SUNDAY MORNING UPDATE

CONNECTICUT GAMBLING BILLS IN LIMBO

Joe Aresimowicz

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — It’s unclear which gambling bills, if any, will make it to the finish line before the Connecticut General Assembly adjourns next month.   It’s also fuzzy as to whether the General Assembly will agree to instead spend money on an independent study of the issue.   House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz last week said lawmakers “need to move forward with a comprehensive plan of what gambling looks like.” But his comments came after a committee killed a proposed professional study. Meanwhile, lawmakers who want an open bidding process for a new casino — possibly in Bridgeport — aren’t giving up. Bridgeport Rep. Chris Rosario, a Democrat, says his colleagues still support a bill that would require state agencies to develop a request for proposals from casino developers for a $500 million facility.

SILVER ALERT FOR MISSING MONTVILLE WOMAN

Taylor Hanson (Patch)

MONTVILLE – State police have issued a silver alert for a 24-year-old Montville woman reported missing since Friday.   Taylor Hanson is described as a white female with brown eyes and hair. She is 4-feet, 10-inches tall and weighs 70 pounds.   Anyone with information on Hanson’s location is asked to call Troop E in Montville at (860) 848-6500.

NEW LEADER FOR SCHOOL THAT ALLEGEDLY HAD “FIGHT CLUB”

MONTVILLE, Conn. (AP) — The Connecticut school district that had three administrators arrested in the fallout over an alleged “fight club” is getting a new acting high school principal on Monday.   The Montville High School principal, the superintendent and an assistant superintendent were arrested last week for not telling authorities about allegations that a substitute teacher organized fights between students inside a math classroom.   The teacher, Ryan Fish, was fired in October but police were not notified until two months later. Fish has pleaded not guilty to charges including reckless endangerment. Another principal from the school district, Heather Sangermano, will begin her role as acting principal of the high school this week.   Assistant Superintendent Laurie Pallin says she hopes the district can return to some sense of normalcy.

OPPORTUNITY ZONES

Gov. Malloy

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration is nominating 72 low-income zones in 27 Connecticut municipalities for a federal community development program.   The Democrat had created an application process for municipalities interested in participating in the Opportunity Zone Program. Each governor must submit a plan to the federal government designating tracts as Opportunity Zones.   Qualified tracts must have a poverty rate of at least 20 percent of the median income that does not exceed 80 percent of the area median income.   The program provides a federal tax incentive for investors to re-invest unrealized capital gains into these special zones by pooling money with other investors through Opportunity Funds.   Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Catherine Smith says the 72 zones are “ripe for redevelopment.” She hopes the designation spurs economic growth.

SUSPICIOUS POWDER AT MERIDEN HOSPITAL

MidState Medical Center (Record Journal)

MERIDEN, Conn. (AP) — Officials say a Connecticut hospital has resumed normal operations after a man with a white powdery substance on him entered the emergency room, coming in contact with several nurses.   A spokesman for MidState Medical Center in Meriden says testing Friday night determined “an inert substance” was involved. He didn’t elaborate.   Police say the medical center went on lockdown for about three hours Friday after three nurses and the man became ill. They were quarantined and treated for minor injuries.   Meriden Police Sgt. John Mennone tells the Record Journal the man came to the emergency room with the substance on him and several packages of it in his pockets.   No patients were affected. People in the emergency room were moved to other parts of the hospital.

ALGAE BLOOM HELPS SHELLFISH INDUSTRY

NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (AP) — A record-breaking algae bloom in Narragansett Bay is setting the stage for a booming shellfish season.   The Providence Journal reports Rhode Island’s algae bloom this past winter was the largest on record, and could fuel a spike in clam and scallop numbers.   University of Rhode Island scientists have tracked the January bloom, which they say is a result of high rainfall in October. Blooms occurring during the winter are positive because they won’t lead to low-oxygen conditions for other species.   The resulting increase in phytoplankton, a source of nutrients for clams, helps shellfish growth throughout the season.

COASTAL RESOURCES COUNCIL

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — An environmental group has asked the Superior Court to weigh in on the governor’s power to appoint members to an agency tasked with preserving coastal resources.   Save The Bay, a Narragansett Bay advocacy organization, filed the complaint Friday.   The organization says the 10 current members of the Coastal Resources Management Council are all appointed by the governor.   The council was created in 1971 and designed so that half of its members would be appointed by the governor and the rest by the legislature. However, the legislature no longer has the power to appoint members to boards and commissions.   Save The Bay says coastal residents deserve to be represented on the council.   Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo’s office says she welcomes the court’s guidance.

 

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