FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE

NS RESIDENTS SKEPTICAL

Some 35 North Stonington residents expressed their thoughts last night on proposed zoning changes in the town along the western portion of Route 2. The local Planning and Zoning Commission is considering whether more larger scale development should be permitted near the Ledyard town line and the Foxwoods Resort Casino. Possible uses for the affected properties could include vacation resort complexes, outdoor adventure parks, or conference centers. Resident Anne Nalwalk hopes the potential zoning change won’t just be done to help bail out the local casinos. Others, though, say the town should pursue more development to boost the tax base.

SOUND OFF ON THE SUPER SEARCH

New London residents offer their thoughts on the qualities they’d like to see in the city’s next school superintendent. George Hager was one of several people who spoke during a public hearing last night. He says the Superintendent Search Committee needs to find someone who’s shown a commitment to the districts he’s worked for in the past, not one who moves from system to system trying to advance his career. New London school officials are looking for a replacement for Manuel Rivera, who recently announced his retirement. Stephen Tracy is currently serving as the city’s interim superintendent. He’s expected to occupy that role for at least 90 days. Last night’s public hearing was held at the Science and Technology Magnet High School.

DEMO TEMPORARILY STOPPED

The building at 130 Bank St., at left, is one away from the U.S. Custom House, at the right, in downtown New London. (David Collins/The Day)

130 Bank St., New London (The Day)

A temporary order blocking the demolition of two Bank Street buildings in New London owned by business owner William Cornish has been granted by a New London Superior Court judge. A court hearing for a request for a temporary injunction against Cornish is scheduled for Sept. 25th. The state Department of Economic and Community Development will argue the buildings should be classified as protected natural resources. Cornish will contend that one building is beyond repair and the other is standing in the way of progress. The delay is designed to allow Cornish time to consider alternatives.

MORE CHANGES FOR MAGNET SCHOOL EXPANSION

Nathan Hale Arts Magnet School

A state di­rec­tive has again al­tered the de­sign of the $147 mil­lion plan to build two fu­ture 6-12 mag­net schools in New London, one of which is ex­pected to start con­struc­tion next year. After months of de­lib­er­a­tions, the dis­trict was told to stick to the $98 mil­lion price tag for a north cam­pus and no longer pur­sue a por­tion of the $31 mil­lion lost in a failed part­ner­ship with the Garde Arts Cen­ter, for a down­town arts mag­net cam­pus. The school dis­trict next week is ex­pected to present state of­fi­cials with de­sign plans for a $98 mil­lion north cam­pus that splits the STEM mag­net path­way, one of three 6-12 mag­net path­ways that were sup­posed to be lo­cated on the cam­pus.

RAIN FORCES CLOSURE

The Stonington Shellfish Commission has closed two shellfishing areas due to the heavy rainfall on Wednesday. The panel said Thursday that Area A, and Outer Quiambaug Cove have been closed to the harvesting of clams, oysters and mussels for at least seven days. For more information on the status of shellfishing areas, you can call the commission’s information line at (860) 599-7575.

RETIREMENT FUND FIGHT CONTINUES

The Preston Board of Finance votes 5-1 against any town appropriation covering contributions for past years of service by seven non-union employees requesting to join the Municipal Employees Retirement System. The prior years’ contribution by the town would total $780,000 over 30 years, an amount the finance board considered to be a town appropriation. The Board of Finance argues, it would be illegal for the Board of Selectmen to schedule a town meeting and referendum on the issue, as requested by the Board of Education in June. The issue was referred to the finance board last week after a draft court filing was presented to the Board of Selectmen that would have sought an injunction to halt any scheduled town meeting on the issue. The group will wait to see what action the selectmen take at a Sept. 14th meeting before deciding whether to file a fair labor practices complaint against the town.

MAN TORCHES PARENTS’ HOUSE

A Waterford man who allegedly lined his house with accelerant and lit a sheet on fire around 2:30 early Monday morning and then reported to his parents that their home had been burglarized has been arrested. Officers found several floors, couches and doors lined with a pink gel they later determined was Sterno fire starter. Police say Mark Steven Capasso Jr. of 145 Bloomingdale Road has been charged with first-degree attempt to commit arson, second-degree false reporting of an incident, making a false statement, reckless burning and first-degree reckless endangerment. Capasso was held on a $175,000 bond and scheduled to appear in New London court where major crimes are tried on Sept. 19th.

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