“THE FIGHTS” AT MONTVILLE HIGH
MONTVILLE, Conn. (AP) – A former substitute teacher is charged with supervising a student “fight club” at Montville high school. Police say cellphone videos show 23-year-old Ryan Fish encouraging students as they slap each other in the middle of a classroom at Montville High School. Fish pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges including reckless endangerment and risk of injury to a minor. He has denied facilitating the fights and says he thought the students were just being “rambunctious.” Fish was fired in October. Police began investigating in December after a student told a social worker he had been beaten at school. Superintendent Brian Levesque tells The Day newspaper that he did not alert police after firing Fish because he knew of only one fight and thought it was an isolated incident.
LEAVING FOR NOW
Saying it’s time to re-boot a bit, Griswold State Representative Kevin Skulczyck says he’s not seeking a second 2-year term in the legislature. He says he made the decision after consulting with his family and friends, and community members. Skulczyck says he’ll focus his time on his businesses. He owns a pub in Jewett City, and is pursuing a similar venture in Taftville, near the Ponemah Mill Apartments. He adds, though, he’s not ruling out a return to local politics down the road. He says he’ll still remain active in local affairs, including fighting against a planned state police gun range near the Patchaug State Forest. Skulczyck is supporting fellow Republican Brian Lanoue in his quest for Skulczyck’s legislative seat.
CUT, DON’T CUT
Norwich aldermen tonight hear pleas to cut the city budget, and not cut the school budget. The first of two scheduled public hearings is held regarding Norwich’s tax and spending plan for the next fiscal year. The city manager’s proposed 126-point-8 million dollar package raises taxes in both the town and city consolidated district, with the C-C-D rate projected to go to 52 mills. That’s unacceptable, says Corning Road resident Bill Blake. The school board’s requested 9-percent increase in education spending is cut to 2-percent by the city manager. Parent Ryan Telford thinks the full board request should be granted, to bring the city’s schools in line with Norwich Free Academy, whose budget can’t be changed by the city. Aldermen Monday night will decide whether to have the city manager investigate possible five-percent reductions to city government spending. Meanwhile, another budget public hearing is set for May 14th.
NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) – The retrial of a Norwich man charged with killing his new wife has been scheduled for August. Jury selection in the retrial of 54-year-old Chihan Eric Chyung is tentatively scheduled to start Aug. 20 with testimony beginning a week later. Chyung was convicted of murder and manslaughter in 2014 in the June 2009 shooting death of 46-year-old Paige Bennett Chyung. Prosecutors say he shot his wife of just three weeks in their home during an argument. The conviction was overturned last year by the Connecticut Supreme Court, which unanimously ruled that the jury delivered conflicting verdicts because murder is an intentional act and manslaughter is a reckless, unintentional act. Chyung has consistently maintained the shooting was an accident. He remains jailed on $3 million bond.
GLOBAL INITIATIVE IN NORWICH
Chelsea Groton Foundation today presented a $100,000 check to establish a Global City Initiative in Norwich. Norwich Community Development Corporation Manager Jill Fritzsche says the grant will be used to support ethnically diverse businesses downtown and to attract more of them and to promote new and existing festivals. The proposed city budget has 50,000-dollars in matching funds for the initiative.
DELINQUENT FACILITY CLOSED
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (AP) – Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says a secure, state facility in Middletown for delinquent young males has finally closed due to a declining rate of juvenile and young adult arrests in Connecticut, a low crime rate and new reforms and programs. The Democrat on Thursday called the Connecticut Juvenile Training School “an ill-advised and costly relic of the Rowland era,” referring to former Republican Gov. John G. Rowland. Malloy says the $57 million “prison-like facility” for males aged 12-to-20 years made “rehabilitation, healing and growth more challenging.” It first opened in 2001 and had the capacity to hold more than 200 young males. State lawmakers recently transferred care of delinquent youth from the Department of Children and Families to the judicial branch, which has juvenile detention facilities in Hartford and Bridgeport.