FRIDAY EVENING UPDATE

ONE DOWN, ONE TO GO

EAST WINDSOR, Conn. (AP) – The U.S. Department of Interior has issued one of two approvals needed for the construction of an East Windsor casino proposed by the two local federally-recognized Indian tribes hoping to compete with a new Massachusetts casino. The agency published official notice Friday that it approved amendments to a revenue-sharing agreement between the Mohegan tribe and the state of Connecticut. A project spokesman has said the second approval is expected soon on amendments to a similar agreement between the state and Mashantucket Pequots. The two tribes are planning to jointly operate the planned East Windsor casino, about 15 miles from an MGM Resorts casino scheduled to open this August  in Springfield, Massachusetts.   MGM Resorts criticized the ruling as conflicting with federal law and said it plans to investigate the decision.

GOVERNOR WELCOMES NL MARINA EXPANSION

Thamesport  Marina (NBC CT)

The Thamesport  Marina in New London was visited Friday afternoon by Governor Dannel Malloy, Senator Richard Blumenthal, and other state dignitaries to celebrate the completion of a $1.4 million dollar expansion project which provides 700 feet of concrete floating dock that was able to be constructed through state funding. About 35 guests including Congressman Joe Courtney were on hand with Owner Ari Yasgur to celebrate the expansion of the Pequot Avenue marina that will now be able to accept more and larger vessels seeking short term dockage.

E.B., OTHERS, GET BOND MONEY

Dannel Malloy

More than 80-million dollars in loans and grants from the state of Connecticut will be shared among 16 companies to help then expand, relocate, retain and add jobs.  The Bond Commission approved the funding Friday.  Governor Dannel Malloy says a 35-million dollar loan to Electric Boat will help the submarine-builder acquire new machinery and equipment for its growing operations in Groton and New London. State loans are also going to Sheffield Pharmaceuticals in New London, Nalas Engineering Services in Norwich, and to Magnetic Technologies, which is relocating from Massachusetts to Putnam.  Money is also being allocated for improvements to the Eastwood Court housing complex in Norwich, and Bartlett Park in New London.

HUD CHIEF TO VIEW CRUMBLING HOUSES

Ben Carson

A Willington couple that has a crumbling home foundation is expecting a lot of company on Monday. U-S Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson will be visiting. He’ll be joined by Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, plus Congressman Joe Courtney.    Carson will get a first-hand look at the foundation of a home on Balazs Road in Willington.   The homeowners are Maggie and Vincent Perracchio.   Their home is less than 30-years old.   As many as 34-thousand homes in the region have crumbling foundations, blamed on the mineral pyrrotite.   Insurance companies have denied claims.   The state legislature approved a 12-dollar surcharge on insurance policies, to create funds for those homes.

PAROLE BOARD SAYS NO

Early release is not being granted to a repeat sex offender in connection with a March, 2002 abduction of a woman in New London. The state Board of Pardons and Paroles denied the request from 54-year old John Moniz.  He was sentenced in 2011 to ten years behind bars for the abduction, and was described by a judge then as a-quote-extremely dangerous predator.  The decision by the board means Moniz will remain in prison through April of next year, and then be under 15 years of strict probation.  Moniz served six years in prison for an attempted assault of a woman in Groton, which happened a month after the New London assault.

RI JOINS THE ANTI-BUMP STOCK GROUP

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Rhode Island has joined its neighbors in banning devices that enable semi-automatic weapons to mimic a fully automatic one. Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo signed the bump stock ban bill Friday. Raimondo also signed a “red flag” bill that will allow law enforcement to request orders to temporarily remove guns from people it deems dangerous. Raimondo says the bills are common-sense measures that will make Rhode Island safer. The proposals cleared the last hurdle in the General Assembly on Thursday. Lawmakers in Connecticut enacted a bump stock ban Thursday. Massachusetts did so last year. Bump stocks were used in the shooting at a Las Vegas concert that left 58 people dead. Florida, Maryland and Vermont have also passed red flag laws since the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

NECCO CANDIES SOLD

BOSTON (AP) – A company that once rescued the Twinkies brand is now taking over the maker of Necco Wafers. The family business of billionaire Dean Metropoulos announced Friday that it paid $17.3 million for the New England Confectionery Company, or Necco.   It’s a surprise ending to a federal bankruptcy auction that initially left Necco to an Ohio company. Spangler Candy Co. made the highest bid last week, but court records say it refused to close without a price reduction. Instead a deal closed Thursday to sell Necco to a Connecticut-based branch of Metropoulos’ company, which made the second-highest bid. His firm previously bought Hostess, the maker of Twinkies, out of bankruptcy in 2013.   The 171-year-old Necco is based near Boston and is also known for its Sweethearts candies sold around Valentine’s Day.

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