NO RAIL BYPASS
The Federal Railroad Administration has scrapped a proposal to build a high-speed rail line along the Connecticut shoreline. The Kenyon bypass would have cut through several historical sites in the region before eventually stopping in Charlestown, Rhode Island. Stonington First Selectman Rob Simmons says he’s glad the plan is dead in the water. FRA officials say they plan to focus on improving service along the existing rail line between Washington D.C. and Boston.
INSANITY DEFENSE PURSUED
NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) – The lawyer for a New London man charged with murder in the death of his longtime live-in girlfriend says he will pursue an insanity defense for his client. David McKeever’s attorney notified a judge this week that in addition to the insanity defense, McKeever has opted to be tried in front of a three-judge panel instead of a jury. Prosecutors say McKeever stabbed 46-year-old Delma Murphy multiple times in November 2015, wrapped her body in towels and a blanket, and left her in a bedroom of their home. A friend concerned with her welfare went to the home and found the body. The couple had lived together for more than a decade. Prosecutors have not said whether they would contest the insanity defense.
PARK FUNDING MIGHT BE IN JEOPARDY
Stonington’s First Selectman is concerned that state funding to design a master plan for a proposed Mystic River Boathouse Park may not happen. Rob Simmons is wondering whether the 200-thousand dollars will be a victim of the state’s budget deficit. The town is looking to build the park on a one-and-a-half acre riverfront site north of Mystic Seaport. Simmons says final paperwork for the state money has not been received yet by Stonington. A July 24th meeting of the Boathouse Park Committee is scheduled to approve a contract with a local firm to design the park.
NEW NCDC MANAGER
The Norwich Community Development Corporation has named a community manager for the organization. Jill Fritzsche will focus on developing small start-up businesses in the city and at NCDC’s Foundry 66 workspace center on Franklin Street. She succeeds Miria Toth who was the organization’s marketing director for the past six years. Fritzsche owns Encore Justified, an antiques and gift shop on Main Street in Norwich, which she’ll continue to operate. Toth has taken a position at Chelsea-Groton Savings Bank.
MAN KILLED WHILE WALKING OX
GRANBY, Conn. (AP) – Police in Connecticut say a Granby man was apparently walking an ox between fields when he was hit and killed by a vehicle. Granby police say it happened around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. The victim, 55-year-old Matthew Smith, died at the scene. Capt. William Tyler says the ox was not seriously hurt. The driver stopped at the scene. The newspaper reports that the road where the crash occurred has a number of homes and is dotted with farms on wide plots of open space. No charges have been filed.
ARREST IN RI HIT-AND-RUN
EXETER, R.I. (AP) – A Rhode Island woman has been arrested in connection with a hit-and-run that left a pedestrian dead last week in Exeter. State police say 23-year-old Shannon Holden, of Coventry, was charged with duty to stop an accident with death resulting. She was arraigned Wednesday in Washington County District Court. Her bail was set at $10,000 with surety. Police say 27-year-old Sarah Balmforth was walking her dog when she was hit by a vehicle on July 3. Troopers were able to locate a 1999 Jeep Wrangler that had damage consistent with that of the vehicle that hit Balmforth. Police say the Jeep was registered to Holden.