STATE AND TRIBES SUE FEDS
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says the state and its two federally recognized tribes are suing the federal government for failing to act on compact changes needed before a new casino can be built to compete with the MGM casino in Springfield, Massachusetts. The Democrat announced Wednesday the lawsuit has been filed against the U.S. Department of Interior and Secretary Ryan Zinke by the state and the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes. Because the federal agency did not act on the compact amendments Malloy reached with the tribes within 45 days of their submission, as required, the lawsuit claims the amendments should now be deemed as having been approved. A Department of Justice spokesman says the agency will review the lawsuit against the Department of Interior once it’s been received.
REID AND HUGHES DELAY SOUGHT
Norwich aldermen Monday night are scheduled to decide whether a developer of the long-vacant Reid and Hughes building can be granted a 30-day extension to pursue more funding options. The Women’s Institute of Housing and Economic Development had until November 23rd to assess the cost of stabilizing the dilapidated structure and have the funding to do the work, Officials say the Institute has 500-thousand dollars committed to the project, but wants to see if it can get some grant commitments. The group plans to meet with the newly-elected City Council December 18th to offer a project update.
BOND MONEY FOR XL
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Funding for major improvements to Hartford’s XL Center and contentious improvements to a Milford state park are among a host of projects receiving long-awaited state capital funds. Wednesday marks the first time the State Bond Commission has met in about five months due to the delayed state budget. Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Republican state Rep. Chris Davis, of Ellington, clashed over the $40 million for the Hartford multi-purpose arena, with Davis questioning the expense given the state’s continuing fiscal problems. Malloy pointed out how the $40 million is a capital investment, and that a modernized XL Center is crucial to making Connecticut’s capitol region more attractive. Malloy is also defending $9.1 million for improvements to Silver Sands State Park, despite some local opposition, noting it’s a state asset.
BOND MONEY FOR NORWICH
Money for three Norwich projects has been approved by the state bond commission. The city’s Public schools will receive 580-thousand dollars to upgrade drinking water fountains, and for paving. The city’s Integrated Day Charter School will get 849-thousand dollars for various improvements. Money has also been allocated for brownfields assessments of the former Central Sports building on the Ponemah Mill property in Taftville. A 75-hundred dollar planning grant is to be given to the Norwich Harbor Management Commission to update its plan for the riverfront.
CHARTER RECOMMENDATIONS REJECTED BY COUNCIL
Supporters of proposed charter changes in Groton Town will have to force the issue to a referendum. The Town Council has rejected the proposals, meaning a petition signed by at least 10-percent of the town’s registered voters has to be submitted within the next 45 days for any referendum to be held. The proposals include the elimination of the Representative Town Meeting, and an annual budget referendum.
PRISON TIME FOR STONINGTON MOLESTER
STONINGTON, Conn. (AP) – A 66-year-old man who molested a 4-year-old local girl and then told police the child initiated and enjoyed the contact has been sent to prison. John Adrian was sentenced Tuesday to 1 1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty to risk of injury to a minor. Prosecutors say they agreed to a plea deal so the girl wouldn’t have to testify in court. Adrian also will be subject to five years of probation after serving his prison term. Investigators say Adrian lived in the same Stonington neighborhood as the girl when he molested her in 2014. Adrian’s attorney said he felt his client’s admissions to police made going to trial risky. Adrian was convicted of a similar crime in 1986 in Illinois.
JURORS SOUGHT IN NL MURDER CASE
Jury selection is underway in the murder case of 23-year old Shaquan Lee-Seales. He’s accused of shooting to death 29-year old Gilberto Olivencia on Grand Street in New London in December of last year. The shooting followed an earlier incident that night that accuses the defendant of assaulting and robbing a 17-year old drug dealer on State Pier Road because Lee-Seales claims the dealer disrespected him. Lee-Seales has rejected a plea deal that would’ve put him in prison for 35 years. The trial is expected to begin January 10th.
EX-POLICEMAN TO SERVE PROBATION ON DRUG-RELATED CHARGES
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – A former Rhode Island police officer from Westerly has been sentenced to probation for trafficking steroids and money laundering. The U.S. attorney’s office in Rhode Island says 35-year-old Evan Speck was sentenced Wednesday to three years of probation and 1,000 hours of community service. Speck abruptly resigned from the Charlestown police force after federal agents raided his Westerly home in March. Agents said they seized items associated with the receipt, packaging and resale of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs. Prosecutors say ledgers showed Speck received $536,000 from selling steroids and other drugs from approximately June 2015 until the date of the search. Speck was ordered to begin his probationary sentence on home confinement, spend weekends incarcerated for the first year, forfeit assets and publish an apology letter in The Westerly Sun.