NO RECONSIDERATION BY STATE HIGH COURT
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut’s highest court has rejected a request to reconsider its ruling that the state’s education funding system is constitutional. The state Supreme Court turned down the request Wednesday in a one-page order that did not explain why. A coalition of cities, towns, parents and public school students that filed a lawsuit that led to the decision had asked for the reconsideration. The court last month overturned a landmark 2016 ruling by a lower court judge who ordered officials to overhaul the state’s public education system, saying a huge gap in test scores between students in rich and poor towns shows parts of the system are unconstitutional. Leaders of the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding said Thursday they plan to ask the legislature to take up the issue.
NL POLICE OFFICER PLEADS
New London police officer Deana Nott enters a not guilty plea today in New London Superior Court. Nott has been charged with one count of third-degree assault by the state’s attorney’s office after she struck a handcuffed prisoner in the back seat of a city police cruiser in June, 2016. Her case has been moved to Middletown Superior Court where she’s scheduled to appear February 22nd. Many supporters of Nott, including her husband who’s a New London firefighter, packed the courtroom. Nott was suspended for seven days by the city’s police department last month. Her attorney confirms Nott declined to resign from her job, rather than face prosecution.
SOMERS SEEKING SECOND TERM
Groton state senator Heather Somers is seeking a second two-year term to represent the 18th district. The Republican announcing her decision today. Somers previously served eight years on the Groton Town Council, two as mayor, before being elected to the senate. She defeated Democratic challenger Tim Bowles in November, 2016.
SAILOR TO RECOVER
A sailor aboard a Groton-based submarine who tried to kill himself at sea is out of the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery. A Navy spokesman says an investigation continues into why the petty officer, who was aboard the USS North Dakota, shot himself in the right shoulder with a government-issued rifle on January 12th. The sub was 150 nautical miles from the Groton Sub Base. The sailor was taken to Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London, and then to Yale-New Haven Hospital. No further information is being released.
GRAND LIST DOWN IN PRESTON
Preston’s grand list is down 4-percent. A revaluation shows the decrease in 2017, compared to the previous year, is all due to lower real estate values. Town officials say the decrease may have been as much as 7-percent, if the tax exemption for the Covanta Trash Incinerator hadn’t ended last year. The plant is now the town’s largest taxpayer.
CELL PHONE BAN WORKING AT ONE HIGH SCHOOL
SEYMOUR, Conn. (AP) – Administrators at a Connecticut high school say students are reporting higher grades and more focus in the classroom since the school instituted a blanket ban on cellphone use. Seymour High School Principal Jim Freund says the school banned cellphones Dec. 11 following instances of “mean spirited behavior” through text messages and social media. Students are only allowed to use their phones at the teacher’s instruction, or while using a classroom app. Freund says students opposed the ban at first. Now, he says students are improving their communication skills and test scores have also increased. Freund says research shows banning cellphones has the same effect on test scores as adding five days to the school year.