills.
They also voted to require pharmacies with discount rewards programs to inform customers, in plain language, they are waiving their health privacy rights if they sign up.
Senators also voted Tuesday to bar heating fuel dealers from selling pre-paid, guaranteed price plans from Nov. 1 to March 31, when some dealers have become financially strapped and taken advantage of customers.
Conn. organizations lauded for energy conservation
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Eleven organizations, including retailers, schools and health care facilities, are being honored by the state for cutting their energy consumption last summer.
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection on Tuesday recognized organizations that reduced their electricity demand during the 2013 "peak demand" summer season. They must have reduced their power consumption between five to 20 percent, compared with the previous two summers.
They must have accomplished the reduction without using backup diesel generators.
Southington High School received the Peak Performer Award for reducing its electricity demand by 421 kilowatts or 36 percent.
Other awardees are located in Danbury, Bridgeport, Woodbury, Cheshire, Fairfield, Beacon Falls, New Haven and New Canaan. Their combined efforts lowered peak electricity demand by a total of 618 kilowatts, and carbon dioxide emissions by 175 tons.
BUS ONLY CORRIDOR
Open house planned for Conn. bus-only corridor
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) - The first in a series of open houses is being held to update the public about the planned New Britain-to-Hartford bus-only corridor.
A new "flyover" animation video will be shown on Wednesday at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, the site of the first open house events. The public can also learn more about the project. The event is scheduled to run from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The bus-only corridor, known as CTfasttrack, includes 10 stations in New Britain, Newington, West Hartford and Hartford with buses running ever three-to-seven minutes during commuting hours. Operations are expected to begin in early 2015.
Similar open houses are planned for April 30 at the Old State House in Hartford and May 6 at the Hartford Public Library.
BABY LOBSTER DECLINE
Maine baby lobster decline could end high catches
YARMOUTH, Maine (AP) - Scientists say the number of baby lobsters settling off the rocky coast of Maine continues to steadily decline - possibly foreshadowing an end to the recent record catches that have boosted New England's lobster fishery.
The University of Maine's American Lobster Settlement Index shows that all 11 of the baby lobster settlement areas it tracks in the Gulf of Maine had fewer first-year lobsters in 2013 than 2011. All 11 areas show less than half their 2007 levels. Lobsters typically take about eight years to reach the legal harvesting size.
The downward trend has lobstermen, retailers, state officials and ocean scientists concerned that the impact could soon be felt on dinner tables nationwide. Maine lobsters were 85 percent of the nation's catch in 2012.
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