FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE

UCONN BASKETBALL UNDER INVESTIGATION

Susan Herbst

The University of Connecticut confirms it is the target of an NCAA investigation into its men’s basketball program. University President Susan Herbst, in a statement released Friday morning, says the school is committed to “a culture of compliance” and intends to fully cooperate with the investigation. The school says it was already conducting an internal investigation after receiving allegations last fall and retained a law firm that specializes in athletics compliance. The school didn’t reveal the nature of the allegations. Hearst Connecticut Media, which first reported news of the investigation, cited unidentified sources saying they were related to recruiting.

ANOTHER TROOPER CONTEMPLATED

A proposal to hire a second resident state trooper in Preston is drawing mixed reaction. Opponents of the idea say they don’t want to spend additional money for another trooper, but Preston resident Susan Strader says the town could use more police protection and that the $47,000 cost should not be an issue. Preston resident Peter Liebert says a second resident trooper would provide the town with a valuable asset know that there is more traffic due to the casinos. Strader and Liebert spoke during a special town meeting last night at Preston Veterans Memorial School. Town voters will decide on the reinstatement of a second resident trooper during a referendum on February 6th. A 3.48 million dollar capital improvement plan will also be on the ballot that day.

BUM FLIPS

Aundre Bumgardner

Former Republican State Representative AundrĂ© Bumgardner has split from the party over comments by President Donald Trump, and has become the campaign treasurer for the Democratic opponent who defeated him in 2016, State Rep. Joe de la Cruz. Bumgardner, who is Puerto Rican, Panamanian and African-American, switched parties, saying he was disillusioned by what he described as Trump’s “bombastic rhetoric” that crossed the line. Bumgardner said he has watched Republicans remain largely silent in the face of racially charged comments to avoid upsetting their base of supporters.

CMEEC MEANS WELL

Recently appointed municipal electric energy cooperative consumer advocate Bill Kowalski told the CMEEC board of directors Thursday that the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative has strong ethics and conflict-of-interest policies and makes as much of the agency’s operational information available to the public as possible. Kowalski started Jan. 2 in the position created by a state law. He told the CMEEC board that while his prime duty is to protect the interest of cooperative member ratepayers, that goal will not necessarily be adversarial to the CMEEC board.

PROJECT HITS SNAG

The glass and steel structure now covering the Hygienic Art Park has not only caught the attention of passers-by on Bank Street in New London, but also the eye of city zoning officials. Earlier this month, officials confirmed the corner of the structure overhangs the Hygienic’s historic building by a few inches, something that was not in the original plans approved by the city. Since the structure doesn’t match the plans, the city is unable to sign off on a certificate of occupancy and allow use of the park. Hygienic officials will have to apply to the Planning and Zoning Commission for a site plan modification. The application is expected to be taken up next month.

OHIO MAYOR SUPPORTS POWER PLANT COMPANY

An Ohio mayor is giving his full-throttled support of a power plant under construction in his city by the same developer building a similar plant in Killingly. Mayor Larry Mulligan of Middletown, Ohio earlier this month sent a letter to “The Bulletin” expressing his support of Florida-based NTE Energy’s plan to build a 500-megawatt power plant in Middletown. Mulligan said the company kept its word to hire 350 construction workers and funnel “millions of dollars” in payroll and tax revenue into the city’s coffers. The Killingly Town Council has approved a pair of agreements with NTE that would net the town more than $90 million in tax revenue over 20 years if the plant gets built. Last year, Killingly Town Council meetings included comments from dozens of individuals calling for the rejection of the project.

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