FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE

HUNDREDS TURN OUT FOR TOWN HALL ON SCHOOLS

North Stonington residents go to the polls for a fourth time next Thursday to decide the fate of a school building project. Hundreds of residents gathered last night at the Wheeler School Gymatorium to hear the details of the 38-million dollar plan, 21-million to be paid by the town. The project received a thumbs-up by three votes in a May, 2016 townwide vote. Two petitions filed within the past week, though, are prompting another referendum.. One of the petitioners, John Olsen, says he’s not against the project, just the way it’ll hit town taxpayers, saying it won’t be paid off for 30 years. Wheeler Middle School seventh-grader Laura Mazzella was among the large majority of those at the meeting speaking for the school improvements, saying she doesn’t know any kids who are against new schools. North Stonington officials aren’t ruling out closing the town’s schools, and sending all students to out-of-town schools, if the building project is rejected.

SEX SHOTS IN STONINGTON

Stonington High School

Stonington Police and school officials are investigating a small group of Stonington High School students who distributed sexual images of several female classmates. Thursday night, Stonington police said all the students being investigated have been cooperative and police have in their possession several electronic devices involved in the incident. A spokesman declined to say if any of the students will be charged. Detectives are continuing their investigation.

MILLSTONE GETS ITS WAY

Regulators Thursday officially opened the doors to let the Millstone Power Station in Waterford compete with renewables in a state auction. The energy market shift, according to lawmakers and owner Dominion Energy, is crucial to sustain the plant. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection says it will put new and existing zero-carbon resources against one another in competition. DEEP says it will begin the proposed bidding process this spring.

ON TRACK

Kevin Brown

The Mohegan Tribe’s chairman Kevin Brown announced Thursday that demolition work will begin by the end of the month on the East Windsor site of the proposed third Connecticut casino. Brown said the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes, partners in the third-casino project, are “on track” to proceed with the razing of an abandoned Showcase Cinemas building off of Interstate 91. The tribes intend to build a $300 million “satellite” casino to protect their gaming palaces in southeastern Connecticut from the competitive impact of the nearly billion dollar MGM Springfield resort casino under construction in Massachusetts.

SEWER BILLING TO CHANGE

Groton City is considering moving the sewer service operation to Groton Utilities, which means user fees rather than taxes will cover the cost of maintaining the system. They say this will allow the utility to charge nontaxable entities like the University of Connecticut-Avery Point for use of the service. The city’s budget for sewer service is about $1.7 million, a cost that for years has been borne by Groton City taxpayers. Operational costs were paid using general tax revenue, with improvements covered by taking on debt.

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