MONDAY MORNING UPDATE

NEGOTIATIONS BOGGED DOWN

Griswold is negotiating with Eversource Energy to bring natural gas to the town’s public school system, though the talks have bogged down as officials weigh the benefits and drawbacks of what could be a 25-year contract. The negotiations come amid the town’s anticipation of a $7 million Eversource pipeline scheduled to make its way through Griswold for the next two years. All three Griswold public schools are expecting heating oil tank replacements as soon as 2018. The removal and replacement of one oil tank can cost up to $150,000 and switching to natural gas could save each school approximately $75,000.

NO EDUCATION MONEY FOR SOME

Without a state budget in place, Gov. Dannel Malloy’s Aug. 18th Executive Order Resource Allocation Plan went into effect yesterday, eliminating all Education Cost Sharing funds to five local municipalities. The executive order means many towns will receive either no or greatly reduced first-quarter checks from the state in October. Officials from New London, Norwich and East Lyme will be meeting with other state municipal leaders in Wallingford hosted by the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities on what cities and towns want to see in a state budget deal. Connecticut is the last state in the nation without a budget in place for the fiscal year that began July 1st.

PLENTY OF BLAME

The U.S. Coast Guard con­clud­ed its two year in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the 2015 sink­ing of the cargo ship El Faro and has rec­om­mended civil penal­ties against the ship’s owners. Among the crew of 33 lost was Mitchell Ku­flik, a 2007 grad­u­ate of Fitch High School in Gro­ton. The re­port re­leased Sun­day says the pri­mary cause of the 2015 sink­ing of the cargo ship El Faro, which killed all 33 aboard, was the cap­tain un­der­es­ti­mat­ing the strength of a hur­ri­cane and over­es­ti­mat­ing the ship’s strength.

CROSS COUNTRY TRIP UNDERWAY

Four local people are embarking from New Lon­don today for what they’re call­ing the “Ul­ti­mate Seg­way Tour” to Los An­ge­les. Whaling City Tours Owner Dawn Harkness hopes to make the trip in under 100 days. The average speed of a Segway is 10 mph and she is hoping to cover 60 or 70 miles a day. Videos of the trip will be posted daily on their newly cre­ated YouTube chan­nel, The Ul­ti­mate Seg­way Tour. When asked why she was doing it? She said it’s the mid-life cri­sis; it’s the quar­ter-life cri­sis; it’s a story about dif­fer­ent peo­ple in dif­fer­ent stages in their lives. The public gathered on Bank St. this morning to bid them farewell.

FEMALE VETS KILLING THEMSELVES

Ac­cord­ing to the Depart­ment of Veter­ans Af­fairs, fe­male vet­er­ans are com­mit­ting sui­cide at 250 per­cent the rate of fe­male civil­ians. At least ten of the 50 vet­er­ans who com­mit­ted sui­cide in Connecticut in 2014 were women. And that’s only count­ing vet­er­ans re­ceiv­ing care at the VA. Na­tion­ally, the sui­cide rate for fe­male vet­er­ans from 2001 to 2014 in­creased by a greater de­gree than the sui­cide rate among male vet­er­ans. For free, con­fi­den­tial sup­port for vet­er­ans in cri­sis, call the Veter­ans Cri­sis Line at 1 (800) 273-8255 and press 1, or text to 838255, or chat on­line 24 hours a day at www.vet­er­an­scri­sis­line.net

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