THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE

NL VIC ID’D

Storm knocks down trees, kills New London man (The Day)

A livery driver killed Wednesday morning on Pequot Avenue in New London when high winds blew a tree limb down on top of the car he was driving has been identified. Police say he is 65-year-old Arthur Falconi of New London. His passenger was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries and released a short time later.

BLIGHT COMPLAINT DISMISSED

Maggie Redfern (The Day)

New London’s blight hearing officer on Wednesday issued a decision to dismiss an order citing a Montauk Avenue homeowner for a violation of the city’s property maintenance code. But the city code makes an exception for “cultivated flowers and gardens.” The homeowner is Maggie Redfern, the assistant director of the arboretum at Connecticut College. She maintains a naturalistic yard at her Montauk Avenue home. Redfern said she felt vindicated and hoped people were rethinking the traditional lawns and becoming more aware of how planting native plants is helping the environment. Conservation Commission Chairman Bob Stuller said the commission plans a discussion on a replacement ordinance that better defines a cultivated garden and does not penalize people for maintaining something other than a grass lawn.

STILLMAN REPAIRS COMING

Stonington Town Hall (Westerly Sun)

Stonington Town Engineer Scot Deledda told the Board of Finance on Wednesday night that work could begin as early as this fall to temporarily repair the Stillman Avenue bridge in Pawcatuck. Deledda said he expects bids in September with work to begin in October or November. After the temporary repairs, a design for a replacement bridge will be developed by the state Department of Transportation. The cost of that project would likely be shared by the federal and state government and the town.

MAKE NORWICH BETTER

The Thames Valley Council for Community Action led a discussion Wednesday at Otis Library, to improve economic development in Norwich. Ideas proposed by city residents and City Council candidates were to improve the city school system, reopen the YMCA or open a new community center, and foster more community pride and unity. Discussion participants were working off a report that 47 percent of Norwich residents cannot afford basic needs and that the cost of living continues to increase faster than workers’ wages.

HAYES GETS SCOTT AWARD

Former NAACP Norwich Branch President Shiela Hayes has been awarded the Lottie B. Scott Diversity Award. Hayes will be the fifth annual recipient. The award recognizes achievements of an individual who has enhanced Rotary interactions in the community and promoted inclusion and equality. The award will be presented on Sept. 19th at the fifth annual Norwich Rotary-Celebrate Cultural Diversity event.

BEWARE OF RIP CURRENTS

Rip currents caused by ocean swells from Hurricane Irma are expected in Long Island Sound now through this weekend. The National Weather Service said rip currents can put swimmers, surfers and boaters in danger and most often occur at low spots, breaks in sandbars and structures like jetties and piers. They advised swimmers to talk to lifeguards about possible hazards and to only swim in lifeguard-protected areas.

POLICE GET NEW GUNS

The Stonington Board of Finance approved a request from the police department Wednesday night to replace the department’s .45 caliber Glock handguns as well as its eight shotguns. The department’s 51 handguns are six years old and Capt. Todd Olson said it would cost $125 a gun to have them refurbished. Instead, the old guns will be traded in for $315 each, while they still have value, and offset the cost of new Glock Generation 4 model handgun at $154 dollars each after the trade-in is applied.

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