FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE

MILLSTONE BILL PASSES

Millstone Nuclear Power Plant

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut lawmakers have given final legislative approval to a bill that could potentially change the rules for how the Millstone Power Station sells the electricity it generates.   The House voted 75-66 on Thursday in favor of the bill, which allows state regulators to determine whether the power should be sold on the clean energy market like solar, wind and hydroelectric. The bill previously passed the Senate and now moves to the governor. Eastern Connecticut legislators, both Democrats and Republicans, praised the bill’s passage, saying it will help protect jobs and solidify the region’s economy. Dominion Energy, which owns the power plant in Waterford, has warned it needs the legislation to help ensure the financial viability of the plant. Some lawmakers opposed the bill, calling it a giveaway for Dominion.

CHECKING THE NUMBERS

Southeastern Connecticut officials are expressing relief that a veto-proof budget has finally been passed. But they’re still checking through figures to get the full picture and considering future fiscal struggles. The budget passed Thursday provides relatively stable funding for cities and towns, with a hospital tax hike, cigarette tax increase, additional fee on ride-sharing services and a one percent increase in teacher pay-in to pensions. Norwich, New London and Groton will see the same Education Cost Sharing grants from the state this fiscal year as last, while all other area districts will see five percent cuts.

DEATH PROBE CONTINUES

Brandon Uzialko (Norwich police)

State police continue to investigate the death of stabbing suspect Brandon Uzialko. They’re not saying much as they await word from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on the cause and manner of death. An employee of the medical examiner’s office has said Uzialko’s cause of death was pending further investigation and would be for “quite some time.” Uzialko was found dead Tuesday, several hours after he exchanged gunfire with at least one Norwich officer in Greeneville.

BEATER AVOIDS PRISON

A Taftville man’s attorney has negotiated a deal in New London Superior Court for his client, charged in a brutal 2016 Norwich beating. Brian Mondesire will be monitored electronically instead of being put in prison. Judge Hillary Strackbein said it was important to her that he attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings. Mondesire will go to work, be home and continue to be drug tested. The victim in the 2016 beating was sent to the Critical Care Unit at Backus Hospital with broken ribs, a collapsed lung, lacerated spleen and multiple bruises.

CANDIDATES SAY CHARTER CHANGE NEEDED

Topics ranging from the town’s marketability to charter revision and the role of local government were discussed by the four candidates running for first selectman in Plainfield Thursday night. The candidates offered differing opinions on how best to re-brand the town to tourists and businesses. All the candidates, to varying degrees, agreed the town charter needed an update. Long-serving First Selectman Paul Sweet, who ran unopposed in the last two elections, is not seeking another term in office.

BOARD Of ED CANDIDATES SQUARE OFF

Budget cuts, plans to convert the city’s two middle schools into magnet schools, and the city’s relationship with Norwich Free Academy were debated Thursday night among 10 of the 11 candidates running for the Norwich school board. The sometimes tense relationship with NFA turned into the most hotly contested issue during the debate, hosted by “The Bulletin.” Under the school consolidation issue, with Kelly Middle and Teacher’s Memorial becoming magnet schools, candidates debated whether those schools could sustain their programs after the magnet school funding were to run out. Candidates from both parties put saving classroom teaching positions at the top of their priority lists.

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