Students walk streets to count New Haven’s homeless

For four hours Wednesday night, about 100 volunteers, including students from the Yale Hunger and Homelessness Action Project and National Student Partnerships, surveyed the number of homeless people in New Haven for the Point in Time Homeless Count. Sixty-nine homeless were counted on streets and in public places. Shelter tallies, roughly estimated at 200, have yet to come in. The count was held nationwide, and the results will be used by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to determine housing and service needs. Point in Time Co-Chairwoman Elsa Ward said the street counts underrepresent the true totals. —Ethan Rodriguez-Torrent

Gas pipe bursts on Church Street, displacing workers

Dozens of workers in two buildings along Church Street returned to their jobs Thursday afternoon after a gas pipe leak reported around 8:30 a.m. forced them to evacuate, according to the New Haven Independent. Firefighters responded quickly after a caller reported smelling a gas odor. Nearby streets were taped off to pedestrians and traffic, as firefighters feared a possible explosion due to the excess of natural gas. During the three-hour evacuation, many employees sought refuge in nearby Starbucks. No injuries were reported, and the pipe was mended. —Yale Daily News

NHPD promotes 13 of its own today

The New Haven Police Department will promote 12 police officers to the rank of detective and one sergeant to the rank of lieutenant in a press conference at the New Haven Fire Training Academy today. City Hall spokeswoman Jessica Mayorga said in a statement that the promotions “contribute toward meeting the department’s goals in the community for 2009.” The Police Executive Research Forum issued its report on the NHPD in December 2007, citing numerous recommendations for changing the department, following the 2007 arrests of key narcotics division policemen. —Victor Zapana

13,456 companies closed last year in Connecticut

The economic downturn is hitting Connecticut particularly hard, Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz ’83 said this week in a statement announcing massive business closures throughout the state. In the past year, 13,456 companies filed paperwork to shut their doors, an 18-percent increase since 2007. Bysiewicz, a likely candidate for governor, called upon state leaders to deal with the growing problem before it is too late. “We cannot afford to sit by and wring our hands while more and more businesses shut down, leaving more people out of work and more families without income and health insurance,” she said. —Zeke Miller

Three suspects arrested after violent robbery on Dixwell

New Haven Police Department officers arrested three men for the robbery of a man on Dixwell Avenue on Wednesday night, City Hall Spokeswoman Jessica Mayorga said. Mayorga said the suspects — who are 17, 18 and 20 years old — approached the 32 year-old victim and demanded money. After the victim handed over the money, he was punched and kicked in the face. The victim later returned to the scene of the mugging, ran into the suspects, demanded his identification back, and called police. The suspects fled and the victim chased them until police arrived and arrested the suspects. —Harrison Korn

Dodd on crusade against Wall Street bonuses

Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd is leading the charge in Washington against excessive bonuses on Wall Street. The Senate Banking Committee chairman said companies receiving bailout money from the Treasury Department should be prohibited from giving bonuses to their executives, especially in the middle of a financial crisis. “If you are receiving funds through [the Troubled Asset Relief Program] and at the same time plan to pay out lucrative bonuses, then I’m going to bring you before the Committee,” Dodd said in a statement. —Zeke Miller