SUNDAY MORNING UPDATE

CITY COUNCIL TO WEIGH CMEEC RATEPAYER AMENDMENTS

NORWICH – The Bulletin reports amendments to an ordinance outlining the appointment of a Norwich ratepayer to the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative will come before the City Council on Monday.   One such alteration to the ordinance mandates the ratepayer report to the City Council on a quarterly basis – either in person or by written form.   The ordinance originally came before the council in September and was quickly passed in October, though the council has frequently revisited possible amendments. According to state law, an ordinance has to be in place before the appointment of a ratepayer.   Former Board of Education member Rashid Haynes, a Republican, was recently appointed as the representative, which is mandated by a new state law that imposes stringent requirements on CMEEC and similar agencies.   The law was proposed in the wake of CMEEC’s May 2016 Kentucky Derby trip, which erupted into controversy after The Bulletin first reported on the $342,000 trip and its 44 attendees in October 2016.

SYNTHETIC MARIJUANA-OVERDOSES

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Officials in New Haven are warning about the dangers of synthetic marijuana following a rash of overdoses.   Police say they’ve seen more than a dozen overdoses related to use of the drug K2 or “spice” last week, at least 7 of which happened on Thursday alone.   James Thomas, an outreach minister at Trinity Church on the Green, told NBC Connecticut that K2 is relatively cheap and easy to procure, making it more popular than crack cocaine in the city.   It’s not clear how many of the recent overdoses were fatal, but officials warn K2, which is usually smoked, can be laced with deadlier drugs.   New Haven issued a public health alert last month about the dangers of K2. Officials say it can cause cardiac arrest, breathing difficulty and other health problems.

RESTAURANT SHOOTING

Leanne Robitaille and James Goolsby (WTNH)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut restaurant manager charged in the fatal workplace shooting of a cook is set to return to court and possibly enter a not guilty plea to murder.   James Goolsby is charged in the Dec. 30 killing of Norris Jackson, who was shot four times inside the Bonchon Chicken restaurant in Manchester. Police say negative reviews of the restaurant on the Yelp website may have been factors in the shooting.  Goolsby, of Hartford, is scheduled to appear Monday in Hartford Superior Court. His public defender, John Stawicki, said Friday it hadn’t been decided whether Goolsby will enter a plea.   Goolsby’s girlfriend, Leanne Robitaille, also worked at the restaurant and was charged with hindering prosecution. She has pleaded not guilty.    Witnesses said Goolsby and Robitaille argued with Jackson before the shooting.

SUPER BOWL-TROPHY

CUMBERLAND, R.I. (AP) — The New England Patriots will be competing against the Philadelphia Eagles to bring the Super Bowl trophy back to New England. Literally.  The Providence Journal reports the Lombardi Trophy awarded to the winner of Sunday’s championship game in Minneapolis, Minnesota was forged in a Tiffany & Co’s workshop in Cumberland, a suburban Rhode Island town along the Massachusetts state line.  The New York jeweler maker has been making the iconic sterling silver trophy since the first Super Bowl in 1967.    The trophy is named after Green Bay Packers Coach Vince Lombardi, who won the first two Super Bowls.   Tiffany officials say it takes silversmiths 72 hours to make the trophy by hand. The company also makes trophies hoisted by the champions in Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association.

CLIFF WALK VANDALIZED

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — Twin sisters have been ordered to pay restitution and complete community service after vandalizing Newport’s famous Cliff Walk.   Jocelyn and Jenna Senecal pleaded no contest to misdemeanor graffiti and conspiracy charges on Wednesday. The 22-year-old East Providence residents were each ordered to pay $1,050 and complete 25 hours of community service.   The sisters turned themselves in to police in December after the department posted photos online showing them with spray paint cans at the Cliff Walk in November.  Jocelyn Senecal has apologized for her actions but said they didn’t justify the online harassment that followed.   The 3 ½-mile walk is designated as a national recreation trail and is one of Rhode Island’s most popular tourist attractions. It runs between the Atlantic Ocean and many of Newport’s most spectacular mansions.

TARDY STUDENTS-LOCKED OUT

Image result for barrington high schoolBARRINGTON, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island high school is cracking down on tardiness by locking its doors promptly at the start of the school day.   The move at Barrington High has angered parents who complain their children have been forced to get buzzed in at the main entrance, a process that has led to long lines and even later arrivals to class.   But Supt. Michael Messore says the decision to lock all side doors at 7:40 a.m. comes after numerous appeals for punctuality. He says its important students be on time so learning isn’t disrupted.   Parents say students have long had an unwritten, 10-minute grace period to get to class after the starting bell. School officials Friday say the policy appears to be working: they saw far fewer stragglers by Friday.

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