SUNDAY MORNING UPDATE

WINTER WEATHER – DEEP FREEZE

(AP) — The bitter cold that followed a massive East Coast snowstorm should begin to lessen as temperatures inch up and climb past freezing next week.   National Weather Service meteorologist Patrick Burke says temperatures Sunday morning could hit record lows from South Carolina to Maine. But he says the wind won’t be as powerful.   The afternoon’s high temperatures could range from the low- to mid-20s in many areas and then climb into the 30s and 40s by Tuesday.   Many Northeast residents endured jaw-clenching temperatures Saturday, just days after the storm dropped as much as 18 inches (46 centimeters) of snow in some places.   New Hampshire’s Mount Washington Observatory, one of the coldest places on the planet, registered minus 37 degrees Saturday. The wind chill made it feel like minus 93.

18-YEAR-OLD TAKEN VIA LIFESTAR TO HOSPITAL AFTER CRASH IN WINDHAM

Windham, CT (WFSB) – An 18-year-old female was rushed to the hospital by Lifestar medical helicopter after police said she crashed in Windham early Saturday morning.  Windham resident Shania Slyman was driving her 2009 Honda Civic westbound on Plains Road around 12:45 a.m. when police said she went off the road and down onto a snow embankment.    Police said the Civic traveled back into the westbound lane of Plains Road before leaving the roadway again and going up the snow embankment. Police said the vehicle drove into the driveway at 338 Plains Rd and hit a tree stump on the property.   The Civic rolled onto its roof and Slyman was ejected from the vehicle, police said.   Slyman was rushed to Hartford Hosptial with “serious injuries,” police said.   The crash is under investigation by the Connecticut State Police.

AMISTAD GROUP SAYS IT WILL SHUT DOWN WITHOUT STATE AID

NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) — The educational group that operates the state flagship schooner Amistad says it will have to shut down if it does not receive the remaining $105,000 in state aid it is due this year.    The Day reports the comments by Discovering Amistad Chairman Len Miller this week came after Democratic state Rep. Diana Urban of North Stonington proposed using the group’s aid instead to help cut the state’s $54 million Medicare deficit.   The group operates the 129-foot schooner Amistad, a replica of a slave ship taken over by African captives in 1839. The captives were captured and jailed in New Haven, but later won their freedom in a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case.   Urban says keeping the Amistad funding while cutting Medicare spending sends a bad message to state residents.

MURPHY LAUNCHES 2ND ANNUAL MLK ESSAY CONTEST

Senator Chris Murphy

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy is launching is second annual Martin Luther King Jr. Essay Challenge.   The Democrat is urging elementary, middle and high school students across the state to honor the late civil rights leader by submitting essays reflecting on King’s dream and their own aspirations.   Murphy says he hopes the essay challenge will encourage young people all over Connecticut to “commit to making Dr. King’s dream for equality” a reality. He says “racism, homophobia and prejudice are tragically alive and well in America today.”   January 10 is the deadline for submissions. Essays should be no longer than 500 words for high school, 300 words for middle school and 100-to-200 words for elementary school students. They should be submitted online.   Selected essays will be displayed in Murphy’s Washington office.

GRISWOLD FIRST SELECTMAN TO STAY ON AS PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR THROUGH WINTER

Todd Babbitt

GRISWOLD — The Bulletin reports Griswold officials are saying they are confident in their choice to keep the first selectman on as public works director through the winter months.   Since being elected in November, longtime Public Works Director Todd Babbitt has been navigating between two full-time positions in town — first selectman and public works director. Though an initial decision suspended Babbitt’s contract at public works, the board voted to reverse that decision only days later.   At a Dec. 26 Board of Selectmen meeting, Selectman Steve Merchant and fellow Selectman Ed Burke entered into executive session to discuss Babbitt’s contracts. Babbitt has removed himself from all sessions regarding his employment status at public works, he said.   Once out of executive session, Merchant and Burke moved to suspend Babbitt’s contract as road superintendent, a position that comes with being public works director. Babbitt would be paid for services rendered as director between taking office on Nov. 21 and the date of the decision. Babbitt had not been getting paid for road superintendent duties during that time.

RI – HUNTING DOGS

WARWICK, R.I. (AP) — Legislation has been introduced in both chambers of Rhode Island’s General Assembly to protect hunting dogs from extreme temperatures.  State law makes it illegal to keep any dog outside during extreme temperatures but makes an exemption for hunting dogs.   Democratic Rep. Patricia Serpa and Sen. Erin Lynch Prata want to amend it. They say keeping hunting dogs outside in frigid temperatures is cruel.  Both lawmakers represent part of Warwick, Rhode Island.   In December, protesters rallied near the Warwick property of a man accused of leaving his dogs out in freezing temperatures.   Clifford Dennis told WLNE-TV he raises and sells hunting dogs and loves them. Authorities determined the dogs were in good condition and Dennis didn’t break any laws.   Dennis agreed to move the dogs to a heated facility.

DUNKIN DONUTS SCALES BACK MENU

CANTON, Mass. (AP) — So long strawberry banana smoothie. Goodbye steak and egg breakfast sandwich.   Dunkin’ Donuts is cutting back on its food and drink offerings. The Boston Herald reports the new, simplified menu is expected to roll out in New England locations starting Monday before expanding nationwide in mid-March.   The Canton, Massachusetts-based company founded in 1950 says the reduction represents about 10 percent of its offerings and is meant to streamline service.   Among the casualties are less popular items and ones that are time-consuming to make, like smoothies, afternoon sandwiches and certain breakfast sandwiches.   The company announced earlier that it had removed artificial dyes from all doughnuts sold in the U.S. It plans to do the same for the rest of its U.S. food and drink offering by the end of the year.

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