THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE

BIG DRUG SEIZURE

OLD LYME, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut State Police say they seized one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of the powerful opioid fentanyl with a street value of $1 million during a traffic stop.   Police discovered the narcotics during a stop on Interstate 95 in Old Lyme on Wednesday. Officials say they stopped the car because they received information that it contained illegal narcotics.   Police say the 26-year-old driver and his 28-year-old passenger, both of Providence, Rhode Island, consented to a vehicle search. Officers say they found the drugs in the car with the help of a police dog.   Gabri Darlin Javier-Delapaz and Alcides Rafael Gomez-Alba were charged with possession and are currently in custody. They are scheduled to appear in Superior Court in New London on Thursday.

BIG CONVENTION THIS WEEKEND

Preparations continue for a big weekend in Taftville. Event chairman Greg Schlough says everything’s on schedule for the 134th Connecticut State Firefighters Association Convention and Parade, taking place this weekend. It’s to honor the 100th anniversary of the Taftville Volunteer Fire Department. Schlough says two big highlights of the weekend include the appearance of a 9-eleven mobile exhibit that will be open to the public for free Saturday and Sunday. It includes first responder artifacts and memorials. Schlough says plans are to also have it represented in the big parade that’ll march through Taftville on Sunday. The convention and a vendor fair takes place on Saturday at the Kelly Middle School. A food and music festival takes place after the Sunday parade in the new park behind the Taftville firehouse. This is the first time the state firefighters convention has been held in Norwich since 1908.

PARK STAIRS WANTED

The River­side Park Conservancy is urgently asking the New London City Coun­cil to ap­pro­pri­ate money for con­struc­tion of a stair­way from the end of Grove Street, be­hind Winthrop STEM Ele­men­tary Mag­net School, into the Riverside park and other improvements. The stairway would re­place an eroded set of rail­road tie stairs that now pose a safety haz­ard and force teach­ers and stu­dents to use River­side Heights, an ac­cess road with­out side­walks, to ac­cess the park. The ap­proval of planned im­prove­ments at the park came only af­ter city res­i­dents in 2011 nar­rowly de­feated a pro­posal to sell nine acres of the park to the ad­ja­cent U.S. Coast Guard Academy for $2.9 mil­lion. In 2013, the park be­came home for Em­i­lie’s Shady Spot, a play­ground built in honor of Em­i­lie Parker, one of the stu­dents killed in the shoot­ing at Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School.

DAM TO BE REMOVED

The owner of the Oxoboxo Brook Dam along Route 32 in Montville is planning to remove it and build a water line west into Montville. The state DEEP dam safety program encourages the demolition of unused dams, an expensive process, but one that may can return waterways to their natural state and benefit species that live there. The dam was once one of several built along the Oxoboxo Brook by manufacturing companies who used them to power mills making everything from paper to wool.

LYME MAN CHARGED WITH VANDALISM

A Lyme man, fac­ing more than a dozen cases of van­dal­ism, has been charged with lead­ing po­lice on a multi-town chase. State po­lice be­gan search­ing for an or­ange Jeep Wran­gler that Far­rell al­legedly was driv­ing be­cause Lyme po­lice re­ported it was taken with­out the owner’s per­mis­sion. Of­fi­cers spot­ted the Wran­gler in Old Say­brook when Farrell took off at a high speed through Es­sex and Deep River be­fore turn­ing on to a dead-end road in Ch­ester. Police say Farrell refused orders to get out of the Wrangler before being physically removed and taken into custody. He faces several charges including reck­less driv­ing, en­gag­ing po­lice in pur­suit, us­ing a ve­hi­cle with­out the owner’s per­mis­sion and in­ter­fer­ing with an of­fi­cer and threat­en­ing. Police did not release a court date.

JACARUSO HONORED

The United Community & Family Services has awarded Yvette Jacaruso the 2017 Palmer Davies Leadership Award. Jacaruso graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University and received her master’s of arts in 1977 and sixth-year diploma in 1983, both from the University of Connecticut. She said she always felt that she needed to be involved in the community. The Palmer Davies Leadership Award recognizes individuals for their commitment to the community.

WWI ITEMS DONATED

The daughter of Fred­er­ick Wil­liam Gratz, a World War I sailor who was among the first as­signed to the Groton Naval Sub­ma­rine Base, has donated per­sonal items to the Sub­ma­rine Force Li­brary & Mu­seum. From her father, she’s turning over a scrapbook and pictures that capture a time when the base ex­panded to meet the grow­ing size of the sub­ma­rine force. Ac­cord­ing to museum cu­ra­tor Stephen Fin­ni­gan, the items are rare in that the mu­seum re­ceives sub­ma­rine-re­lated items from that era only ev­ery few years. Gratz, became stationed at the sub base while it was still be­ing built in 1917. Corinne Kiefer, Gratz’ only daughter, trav­eled from North­port, Florida to per­son­ally do­nate the items, which, she said, is what her fa­ther would’ve wanted.

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