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This Hour: Latest Connecticut news, sports, business and entertainment

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Conn. unemployment insurance tax stokes complaints

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Nearly 100,000 employers in Connecticut are about to get sticker shock as the state mails annual tax bills to pay interest on its $433 million federal loan for workers' unemployment benefits.

The bills being mailed Friday and due Aug. 29 are expected to be the highest in the United States this year.

Thirteen states and the Virgin Islands owe the federal government $14.33 billion for unemployment insurance funding borrowed to help unemployed workers during the recession and weak recovery.

Connecticut has cut its debt from $810 million in 2009. The debt is expected to be gone by 2016.

Businesses are paying more because Connecticut did not seek a federal waiver. Bruce Berman, a state labor official, said refusing the waiver spikes payments now but will be less costly over time with reduced interest.


McKinney calls for partial income tax elimination

STRATFORD, Conn. (AP) - State Sen. John McKinney, one of two Republican candidates for Connecticut governor, is calling for the partial elimination of the state's personal income tax.

The Senate's minority leader unveiled a plan Thursday to eliminate the tax on all filers earning $75,000 or less, beginning in fiscal year 2017.

Appearing outside a Stratford coffee shop with his running mate, former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker, McKinney said their proposal also addresses a projected $1.4 billion state budget deficit by reducing spending in the fiscal year 2016 budget by the same amount.

McKinney contends he has a more far-reaching plan than his Aug. 12 Republican primary opponent, Tom Foley, the GOP's-endorsed candidate.

But Foley contends his proposal to cut the 6.35 percent sales tax by half a percent would affect more taxpayers.


WWE Network hits 700K subscriber mark in 5 months

WWE is set to make its video vault of classic matches on its video-streamed network available around the globe.

WWE has hit 700,000 subscribers since the company home to Hulk Hogan, Brock Lesnar and John Cena launched the WWE Network in February, an increase of just 33,000 since the company revealed its initial total in April.

The sports entertainment giant had hoped to reach 1 million subscribers by the end of the year. WWE could still hit that target by next year, with international network expansion coming Aug. 12 in more than 170 countries and territories, including Hong Kong, Mexico, Spain, and Russia.

But WWE lost $14.5 million in the second quarter and will lay off seven percent of the company's staff.

WWE announced Thursday a new 10-year partnership with Rogers Communications in Canada that will launch the WWE Network as a traditional pay-TV channel in Rogers' cable systems, also starting Aug. 12.


New London police chief takes mayor to court

NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) - New London's police chief is asking a judge to issue an injunction against the mayor, alleging that he has usurped her authority.

The Day of New London reports ( ) Chief Margaret Ackley asked for the preliminary injunction Wednesday in Superior Court as part of a lawsuit she filed in 2013 in a dispute over her contract and compensation.

The injunction would bar the mayor from interfering with her police duties while that lawsuit is pending.

Ackley alleges, among other things, that Mayor Justin Finizio has been running the department by giving orders to her subordinates without consulting her. She also says she has been barred from speaking to members of the media, the City Council, and other city officials without Finizio's permission.

The mayor declined to comment on the allegations.


Hartford officer fires shot at suspect

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Hartford police say they are investigating after an officer fired two shots at a carjacking suspect.

Police say no one was hurt during the incident, which occurred Thursday morning on Campfield Avenue near the intersection with Adelaide Street.

Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley says officers were chasing a man on foot after a shot was fired during a carjacking and crash on Broad Street, when the suspect pulled a gun. An officer fired two shots at the man. Nobody was injured.

Police used a dog to help track the man and take him into custody. Police say they also recovered a weapon.


Fire damages 2 cabins at vacation camp

KENT, Conn. (AP) - Two cabins suffered heavy damage, but nobody was injured in a fire at a vacation camp in Kent.

The fire broke out Thursday morning in a guest cabin and spread to another at Club Getaway, a 300-acre camp located on Leonard Pond.

Camp officials said in a statement that staff members were able to evacuate the cabins shortly after the fire was reported, and guests staying in the buildings were evaluated at the scene and released.

The camp did not say how many guests were displaced.

There was no immediate word on the cause of the fire. Crews from several towns responded and used water pumped water from the nearby lake.

The camp bills itself as a destination for sports and adventure programs, weddings and corporate events.


GE spinoff Synchrony rises in stock market debut

NEW YORK (AP) - Shares of Synchrony Financial are rising slightly in their debut on the New York Stock Exchange.

The credit card company raised $2.875 billion, selling 125 million shares at $23 per share,

Data provider Dealogic says that makes it the largest initial public offerings of the year so far.

The Stamford, Connecticut-based company is a spinoff of conglomerate General Electric Co. Following the IPO, GE will own 84.9 percent of Synchrony's common stock.

Synchrony provides credit cards for retailers, such as Wal-Mart, J.C. Penney and It also operates an online bank, which it is expanding to increase deposits and use the money to fund its credit business.

Shares of Synchrony, which are trading on the NYSE under the symbol "SYF," rose 3 cents to $23.03 in midday trading.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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