Clown-O-Meter: "I don't sell drugs, I buy drugs"

-The tightfisted state budget enacted by Gov. Dannel Malloy last spring has meant an official portrait of his predecessor, M. Jodi Rell, has yet to grace the state library in Hartford. The Stamford Advocate found that Connecticut still pays up to $40,000 for paintings of its governors, commissioned after they leave office. In 1995, the legislature failed to pass a bill switching to cheaper photograph portraits. In 2004, wary of paying for a portrait of ex-governor John Rowland, then imprisoned on corruption convictions, officials found a painting of him that had already been done (for some reason) and quietly placed it in the library. The Rell portrait is in limbo until there is cash for it.

-Scrap-metal thieves are apparently comfortable stealing from the dead. Recently, someone used a crowbar to pry metal plaques from public memorials honoring deceased local veterans in Derby, Ansonia and Shelton, reports the Connecticut Post, and two men were arrested after they arrived at a Bristol recycling plant with two metal statues resembling ones of an angel and hooded figure of death that had gone missing from a Waterbury graveyard, reports the Associated Press.

-Garfield Reid called police to report the theft of $2,800 in cash and a stash of weed from his New Haven apartment. Reid, an 80-year-old Jamaican immigrant, realized the report may have made him sound like a drug dealer. “I don't sell drugs, I buy drugs,” he clarified to officers. Police told the New Haven Independent news website that, though there was little they could do to get his belongings back, they did not cite Reid for his self-reported marijuana use.

-Thirty-year-old Manuel Batson admitted to police he exchanged nude photos with a 15-year-old cheerleader he coached at a Brookfield gym, reports the Connecticut Post, but said he thought it was OK because she was already smoking and drinking, which apparently mark adulthood. The girl told police she sent Batson her nude shots because if she didn't, it “would make cheer practice really weird.” And trading camera-phone erotica with a 30-year-old male cheerleading coach is really what?

-Long-haired, bearded Mark A. Esposito of Branford loudly informed fellow public bus riders that he was Jesus, causing them to become alarmed and the driver to pull over and call for security to which Esposito, 52, reacted by pounding his fist against windows, police told the New Haven Register. The persecution of the Lamb of God continues!

-Speaking of Jesus and upsetting bus rides, the company that provides bus service to Norwalk Public Schools has reassigned a driver who, in a conversation with students about “the nature of gift-giving,” let it slip that Christ was probably not born on Dec. 25 and Santa isn't real. The Hour reports a parent filed a complaint when his 8-year-old daughter relayed the information to him.

-Angered by police attacks on Occupy Wall Street groups across the country, members of Occupy New Haven trekked through the city on a “Breach of Peace” march, which, oddly, police told the New Haven Register was orderly and resulted in no arrests.

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