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This site is currently inactive until future notice. Any questions about this site can be directed to maheujean@gmail.com Posted October 25, 2013

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Congratulations to ECSU Class of 2012

As part of ECSU's commencement traditions, students toss a coin into a fountain and make a wish, and the coins are donated to Eastern. Ryan McMenemy of Willington decided to make a slam-dunk when it was his turn. Commencement was held at the XL Center in Hartford, CT on May 15, 2012. Photo by Matt Hulten

Eastern Connecticut State University’s 122nd Commencement took place at the XL Center in Hartford on May 15. In all, 1,230 undergraduates and 88 graduate students earned their degrees.

Michael S. Roth, president of Wesleyan University, delivered the Commencement address. He told the graduates he hoped they had learned three things at Eastern: “What you love to do, how to get better at it and how to share that with others.”

“I hope that at Eastern you have found something that stirs your soul, that draws what is best from you,” he said.

Roth also told the Class of 2012, “The habits of mind developed in liberal arts environments like Eastern’s… will empower you to see opportunity where others see only obstacles.”

Roth concluded that universities, “must continue to strive to be places where young people discover and cultivate their independence and must themselves resist the trends of inequality that are tearing at the fabric of our country.”

Eastern President Elsa M. Núñez told the graduates not to sit on the sidelines.

“The challenges we face today as a nation and international community are ours to face and ours to solve… there is no other country in the world that places its future so firmly in the hands of the people. You are now the next generation of citizen leaders in our state and in our nation.”

“Together, you can be the force of change that can keep our country strong. It is your time. You are the leaders of the future, and the future starts now,” she said.

Below is a list of ECSU graduates from the HTNP.com readership area.

Congratulations to:

Columbia

Sonya Sellers of Columbia, CT, graduated with a degree in Biology

Rebekah Bailey of Columbia, CT, graduated magna cum laude with a degree in English

Megan Berube of Columbia, CT, graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Social Work

Sara Billy of Columbia, CT, graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Visual Arts

Sara Billy of Columbia, CT, graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Communication

Duane Cronkite of Columbia, CT, graduated with a degree in Business Administration

Todd DiGiovanni of Columbia, CT, graduated with a degree in Business Administration

Kellie Donovan of Columbia, CT, graduated with a degree in Mathematics

Sarah Guilbeault-Desso of Columbia, CT, graduated with a degree in Sociology and Applied Social Relations

Brittany Keegan of Columbia, CT, graduated with a degree in Mathematics

Jamie Kohn of Columbia, CT, graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Physical Education

Kelly Landers of Columbia, CT, graduated with a degree in English

Katharine McManus of Columbia, CT, graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Theatre

Katharine McManus of Columbia, CT, graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Communication

Hilary Osborn of Columbia, CT, graduated with a degree in Theatre

Timothy Rea of Columbia, CT, graduated with a degree in Communication

Robert Sartori of Columbia, CT, graduated with a degree in Business Administration

Nickalus Stevens of Columbia, CT, graduated with a degree in Social Work

Coventry

David Albano of Coventry, CT, graduated with a degree in Business Administration

Jennifer Andrews of Coventry, CT, graduated cum laude with a degree in Biology

Monique Raboin of Coventry, CT, graduated with a degree in Accounting

Melanie Zurmuhlen of Coventry, CT, graduated with a degree in Business Administration

Erica Borst of Coventry, CT, graduated with a degree in Sociology

Kevin Clancy of Coventry, CT, graduated with a degree in History and Social Science

Justin Ferrari of Coventry, CT, graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Business Information Systems

Sean Garrity of Coventry, CT, graduated with a degree in Accounting

Carly Herman of Coventry, CT, graduated with a degree in Sociology

Mary Luchenbill of Coventry, CT, graduated with dean’s distinction with a degree in Business Administration

Sarah Luchenbill of Coventry, CT, graduated with a degree in Sociology

Matthew Maturo of Coventry, CT, graduated cum laude with a degree in Visual Arts

Mark Oakley of Coventry, CT, graduated cum laude with a degree in Visual Arts

Eryka Soucy of Coventry, CT, graduated with a degree in Business Administration

Lee Traygis of Coventry, CT, graduated with a degree in Business Administration

East Haddam

Holly Carver of East Haddam, CT, graduated with a degree in Communication

Christopher Finch of East Haddam, CT, graduated with a degree in Biology

Arwid Gibinski of East Haddam, CT, graduated with a degree in Sport and Leisure Management

East Hampton

Roberta Perleoni of East Hampton, CT, graduated with dean’s distinction with a degree in Business Administration

Alexa Cascio of East Hampton, CT, graduated with a degree in Business Administration

Carl Gingras of East Hampton, CT, graduated with a degree in Sustainable Energy Science

Kevin Hines of East Hampton, CT, graduated with a degree in Communication

Kyle Levenduski of East Hampton, CT, graduated with a degree in Accounting

Samantha Root of East Hampton, CT, graduated with a degree in Visual Arts

Beatrice Tomasi of East Hampton, CT, graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Accounting

Denis Ugurlu of Haddam Neck, CT, graduated cum laude with a degree in Theatre

Hebron

Donald Risley of Hebron, CT, graduated with a degree in Psychology

Ryan Williams of Hebron, CT, graduated with a degree in Business Administration

Brian Archambault of Hebron, CT, graduated with a degree in Communication

Jerod Fromme of Hebron, CT, graduated with a degree in Physical Education

Terri LaPointe of Hebron, CT, graduated cum laude with a degree in Human Service

Morgan Rose of Hebron, CT, graduated with a degree in English

Walter Wroblinski of Hebron, CT, graduated with a degree in English

Mansfield-Storrs

Kimberly Blair of Mansfield Center, CT, graduated with a degree in Biology

Michael Calvo of Mansfield Center, CT, graduated cum laude with a degree in Mathematics

Michael Calvo of Mansfield Center, CT, graduated cum laude with a degree in Computer Science

James Gilligan of Mansfield Center, CT, graduated with a degree in Business Administration

James Haseltine of Storrs Mansfield, CT, graduated with a degree in History and Social Science

Jules Sene of Storrs Mansfield, CT, graduated with a degree in Mathematics

Colin Dunnack of Mansfield Center, CT, graduated with a degree in Business Administration

Ann Eichner of Mansfield Center, CT, graduated with a degree in General Studies

Yuhuan Gao of Mansfield Center, CT, graduated with a degree in Accounting

Kristen Gencorelli of Mansfield Center, CT, graduated cum laude with a degree in Sociology

Sencer Geyik of Mansfield Center, CT, graduated with a degree in Business Administration

Logan Johnson of Mansfield Center, CT, graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Accounting

Logan Johnson of Mansfield Center, CT, graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Accounting

Sarah Lavoie of Mansfield Center, CT, graduated with a degree in Social Work

Rebecca O’Bern of Storrs Mansfield, CT, graduated with a degree in English

Nicole Pedersen of Storrs Mansfield, CT, graduated summa cum laude with a degree in History

Corey Pelletier of Mansfield Center, CT, graduated with a degree in Environmental Earth Science

Wajiha Yasmeen of Mansfield Center, CT, graduated with a degree in Social Work

Kristina Knapp of Mansfield Center, CT, graduated with a degree in English

Jocelyn Loukas of Storrs, CT, graduated with a degree in Early Childhood Education and Sociology

Jessica Sauve of Mansfield Center, CT, graduated with a degree in Psychology

Luen Yeung of Mansfield Center, CT, graduated with a degree in Sociology and Applied Social Relations

Marlborough

Anna Sauve of Marlborough, CT, graduated with a degree in Environmental Earth Science

Vincent Aloia of Marlborough, CT, graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Visual Arts

Michael Boursy of Marlborough, CT, graduated with a degree in Environmental Earth Science

Jennifer Gorcenski of Marlborough, CT, graduated with a degree in Science

Elizabeth Grant of Marlborough, CT, graduated with a degree in English

Sarah Mockalis of Marlborough, CT, graduated summa cum laude with a degree in History and American Studies

Erin Murphy of Marlborough, CT, graduated with a degree in Psychology

Margaret Napolitano of Marlborough, CT, graduated with a degree in Mathematics

Jaime O’Connor of Marlborough, CT, graduated with a degree in History

Willington

Corey Smolen of Willington, CT, graduated with a degree in Business Information Systems

Shawn Craver of Willington, CT, graduated with a degree in Computer Science

Douglas LaBonte of Willington, CT, graduated with a degree in Environmental Earth Science

Megan LeBlond of Willington, CT, graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Psychology

Ryan McMenemy of Willington, CT, graduated with a degree in Accounting

Michael Monopoli of Willington, CT, graduated with a degree in Accounting

Keri Radell of Willington, CT, graduated with a degree in Social Work

Carmen Rodriguez of Willington, CT, graduated with a degree in Psychology

Windham-Willimantic

Judithann Arce of North Windham, CT, graduated with a degree in Visual Arts

Chelsea Arne of Windham, CT, graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Psychology

Angelica Booker of North Windham, CT, graduated with a degree in Psychology

Allison O’Connor of Windham, CT, graduated magna cum laude with a degree in English and Early Childhood Education

Sarah Schultz of Windham, CT, graduated with a degree in History

Clint Slowik of North Windham, CT, graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Visual Arts

Laura Cinciripino of Windham, CT, graduated with a degree in Business Administration

Megan Fitzgerald of Windham, CT, graduated with a degree in English

Jeffrey Haines of Windham, CT, graduated with a degree in Psychology

Chris Jolley of Windham, CT, graduated with a degree in Computer Science

Amy Knight of North Windham, CT, graduated with dean’s distinction with a degree in Business Administration

Samira Niazy of North Windham, CT, graduated with a degree in Biology

Alexis Smith of Windham, CT, graduated cum laude with a degree in Music

Gillian Weeks of Windham, CT, graduated with a degree in Sociology and Applied Social Relations

Nicole Weis of Windham, CT, graduated with a degree in Psychology

Holly Cruz of Windham, CT, graduated with a degree in Sociology

Elyjah Shapera of North Windham, CT, graduated with a degree in Communication

Eastern Connecticut State University is the state’s public liberal arts university. Eastern serves approximately 5,600 students each year on its Willimantic campus and satellite locations.

Posted May 18, 2012

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News.

CT State Police are recruiting new troopers through May 29 2012

May 17, 2012 Areawide No Comments

The Connecticut State Police Department is preparing to accept applications for employment for the position of State Trooper. Enrollment for the Trooper Exam began Monday, May 14 and will continue through May 29, 2012.

The Connecticut State Police offers an exciting career opportunity, a competitive salary and excellent benefits.

Applications can be downloaded from the State Police web site at http://www.ct.gov/despp/cwp/view.asp?a=4215&q=494752 or by contacting a State Police recruiter at 203-630-8070.

Also on the State Police web site, potential recruits will find the specific requirements that are necessary to apply to be a Trooper.

Anyone who wishes to compete for the position of Trooper must have completed and submitted the application online by May 29, 2012.

The Connecticut State Police was founded in 1903 and is the oldest State Police agency in the United States.

More than 1,000 Troopers are assigned to barracks scattered across the state and to dozens of specialized units.

State Police Troopers are primary law enforcement providers in 82 of the 169 municipalities in Connecticut. The Connecticut State Police is the third largest police force in New England.

Posted May 17, 2012

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News.

Meeting May 16 on bridge project shared by Columbia and Coventry

May 15, 2012 Local News No Comments

The project will change the single-lane bridge into a two-lane structure with two 10-ft wide lanes and a two-foot shoulder, with the intent of improving the sight line across the bridge.

A public information meeting on the rehabilitation of the Pucker Street Bridge will take place Wednesday, May 16.

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the town hall annex behind the town hall at 1712 Main St.

Though the project has waned for some time, town officials have now resolved concerns raised by the Department of Transportation and its consultant liaison, including hydraulic modeling and floodplain impacts.

The purpose of Wednesday’s meeting is to encourage interested persons to learn about and discuss the project.

The project will change the single-lane bridge into a two-lane structure with two 10-ft wide lanes and a two-foot shoulder, with the intent of improving the sight line across the bridge.

The estimated construction cost is $2.1 million with 80 percent reimbursed with federal funds under the Federal Local Bridge Program and 20 percent shared by the towns of Coventry and Columbia, which border the bridge.

The split between the towns previously agreed upon requires Coventry to pay two-thirds of the share.

Posted May 15, 2012

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Gov. Malloy orders flags to fly half staff for Peace Officers Memorial Day

May 15, 2012 Areawide No Comments

Trooper Memorial. Image source: Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy directed the U.S. and Connecticut flags lowered to half staff today in honor of Peace Officers Memorial Day, observed annually on May 15.

“Our brave men and women in law enforcement do tremendous work to make our communities and our state safer. National Peace Officers Memorial Day gives us the opportunity to honor them and the sacrifices they make to protect and defend Connecticut,” Gov. Malloy said in a written statement today.

“This day also gives us the chance to honor those who have given their lives in the line of duty. Their service to Connecticut will never be forgotten,” Gov. Malloy said.

Started in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy, National Peace Officers Memorial Day corresponds with Police Week.

Flags will fly at half staff until sunset on May 15.

Posted May 15, 2012; Photo source Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles http://hsmv.state.fl.us/fhp/PhotoGallery/2008/PG051508.htm

Editor’s note: We are currently making security improvements to our Web site, and you may sometimes receive a message that the site is temporarily unavailable. We thank you for being patient.

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News.

Chris Murphy wins Democratic nomination for CT senate seat

May 13, 2012 Areawide 1 Comment

Since announcing his candidacy in the beginning of 2011, Murphy has built an unparalleled grassroots coalition that has propelled him to the head of the field. Photo source: Chris Murphy for Senate web site

Connecticut Senate candidate Chris Murphy won an overwhelming majority of delegate votes Saturday (May 12) at the Democratic State Convention, with 1,378 out of 1,842 delegates, to secure the Democratic nomination for the United State Senate.

The race is to fill a vacancy left by U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) who has decided not to run for re-election.

Murphy, 38, is currently serving his third term in the U.S. Representative for the 5th District.

About 24 percent of the vote (444) went to former CT Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, 50, who is expected to take her campaign to the Aug. 14, 2012 primary.

The frontline Republican contenders for the seat are Linda McMahon or former U.S. Rep. Chris Shays, 4th District.

“The foundation of our message on this campaign is that nothing is impossible if we set our minds to it. I know this because almost every fight I’ve taken on in my 15 years of public service involved the conventional wisdom telling me it couldn’t be done, but we proved them wrong,” said Murphy.

“It’s been a long time since a statewide convention delivered this kind of resounding margin, and it came today from every corner of the state, from every congressional district, from cities, from suburbs, from small towns. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to all of you,” Murphy said as he learned of the results.

Since announcing his candidacy in the beginning of 2011, Murphy has built an unparalleled grassroots coalition that has propelled him to the head of the field.

His endorsements include:

Gov. Dannel Malloy, Lt Gov. Nancy Wyman, Atty Gen. George Jepsen, Comptroller Kevin Lembo, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, Connecticut’s entire Congressional House delegation, dozens of state Senators and state Representatives, the National Organization for Women, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), State Council of the Service Employees International Union, the Working Families Party, the Connecticut Hispanic Democratic Caucus, the Connecticut Education Association, Connecticut Fire Fighters, United Auto Workers, Connecticut Laborers, the Connecticut State Building and Construction Trades Council, the Communications Workers of America, the League of Conservation Voters, and more than 10,000 Democratic and progressive activists from all across Connecticut.

Posted May 13, 2012, based on a press release issued by Friends of Chris Murphy on May 12, 2012

Editor’s note: We are currently making security improvements to our Web site, and you may sometimes receive a message that the site is temporarily unavailable. We thank you for being patient.

Have a news item, event or Letter to the Editor you’d like posted on this news site? Simply send your information to editor@htnp.com and include your town in the subject line of your email. Please also include a phone number where you can be reached if there are questions. For daily updates on local and Connecticut news, “like” us on Facebook at HTNP News.

CT Sunday liquor sales expected to begin by May 20

May 12, 2012 Areawide, Business No Comments

The legislation allows liquor permittees to sell alcohol 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays, as well as on the Memorial, Independence and Labor Day holidays, and on Mondays following any Christmas and New Year's Day that falls on a Sunday.

Connecticut residents may be buying alcohol on a Sunday for the first time, in this state, as soon as May 20. That’s what Gov. Dannel P. Malloy told reporters on Thursday morning (May 10) at a post-legislative session press conference.

The legislation allows liquor permittees to sell alcohol 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays, as well as on the Memorial, Independence and Labor Day holidays, and on Mondays following any Christmas and New Year’s Day that falls on a Sunday.

Also:

  • No one will be allowed to own more than three package stores (which is an increase from two under the old law).
  • Minimum prices will remain intact, with one exception; retailers can sell one item per month for 10 percent below the cost of acquisition.
  • Discounted items cannot be sold for less than 90 percent of the permittee’s wholesale cost.

The governor said Thursday the bill hadn’t arrived on his desk yet, but added that by early next week, he expects to receive the bill, give it a final review and sign it.

To read the full story, click here: http://www.ctmirror.org/story/16313/sunday-liquor-sales-should-begin-may-20

Posted May 12, 2012

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Sen. Prague set to retire, has served since 1994

May 11, 2012 Local News No Comments

Sen. Edith Prague, D-Columbia has decided to heed the advice of her doctor after recovering from a stroke and has announced she will retire after serving 18 years in the Connecticut legislature.

Longtime State Senator Edith Prague, D-Columbia, has decided not to run for re­election and thus bring to an end an 18-year career in the state Senate.

Prague has represented the 19th Senate District since 1994. Her district serves Columbia, Franklin, Hebron, Lebanon, Ledyard, Lisbon, Marlborough, Montville, Norwich and Sprague. (Bozrah will be dropped from this district as a result of redistricting.)

After suffering a minor stroke Christmas morning, 86-year-old Prague returned to work in January 2012, but she is heeding the advice of her doctor, who is concerned about the level of stress campaigning entails.

“She gave me a fair warning,” said Sen. Prague.

Former state Rep. Joan Lewis, D-Coventry, spoke to the passion and dedication Prague has demonstrated in her job.

Lewis ended her fourth term as state representative after losing to current state Rep. Tim Ackert, R-Coventry in November 2010.

As state representative, Lewis served constituents in Coventry, Columbia and Vernon. She also worked with Sen. Prague during Lewis’ 17 years on the Coventry Town Council.

At that time, Sen. Prague was serving Coventry as state representative.

Lewis remembers Sen. Prague’s “energy and enthusiasm” about issues in the state legislature. Sen. Prague has been “an outspoken advocate for the people,” said Lewis.

During her time as a legislator, Prague has been an advocate for senior citizens and aimed to improve access to affordable health care for all citizens.

Prior to her time in the state Senate, Prague was a state representative for eight years and served as commissioner of the former state Department on Aging – during that time, she established a statewide health insurance program, originally called “HICAP” and now operating under the name “CHOICES.” The program provides counsel­ing services to seniors with ques­tions about insurance coverage.

Sen. Prague is currently serving as assistant president pro tempore of the state Senate and is chair of the aging and labor and public employees committees. She is also vice chair of the appropriations committee and a member of the public health committee.

Rep. Ackert has been working closely with Prague since beginning his first term in November 2010. Although they are from two different parties, he has a great deal of respect for Sen. Prague and the work she has done in the legislature.

“We may have disagreed on our philosophies, but never on our philosophies for our constituents,” said Ackert. For example, the pair has been a “voice” for Columbia regarding the minimum budget requirement law, which Town Administrator Jonathan Luiz testified against in February.

The law requires school districts to allocate at least the same amount of funding that was in the budget the previous year.

Columbia failed to meet the MBR requirement; the budget is $158,723 less than the prior year. And so, the town is required to come up with the remaining funds by June 31, the end of the fiscal year.

 

Thus far, no action has been taken on the measure, so the town faces a possible financial penalty, which would be double the amount of Education Cost Sharing Grant funding the town would typically receive.

Rep. Ackert said Sen. Prague’s retirement will give her an opportunity to take time for herself and spend more time with her family. “I care about her health — I truly do,” he said.

Sen. Prague said the highlight of her legislative career came Wednesday, when Bill 5312 passed in the Senate – it makes changes in the state employee health benefits statutes to correspond with employee concessions in the state employee collective bargaining agreement.

It has also passed in the state House of Representatives.

“That’s what serving in state government is all about, improving the lives of people in this state,” Sen. Prague said.

She said she is proud of her record in the state legislature and is “sad to leave” her position. She said if she didn’t have a stroke in December, she would have run for re-election.

“I’m grateful to the people of my district that they gave me this opportunity,” she said.

Those who have known and worked with Sen. Prague predict she will continue to be a presence in the legislature.

“I’m sure that Edith Prague will find a way to be engaged in the causes she believes in,” said state Rep. Gregory Haddad, D-Mansfield.

Haddad has known Prague for many years; he worked as her campaign manager before he was elected to the state legislature in November 2010.

“She is going to be missed by many people,” said Haddad.

State Senate President Pro Tempore Donald Williams Jr., D-Brooklyn also praised Sen. Prague’s dedication and he also foresees her continuing as an advocate. “Helping others is what keeps Edith going,” he said.

“I’m going to miss Edith tremendously because she’s such a fighter for working men and women and their families, for senior citizens and for those who need a tireless champion,” said Sen. Williams. “There’s no one else like Edith. She has loved every minute of her time in public service.”

U. S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, also expressed admiration for Sen. Prague’s public service. “Edith has been a giant on the landscape of Connecticut for many years,” he said in a prepared statement. “We are a better state because of her commitment to investing in our people, which she realized is the true strength of the state she loves so much. Job well done.”

Sen. Prague earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Eastern Connecticut State University and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Connecticut.

She is widowed and has four children and nine grandchildren.

Posted May 11, 2012

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State invites you to design 2013 cover of boating guide

“Learning to Sail” on the Mystic River (shown cropped on the 2012 cover of the Connecticut Boater’s Guide), a pastel by Tina Campbell Lyman of Stonington, CT

If you are artistically inclined and have a love of boating, here is your chance to share your work with a large audience.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is sponsoring a competition for artwork for the cover of the 2013 Connecticut Boater’s Guide. The guide is a pocket-sized booklet containing updated laws and regulations, safety tips, and environmental information of interest to the boating public.

Approximately 92,000 guides are distributed statewide through marinas, town halls, libraries, boating classes and boat shows, in addition to being posted on the internet. (To view the 2012 Connecticut Boater’s Guide, click here )

This year, the competition is being conducted in tandem with the Gallery at Firehouse Square’s OpSail Plein Air Event. Juried submissions for the Connecticut Boater’s Guide Cover will be entered into the Plein Air Competition.

Submitted images should showcase Connecticut waterways and/or boating and the scene depicted should have been created within the last three years.

For the submission form and more details, click here.

The deadline to submit digital copies of the images is Monday, May 14, 2012.

Questions? Contact Katie Fogg at Fogg@aol.com or 860-443-0344 during state office hours.

Posted May 10, 2012

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Connecticut gets $6 Million from settlement with drug company

Abbott Laboratories allegedly offered and paid illegal remuneration to health care professionals and long-term care pharmacy providers to encourage them to promote and/or prescribe Depakote

Connecticut Atty. General George Jepsen said Monday (May 7) the state will receive approximately $6 million from settlements with Abbott Laboratories in relation to charges the pharmaceutical company marketed the prescription drug Depakote for uses not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Depakote is approved by the FDA for treatment of seizure disorders, “mania” associated with bipolar disorder and to prevent migraine headaches.

According to complaints, Abbott also marketed the drug for behavioral disturbances in dementia patients, anxiety, conduct disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, alcohol and drug withdrawal, attention deficit disorder, autism and other psychiatric conditions – uses the FDA has not deemed to be effective.

According to the allegations in the complaint, Abbott Laboratories promoted Depakote for unapproved uses by:

  • making false and misleading statements about the safety, efficacy, dosing and cost-effectiveness of Depakote for some of these uses;
  • improperly marketing the product for use in nursing homes;
  • and by offering and paying illegal remuneration to health care professionals and long-term care pharmacy providers to encourage them to promote and/or prescribe Depakote.

Abbott Laboratories’ marketing for non-FDA approved uses allegedly resulted in false claims to Medicaid and other federal healthcare programs.

Jepsen said these settlements “will serve as a deterrent to other companies who seek to benefit unfairly from government healthcare programs.”

“Most importantly, they will help to protect consumers who were prescribed an expensive drug with little evidence the drug could help their condition,” Jepsen said.

In the settlements, Abbott has agreed to pay the involved states and the federal government $800 million in civil damages and penalties.

Connecticut’s share of Medicaid claims is more than $3.9 million.

Connecticut will also receive $499,000 for state-funded benefit programs administered by the state Department of Social services.

Social Services Commissioner Roderick L. Bremby said, “Our claims data indicated a significant and inappropriate impact on Medicaid expenditures, a factor that will now be mitigated by this major settlement.”

The company has also agreed to a $700 million criminal fine and forfeiture for violating the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

Another $100 million settlement with 45 states and the District of Columbia, resolves civil consumer protection claims that the company engaged in unfair and deceptive practices by illegal off-label marketing of Depakote.

Connecticut’s share of the consumer protection settlement is more than $1.5 million, including $150,000 for the state Department of Consumer Protection’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein said, “The funding that the settlement provides for Connecticut’s Prescription Monitoring Program will directly benefit patient health by assisting pharmacists and physicians to better monitor potentially dangerous drug interactions and prescription errors.”

Abbott also agreed to enter into a corporate integrity agreement with the federal government.

For a period of five years, Abbott must also limit:

  • the creation and use of responses to requests by physicians for non-promotional information about off-label uses of Depakote;
  • dissemination of reprints of clinical studies relating to off-label uses of Depakote;
  • and use of grants and continuing medical education.

It must also disclose payments to physicians and register and disclose clinical trials.

The healthcare fraud settlement was based on four qui tam cases, filed under federal and state false claim statutes that were consolidated and are pending in U.S. District Court in Virginia.

Assistant Atty. General Thomas Saadi handled the consumer protection settlement for the Attorney General with Assistant Atty. General Phillip Rosario, head of the Consumer Protection department.

Consumers can make inquiries of the Attorney General’s office by calling 860-808-5318 during office hours or sending email to attorney.general@ct.gov You can also follow the office on Facebook at Attorney General George Jepsen and on Twitter @AGJepsen

Posted May 9, 2012, based on a press release

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CT Gov Malloy, on signing bill to repeal capital punishment

April 25, 2012 Areawide, Opinion No Comments

"I saw people who were poorly served by their counsel. I saw people wrongly accused or mistakenly identified. I saw discrimination. In bearing witness to those things, I came to believe that doing away with the death penalty was the only way to ensure it would not be unfairly imposed." - CT Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, April 25 2012

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today (April 25) released the following statement after signing S.B. 280, An Act Revising the Penalty for Capital Felonies:

“This afternoon I signed legislation that will, effective today, replace the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of release as the highest form of legal punishment in Connecticut. Although it is an historic moment – Connecticut joins 16 other states and the rest of the industrialized world by taking this action – it is a moment for sober reflection, not celebration.

“Many of us who have advocated for this position over the years have said there is a moral component to our opposition to the death penalty. For me, that is certainly the case. But that does not mean – nor should it mean – that we question the morality of those who favor capital punishment. I certainly don’t. I know many people I deeply respect, including friends and family, who believe the death penalty is just. In fact, the issue knows no boundaries: not political party, not gender, age, race, or any other demographic.  It is, at once, one of the most compelling and vexing issues of our time.

“My position on the appropriateness of the death penalty in our criminal justice system evolved over a long period of time. As a young man, I was a death penalty supporter. Then I spent years as a prosecutor and pursued dangerous felons in court, including murderers. In the trenches of a criminal courtroom, I learned firsthand that our system of justice is very imperfect. While it’s a good system designed with the highest ideals of our democratic society in mind, like most of human experience, it is subject to the fallibility of those who participate in it. I saw people who were poorly served by their counsel. I saw people wrongly accused or mistakenly identified. I saw discrimination. In bearing witness to those things, I came to believe that doing away with the death penalty was the only way to ensure it would not be unfairly imposed.

“Another factor that led me to today is the ‘unworkability’ of Connecticut’s death penalty law. In the last 52 years, only 2 people have been put to death in Connecticut – and both of them volunteered for it. Instead, the people of this state pay for appeal after appeal, and then watch time and again as defendants are marched in front of the cameras, giving them a platform of public attention they don’t deserve. It is sordid attention that rips open never-quite-healed wounds. The 11 men currently on death row in Connecticut are far more likely to die of old age than they are to be put to death.

“As in past years, the campaign to abolish the death penalty in Connecticut has been led by dozens of family members of murder victims, and some of them were present as I signed this legislation today.  In the words of one such survivor: ‘Now is the time to start the process of healing, a process that could have been started decades earlier with the finality of a life sentence. We cannot afford to put on hold the lives of these secondary victims. We need to allow them to find a way as early as possible to begin to live again.’ Perhaps that is the most compelling message of all.

“As our state moves beyond this divisive debate, I hope we can all redouble our efforts and common work to improve the fairness and integrity of our criminal justice system, and to minimize its fallibility.”

Posted April 25, 2012

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Local day camps made a great summer for cancer patients families

CHILDREN RUNNING from Windham Hosp FB page

In addition, the Town of Coventry Parks and Recreation Camp and Camp Asto Wamah in Columbia, CT each offered free spaces for children of cancer patients.

Connecticut budget ends with $359 million surplus

Ben Barnes CT Budget Director

Personal income tax receipts were up $55.1 million over last month. The corporation tax also was revised upward by $15 million.

Future of local water supply is topic of public forum July 29

A forum focused on our water supply – including who decides how it’s used – will be hosted by The League of Women Voters of Northeastern Connecticut (formerly the League of Women Voters of Mansfield) and the Connecticut Institute of Water Resources (CIWR) on Monday, July 29 from 7-9 p.m. at the Elks Lodge (lower level), located at 198 Pleasant St. in Willimantic.

Questions about water sources, usage and quality have come into focus recently in light of the Storrs Center development, UConn’s plans to bring in water to support a new Tech Park and the concurrent needs of the towns in this region, particularly in terms of their own development plans.

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