WEDNESDAY EVENING UPDATE

HEARING ON STORM RESPONSE

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Representatives from Connecticut’s two major electric utilities say trees continue to wreak havoc on power lines, despite years of tree-trimming and tree-removal efforts.   Eversource Energy and United Illuminating Co. officials appeared Wednesday before the General Assembly’s Energy and Technology Committee for a hearing on the utilities’ response to last month’s damaging rain and windstorm. The hearing was requested by Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff of Norwalk and Sen. Cathy Osten of Sprague. Both Democrats question whether the utilities followed minimum performance standards for emergency preparation and response to the storm, which left more than 100,000 residents in the dark for multiple days. Eversource senior vice president of emergency preparedness Peter Clarke says three years of drought conditions and heavy rains led to the large number of fallen trees.

HOUSE PASSES BUDGET FIX

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut’s state budget debate is over – at least for now. The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 123-to-12 in favor of fixes to the recently passed two-year $41.3 billion budget. The Senate approved those same changes on Tuesday. The bill now moves to the governor. The bill makes various changes to a tax on hospitals that provides the state and hospitals with federal reimbursement funds. It also fixes language that held up $26.4 million in financial assistance to elderly renters. Democratic representatives from Vernon and Windham complained the fix will disproportionately harm their communities, which will have to come up with thousands of dollars to help cover the program. Republican Rep. Melissa Ziobron is warning lawmakers their work isn’t done, noting this new budget is already in deficit.

LOOKING BETTER IN SCOTLAND

THE TOWN OF SCOTLAND’S FINANCIAL STATUS IS LOOKING UP. EARLIER THIS YEAR, STATE BUDGET CUTS LEFT THE TOWN LOOKING AT AN 8-MILL TAX INCREASE AND POTENTIAL INSOLVENCY. FIRST SELECTMAN DAN SYME SAYS MOST STATE FUNDING HAS BEEN RESTORED AND WITH SCOTLAND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL GIVING BACK ABOUT 180-THOUSAND DOLLARS, THE TAX RATE WILL ACTUALLY GO DOWN BY 1.3-MILLS. SYME SAYS AN INFORMATIONAL PUBLIC HEARING ON THE BUDGET TOOK PLACE WEDNESDAY NIGHT, WITH A TOWN VOTE ON THE BUDGET SET FOR NOVEMBER 30TH. Syme says he’s “excited” about the positive turn in the town’s budget situation.

ALLEGED SERIAL BURGLAR IN WATERFORD

An alleged serial burglar in Connecticut apparently struck in Waterford. Court officials say a warrant was served on 28-year old Isaiah Prue of Suffield while he was in court earlier this week. Police say Prue is a suspect in a September, 2016 burglary at an Old Norwich Road residence where a car and a bedroom had been ransacked. Two firearms and some 20-thousand dollars in gold coins were reported stolen. Prue is being held on 10-thousand dollars bond in the Waterford case, but has eight other pending court cases regarding various burglary charges. He’s been in prison since September of last year.

BOIL WATER IN WESTERLY AND PAWCATUCK!

WESTERLY, R.I. (AP) – The Westerly Water Department has issued a boil water notice after E. coli bacteria was found in the water supply. The state Department of Health said Wednesday that water customers should boil water used for human consumption- including drinking and cooking -for at least one minute. Customers can also use bottled water. E.coli is bacteria that signal the presence of fecal matter. It was detected in a routine sample taken on Monday. The water department sells water to customers in Westerly and nearby Pawcatuck. The advisory will remain in effect until corrective actions are completed and satisfactory bacteria results are obtained. E.coli can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches or other symptoms.

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