NL COUNCIL PASSES BUDGET
The New London City Council has approved the first of three readings for a proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The 92-point-8 million dollar spending plan includes a 488-thousand dollar increase in taxpayer funding for the school district. That’s two million-dollars less than what the board of education had requested. Board President Mirna Martinez says that will force the schools to make drastic reductions. City councilor Don Venditto says the lack of funding is unfortunate, but school officials have to hunker down and make the necessary cuts. The proposed budget represents a 3-point-2 percent spending increase. It would raise the city’s tax rate by point-43 mills.
TRIBES THREATEN STATE
Connecticut’s two recognized Indian tribes are threatening to cut off slot machine revenue from their casino resorts if sports betting is authorized statewide. In a letter to House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz and other legislative leaders, the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes said a bill before the General Assembly to legalize sports betting would violate the compact between the tribes and the state. The tribes warned that the state’s 25 percent take from slot revenue at the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, some $250 million a year, could be cut off unless a deal is struck with them over sports betting. Aresimowicz said he views the letters as the beginning of negotiations with the tribes, and said both would be involved in sports betting if it is authorized by the state.
NEW LOOK FOR SEAPORT
Mystic Seaport will have a new look beginning this morning. They are launching a new branding initiative that will change its name, logo, colors, website, and message. Even the coffee mugs, hats and T-shirts will change. If you drive along Route 27 just past 9 a.m. today you’ll will see new signs in nautical orange, naval blue and arctic white and the new name, Mystic Seaport Museum, in modern typeface. It’s all part of the museum’s desire to freshen its look.
The man accused of fatally shooting his cousin Ralph Sebastian Sidberry on April 12, 2017 has still been found not be competent to stand trial. Clinicians at the Whiting Forensic Division will work to try and restore his competency. James Armstrong and Sidberry both belonged to the Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation. Armstrong is accused of shooting Sidberry outside of Sidberry’s Lantern Hill Road home in North Stonington because he believed Sidberry had spread the AIDS virus to several members of the tribe.
OPINIONS ABOUND ON PQ BRIDGE
The Groton Office of Planning and Development on Monday evening hosted a meeting with 50 residents in attendance at the Groton Public Library to seek input on the future of the Poquonnock Bridge area. Feedback varied in what they wanted to see done to the area and whether they wanted to see anything done at all. Some said it would be better to leave things the way they are. Others embraced the change idea. Planning Director Jonathan Reiner clarified that they are not trying to turn the village into the next Mystic that is more tourist-based. He said they want to preserve the historic character.
MEET THE NEW SUPER
The New London school district will hold a community “meet and greet” Thursday at the Science and Technology Magnet High School, for new school Superintendent Cynthia Ritchie. She will be there beginning at 6:15 p.m. Ritchie had worked since 2014 as the assistant superintendent in the East Hartford public school system and was recommended by the superintendent search committee.