Monthly Archives: February 2014

Holder-Winfield quits House, joins Senate

Gary Holder-Winfield resigned Friday from the House of Representatives and immediately took his place in the Connecticut Senate. Holder-Winfield, a Democrat from New Haven, was elected Tuesday in a special election to succeed Toni Harp, who resigned her Senate seat after her election as mayor of New Haven. “Thank you all for coming,” Holder-Winfield told an audience of lawmakers and staff member from both chambers after taking the oath of office in the Senate. “I, strangely enough, though it would just be a couple of us here.”

In his first speech in the Senate, Holder-Winfield was brief. He thanked his wife, Natalie, and his assembled colleagues, then said, “I am done. Continue Reading →

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Murphy asks FBI to crack down on ‘kidnapper’s’ phone scam

Washington – There are countless phone scams claiming victims in Connecticut every day, but Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., has asked the FBI to crack down on an especially bold one that involves a  caller claiming to hold a family victim hostage and asking for ransom. “Several Connecticut residents have fallen victim to this fraud, even though local police have been active in trying to protect the community from this type of crime,” Murphy told the FBI in a letter. “In one instance, local police have alerted providers of money wiring services, like Western Union, to be on the lookout for this type of suspicious situation.”

The perpetrators of this fraud claim the family victim held hostage has been involved in an accident, Murphy said. “Connecticut’s working families, immigrant communities and senior citizens appear to be the targets of this insidious activity, and our state’s law enforcement could use any help that you might be able to provide in seeing that no more Connecticut residents are tricked out of their hard-earned money,” Murphy told the FBI. Murphy asked the FBI, “as a first step,” to publish the details of this fraud using the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) network so state and local law enforcement agencies in Connecticut and around the country can be on the lookout. Continue Reading →

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Metro-North officials: Timeliness interfered with safety

Thomas F. Prendergast, chairman and CEO of the MTA, left, and  Joseph J. Giiulietti, president of Metro-North, 

appeared before a legislative panel Thursday.

Efforts to ensure trains ran on time likely contributed to the accidents and other safety-related mishaps that plagued the Metro-North Commuter Railroad last year, the service’s top brass told state lawmakers Thursday. And efforts to enhance safety could lead to more delays in the future. Continue Reading →

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Common Core: By the numbers

As school districts move ahead with implementing Common Core, here are some numbers provided to legislators Thursday on what the state is spending this year to help districts implement the new standards:

$800,000 for 2,000 teacher “coaches” to be trained on the standards through workshops, online webinars and preparation for the new standardized tests aligned with Common Core that every student will begin taking next school year. These teachers will return to their districts to help their colleagues understand the standards;
$1 million for faculty and future teachers at teaching colleges in Connecticut to receive training on the new standards. The funding will cover training for 600 faculty and future teachers;
$250,000 for local school boards to receive training;
$1.5 million to help preschool through Grade 3 teachers teach early literacy skills;
$500,000 to provide tools to support students with special education needs and English language learners;
Two new positions at the State Department of Education to help districts with questions they may have with implementing Common Core;
$24 million for districts to upgrade their technology capacity so students can take the new assessments based on the Common Core by next school year. In total, the state will spend $38 million over this fiscal year and next to help districts implement Common Core. This is the first time money was specifically earmarked for Common Core implementation in the state budget since the standards were adopted in July 2010. But the state’s largest teachers’ union isn’t convinced it’s enough. Continue Reading →

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