FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE

BOROUGH MAY DISSOLVE

Stonington Borough residents attended a forum last night to hear about potential options for the future of the borough. A consultant, who was hired to develop those options, presented nine scenarios, including dissolving the borough and consolidating with the town. The declining population, among other factors, has made it difficult to staff boards and commissions and find residents to run for elected positions.

RATS!

The supervisor of environmental health for the Ledge Light Health District says that because of the participation of Pawcatuck residents, the town’s rat problem is finally under control. Ryan McCammon reported to the Board of Selectman on Wednesday that there have only been three new reports of rat sightings over the last few weeks. He credits the residents who followed suggestions, like removing bird feeders and trash, for curbing the spread of rats.

SCOTLAND GOING BANKRUPT

The small town of Scotland is facing possible insolvency. With just under 2,000 residents, the state fiscal crisis is hitting the country town, established approximately 160 years ago, hard. First Selectman Dan Syme is concerned about the fate of the town. Scotland is currently operating on a quarter of the budget from last year, until October. The Board of Selectmen is exploring bankruptcy and dissolution, which could lead to Scotland joining a neighboring town.

REPORTED DROWNING INVESTIGATED

Police, fire crews and Coast Guard personnel responded to a report of a possible drowning off the “north side” of Ocean Beach Park in New London last evening. Responders conducted a search with the help of the lifeguards on site, and found no indication of a drowning. Beach patrons in that area were also interviewed. None supported the reported claim.

TEMP SUPER NAMED

The New London Board of Education voted last night to appoint an interim school superintendent to take over for Superintendent Manuel Rivera, who is retiring. Stephen Tracy, a retired administrator, will temporarily hold the position until a permanent replacement can be hired. School begins in the district on Thursday and Rivera is expected to stay on for two weeks to aid in Tracy’s transition.

TRAINING PROGRAMS TOUTED

Congress is considering a proposal to eliminate a federal apprenticeship grants program. It’s an idea that’s not sitting well with local business leaders, including Chris Jewell, who’s the chief financial officer for Collins and Jewell out of Bozrah. He says his company has been hiring employees who’ve recently completed specialized training programs, including Monica Bonner who completed a five-week outside machinist program at Grasso Tech and a ten-week welding course before being hired at Collins and Jewell She says it changed her life. Bonner’s training is the result of five federal grants available through the Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board manufacturing pipeline. The program has led to 460 job placements. Congressman Joe Courtney talked about the importance of the program during a roundtable discussion at Collins and Jewell on Thursday.

CLOCK TICKING

The clock is now ticking for the new developer of the vacant Reid and Hughes building in Downtown Norwich. The Women’s Institute for Housing and Economic Development now has 90 days to secure enough funding to stabilize the dilapidated Main Street structure. An agreement between the developer and the city was signed yesterday afternoon, three days after the city council approved the deal. It calls for the Women’s Institute to get by Thanksgiving, the estimated 400-to-500 thousand dollars needed to stabilize the building. The group would then have a 120-day window to do the stabilization. The Institute plans to put new retail and residential space in the Reid and Hughes.

DEAD SAILOR FOUND

Dustin Louis Doyon (ABC7 LA)

SINGAPORE (AP) – The Navy has identified a second victim of the collision between the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker near Singapore. The 7th Fleet said Friday that Navy and Marine Corps divers recovered and identified remains of 26-year-old Electronics Technician 3rd Class Dustin Louis Doyon of Suffield, Connecticut on Thursday night.

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