- - Monday, October 24, 2011

CONNECTICUT

Casinos’ security costs cut by state

HARTFORD — Connecticut has yielded to requests from American Indian tribes seeking a larger law enforcement role at two of the country’s largest casinos, slashing the amount the resorts will have to pay the state back for the services of state police troopers and other security agents, officials said Monday.

The assessments for state police, liquor control agents and auditors at the casinos have been reduced by a combined total of about $4.5 million, Colleen Flanagan, a spokeswoman for Gov. Dan Malloy, told the Associated Press. The assessments for the 2010-11 fiscal year were $7.3 million for the Foxwoods Resort Casino and $6.8 million for Mohegan Sun.


Ms. Flanagan said the cut reflects a commitment on the part of the state to shift some responsibilities to the tribes, which operate the casinos on sovereign land in rural southeastern Connecticut. She said both sides are still working out the details.

FLORIDA

State’s new welfare drug-testing law blocked

ORLANDO — A federal judge temporarily blocked Florida’s new law that requires welfare applicants to pass a drug test before receiving the benefits on Monday, saying it may violate the Constitution’s ban on unreasonable searches and seizures.

Judge Mary Scriven’s ruling is in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union that claims the law is unconstitutional. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a 35-year-old Navy veteran and single father who sought the benefits while finishing his college degree but refused to take the test.

Nearly 1,600 applicants have refused to take the test since testing began in mid-July, but they aren’t required to say why. Thirty-two applicants failed the test and more than 7,000 have passed, according to the Department of Children and Families. The majority of positives were for marijuana.

Supporters say applicants skipped the test because they knew they would have tested positive for drugs. Applicants must pay $25 to $35 for the test and are reimbursed by the state if they pass. It’s unclear if the state has saved money.

MAINE

Police seek ID of body found in freezer

LEWISTON — A man who died this month at age 80 nearly took a secret to his grave - a secret that was discovered only after his family went through his belongings in a storage unit.

Inside an unplugged freezer, they found a set of human remains that investigators believe may be those of the man’s girlfriend, who disappeared in 1983, when she was 29. Now investigators are trying to confirm the identity of the female body, the cause of death and who may have been involved.

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