Around New Haven 10.16.09

Police arrest red-faced downtown bank robber

New Haven police apprehended Brian Keith Powelson, 40, of Meriden, Conn., for robbing the TD Bank on Chapel and College streets Wednesday. Powelson entered the bank, demanding money. A bank teller gave Powelson cash and a security dye pack, which explodes once a robber leaves the bank, according to the New Haven Register. Soon after Powelson walked outside, the pack exploded, marking his face with red ink, and he was soon arrested, the Register reported. Powelson had at least 26 convictions prior to his Wednesday arrest.

—Yale Daily News

Gas prices plunge in Connecticut

Gas prices have fallen dramatically in Connecticut, according to AAA. Since last month, the average cost of a gallon of regular gas has dropped 21 cents to $2.60, almost 12 cents less than the national average. Connecticut was the first state in which the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline reached $4.00. Gas prices in the state peaked around $4.38 in mid-June of 2008. Currently, the cheapest gas in the country can be found in South Carolina, where, on average, a gallon of regular gas costs $2.50.

—Yale Daily News

Family caught faking kidnapping scheme

A Connecticut family feigned the rescue of three immigrant family members from a kidnapper, according to police reports. After the family showed up at a ransom exchange meeting wielding baseball bats, the reports say, it was revealed that the family had in fact arranged for the transportation of their relatives to Connecticut after they had entered the country illegally. The scam was uncovered when a ruckus broke out after the taxi driver taking the relatives from Greenwich to Willimantic, Conn. demanded an additional $60 per passenger to deliver them to the house.

—Yale Daily News

Yale-New Haven Hospital job fair draws more than 1,000

More than 1,000 people flocked Wednesday to the New Haven Field House on Sherman Parkway, where Yale-New Haven Hospital held a job fair. At the fair, dozens of the hospital’s departments operated booths where staff members provided information about each position’s character and educational requirements. The purpose of the fair was not to match individuals with positions on the spot but rather to provide them with information about how to prepare for and pursue a career in the health care industry generally.

—Yale Daily News

Gov. Rell applies for $5 million federal grant

Conn. Gov. M. Jodi Rell has applied for a $5 million federal stimulus grant to fight the state’s nursing shortage. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the nursing shortage in the United States is expected to swell to 260,000 by 2025 — twice the magnitude of any shortage the country has experienced since the mid-’60s. At present, of the 244 jobs listed as open on Yale-New Haven Hospital’s Web site, 101 are nursing positions. In accordance with a law enacted in 2000, the Connecticut Department of Public Health is in the process of completing the second phase of a study on the state’s nursing shortage.

—Yale Daily News

DeStefano appoints two Board of Education members

New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. on Tuesday formally announced two new appointments to the city’s Board of Education. The appointees — Alex Johnston, founder of the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now, and Selase Williams, provost at Southern Connecticut State University — will join the board for the first time Saturday. Johnston was the New Haven Housing Authority’s director of operations before he founded ConnCAN in 2005.

—Yale Daily News