TUESDAY EVENING UPDATE

LEDYARD WANTS A MEETING WITH MALLOY

Ledyard officials want to talk face-to-face with Governor Dannel Malloy. The town is requesting the meeting after Ledyard saw a more than 1-point-5 million dollar reduction in its state funding. The letter claims Ledyard is bearing an unfair financial burden compared to other municipalities. It’s been signed by the town’s mayor, council chairman, school superintendent, and board of education chairman. Town officials are also requesting the Governor’s budget chief, Ben Barnes, also attend the meeting.

$$ FOR PONEMAH

The Lofts at Ponemah Mill housing project in Norwich is receiving a construction mortgage loan from the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority for development of phase two of the former mill site. The money will go toward the development of 121 additional apartments on the northern side of the Route 97 property. 74 of those units are designated affordable housing. Phase one of the project, which consists of 116 apartments, received its certificate of occupancy last November. Phase two construction is to start this Spring. In all, the state Housing Department is providing 6-point-1 million dollars, and CHFA 8-point-6 million in construction financing, and more than 4-million in tax credit net proceeds for phase two.

NET NEUTRALITY SUIT

George Jepsen

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut is joining a coalition of 21 states and the District of Columbia in suing to block the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of net-neutrality rules. Democratic Attorney General George Jepsen said Tuesday “the internet should always remain open and free.” He says he’s proud to stand with his colleagues across the country “in strong support of net neutrality and opposed to the FCC’s illegal action.” These rules barred companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon from interfering with internet traffic and favoring their own sites and apps. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s push to undo them inspired both street and online protests in defense of the Obama-era rules. In their petition, the states asked the federal appeals court to overturn the FCC decision, calling it “arbitrary, capricious and an abuse of discretion.” Rhode Island is also part of the suit.

REWARD UPPED FOR MISSING INMATE

Jerry Mercado (Hartford Courant)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – The U.S. Marshals service is increasing its reward from $1,500 to up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest of an inmate who escaped from a Connecticut state prison. Twenty-five-year-old Jerry Mercado escaped from the Carl Robinson Correctional Facility in Enfield on January 7th. Mercado was sentenced in August 2016 to three years for burglary. The U.S. Marshals Violent Fugitive Task Force announced Tuesday it was offering a larger reward for information leading to Mercado’s arrest. Authorities believe Mercado may have stowed away in the undercarriage of a garbage truck or state vehicle to escape. The U.S. Marshals say the inmate may have fled Connecticut and could be hiding in neighboring states, including the New York City metro area where a tip was generated.

NEW VETS COMMISSIONER NOMINATED

Tom Saadi

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has nominated Thomas J. Saadi, a major in the U.S. Army Reserve, as Connecticut’s Department of Veterans Affairs commissioner. The 48-year-old Danbury resident has been the agency’s acting commissioner since October. He took over for former Commissioner Sean Connolly, who is seeking the Democratic Party’s endorsement for governor. Malloy announced Tuesday he was nominating Saadi, who first joined the department in May 2015 as its general counsel. He later served as chief of staff. Saadi has also served as an assistant attorney general and special prosecutor. Malloy says Saadi’s experience as a reservist and in state government “will continue to be a benefit at the agency,” which provides care for approximately 200,000 veterans living in the state and their dependents. Saadi’s appointment still requires legislative confirmation.

SECOND SUPER DRAW

Fifteen days after human error left 100-thousand tickets out of the first drawing, the Connecticut Lottery says it has completed a second drawing for its one-million dollar “Super Draw” game. Tickets from both drawings may now be cashed. Governor Malloy says officials have requested a full report on what went wrong. The lottery will have to pay out nearly 1.4-million in additional prizes for the second drawing– making the game a money-loser. The lottery will tap unclaimed prizes to make up the difference.

PROVIDENCE MALL SHOOTING SUSPECT NOW AT HOME

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – A 17-year-old boy arrested in connection with a shooting at the Providence Place mall that left one person injured has been released to home confinement. A family court judge on Tuesday denied the state’s request to detain the teen. Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements Jr. said the teen was arrested at a Pawtucket home hours after the Monday afternoon shooting in the mall parking garage outside a Nordstrom department store entrance. A 19-year-old victim, identified as Leonard Liriano, of Cranston, was shot in the leg in what police called a targeted shooting. His injuries aren’t considered life threatening. The unnamed suspect was charged with conspiracy to commit assault with a dangerous weapon. Clements says police have surveillance video. The weapon hasn’t been recovered and more arrests are possible.

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