STONINGTON — Sporting a new configuration and a full complement of artists, the 64th annual Mystic Outdoor Art Festival returned to the streets surrounding the Mystic Bascule Bridge Saturday and welcomed what one organizer called "record guest numbers."
Author Salman Rushdie has been taken off a ventilator and is able to talk, a day after being stabbed as he prepared to give a lecture. Rushdie's agent confirmed information contained in a tweet by another author Saturday. Earlier in the day, the man accused in the attack in upstate New York pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and assault charges. A judge ordered Hadi Matar held without bail after the district attorney told her Matar took steps to purposely put himself in position to harm Rushdie. Rushdie, the renowned author of “The Satanic Verses” remains hospitalized with serious injuries.
HARTFORD — Federal officials have agreed to recognize Connecticut pardons as legally valid again and stop deporting people who have been pardoned for their crimes by a state board, reversing a hard-line stance taken by the Trump administration, authorities announced Friday.
STONINGTON — The Yellow Farmhouse Education Center, a nonprofit organization based on Stone Acres Farm, has been awarded two grants to support a more direct connection between regenerative agriculture and family & consumer science education in Connecticut.
STONINGTON — Members of the Board of Selectmen are asking residents with questions or concerns regarding the proposed lease extension for the St. Michael School and a new agreement with Stonington Community Rowing Inc. to contact the town as officials seek to finalize both deals in the comin…
Numerous transportation projects across the U.S. will be getting a slice of $2.2 billion of new federal funding. The grants announced Thursday are more than double the amount awarded last year under the same program. The initiative got a major boost this year from a $1 trillion infrastructure law passed by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg traveled to Arizona to highlight a pair of projects that revamp roadways and add new bicycle and pedestrian bridges. A total of 166 projects will be getting funding, ranging Alaska to the Virgin Islands.
Massachusetts’ governor has signed into law a major climate change bill meant to bring the state closer to its goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The bill signed Thursday by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker encourages the development of offshore wind and solar energy and gives some local authority to limiting the use of fossil fuels in building projects. It would also increase the state rebate for purchasing and leasing zero-emission passenger vehicles and require the entire public transit fleet to transition to zero emission by 2040, among other measures. The Union of Concerned Scientists was among the advocacy groups that applauded the bill signing.
A Pennsylvania man who pleaded guilty to bribing a Georgetown University tennis coach to get his daughter into the school has been sentenced to about a month in home detention. Prosecutors say Robert Repella, a former pharmaceutical executive, agreed to pay then-Georgetown tennis coach Gordon Ernst at least $120,000 to have his daughter designated as a tennis recruit for the Washington D.C. university. Repella was sentenced Thursday to one year of probation, with home detention through Labor Day. He was also ordered to serve 220 hours of community service and pay a $220,000 fine.
Native Americans in Massachusetts are calling for a boycott of a popular living history museum featuring Colonial reenactors portraying life in Plymouth, the famous English settlement founded by the Pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower. Members of the state’s Wampanoag community say Plimoth Patuxet Museums doesn’t provide a “bi-cultural” experience telling both the European and Indigenous stories equally as it purports to do. They say the Native American side of the outdoor museum remains small, needs repairs and is staffed by few Native workers. A museum spokesman said the organization is planning several changes to the site but declined to elaborate.
Connecticut Republicans will choose their nominee to challenge veteran Democratic U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal in November. The primary battle is not only the marquee race on Tuesday, but will signal what direction the state GOP is headed politically after years of backing moderates. The party’s endorsed candidate is former state House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, a social moderate. She's facing a challenge from two conservatives, Attorney Peter Lumaj, a past candidate for governor, and National Republican Committee member Leora Levy who is backed by former President Donald Trump. Primaries are also being held for secretary of the state, state treasurer and the 4th Congressional District.
The New Hampshire Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is denouncing comments by Gov. Chris Sununu and his attorney general after a jury acquitted a truck driver in the death of seven motorcyclists, but both men are standing by their statements. Jurors on Tuesday found 26-year-old Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, innocent of manslaughter, negligent homicide and reckless conduct. The charges stemmed from a 2019 crash that killed seven members of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club. Both Sununu and Attorney General John Formella criticized the verdict, with Sununu calling it a tragedy. Defense lawyers called the comments irresponsible and said they could deter future jury service.
A former Boston high school dean already in prison for shooting a student he recruited to deal drugs has pleaded guilty to a federal gang-related charge. Shaun Harrison pleaded guilty in Boston federal court on Tuesday to a count of racketeering conspiracy more than two years after he was indicted alongside dozens of other Latin Kings members, leaders and associates. Harrison was convicted in state court in 2018 of assault and other charges, and sentenced to up to 26 years in prison for shooting a 17-year-old student in the back of the head after a dispute over slumping drug sales. The bullet broke the teen’s jawbone and just missed his carotid artery, and he survived.
A jury has acquitted a commercial truck driver of causing the 2019 deaths of seven motorcyclists in a collision in northern New Hampshire. Twenty-six-year-old Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, of West Springfield, Massachusetts, had pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of negligent homicide, manslaughter, and other charges. The jury deliberated for less than three hours before returning the verdict. Zhukovskyy has been in jail since the crash on June 21, 2019, in Randolph. The seven who died were part of a Marines motorcycle club and were from New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The trial began July 26.
The FBI’s unprecedented search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence is ricocheting around government, politics and a polarized country. Trump and his allies are complaining, and others are wondering Tuesday why the Justice Department — notably cautious under Attorney General Merrick Garland — decided to take such a drastic step. The FBI searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate as part of an investigation into whether he took classified records there from the White House. That’s according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation. Trump says agents opened a safe at his home, and he likens their search to “prosecutorial misconduct.”
A former director of private California school has been sentenced to three months of home confinement for his role in the sprawling college admissions bribery scheme. Igor Dvorskiy was ordered to serve one year of supervised release — including the three months of home detention — on Tuesday. The former director of West Hollywood College Preparatory School admitted to allowing cheating on college entrance exams he administered. He pleaded guilty in 2019 to a charge of racketeering conspiracy. Dvorskiy is among more than 50 people convicted in the scandal that revealed a scheme to get the children of rich parents into top schools with rigged test scores and bogus athletic credentials.
Infowars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is facing a hefty price tag for his lies about the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre — $49.3 million in damages and counting — for claiming the nation’s deadliest school shooting was a hoax. The verdict is the first of three Sandy Hook-related cases against Jones to be decided and a punishing salvo in a fledgling war on harmful misinformation. But what does it mean for the larger misinformation ecosystem of election denial, COVID-19 skepticism and other dubious claims that Jones helped build? Courts have held that defamatory statements against a person or a business aren’t protected as free speech, but lies about things like science, history and the government are.
New research suggests that jumping spiders show signs of sleep cycles, similar to humans and some animals. Scientists trained cameras on baby jumping spiders to find out what happened during the night. The footage showed patterns: Their legs twitched and parts of their eyes flickered. In a study published Monday, the researchers described this pattern as a “REM sleep-like state.” In humans, REM, or rapid eye movement, is an active phase of sleep when parts of the brain light up with activity. Some animals have been shown to experience REM sleep. But creatures like the jumping spider haven’t been studied very much.
The Republican matchup in the Wisconsin gubernatorial race in Tuesday's primary elections features competing candidates endorsed by former President Donald Trump and his estranged vice president, Mike Pence. Democrats are picking a candidate to face two-term GOP Sen. Ron Johnson for control of the closely divided chamber. Meanwhile, voters in Vermont are picking a replacement for U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, as the chamber’s longest-serving member retires. In Minnesota, U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar faces a primary challenger who helped defeat a voter referendum to replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a new Department of Public Safety.
Boston police have arrested a man they say posed as a police officer and attempted to kidnap and rape a woman over the weekend. Police say Charles Singleton claimed to be a police officer when he offered a woman he'd recently met a ride early Saturday morning. Instead, the 51-year-old Boston resident drove the woman a short distance, pulled out a gun and threatened to kill her. Police say Singleton then assaulted her, took her purse and cell phone and fled. He was arraigned Monday on a range charges and his lawyer declined to comment.
A federal judge in New York has authorized the United States to seize a $90 million jet belonging to a Russian oligarch in a continuing effort to diminish the financial pillars of the Russian government after its invasion of Ukraine. Federal prosecutors announced Monday that the effort to seize Andrei Skoch's private plane was part of the pursuit of sanctioned Russian oligarchs and their blocked property. Skoch is one of the wealthiest men in Russia’s Duma. The U.S. Treasury first sanctioned Skoch in 2018 over his ties to organized crime. Forbes magazine has valued his fortune at about $6.6 billion.
David McCullough, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author whose lovingly crafted narratives on subjects ranging from the Brooklyn Bridge to Presidents John Adams and Harry Truman made him among the most popular and influential historians of his time, has died. He was 89. His fascination with architecture and construction inspired his early works on the Panama Canal and the Brooklyn Bridge, while his admiration for leaders whom he believed were good men drew him to Adams and Truman. A non-academic, McCullough was not loved by all reviewers, who accused him of avoiding the harder truths about his subjects and of placing storytelling above analysis.
Native American artists, political leaders and storytellers are the final arbiters of taste and style for a traveling exhibition of pottery from the Pueblo Indian region of the Southwestern U.S. They've plucked their favorite pieces from institutional collections in New Mexico and New York that didn’t always defer to Indigenous perspectives. The outcome includes musings about the history and mysteries of pueblo pottery traditions that were refined over centuries. The exhibit builds on efforts to give greater voice to Indigenous people and acknowledge sensitivities about ancestral art and artifacts. Showings will stretch from Santa Fe to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
A former dean at a Boston high school who was known affectionately by students as “Rev” has been ordered by a federal judge to pay more than $10 million in damages to a former student he tried to kill in a dispute over drug sales. The default judgment Friday against former English High School Dean Shaun Harrison includes more than $80,000 for the victim’s medical bills. Authorities say Harrison led a double life, working at a school while hiding gang ties. The victim, who had been recruited by Harrison to sell marijuana, was 17 when he was shot in March 2015.
HARTFORD — Up to $1,000 in pandemic pay is available for eligible, private-sector essential workers in Connecticut who were employed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a new website for applications up and running on Friday.
WASHINGTON — U.S. employers added an astonishing 528,000 jobs last month despite flashing warning signs of an economic downturn, easing fears of a recession and handing President Joe Biden some good news heading into the midterm elections.
HARTFORD — Connecticut launched a website and telephone hotline on Friday designed to link people seeking abortions with resources in the state.
STONINGTON — Fundraising efforts for the long-sought Stonington Veterans Memorial Monument are nearing completion after the project received an $86,420 grant that will be funded using the town’s American Rescue Plan Act money.
Transit officials are taking what they are describing as the “unprecedented” step of shuttering one of Boston’s four major subway lines for 30 days to allow for track and signal work. The month-long shutdown starting Aug. 19 is the latest in a string of frustrating developments for Boston-area commuters who have suffered through fires, stalled trains and subway slowdowns. Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday that the work will result in “long term benefits on a much shorter time frame," by giving workers access to the tracks 24/7 instead of just on overnight hours or during weekend shutdowns.
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones says he now understands it was irresponsible of him to declare the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre a hoax and that he now believes it was “100% real.” Testifying Wednesday in his own defense at a civil trial to determine how much he owes for defaming the parents of one of the children who were killed in the 2012 attack in Connecticut, the Infowars host acknowledged that it was irresponsible of him to push the false claims that the massacre didn’t happen. The parents suing Jones, though, testified Tuesday that an apology wouldn't suffice. They are seeking at least $150 million. Closing arguments are expected to begin later Wednesday.
The League of Women Voters of Southeastern Connecticut is reminding residents primaries in Connecticut will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 9. Deadlines to register to vote in the primaries are Thursday, Aug. 4, for online and postmark for mail registration, and Monday, Aug. 8, for in-person registration.
The prosecution has rested in the case of a truck driver accused of killing seven motorcyclists in New Hampshire. Twenty-six-year-old Volodymyr Zhukovskyy faces negligent homicide and other charges in connection with the June 2019 crash in Randolph, New Hampshire. Prosecutors say the truck driver took multiple illegal drugs that day and repeatedly swerved back and forth before the head-on crash. His attorney blames the lead biker, whose blood alcohol level was well above the legal limit. The final witness for the prosecution Wednesday was a crash survivor who acknowledged the unsafe blood alcohol level but said the group leader did not swerve into the truck.
A civil rights lawsuit accuses a suburban Boston police officer of pinning a Black man to the ground and placing a knee on the man’s neck while pursuing a white suspect. The lawsuit filed Wednesday against the town of Arlington and three police officers says police violated Donovan Johnson’s constitutional rights when they stopped him, searched him, handcuffed him and placed him in the back of a cruiser before releasing him with no charges. Arlington Police Chief Julie Flaherty said in an email that they couldn’t comment as neither police nor the town had yet been served the lawsuit.
STONINGTON — The Board of Finance will consider a proposal tonight that, if approved, would use $86,420 in American Rescue Plan Act funds to aid with costs as the community seeks to move forward with installation of the long-sought Stonington Veterans Monument.
A psychiatrist says that the parents of a Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim live with a complex form of post-traumatic stress disorder and a constant fear that followers of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones will kill them. Roy Lubit, a forensic psychiatrist hired by plaintiffs Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis to review the trauma they've faced, testified Monday at Jones’ defamation trial in Austin that the “overwhelming cause” of their ongoing trauma is Jones' claims that the 2012 massacre in which six educators and 20 students, including their son Jesse, were killed was a hoax or faked. The trial is to determine how much Jones owes the parents for defaming them. They are seeking at least $150 million.
Across the U.S., COVID-19 relief money is helping to subsidize growing numbers of big-city schools with small numbers of students. When the money runs out in a few years, officials will face a difficult choice: Keep the schools open despite the financial strain, or close them, upsetting communities looking for stability for their children. An analysis by Chalkbeat and The Associated Press shows more than one in five New York City elementary schools had fewer than 300 students last school year. In Los Angeles, that figure was over one in four. In Chicago it has grown to nearly one in three.
A forensic toxicologist has testified that blood drawn from a truck driver two hours after he was in a deadly collision with motorcyclists in 2019 showed the presence of a substance made when the body breaks down heroin. Donna Papsun of Pennsylvania-based NMS Labs said Monday that “6-MAM" was found in an amount “below the reporting limit,” the concentration of substances that can be measured accurately. She was questioned by lawyers during the trial of Volodymyr Zhukovskyy about how long heroin stays in the system. Prosecutors say he was impaired at the time of the head-on crash in New Hampshire. His lawyers said the lead motorcyclist was drunk and caused the crash.
New York City and four states that sued the U.S. Postal Service have announced a settlement in which the agency agreed it will destroy packages of cigarettes sent illegally to the United States from other countries. The city and California had initially filed the lawsuit in 2019. They were joined in 2020 by Connecticut, Illinois and Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs said the Postal Service wasn’t doing enough to enforce the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking law of 2010, which prohibits the mailing of cigarettes in most cases. An email was sent to the Postal Service seeking comment.
A Massachusetts bill aimed at recasting the state’s gun laws in the wake of last month’s Supreme Court ruling making it harder for states to limit access to firearms was approved by lawmakers Monday. Democratic leaders — who have pledged to draft tougher legislation when they come back into formal session next year — said the bill would bring state law in line with the high court ruling that found a New York law restricting carrying licenses, similar to Massachusetts law, was unconstitutional. The language was shipped to Republican Gov. Charlie Baker in the early morning hours, when lawmakers ended their formal session.
STONINGTON — On a hot summer afternoon earlier this month, Cynthia Celico smiled as she watched thousands of bees flying to and from their hives in her backyard, with some linking together in a formation known as “bearding” while others guarded the hive or shot out in the traditional “bee li…
Prices for gas, food and rent are soaring. The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates to the highest level since 2018. The U.S. economy has shrunk for two straight quarters. Economists are divided over whether a recession is looming. What’s clear is that economic uncertainty isn’t going away anytime soon. But there are steps you can take now to be ready for whatever is ahead. Yiming Ma is an assistant professor at Columbia University. She says it’s not a question of if but when a recession will happen. She says people should prepare but not panic. Making a budget, paying attention to your savings account and buying things second-hand can all help.
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ media company Free Speech Systems has filed for bankruptcy, but his attorney says it shouldn't disrupt the defamation damages trial underway in Texas that seeks to force Jones to pay $150 million or more to the family of one of the children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School attack. The trial in Austin, where Jones lives and Free Speech Systems is based, wrapped up its first week of testimony and is expected to conclude next week. The bankruptcy filing was announced in court late in the day. Courts in Texas and Connecticut have already found Jones liable for defamation for his portrayal of the Sandy Hook massacre as a hoax.
Shark sightings have become more common along Long Island’s shores this summer. Since June, there have been at least five verified encounters where sharks bit swimmers. Though there were no fatalities, sightings prompted officials to temporarily close some beaches to swimming, including New York City’s Rockaway Beach and a Long Island beach where a surfer was bitten on the calf. Sharks aren’t new to New York’s waters. But in the last century the state had documented only 13 shark attacks. Experts say the recent bites were likely accidents that happened as sharks chased schools of fish.
Gov. Charlie Baker sent back to lawmakers Friday a bill mandating some of the steps Massachusetts needs to take to meet a goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. In a letter to lawmakers, the Republican governor said he agreed with much in the bill, but suggested some changes. Baker said the bill contains a number of commendable ideas but said certain sections would be difficult or impossible to implement. Baker acknowledged there is a small window of time to agree on a final bill — the Legislature’s formal session concludes at the end of the day on Sunday.
HARTFORD — Appearing bare-shouldered in a TV ad, Connecticut Democrat Dita Bhargava looks directly into the camera and promises, if elected, to “lead the crusade” for abortion rights.
PORTLAND, Maine — Vessels off the East Coast must slow down more often to help save a vanishing species of whale from extinction, the federal government said Friday.
HARTFORD — The state has announced plans to install equipment designed to help prevent drivers from going the wrong way down the state’s highways after nearly a dozen wrong-way crashes led to 20 deaths so far this year.
STONINGTON — For the past two years, organizers of the annual Blessing of Fleet have kept long-standing traditions alive in a less social sense, hosting more abbreviated events and forgoing large crowds and booklet ad sales to be a good, safe community partner amid a global pandemic.