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Ray of hope for Bridgeport’s Lighthouse program

Photo: Linda Conner Lambeck / Linda Conner Lambeck

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Bridgeport school board meeting was filled with Lighthouse supporters on Monday

Bridgeport school board meeting was filled with Lighthouse supporters on Monday

Photo: Linda Conner Lambeck / Linda Conner Lambeck

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Marlene Siegel

Marlene Siegel

Photo: Hearst Connecticut Media File Photo

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Supporters behind her, Lighthouse Director Tammy Pappa speaks to Bridgeport Board of Education. June 13, 2016

Supporters behind her, Lighthouse Director Tammy Pappa speaks to Bridgeport Board of Education. June 13, 2016

Photo: Linda Conner Lambeck / Linda Conner Lambeck

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Lighthouse students said teachers made the signs they carried to try and win support for the afterschool program staying in city schools rent free. Lighthouse students said teachers made the signs they carried to try and win support for the afterschool program staying in city schools rent free.

Photo: Linda Conner Lambeck / Linda Conner Lambeck

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Students speak out for city’s Lighthouse program

Students speak out for city’s Lighthouse program

Photo: Linda Conner Lambeck / Linda Conner Lambeck

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Shawn Davis, a first grade student at Hallen Elementary School, gets a new backpack Thursday, July 16, 2015, during the annual Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) backpack distribution at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport, Conn. CHET and State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier partnered with the Summer Lighthouse Program to supply more than 1,200 kids from Bridgeport with backpacks stuffed with school supplies. Myra Viatil, a first grade student at Hallen Elementary School, gets a new backpack Thursday, July 16, 2015, during the annual Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) backpack distribution at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport, Conn. CHET and State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier partnered with the Summer Lighthouse Program to supply more than 1,200 kids from Bridgeport with backpacks stuffed with school supplies. Hallen Elementary School kindergarten students Jamaya Irby and Travis Dyer check out the back-to-school supplies in their new backpacks Thursday, July 16, 2015, at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport, Conn. Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) and State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier partnered with the Summer Lighthouse Program to supply more than 1,200 kids from Bridgeport with backpacks stuffed with school supplies.

Ray of hope for Bridgeport s Lighthouse program

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BRIDGEPORT Talks are under way to keep 2,600 school children from being locked out of the city s threatened summer Lighthouse program, set to start July 5. District representatives have finally met face to face with a team from Mayor Joseph Ganim[7] s office over a rental dispute, said Howard Gardner[8], chair of the school board s finance committee.

The school board voted last year to kick the city s after school and summer program out of city schools unless it started paying $500,000 a year to cover security, custodial and utility costs. A May 15, 2017 deadline to make the payment came and went. The program eventually paid the district $50,000 not enough to satisfy a 5-4 majority of the school board, which voted last month to demand full payment. Freshman member Annette Segarra Negron[9] cast the deciding vote, saying the board needed something to bring to the table as it attempts to shift refuse pick up, snow removal and crossing guard costs from the school board budget to the city side of the ledgers.

Last year, the district reimbursed the city $394,393 a year for snow and trash removal and $876,898 for crossing guards. All according to the school board city responsibilities. Gardner would not say the nature of the negotiations or who specifically, besides himself, was at the table. He did characterize the meetings as spirited. City officials, meanwhile, say the city s offer is generous and fair without going into details.

This is not about the City and the Board of Education[10], Ganim said in a written statement. This is about the children and parents of Bridgeport. We are very concerned for the safety and welfare of our youth, and the families who are relying on the Lighthouse Program on a daily basis to provide educational and recreational activities for our children throughout the summer months. We are hopeful that the city and the board will come to an agreement soon.

Gardner said he wants an arrangement that is forward-looking and will forever settle the issue for both sides.

Everything is on the table, Gardner said. I am hoping we can come to a universal, long-term agreement. Gardner s committee heard bids for garbage pick up contracts this week, but put off a decision pending a conclusion of talks with the city. During the summer, the Lighthouse program uses 18 schools for five weeks. Children who use it get two meals and a host of recreational and academic activities. Most Lighthouse counselors are also school board staff.

Director Tammy Papa[11] has said the program has no where else to go. During the school year, her program operates after school in 23 schools. It s annual $4.2 million budget comes from city, state and federal sources. Another $900,000 is collected in parent fees. School board members maintain the program should generate enough revenue to pay expenses borne by a district that is potentially facing $11.4 million in program cuts in the 2017-18 school year.

The district s proposed operating budget for the year totals $244.8 million.

Last year, the district cut kindergarten aides, middle school counselors, home school coordinators and teacher interns to make ends meet. Next year, it could be cutting math and reading coaches.

References

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Canadian charged in US airport attack investigated as terror

Jeff Karoub and Mike Householder, Associated Press

Updated 12:28 am, Thursday, June 22, 2017

FLINT, Mich. (AP) A Canadian man from Tunisia shouted in Arabic before stabbing a police officer in the neck Wednesday at a Michigan airport, and referenced people being killed overseas during the attack that’s now being investigated as an act of terrorism, federal and court officials said. Amor Ftouhi, 49, of Montreal, was immediately taken into custody. A criminal complaint charging him with committing violence at an airport says Ftouhi asked an officer who subdued him why the officer didn’t kill him. The attack at Bishop International Airport[1] in Flint, Michigan, is being investigated as an act of terrorism, but authorities have no indication at this time that the suspect was involved in a “wider plot,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge David Gelios.

Photo: Jake May, AP

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A police dog and handler search cars in a parking lot at Bishop International Airport, Wednesday morning, June 21, 2017, in Flint, Mich. Officials evacuated the airport Wednesday, where a witness said he saw an officer bleeding from his neck and a knife nearby on the ground. Authorities say the injured officer’s condition is improving. (Jake May/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP) Police officers gather at a terminal at Bishop International Airport, Wednesday morning, June 21, 2017, in Flint, Mich. Officials evacuated the airport Wednesday, where a witness said he saw an officer bleeding from his neck and a knife nearby on the ground. On Twitter, Michigan State Police say the officer is in critical condition and the FBI was leading the investigation. (Dominic Adams/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP) This March 11, 2005 photo shows Jeff Neville in Goodrich, Mich. Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw said the officer stabbed Wednesday, June 21, 2017 is Lt. Jeff Neville with the Bishop International Airport police. Officials on Wednesday evacuated an airport in Flint, Michigan, where a witness said he saw an officer bleeding from his neck and a knife nearby on the ground. Officials on Wednesday evacuated the airport, where a witness said he saw an officer bleeding from his neck and a knife nearby on the ground. (Steve Jessmore/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP) Police dogs search cars in a parking lot at Bishop International Airport, Wednesday morning, June 21, 2017, in Flint, Mich. Officials evacuated the airport Wednesday, where a witness said he saw an officer bleeding from his neck and a knife nearby on the ground. Authorities say the injured officer’s condition is improving. (Jake May/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP) A police officer sets up a flare to block the turn lane into Bishop International Airport, Wednesday morning, June 21, 2017, in Flint, Mich. Officials evacuated the airport Wednesday, where a witness said he saw an officer bleeding from his neck and a knife nearby on the ground. On Twitter, Michigan State Police say the officer is in critical condition and the FBI was leading the investigation. (Shannon Millard/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP) A travelers waits in the parking lot across the street from Flint Bishop Airport on Wednesday, June 21, 2017, in Flint, Mich. A police officer was stabbed in the neck at the Flint airport by a man with a knife Wednesday in what authorities are investigating as a possible act of terrorism. (Callaghan O’Hare /The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP) Burton Police Officers gather at Bishop International Airport, Wednesday morning, June 21, 2017, in Flint, Mich. Officials evacuated the airport Wednesday, where a witness said he saw an officer bleeding from his neck and a knife nearby on the ground. On Twitter, Michigan State Police say the officer is in critical condition and the FBI was leading the investigation. (Shannon Millard/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP) Travellers walk to a car outside Bishop International Airport, Wednesday morning, June 21, 2017, in Flint, Mich. Officials evacuated the airport Wednesday, where a witness said he saw an officer bleeding from his neck and a knife nearby on the ground. On Twitter, Michigan State Police say the officer is in critical condition and the FBI was leading the investigation. (Shannon Millard/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP) Travellers walk from Bishop International Airport, Wednesday morning, June 21, 2017, in Flint, Mich. Officials evacuated the airport Wednesday, where a witness said he saw an officer bleeding from his neck and a knife nearby on the ground. On Twitter, Michigan State Police say the officer is in critical condition and the FBI was leading the investigation. (Shannon Millard/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP) Michigan State Police talk outside Bishop International Airport, Wednesday morning, June 21, 2017, in Flint, Mich. Officials evacuated the airport Wednesday, where a witness said he saw an officer bleeding from his neck and a knife nearby on the ground. On Twitter, Michigan State Police say the officer is in critical condition and the FBI was leading the investigation. (Shannon Millard/The Flint Journal-MLive.com via AP) Police check the identification of a man in front of an apartment building as they stood guard there in Montreal, Wednesday, June 21, 2017, after a Canadian man who shouted in Arabic stabbed a police officer in the neck at a Michigan airport. Amor Ftouhi, of Montreal, was immediately taken into custody. Police in Canada were searching the Montreal apartment where Ftouhi is believed to have lived. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP) Police stand guard in front of an apartment building in Montreal, Wednesday, June 21, 2017, after a Canadian man who shouted in Arabic stabbed a police officer in the neck at a Michigan airport. Amor Ftouhi, of Montreal, was immediately taken into custody. Police in Canada were searching the Montreal apartment where Ftouhi is believed to have lived. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)

Canadian charged in US airport attack investigated as terror

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“At this time we view him as a lone-wolf attacker,” Gelios said. “We have no information to suggest any training.”

The criminal complaint said Ftouhi stabbed airport police Lt. Jeff Neville[26] with a large knife after yelling “Allahu akbar,” the Arabic phrase for “God is great.” According to the FBI, Ftouhi said something similar to “you have killed people in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and we are all going to die.”

More charges against Ftouhi could be filed as prosecutors take the case to a grand jury seeking an indictment, Gelios said. The Flint Journal[27], citing court officials, said Ftouhi is a dual citizen of Canada and Tunisia. Neville was in satisfactory condition after initially being in critical condition, airport police Chief Chris Miller[28] said at a late afternoon news conference where the charge against Ftouhi was announced. Ftouhi appeared in federal court in Flint to hear the charge and will get a court-appointed attorney. A court spokesman says Ftouhi will remain in custody until a bond hearing next Wednesday.

The attack occurred just before 10 a.m., prompting officials to evacuate and shut down the airport and add security elsewhere in the Michigan city about 50 miles (80.46 kilometers) northwest of Detroit. White House press[29] secretary Sean Spicer[30] said President Donald Trump[31] was briefed on the stabbing, and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions[32] said he was “proud of the swift response” by authorities from both the U.S. and Canada. Police in Canada were searching a Montreal apartment. Montreal police spokesman Benoit Boiselle[33] said officers with their department were assisting the Royal Canadian Mounted Police[34] in the search on behalf of an FBI request. A number of police stood guard outside the apartment building in the east end of Montreal located on B lair St. in St-Michel borough. Canadian TV footage showed police escorting at least one person from the building where Ftouhi is believed to have lived. Boiselle said three people staying at the residence had been taken in for questioning.

Luciano Piazza, the building landlord, said Ftouhi was not a difficult tenant and that he is married with children.

“I never had any problems with him,” Piazza said. “I’m really surprised. I would see him at least once a month, when he paid his rent.”

Gelios said Ftouhi legally entered the U.S. at Champlain, New York, on June 16 and made his way to the Flint airport on Wednesday morning. Ftouhi spent some time in public, unsecured areas of the airport before going to a restroom where he dropped two bags before attacking the officer with a 12-inch knife that had an 8-inch serrated blade, Gelios said. Ftouhi never went through any security screening, Gelios said. He described Ftouhi as “cooperative” and talking to investigators.

Witnesses described seeing the suspect being led away as Neville was bleeding, a knife on the ground.

“The cop was on his hands and knees bleeding from his neck,” Ken Brown[35] told The Flint Journal. “I said they need to get him a towel.”

Cherie Carpenter[36], who was awaiting a flight to Texas to see her new grandchild, told Flint TV station WJRT she saw the attacker being led away in handcuffs. She described the man in custody as appearing “blank, just totally blank.”

Miller, the airport chief, said Neville “fought him to the end,” managing to stop the stabbing and bring Ftouhi to the ground as Miller and other officers arrived to help. After the stabbing, officials stationed police officers at Flint City Hall a few miles away. Mayor Karen Weaver[37] said in a release the situation was “under control” but that officials sought to take “extra precautions.”

Genesee County Commissioner Mark Young[38], a friend of Neville’s who retired from the county sheriff’s office in 1997, said Neville left that department two years after him. He said Neville served in various capacities with the sheriff’s office including in the jail, on road patrol and as a court officer. Neville retired from the sheriff’s office as a lieutenant.

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Karoub reported from Detroit. Associated Press writers Ed White[39] and Corey Williams[40] in Detroit, Rob Gillies in Toronto, Kenneth Thomas[41] in Washington, Patrick Lejtenyi in Montreal and Sadie Gurman[42] in Phoenix, Arizona, contributed to this story.

References

  1. ^ Bishop International Airport (www.ctpost.com)
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What offseason? A week after Finals, the NBA in overdrive

Tim Reynolds, Ap Basketball Writer

Updated 2:31 am, Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Photo: Matt Slocum, AP

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FILE – In this March 29, 2017, file photo, Atlanta Hawks’ Dwight Howard prepares to shoot a free throw during the team’s NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers in Philadelphia. A person familiar with the situation says the Charlotte Hornets have reached an agreement to acquire center Howard from the Hawks. The Hawks are sending Howard and the No. 31 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA draft to Charlotte for center Miles Plumlee, shooting guard Marco Belinelli and the 41st pick, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday, June 20, because the trade is not yet official. FILE – In this April 2, 2017, file photo, Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez drives to the basket past Atlanta Hawks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. during an NBA basketball game in New York. Three people with knowledge of the deal say the Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to trade point guard D’Angelo Russell and high-priced center Timofey Mozgov to the Nets for big man Lopez and the 27th overall pick in the upcoming draft. The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade hadn’t been consummated Tuesday, June 20. FILE – In this Oct. 11, 2016, file photo, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, center, drives between Los Angeles Lakers center Timofey Mozgov (20) and guard D’Angelo Russell, right, during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game in Los Angeles. Three people with knowledge of the deal say the Lakers have agreed to trade Russell and Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets for big man Brook Lopez and the 27th overall pick in the upcoming draft. The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade hadn’t been consummated Tuesday, June 20, 2017. FILE – In this Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016 file photo, former Detroit Pistons Chauncey Billups acknowledges the crowd before an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets in Auburn Hills, Mich. A person familiar with the talks says Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert met with former NBA star Chauncey Billups about a position in Cleveland s front office. The meeting took place on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 in Detroit, said the person who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations.

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Dwight Howard[9] and Brook Lopez are on the move. Dwyane Wade[10] is opting in. Pau Gasol[11] is opting out. The Los Angeles Lakers[12] provided the clearest indication yet that Lonzo Ball is their guy.

The NBA offseason is already in overdrive. A dizzying series of moves came on Tuesday. Howard got traded by the Atlanta Hawks[13] to the Charlotte Hornets[14], who acquired the eight-time All-Star center[15] for a package that included Miles Plumlee[16] and Marco Belinelli. And Lopez another center is leaving Brooklyn and headed to the Lakers, part of a deal that has D’Angelo Russell[17] and Timofey Mozgov going to the Nets.

That leaves the Lakers with a clear need at point guard, a problem they will likely rectify on Thursday when they presumably will take Ball with the No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft. It was a big move for the Lakers in another way; Mozgov is still owed $48 million over the next three seasons, while Lopez’s contract will expire after next season. Howard will be playing for his third team in three seasons following a disappointing homecoming in Atlanta. He signed a three-year, $70.5 million deal with Atlanta and then sat out the fourth quarter in two of six playoff games in the Hawks’ first-round loss to Washington.

“Let the madness begin,” Portland guard CJ McCollum said. “Draft week is always the most interesting time of the year.”

Madness is right. Barely a week after the Golden State Warriors[18] won their second NBA championship in three years, the rest of the league is maneuvering like mad.

Along with the trades, confirmed by people with direct knowledge who spoke to The Associated Press[19] on condition of anonymity because neither deal was formally announced, Gasol opted out of his $16 million deal for next season with San Antonio but intends to sign a new multiyear deal with the Spurs that will reduce his annual salary but give him more security, and presumably give his team a chance to add a big-time free agent this summer. Wade told the Bulls he will take his $23.8 million deal for next season, a decision he had until next week to make. And Minnesota parted ways with Nikola Pekovic[20], waiving him in what could be the last act of a career that was derailed by foot and ankle problems over the past three seasons. Pekovic missed all of last season and played only 12 games the previous season. All this comes with Paul George[21]‘s status in Indiana most uncertain and with many trade rumors swirling there, the belief by many across the league that Jerry West[22] joining the Clippers’ front office could help their pursuit of LeBron James[23] in the summer of 2018, and the ongoing watch in New York of what the Knicks[24] will do if anything with Carmelo Anthony[25] and Kristaps Porzingis.

It’s not like Monday was a slow day, either. That was when Philadelphia and Boston completed the deal that sent the No. 1 overall pick to the 76ers giving them the chance to take Markelle Fultz, and allowing the Celtics[26] to choose likely either Jayson Tatum[27] or Josh Jackson[28] at No. 3, which they got in the swap. The Celtics said they think the player they take at No. 3 would likely have been the player they used the No. 1 pick on anyway, so they called it a win-win move. Then came Monday night’s news that the Cleveland Cavaliers[29] were parting ways with general manager David Griffin[30] after three straight trips to the NBA Finals[31], a move that James clearly was not happy about. Cleveland then talked with former All-Star guard Chauncey Billups[32] on Tuesday about a job in the front office.

To think, summer doesn’t even start until Wednesday. The draft is Thursday. The league’s inaugural after-the-season awards show is Monday.

Free agency and the new collective bargaining agreement start on July 1.

“Wow,” Phoenix guard Devin Booker said on Twitter. It wasn’t clear what Booker was exactly referring to, though he probably said it a few times Tuesday. Wow, indeed.

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AP Basketball Writer Jon Krawczynski[33] and AP Sports Writers Andrew Seligman[34] and Tom Withers[35] contributed.

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