FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE

SEALES TAKES MID-TRIAL PLEA DEAL

Shaquan Lee-Seales (WTNH)

The murder trial of Shaquan Lee-Seales for fatally shooting 29-year-old Gilberto Olivencia came to an abrupt end Thursday when the New London man pleaded guilty to reduced charges that carry a 15-year prison sentence. The state offered Lee-Seales a better deal as the prosecution prepared to start calling civilian eyewitnesses to testify, including two men involved in a drug dispute with Lee-Seales that police said had motivated the shooting. The jury had heard two days of testimony from first responders when Lee-Seales opted for the plea deal.

SAIL MEMORIAL GETS CLEAR SAILING

USS Groton

The Groton City Planning and Zoning Commission has approved a change to zoning regulations to allow the future memorial for the sail of the town’s namesake nuclear attack submarine on Bridge Street. Prior to the unanimous decision, the small park was not a permitted use in a general com­mer­cial zone. The USS Groton, a Los Angeles-class attack sub, was the third Navy ship named for Groton. Built at Electric Boat, it was launched in October 1976, commissioned in July 1978, and decommissioned in November 1997.

FLU’S BAD

In the last several weeks, Influenza activity has rapidly increased statewide, prompting health officials to prepare for the expected uptick in calls for the flu shot. Backus Hospital in Norwich last week alone had 73 new flu cases. Backus had seen 64 total cases all season. Most were the expected Type A strain. Across the state, influenza activity has rapidly increased since the beginning of the new year. Statewide emergency department visits attributed to the flu are continuing to increase. Health officials say it’s still not too late to receive the flu vaccine and get benefit from it.

COP IN TROUBLE

A state cop based out of Troop D in Danielson has been placed on an administrative capacity as a result of facing an impaired driving charge when he was found asleep behind the wheel of a vehicle in Brooklyn on New Year’s Day. State police responded to a noise complaint around 2 a.m. in the area of Riverwalk Drive when they found Patrick Dragon inside a vehicle with loud music playing and the engine running. After police roused Dragon, he was taken into custody after failing a sobriety test. He was released on a $500 bond and is due in Norwich Superior Court on Monday.

OLD LYME GOING SOLAR

The Lyme-Old Lyme school district has been authorized by school officials to negotiate an agreement with one of the larger solar installers in the northeast. The plan is to install solar panels on all of the district’s five buildings by the start of the next school year. If approved, the district would enter into a power purchase agreement with Greenskies Renewable Energy with no cost outlay for the installation of the panels. The company would install, own, maintain and monitor the equipment, while the district would pay for power at a certain rate for a 15-to-20-year period. The solar panels have the potential to save the district more than $100,000 per year on its electric bills, or more than $2 million over a 20-year period.

CARNIVAL MAY GET BEER TENT

The Montville Parks and Recreation Commission said it plans to consult with police and fire department leaders to explore featuring a beer tent at the town’s summer carnival. Officials say proceeds from a beer tent could help cover the cost of a headliner band and fireworks display at the event. The commissioners said a proposal to waive rules banning alcohol on public grounds jumped the gun at last week’s Town Council meeting, sparking a social media backlash even though the group was still only exploring the idea.

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