NORWICH FIRE RULED ARSON
A fire early this morning in Norwich has been ruled an arson. The Norwich Fire Marshall’s office, along with city and state police investigated the fire that broke out around 5:30 AM at 7 Third Street. The fire was brought under control quickly, and all seven residents in the two family building got out safely. The fire caused moderate damage. Anyone with information is asked to contact city police at 860-886-5561.
HOUSE OVERRIDES VETO OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING LEGISLATION
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – It’s now up to the Connecticut Senate to decide whether to update a long-standing affordable housing law. The House of Representatives voted 101-47 Monday to override Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s veto of a bill that makes it easier for municipalities to reach a threshold of having at least 10 percent of their housing considered affordable. It’s unclear whether the Senate will follow suit. Malloy and other opponents of the bill say the legislation weakens the state’s affordable housing standards and makes it more difficult for moderate-income people to find affordable housing in communities where they work. But proponents say the current law needs to be updated, contending that “predatory developers” are misusing it to skirt local zoning authorities. They believe the bill will ultimately lead to more affordable housing.
HOUSE EXPECTED TO APPROVE THIRD CASINO LEGISLATION
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – The House of Representatives is expected to approve amended agreements that could lead to Connecticut’s first casino on non-tribal land. House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz says House members will vote Monday on amended compacts and memoranda of understanding between the state and the two federally recognized tribes, the Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegans. The revised agreements ensure that a proposed satellite casino the tribes want to build in East Windsor to compete with MGM Resorts’ casino in Springfield, Massachusetts, will not compromise the state’s current revenue-sharing arrangement with the tribes, who own Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun. Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the tribal leaders signed the revised agreements last week. The state Senate and the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs also needs to sign them.
STATE HOUSE EXPECTED TO VOTE ON LABOR AGREEMENT
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Democratic House leaders predict a planned vote on a labor-savings package will move state lawmakers closer toward finally reaching an agreement on a new, two-year budget for Connecticut. The House of Representatives is expected to vote Monday on the concessions deal, which is projected to save the state $1.5 billion over two years. If the House ratifies the deal, the Senate plans to vote next week. Lawmakers have yet to reach an agreement on a new two-year budget that covers a projected two-year, $5 billion deficit. House Democratic Leader Matt Ritter says Monday’s labor concessions deal vote will bring lawmakers “closer to a final state budget.” House Republican Leader Themis Klarides says lawmakers should instead vote on a GOP budget “that will move the state of Connecticut forward.”
A bill designed to help newly-released convicts find employment has been signed by Governor Dannel Malloy. The legislation allows discharged inmates to receive a state identification card or a driver’s license upon their release from prison. Griswold Representative Kevin Skulczyck says it’s the right thing to do. Skulczyck says that’s even more important at a time when places like Electric Boat are hiring. Malloy has also signed legislation asking a state commission to conduct a study to investigate ways to provide inmates with meaningful employment opportunities and tax incentives to prospective employers.
SENTENCING IN FIELD KILLING
A man who took part in a brutal killing in Ledyard over eleven years ago is going to prison. 33-year-old Christopher Vincenti was given a 20-year sentence after pleading guilty to manslaughter in New London Superior Court earlier today. Vincenti was one of two men who attacked 40-year-old Anthony Hamlin, beating him to death and leaving his naked body in a Ledyard field in 2006. The case went unsolved until last year when a witness came forward to identify Vincenti and Timothy Johnson as suspects. Johnson is expected to accept a plea deal next month. Hamlin was a father of five and a member of the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation.
FIRES FORCE FRIENDLY’S CLOSING
Norwich’s Friendly’s Restaurant is closed for the time being. Two fires Sunday have forced the shutdown until the chemical agent used to extinguish the blazes is gone. The fires were small, one a gas hood fire that was put out by a restaurant customer, the other a giant bucket fire about five hours later as crews were cleaning up the first fire damage. Firefighters put that one out as soon as they got there.
A Boston man has been charged with driving more than 100 miles per hour on Interstate 395 in Plainfield. State police say 22-year old Pranay Shah was arrested around 2 Sunday morning. He’s accused of reckless driving and failure to maintain a lane on a multiple-lane highway. Shah is to appear in Danielson Superior Court August 1st.