OSTEN BILL SEEKS $150M TO SUPPORT ELECTRIC BOAT
With the federal government poised to spend more on the military, state Sen. Cathy Osten, D-Sprague, says Connecticut needs to do what it can to support its defense contractors like Electric Boat. Osten has filed legislation that proposes investing $150 million in state aid over 10 years for job training and infrastructure needs at EB. $100 million would go toward supporting infrastructure projects at EB over the next five years, and $50 million would be spent on workforce training programs over the 10 years. Connecticut’s defense industry has remained one of the only bright spots in an otherwise lackluster economy.
OFFICIALS INVESTIGATE CAUSE OF FIRE AT NORWICH SELF STORAGE
Norwich firefighters responded to a fire alarm at the Norwich Self Storage on South Golden Street just before 6 o’clock Thursday night. On arrival, they smelled smoke and found papers smoldering next to a pile of trash inside a building. Firefighters used a water fire extinguisher on the papers and ventilated the building. Fire officials said someone could have been inside the building shortly before the fire started. Cause of the fire remains under investigation.
2 LOTTERY EMPLOYEES ON LEAVE AFTER MISTAKEN DRAWING
ROCKY HILL, Conn. (AP) – Two employees of the Connecticut Lottery are on leave after a mistake with the drawing for a special New Year’s game. The Connecticut Lottery Corp. said this week that two unidentified employees were placed on paid administrative leave while the incident is investigated. The lottery and the state Department of Consumer Protection are both investigating. The lottery says that tickets were sold with six-digit codes, starting at 100,001 and ending at 314,601. When the range of numbers was entered into a random number generator for Monday’s drawing, an employee entered the range as 100,001 to 214,601, leaving 100,000 numbers out. The lottery plans to hold another drawing, but has not yet set a date. Winners from both drawings will be honored. Prizes range from $100 to $1 million.
MAN FATALLY SHOT IN HARTFORD, FOUND LYING IN SNOW
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Hartford police are investigating the fatal shooting of a man found lying in the snow during this week’s storm. Police say 34-year-old Navian Ebanks was found outside his home at about 6 p.m. Thursday with gunshot wounds to his torso and neck. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The death was the city’s first homicide of the year. Police have not released any information on possible suspects or motive but say it appears Ebanks was outside when a car pulled up and shots were fired. The victim had recently moved to the city from Jamaica. Officers arrived just two minutes after receiving the call and are checking to see if there’s any surveillance video of the shooting. Police ask anyone with information to contact them.
JUDGE REJECTS EX-STUDENTS REQUEST FOR ANONYMITY IN LAWSUIT
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – A Connecticut judge has rejected a request for anonymity by a former college student suing a private school in Hartford over his suspension on cheating allegations. The former Trinity College student argued he needed to use a pseudonym in the case to protect his reputation and guard against being unfairly branded as dishonest. He is fighting a one-semester suspension. The school alleges he copied another student’s homework assignments in 2016. He says he collaborated with the other student and did not copy the other student’s work. He says school disciplinary panels incorrectly and unjustly judged him guilty of “academic dishonesty.” Judge Irene Jacobs in Hartford ruled Dec. 26 that the former student’s privacy rights don’t outweigh the public’s interest in open court proceedings. His name hasn’t been released yet.
U. OF NEW HAVEN NEW OWNER OF 21 UNITS AT HARBOUR TOWERS
New London, Ct. – The financier for construction of the New London Harbour Towers, Franklin Enterprises, has donated 21 of its unsold luxury condo units on Bank St. to the University of New Haven. University officials said they were delighted by the gift and have no immediate plans for the units, five of which are being leased, other than to be responsible landlords and maintain them for investment purposes. A source said the school has no intention of housing students or applying for a tax exemption. The units retain a tax incentive for would-be buyers thanks to a tax abatement agreement unanimously approved by the City Council in 2009. That agreement, unusual for a residential development, allows new owners to pay 30 percent of taxes in the first year of ownership. Taxes increase by 10 percent for each of the next four years. Full taxes are due in the sixth year.
PATRIOTS COVERING NEW ENGLAND’S HOMELESS WITH GAME BLANKETS
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) – The New England Patriots are trying to cover the homeless as a fresh blast of arctic air grips the region. The team says it’s donating more than 1,200 blankets that fans brought to keep warm during last Sunday’s frigid 26-6 win over the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium. Fans were encouraged to leave the blankets behind, and they were cleaned and folded by stadium employees afterwards. On Friday afternoon, team representatives plan to distribute some to Boston’s Pine Street Inn, which offers shelter and other services to the homeless. The Patriots say the rest of the blankets, along with some hats and gloves, will be given to homeless shelters in each of the five other New England states.
NEW PARK IN EAST LYME
East Lyme, Ct. – If all the approvals are met. a new park could be sitting at the corner of Main Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, near Niantic Bay in East Lyme, by the start of summer. The Parks and Recreation Commission and the Penn. Ave. and Main Street Vision Sub-Committee have approved the parks design. Now the plans also will go before the Zoning Commission, Planning Commission, and Zoning Board of Appeals.A town meeting is scheduled for later this month for residents to vote on re-allocating funds toward the development of the park.
CONNECTICUT BUDGET-MEDICARE ASSISTANCE-THE LATEST
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut lawmakers are postponing their plans to fix a program that provides financial assistance to Medicare recipients. Spokesmen for House and Senate Democrats say the General Assembly will vote Monday on the plan to restore $54 million to the program. The legislature was planning to meet on Friday, however leaders decide to postpone the vote because of the snowstorm. Lawmakers are pushing ahead with restoring the program despite a last-minute decision by Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to further delay the planned eligibility cuts. Malloy has urged lawmakers to also address the growing state budget deficit, fearing the Medicare program fix will worsen the problem. Lawmakers says they want to provide peace of mind to senior citizens who rely on the program to help pay for things like premiums.