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.
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.