THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE

RIDLEY-LOWELL CLOSES

The Ridley-Lowell Technical and Business school, offering dental, medical, beauty and electrical certification has closed campuses in New London and Danbury and has advised students in an email Wednesday evening that “all future classes and programs are cancelled.” An administrator at the school blamed the closure on “severe financial and operational challenges over the last year. Ridley-Lowell’s president, Terry Weymouth said the U.S. Department of Education withdrew recognition of the school’s accreditor last year.

CATALA UNFAZED

Jason Catala

Jason Catala, a seven term New London Board of Education member and a frequent critic of the school administration, says he remains mostly unfazed, perhaps even more motivated, since the board voted 5-2 to censure him. The censure, essentially a reprimand, was in part, a reaction to Catala’s public calls for the resignation of the principal at Harbor Elementary School. He called the board’s vote a “badly orchestrated attempt to publicly shame me.” Catala said he would like to continue to work as a team with the school board but sees his path diverging in ways.

STATE PIER GETTING INTEREST

There appears to be “great interest” in New London’s State Pier facility from terminal operators and, more recently, wind energy companies. That according to Connecticut Port Authority officials. New London’s deep water port is the only one between Boston and Norfolk, Va., without height or width restrictions in its main channel. Five companies from inside and outside the state have expressed interest.

BOARDS TOLD TO CUT 100 G’s

Due to uncertainty in state funding and the continuing need to use town surplus to offset state cuts, the Preston Board of Finance has asked school and town officials to review their proposed 2018-19 budgets and consider cutting $100,000 from each of the budgets submitted in March. The request calls for revised town and school budgets to be submitted by April 13. The Board of Finance will meet April 24 to discuss the budgets.

SWIMMING RECORD BROKEN

Niantic resident Christie Hayes, a member of the Nutmeg Masters swim team, recently broke the national record for the One Hour National Swim Championship which is held every January and February. Back in February, Hayes swam 4,145 yards, easily smashing the existing record for her 70-74 age group by 130 yards.

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