WEDNESDAY EVENING UPDATE

PRESIDENT SPEAKS AT COAST GUARD COMMENCEMENT

President Trump at Coast Guard Academy (WFSB)

President Donald Trump delivers the keynote address during the U.S. Coast Guard Academy’s graduation ceremony in New London.  Early on in his speech, Trump thanked the cadets for dedicating their lives to defending the country on the high seas. Trump would then go on to tout his accomplishments in office thus far, saying jobs are pouring back into the country.  The President says he’s working on major tax cuts, health care reform, and building a wall along the US/Mexico border.  He also took a shot at the media, saying no other politician has ever been treated so poorly by reporters. 

PRO-AND-ANTI TRUMP RALLIES

(WFSB)

Over two hundred people gather at McKinley Park in New London to protest  President Donald Trump’s visit to the United States Coast Guard Academy.  East Hampton resident Rick Carositti was among the protesters.  He says Trump is unfit to serve as commander-in-chief. A smaller group of Trump supporters held a rally at the park as well.  Centerbrook resident Laura Wobble says she takes exception to those who say the President has no respect for women.  Over a dozen civic organizations assembled at McKinley Park on Wednesday.

LIEBERMAN FBI FINALIST

Joe Lieberman

Several candidates under consideration for FBI director are being paraded past reporters as they leave the White House following interviews with President Donald Trump.  They include former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, former FBI official Richard McFeely and former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating.  Keating said afterward that he’d had a “good conversation.” Lieberman described a “good meeting.” McFeely declined to comment.  The scene was reminiscent of Trump’s very public search for a vice president and his transition period, when potential Cabinet picks were paraded through the lobby of Trump Tower in New York.  The meetings come more than a week after Trump fired James Comey as FBI director. Trump has said he could name a successor before he departs Friday on his first overseas trip as president.

MALLOY: NO ADDITIONAL LABOR CONCESSIONS

Gov Malloy (WFSB)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says he doubts that additional labor savings can be achieved beyond the $700 million he is currently seeking from state workers. The Democrat’s administration continues to negotiate with state employee union leaders to secure a possible labor concessions deal. If an agreement is ultimately reached, it would still need to be ratified by rank-and-file members. Both House and Senate Republicans have proposed roughly $260 million more in labor savings to help cover next fiscal year’s projected deficit, which has grown from $1.7 billion to $2.3 billion. Malloy said Wednesday it is “unrealistic” to expect additional concessions beyond the $700 million. Malloy and legislative leaders met for the first day of budget negotiations on Wednesday, reviewing their respective proposals. They’re expected to resume talks next week.

CLOSED CAMPUSES??

Mark Ojakian

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities leader is warning that campuses may close if the system’s budget is cut to the degree suggested by the governor and state lawmakers. CSCU President Mark Ojakian  said Wednesday that recently revised budget proposals from Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Republican and Democratic lawmakers include cuts ranging from an additional $5.4 million to the state universities and $19 million to the community colleges to upward of $90 million to the overall system. Malloy and legislative leaders, who began budget talks Wednesday, updated their respective budget proposals to accommodate a larger-than-expected deficit for next fiscal year. It has grown from $1.7 billion to $2.3 billion. Besides closing campuses, Ojakian says CSCU may have to eliminate certain student services and make significant workforce reductions.

DANIELSON MAN PICKED UP FOR DRUGS

John Biekert (WTNH)

A Danielson man faces charges of narcotics possession, and interfering with a police officer. State police stopped 28-year old John Biekert on Route 12 near the intersection with Route 6 late Tuesday night, because his pickup truck had no license plate lights. Police say Biekert was very upset and refused officers’ request to search his vehicle. A police dog smelled narcotics, and a search did find crack cocaine, marijuana, and hydrocodone tablets. Police say the suspect fought with troopers while being arrested, kicked the front windshield of the police cruiser, and later threatened to kill the troopers. He’s being held on 110-thousand dollars bond, pending arraignment.

SMALLER BUDGET SURPLUS IN RI

Tom Mullaney

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Rhode Island will finish the fiscal year will a smaller surplus than expected. WPRI-TV reports that state budget officer Tom Mullaney published a report Tuesday. Rhode Island is expected to finish out the 2016-2017 budget year with a $14 million surplus. The state’s earlier projected surplus was $59 million. Overspending by state agencies and poor tax returns are being cited for the smaller surplus. Social services cost the state the most during the past fiscal year. Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo says she isn’t surprised but still is disappointed. Raimondo and legislative leaders are currently hashing out final details on next year’s budget. Raimondo’s proposal for free tuition has garnered much attention during the talks. The governor says she’s open to changing the plan for the budget.

PROPOSED DRIVER’S ED CHANGES IN RI

Joseph Shekarchi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Parents of teenagers learning how to drive would have to take their own driver’s education class under a proposal being considered in Rhode Island. The state House of Representatives voted 58-11 to pass the bill Wednesday, moving it to the Senate. It would mandate a free course for parents of drivers under 18 years old. Parents with multiple children wouldn’t have to take the class more than once in a 5-year period. AAA Northeast supports the bill, which was introduced by Democratic House Majority Leader Joseph Shekarchi. The organization intends to be a course provider. Massachusetts and Connecticut have required such classes for about a decade. Rhode Island’s proposal offers the option of taking it online. Republicans who opposed it say it’s a parental burden. Some suggested a manual instead.

 

 

 

 

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