ARSON FIRE IN NORWICH
Officials say a morning fire in the Greenville section of Norwich has been ruled an arson. Crews responded to 261-263 Central Avenue around 12:30 AM today to find a fire on the rear porch and stairway of the combined residence and business. All occupants got out safely. Moderate damage to the building is being reported. Central Avenue in that area was closed for awhile while the fire was put out. One firefighter suffered a minor injury. Contact Norwich police if you have any information about the fire.
UNLOCKED DOOR AT FORMER Y
Last night’s annual count of Norwich’s homeless population led to the discovery of an unlocked door to the rear of the former YMCA building on Main Street. City Human Services Director Lee-Ann Gomes says a board had been removed from the entryway, and the inside was littered with wet, moldy toys, shoes, clothing, and food. The area was vacant. City Public Works crews secured the door today.
FREE FLU SHOTS
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – The Connecticut Department of Public Health is teaming up with local health departments to provide free and low-cost influenza shots as flu activity continues to increase across the state. The vaccine will be made available at 13 clinics on Saturday. A schedule can be found on the agency’s website . There will also be a free flu shot clinic Friday from 3 to 5 PM at the Uncas Health District offices at 401 West Thames Street in Norwich. No appointment is necessary. Public health officials are urging all Connecticut residents over the age of six months to get a flu shot.
SCHOOL CONSOLIDATION BEING SUGGESTED IN CANTERBURY
Word of a possible consolidation of Canterbury’s schools is prompting discussion in the town. First Selectman Chris Lippke is suggesting the municipality might consider keeping the middle school library, gym, and cafeteria open, but demolish the remainder of the building, which is in need of repairs. All classes would be held in the elementary school. It’s one proposal expected to be addressed as a newly-created study group is to begin meeting next month. The advisory organization consists of town board members, and is charged with looking at options to run the town more efficiently, while still providing needed services, in light of decreasing revenues. The group’s first meeting is February 5th. The local school board is also expected to discuss the issue January 30th.
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) – A Connecticut woman is facing multiple animal cruelty and other charges after one of her dogs attacked four relatives. 37-year-old Jessica DePaolis, of New Britain, was arrested following the Monday dog attack in which family members locked themselves in a bathroom to escape a bulldog. Police say two children were treated at the hospital for serious injuries. They say they also found 19 other dogs infested with fleas and another dog already dead in the “unsanitary” home. DePaolis was charged with 20 counts of cruelty to animals, two counts of risk of injury to a minor, among other infractions. She was released after posting bail and will appear in New Britain Superior Court on Feb. 8. The clerk’s office said DePaolis didn’t have a lawyer listed.
PARADE MARSHAL NAMED
A former city alderman, and member of various city boards, commissions, and other volunteer groups, is the grand marshal of this year’s Norwich Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. Sofee Noblick will lead the downtown procession in the March 4th event. Noblick has also served as the head of the Norwich Property Owners Association since its inception in 1997. The parade steps off at 1 PM, and will be followed by a street festival. A fundraising dinner for the event, as well as for the city’s July 4th fireworks, will be held February 16th at the Wauregan Ballroom. Tickets are available at gonorwichct.org.