STORM WINDING DOWN
Today’s blizzard is winding down, with 8 to 14 inches of snow reported in our area. Travel conditions are still hazardous tonight, and motorists are being urged to stay off the roads if possible. Eversource Energy is reporting outages in some communities, including Ledyard, Waterford, and East Lyme. Both Groton and Norwich Public Utilities report no outages as of early this evening, however, NPU dealt with a water main break in the Surrey Lane area that affected some 120 customers. Service was restored by late afternoon. The concern is now the very cold and windy weather predicted through the weekend.
LAWMAKERS EXPECT TO RESTORE MONEY FOR SENIORS
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut lawmakers expect to push ahead with restoring funding for a program that helps seniors pay for Medicare expenses, despite a last-minute decision by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to further delay the planned eligibility cuts. Democratic House and Senate staff say they appreciate Malloy’s action but still expect to vote Friday on their proposal to restore the $54 million, which lawmakers had originally cut in the two-year, bipartisan $41.3 billion state budget. Adam Joseph, a spokesman for the Senate Democrats, says lawmakers “want to provide peace of mind to the seniors enrolled in the program.” Malloy has urged the General Assembly to also address the growing deficit in the current fiscal year budget, which is now estimated to be $224 million, fearing the Medicare program fix will worsen the problem.
OWNER OF FROZEN DOG CHARGED
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – A Connecticut woman whose dog was found frozen to death outside on New Year’s Day has been charged with animal cruelty. Hartford police announced the charge against 50-year-old Michelle Bennett on Thursday. The 3-year-old male pit bull was found chained inside a dog house in the backyard of a city home on Monday. A veterinarian who examined the dog said it was “frozen solid” and also appeared to be malnourished because it was underweight for its size. The dog had also been lying in its own feces. Police say the owner has been in jail on unrelated charges and said she had made arrangements for the dog’s care. Bennett was being held on bail and could not be reached. It was not immediately clear if she has a lawyer.
MAN ACCUSED OF THREATENING NURSING HOME
A Norwich man has been charged with allegedly threatening to ‘shoot up’ a local nursing home. Police say 70-year old John Furrey saw an employee of the Harrington Court facility in Colchester Wednesday at the Norwich Wal-Mart, and said he was going to the nursing home to ‘shoot it up’. He was later found there, but without a weapon, and was charged with second-degree threatening and breach of peace. Furrey has a family member residing at Harrington. He’s out on bond, and is due in court January 18th. Police say he apparently made his threat out of frustration, but they took his threat seriously.
LOWER ELECTRIC RATES?
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut regulators are reviewing whether electric customers should expect lower rates, thanks to the new federal tax law. Utilities regulated by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority are allowed to incorporate certain federal income tax obligations into the rates they charge customers. The new federal tax law included a corporate tax cut that benefits regulated utilities. DPUC will consider whether rates should be adjusted to reflect the federal tax changes. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced Wednesday that Eversource has agreed to use its savings to lower rates for its 1.4 million Massachusetts customers. Eversource proposed lowering existing rates for NStar Electric customers by about $35 million and to increase rates for its Western Massachusetts Electric Company customers by $16 million, instead of the $25 million approved by the DPU.