BOE PASSES TRANSGENDER POLICY
For the first time, the Groton Board of Education is implementing a policy that addresses the needs of transgender and gender nonconforming youth in its schools. The board met last night in special session for a full reading of the policy. Board Chairperson Kim Shepardson Watson advised the board why they were addressing the non-discrimination policy, saying they were adhering to the law. The policy was approved unanimously. The regulations state that students have the right to be addressed by the names and pronouns matching their gender identity, and that doing otherwise is a violation. Students shall be permitted to participate in interscholastic athletics, intramural sports, physical education classes and health education classes in a manner consistent with their gender identity.
HELP WITH REID AND HUGHES
The developer looking to rejuvenate the old Reid and Hughes building in downtown Norwich is looking for some help from the city. Women’s Institute for Housing and Economic Development Executive Director Betsy Krum says the group has secured some 450-thousand dollars in loans to cover stabilization costs for the decaying building. Krum says, though, her board of directors is concerned about risk so the Women’s Institute is asking the city to either give the developer two or three more months to secure more grant funding, or have the city possibly cover any costs the developer incurs if the building turns out not to be salvagable. Aldermen took no action last night. The Women’s Institute hopes to put new retail and residential space in the Main Street structure.
ED BUDGET FINALLY PASSES
North Stonington residents have finally approved a 2017-18 education budget at a referendum Monday. The $12.8 million education budget, which shows no increase compared to the 2016/17 budget, was approved by a vote of 546-367. The Board of Finance then set the tax rate at 28 mills. Tax bills, reflecting the increase over the previous 27 mills, will be sent out to residents today. The 913 ballots cast for the referendum was much higher than last month’s referendum when 578 taxpayers voted.
STABBER DEATH A SUICIDE
NORWICH, Conn. (AP) – The death of a stabbing suspect who was found dead after exchanging gunfire with Norwich police has been ruled a suicide. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner made the determination. Police say 25-year-old Brandon Uzialko was wanted for stabbing and seriously wounding his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend in October. Days later, he traded gunfire with a Norwich police officer before fleeing on foot. He was found dead a few hours later of a gunshot wound to the head. The officer who fired at Uzialko has been placed back on active duty. The case is still being reviewed.
CRASH VICTIM IDENTIFIED
A single-vehicle rollover crash around 8:15 Sunday night in East Putnam has killed a Thompson man. Police identified the driver as Steven Farland. The crash at 450 Providence Pike, Route 44, was reported as an entrapment after a Jeep heading east near Elvira Heights crossed both lanes and left the roadway, overturning into a tree. The cause of the crash is under investigation.
SMALL FIRE HIGH UP
A small fire broke out late Monday morning on an outside balcony in the lounge area of the 21st floor of the Grand Pequot Tower at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Mashantucket Pequot firefighters were able to quickly put the fire out. Officials say the fire started at 10:53 a.m. and a few floors were evacuated for precautionary measure. There were no injuries. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
SNAG IN FORT TRUMBULL DEVELOPMENT
In New London, the Renaissance City Development Association is expected to start the new year with continued negotiations for a hotel on the Fort Trumbull peninsula. The hotel plans do face an obstacle. The RCDA has not been able to come up with a viable place to relocate the commercial fishing operation located on the waterfront pier that is a critical part of the hotel proposal. The RCDA does have the ability to extend talks for at least 30 days. The first new construction in the municipal development area appears to be on the horizon with the development of a $30 million condominium project planned for two development parcels in New London on Howard Street.