Hayes wants to plead guilty

Steven Hayes, who has been charged in the infamous July 2007 triple homicide in Cheshire, Conn., said in court Thursday that he wishes to change his plea from not guilty to guilty. Hayes’ public defender, Thomas Ullmann, said he will oppose the plea. The court will reconvene Tuesday to settle the matter. Almost three years after the crime, in which Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters, Hayley and Michaela, were murdered and their house set on fire, only six jurors have been selected for the trial, scheduled to begin Sept. 13.

—Alon Harish

After 16 years, two men walk free

Two New Haven residents convicted on murder charges more than 16 years ago were released from prison today after a judge threw out their convictions. The two men, Ron Taylor and George Gould, were set free because a Rockvill Superior Court judge ruled that the state’s case against them had no merit after one of the chief witnesses against the men admitted she had lied in her testimony. The New Haven State’s Attorney’s Office is appealing the decision.

—Colin Ross

Spring sweeping has begun

All city neighborhoods are going to get a sprucing starting April 6, according to a press release City Hall spokeswoman Jessica Mayorga issued Thursday. The Department of Public Works will be using 15 routes to sweep the entire city and clean 226 miles of roads of “salt, sand and litter that have built up over the winter months,” the release said. Crews have already begun sweeping streets on the outskirts of the city. Residents who will be out of town during the sweeping should not park their cars on the street.

—Esther Zuckerman

Thief pilfers parrot from home

A Congo African Grey Parrot named Georgie was stolen from its Fair Haven neighborhood home early this week, the New Haven Register reported Wednesday. Aleatha Keene, a house sitter, discovered the theft Monday when she found the apartment’s rear door open, the front door broken and Georgie missing from its cage. A laptop computer was the only other thing missing. Keene, who is a security guard at James Hillhouse High School, told the Register the parrot is worth about $2,000.

—Yale Daily News

Police Academy graduates 34 officers

Thursday was graduation day for the New Haven Police Academy. Thirty-four officers officially graduated Thursday evening from the six-month long program at a ceremony at James Hillhouse Comprehensive High School on Sherman Parkway, according to a press release City Hall spokeswoman Jessica Mayorga issued Wednesday. According to the release, the officers will now undergo “field training” for the next six to eight weeks. During field training, veteran officers will work with the graduates and act as on-the-job instructors and mentors.

—Esther Zuckerman

Hill neighborhood may get farmers’ market

CitySeed, a New Haven-based non profit that promotes economic development and sustainable agriculture, may open a farmers’ market in they city’s Hill neighborhood this spring, the New Haven Indpendent reported Thursday. The farmers’ market would be held in the parking lot of the Connecticut Mental Health Center on Park Street. Ward 3 Alderwoman Jackie James-Evans, whose ward includes the Hill neighborhood, told the Independent that learning a farmers’ market might be coming to the neighborhood was “the best news” she has heard all year.

—Yale Daily News