EDUCATORS UPSET, OFFICIALS SAY DON’T BLAME US
School officials and education advocates in New London are speaking out against a decision last night by the city council to cut 4-point-2 million dollars from the 41-point-7 million dollar school budget proposal. Interim Superintendent Stephen Tracy says it’s awfully risky to assume the city will receive that money back in the form of ECS funding once a state budget is approved. New London resident Chris Wright says the city council is essentially turning its back on the children. Mayor Mike Passero says Tracy is wrong for suggesting the city council is taking its budget problems out on the school district. City councilor Martha Marx says the state is taking away the money, not the city council.
A New London school administrator, embroiled in a controversy that led to the reassignment of a school bus driver last month, has issued a public apology. Kristina Jordan, executive director of school and family support services, apologized, in an email statement, to the bus driver and the community for passing a bus on Sept. 18th in the parking lot of New London High School. The attorney for Raymond Lange, said the apology goes a long way but doesn’t make them whole. He said a real apology should also come with an offer to allow the Langes to come back to work in the district immediately. Jordan had recommended Lange be transferred out of the district. Jordan had come under fire from the local school bus drivers union after the incident.
HUGHES DECLINES PLEA DEAL IN GINGERELLA SLAYING
NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) – A 31-year-old man is heading to trial on charges of killing a good Samaritan who police say intervened in an assault on a woman outside a Groton bar. Dante Hughes declined an offer from state prosecutors Monday to plead guilty in exchange for a 40-year prison sentence. Hughes is facing charges for the Dec. 11 shooting death of 24-year-old Joey Gingerella outside Ryan’s Pub. Witnesses told police Gingerella had left the bar to try and stop Hughes from assaulting a woman in the parking lot. Gingerella is the stepson of state lawmaker Joe DelaCruz. Hughes was detained two days later by Canadian immigration authorities after they say he tried to enter the country at Niagara Falls. His trial is currently scheduled for 2018.
PLEA DEAL REACHED IN HOMICIDE
A 22-year-old Massachusetts man is expected to serve jail time in connection with a 2015 crash that killed a Woodstock woman. Penny Ann Woodbury was described as an avid motorcyclist who had just been married and became a grandmother shortly before her death. In Danielson Superior Court yesterday, Attorney Matthew Davis said his client, Omar Velez, had agreed to the recommendations. The details of agreement, including the term of imprisonment, were not made public Monday, though Velez is expected to plead either guilty or no contest to the negligent homicide charge in the coming months. Velez is due back in court on Nov. 20.
SLOT REVENUES UP AT BOTH CASINOS
Both Southeastern Connecticut casinos posted increases over the September slot-machine revenues. Mohegan Sun reported a 5% increase while Foxwoods was up 3.8%. The casinos benefited from this September having had five Saturdays while September 2016 had four. Mohegan Sun has now reported year-over-year gains in six of the last seven months, dating to March. Foxwoods has had increases in three of the last four months.
Standard and Poor’s has raised Lawrence & Memorial Hospital’s debt rating back up to an “A+” rating after lowering because of “weaker than expected system operating performance” nearly a year-and-a-half ago. The upgrade reflects S&P’s higher confidence in Lawrence + Memorial’s ability to meet its financial commitment on debt it owes since it joined the Yale New Haven Health System in September last year. The agency lowered the hospital’s debt rating from “A-” to “BBB+” in May 2016, but considered the hospital’s financial health as “developing” because of the possibility it would affiliate with the Yale New Haven Health System. More than a year after the affiliation went into effect, the hospital’s financial health now shows a stable financial outlook, according to an S&P report.
MAYORAL DEBATE TONIGHT
“The Day” is hosting a 90-minute Norwich mayoral debate starting at 6:30 tonight at Kelly Middle School. The debate is free and open to the public. All five candidates running for the vacant mayor’s seat are expected to be at tonight’s debate. There will be no opening statements.