Good evening. Here's a look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up today in Connecticut.

Questions about today's coverage plans are welcome and can be directed to Mike Melia at 860-246-6876 or mmelia@ap.org. Phil Marcelo is on the desk until 8 p.m. New England News Editor Bill Kole can be reached at 617-357-8100 or bkole@ap.org. New England Photo Editor Bill Sikes is reachable at 617-357-8106 or bsikes@ap.org.

A reminder that this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories and digests will keep you up to date.

UPCOMING TOMORROW:

BOSTON — Brace yourself for Deep Freeze, Part Deux. Commuters face dangerous black ice and the specter of chipping their way into flash-frozen cars as the Northeast awakens to a fresh arctic grip. Forecasters warn that the return of face-numbing temperatures will freeze all that slush and floodwater just unleashed by the monstrous winter storm. By Philip Marcelo. UPCOMING: 500 words by 1 a.m.; will be updated, photos, video.

WITH:

— WINTER WEATHER-THE LATEST and WINTER WEATHER-STATE BY STATE

CONNECTICUT BUDGET

HARTFORD — Connecticut lawmakers plan to come up with $54 million in spending cuts and other savings to replenish a popular program that helps seniors pay for Medicare-related costs. This comes as the state faces an estimated $224 million deficit in the current bipartisan budget, where lawmakers first cut funding for the Medicare program. UPCOMING: 300 words by 5 p.m.

TODAY'S TOP STORIES:

WINTER WEATHER

HARTFORD, Conn. — A massive winter storm roared into the East Coast on Thursday, dumping as much as 18 inches of snow from the Carolinas to Maine and unleashing hurricane-force winds that closed schools and offices and canceled thousands of flights. By SUSAN HAIGH and DAVE COLLINS. SENT: 930 words. Photos. Video. UPCOMING: Updates as storm develops throughout the day.

WITH: WINTER WEATHER-THE LATEST

AND: BOMB CYCLONE

WASHINGTON — When it comes to weather, it's hard to sound scarier than "bomb cyclone." It's a version of a real weather term that applies to a massive winter storm that pulled together Wednesday off the U.S. Southeast coast. But as fearsome as the storm is with high winds and some snow, it may not be quite as explosive as the term sounds. By Seth Borenstein. SENT: 400 words, photos.

BOARDING SCHOOL-ABUSE

HARTFORD, Conn. — A Connecticut boarding school has made payouts to settle two lawsuits by former students alleging they were sexually abused by faculty members in the 1980s, an attorney said Thursday. SENT: 228 words.

CONNECTICUT BUDGET-MEDICARE ASSISTANCE

HARTFORD — Connecticut lawmakers plan to push ahead with a plan to restore funding to a program that helps seniors pay for Medicare expenses, despite a last-minute offer by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to further delay implementation of the cut. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: About 250 words by 2 p.m.

TRUMP-OFFSHORE DRILLING

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Thursday moved to vastly expand offshore drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic oceans with a plan that would open up federal waters off the California coast for the first time in more than three decades. By Matthew Daly. SENT: 910 words, photos.

MET MUSEUM-MANDATORY FEE

NEW YORK —The Metropolitan Museum of Art is partially abandoning its "pay-what-you-wish" admissions policy that has made it an egalitarian destination for generations of art lovers, even those who could barely afford a bus ticket into town. Starting March 1, the museum will charge a mandatory $25 entrance fee to most adult visitors who don't live in New York state. By VERENA DOBNIK. SENT: 753 words.

IN BRIEF:

— DOG FOUND FROZEN: A Connecticut woman whose dog was found frozen to death outside on New Year's Day has been charged with animal cruelty.

— ELECTRIC RATES: Connecticut regulators are reviewing whether electric customers should expect lower rates, thanks to the new federal tax law.

— SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR-INVESTIGATION: An assistant principal at a Connecticut high school has been placed on leave pending separate investigations by the school district and police.

— MEDICAL MARIJUANA-NEW DISPENSARIES: Connecticut plans to award at least three new licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries, adding to the nine already in operation.

— BASS FISHING: Interstate fishing managers are holding hearings in East Coast states about a plan to change the rules about one of the Atlantic Ocean's most popular recreational fisheries.

SPORTS:

OBIT-COZZA

Carmen "Carm" Cozza, who coached Yale to 10 Ivy League football titles over 32 years as well as the famed 29-29 tie with Harvard, died Thursday. He was 87. By PAT EATON-ROBB. SENT: 405 words.

AFC PLAYOFF PICTURE

In a year where two-thirds of the playoff field is new, the AFC still features stand-bys Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger, who have seven Super Bowl rings between them, and Alex Smith, who is coming off his best season of his 13-year career. A look at the six AFC playoff teams' strengths and weaknesses. By Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton. SENT: 1,750 words, photos.

WYCHEK ROOTS FOR BILLS

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bills playoff bandwagon added its most unlikely fan with former Tennessee Titans tight end Frank Wycheck climbing on board. Wycheck told The Associated Press that he was rooting for the Bills when they ended their 17-season playoff drought last weekend. Wycheck played a pivotal a role in the Bills' last-second playoff loss to Tennessee in January 2000 that was dubbed "The Music City Miracle." By John Wawrow. UPCOMING: 950 words, photos by 3 p.m. ET.

PANTHERS-BRUINS PPD

BOSTON — The NHL has postponed Thursday night's matchup between the Florida Panthers and Boston Bruins because of the severe winter storm impacting Boston and the surrounding area.

SABRES-WILD

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Wild, who are 10-1-1 in their last 12 home games, host the Buffalo Sabres, who are lagging in last place in the Eastern Conference. The Sabres have four former Wild draft picks on their roster, plus a former player in Jason Pominville. By Dave Campbell. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts at 7 p.m. CST.

DEVILS-STARS

DALLAS — Stars defenseman Marc Methot could return after missing 26 games with a knee injury as Dallas faces New Jersey. The Devils have dropped three straight following a season-best five-game winning streak that started at home against the Stars. By Schuyler Dixon. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 7:30 p.m. CT.

ISLANDERS-FYLERS

PHILADELPHIA -- The New York Islanders play the Philadelphia Flyers. By freelancer Mike Cranston. UPCOMING. 650 words. Game starts at 7 p.m. AP Photos.

WORLD JUNIORS

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The defending world junior hockey champion United States is one step from reaching its second consecutive gold-medal game in facing undefeated Sweden in a semifinal on Thursday. Canada plays upstart Czech Republic in the other semifinal. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Last game starts 8 p.m. ET.

WORLD JUNIORS-FASEL

BUFFALO, N.Y. — International Ice Hockey Federaation president Rene' Fasel is expected to address numerous topics, including the upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea, during a news conference before the the world junior hockey championships semifinals on Thursday. By Hockey Writer John Wawrow. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. News conference scheduled to start at 2 p.m, ET.

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