THURSDAY EVENING UPDATE

HELP FOR CRUMBLING FOUNDATION HOMEOWNERS IN DOUBT

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – A potential tax write-off for Connecticut homeowners with crumbling foundations is potentially at risk in Congress. Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy were attempting Thursday to amend the Republican Senate tax bill, which abolishes the tax deduction for property casualty losses except those stemming from federally declared disasters. Homeowners learned last week that the Internal Revenue Service had agreed that taxpayers with foundations deteriorating because of the presence of an iron sulfide can deduct 75 percent of their unreimbursed repair costs from their federal taxes as a casualty loss. Blumenthal says it’s unclear if his and Murphy’s amendment restoring the deduction will be called. He says there’s a chance homeowners can claim the deduction if they have written proof of a loss by the end of the year.

SPECIAL SESSION MORE LIKELY

Themis Klarides

The possibility of a special legislative session being held this month is looming larger following a slew of complaints from people objecting to a provision in the state budget that would result in 86-thousand elderly and disabled residents losing their health coverage. House Republican Leader Themis Klarides says lawmakers have until January 1st to address the issue, and the clock is ticking. Under the state’s new two-year, 41-point-three billion dollar budget, the income eligibility limit for the Medicare savings program is reduced from 2,120 dollars per month for a single person to 1,025 dollars. For a couple, the income eligibility goes from 2,854 dollars per month to 1,374 dollars. 27-thousand people would lose a portion of their health coverage as a result of the cuts.

STAY OUT OF ROSE GARDEN

Mohegan Park Rose Garden & Gazebo

Norwich’s municipal Rose Garden in Mohegan Park is off-limits to the public for awhile. Public works officials say a large oak tree fell into the garden during the October 29th wind storm, and needs to be removed. No damage is reported to the garden’s gazebo or decorative fencing, and a sundial was slightly hit. The gate remains locked, until the ground freezes, so heavy equipment can be used to remove the tree. A live electrical wire tangled in the tree due to the storm has been removed.

NEW MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL TO TAKE OFFICE

Peter Nystrom

Some pomp and circumstance Tuesday night at Norwich City Hall. The city’s newly-elected mayor, Peter Nystrom, city council, and school board will be sworn-in. A formal procession into Council chambers will include the Norwich police and fire department color guard, the New London Firefighters Pipes and Drums, and former Norwich mayors Art Lathrop, Ben Lathrop, and out-going mayor Deb Hinchey. Aldermen are expected to name Bill Nash as City Council President Pro-Tem, and continue the appointments of Betsy Barrett as city clerk, and Michael Driscoll as corporation counsel. The council is also expected to change the start time of its second regularly-scheduled meeting each month from 7 to 7:30 PM, same time as its first monthly meeting. A reception will be held after Tuesday night’s gathering, which also begins at 7:30.

POST-BENNY’S PLANS

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – A Rhode Island real estate firm says it will spend more than $100 million to redevelop 29 locations of the southern New England retail chain Benny’s, which is closing its doors this year. The Carpionato Group announced plans Thursday to bring a mix of retailers and restaurants to the Benny’s locations. They expect to create hundreds of construction jobs and more than 1,000 permanent jobs once the stores open. The company said Tuesday it was buying nearly all of the Benny’s locations for an undisclosed sum. The deal involves 14 stores in Rhode Island, 11 in Massachusetts and four in Connecticut. The agreement comes after the Bromberg family, which has long owned the chain, announced they are retiring.

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