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BC-CT--Connecticut News Digest 6 pm, CT

March 19, 2019

Editors, news directors:

Good evening. Questions about today’s coverage plans are welcome and can be directed to Mike Melia at 860-246-6876 or mmelia@ap.org.

New England News Editor Bill Kole can be reached at 617-357-8100 or bkole@ap.org. New England Photo Editor Bill Sikes is reachable at 617-357-8106 or bsikes@ap.org.

For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org.

A reminder that this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories and digests will keep you up to date.

Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates.

TOP STORY

CONNECTICUT GAMBLING

Bills touching on nearly every aspect of Connecticut gambling, from casinos to sports wagering, appear to have cleared their first legislative hurdle. The Public Safety Committee approved a host of gambling-related bills Tuesday, noting the proposals remain unfinished and await negotiations underway by Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont. SENT: 600 words.

PATRIOTS OWNER-PROSTITUTION CHARGE

Florida prosecutors have offered a plea deal to New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and other men charged with paying for illicit sex at a massage parlor. The Palm Beach State Attorney’s Office confirmed Tuesday it has offered Kraft and 24 other men charged with soliciting prostitution the standard diversion program offered to first-time offenders. The men must concede they would be found guilty, perform 100 hours community service, attend a class on the dangers of prostitution and pay $5,000 per count, spokesman Mike Edmondon said. Kraft was charged with two counts last month. SENT: 720 words, photos.

COLLEGE ADMISSIONS-BRIBERY

Colleges that discovered students may have won admission through alleged bribery say they could face expulsion. The University of Southern California said in a statement Monday it has placed holds on the accounts of those students, which prevents them from registering for classes or acquiring transcripts while their cases are under review. SENT: 830 words, photos.

IN BRIEF:

_ CONNECTICUT TOLLS: Opponents of tolls on Connecticut highways are making their opinions known before lawmakers cast their first vote on the issue. SENT.

_ VACCINE EXEMPTION: A Connecticut lawmaker who supports eliminating the religious exemption from vaccinations for public school students says he had no choice but to cancel a planned forum on the science behind vaccines. SENT.

_ GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE-CHILD PORN: A Federal Aviation Administration employee has pleaded guilty to using his government-issued computer to access child pornography. SENT.

_ DOCTOR-MEDICAID FRAUD: A Connecticut doctor who bilked Medicaid out of nearly $5 million and stashed some of the stolen money in a Swiss bank account has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison. SENT.

_ INVESTEMENT FRAUD: A Connecticut man has pleaded guilty to his role in an investment fraud scheme. Prosecutors say 58-year-old Leonid “Lenny” Pollak entered his plea Monday to charges of wire fraud and illegal monetary transaction. SENT.

_ FATAL HOUSE FIRE: A woman rescued from a bathroom during a house fire in Connecticut has died. SENT.

_ ARSON CONVICTION: A man has been convicted of setting fire to the Hartford home where his family lived after they confronted him about his drug use. SENT.

_ POLICE STATION-MILFORD: The mayor of Milford has sidelined plans for a new police station, upsetting both the police chief and other officials. SENT.

SPORTS:

BRUINS-ISLANDERS

The Boston Bruins hope to have David Pastrnak back in the lineup for the first time in more than a month when they visit the New York Islanders. Boston is looking for its second straight win after a three-game skid. The first-place Islanders have won five of seven. By Vin A. Cherwoo. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos. Game starts at 7 p.m.

RED WINGS-RANGERS

The Detroit Red Wings visit the New York Rangers. By Scott Charles. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts at 7 p.m.

NCAA-EARLY BRACKET REVEAL

Geno Auriemma was sitting in his office after practice Monday when UConn’s video coordinator came in and said he had the entire NCAA Tournament women’s bracket. At first, Auriemma thought it was a fake. After studying it for a few minutes, the Hall of Fame coach knew it was the real thing, even with his team seeded second for the first time since 2006. The bracket was mistakenly put out by ESPN hours before the network had scheduled its selection show. By Doug Feinberg. SENT: 820 words.

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