THURSDAY EVENING UPDATE

POWER’S BACK ON

Eversource Energy is reporting nearly every customer in eastern Connecticut has power, after strong thunderstorms this morning put many people in the dark.  Almost all of East Lyme had no power, along with most of Waterford, and Salem.   The Channel 3 forecast says our area will now experience several days of hot, and increasingly humid weather.

NO SUBS

Rep Joe Courtney

There’s no funding for additional attack submarines in the 675-billion dollar defense spending bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives Thursday.   The Pentagon was against the proposed 1-billion dollars needed for materials to build a third submarine in 2022 and 2023.  Second District Congressman Joe Courtney and Virginia Congressman Rob Wittman had been pushing for the additional money.  Pentagon officials say the proposed submarine funding would’ve had to tap into money set aside for other defense programs.  Courtney says he’s disappointed that the funding wasn’t approved.

FORMER DRUGGIST ARRESTED

A former Norwich pharmacist has been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly selling pain medication he obtained through forged prescriptions.   The office of the U-S Attorney in Connecticut claims 42-year old Eric Tingley forged some 183 prescriptions for oxycodone and 26 orders for alprazolam while working at an unnamed business in Norwich between October 2016 and July 2017. He was arrested Wednesday in Charlestown, Rhode Island, and appeared in federal court in New Haven.  He’s to have a detention hearing on Friday.  He could face as much as 64 years in prison. Tingley’s arrest is part of a national crackdown by the federal government on healthcare fraud.

CMECC NOW HAS ETHICS POLICY 

An ethics policy is now in place at the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative.  Its Board of Directors today approved the new regulations, which covers many areas, including limits on gifts given or received by CMEEC members.   All CMEEC employees, and contractors must go through training regarding the new policy within the next 90 days.  The policy forbids any CMEEC representative from accepting a gift worth more than 100-dollars.  The policy was enacted after the cooperative came under fire for taking lavish trips to the Kentucky Derby.  The group also named CohnReznick, L-L-C to conduct a forensic audit of CMEEC’s expenditures for the past five years.

COMO NOW BETTER

A year-long renovation project is finally complete at the Stonington Community Center.  The upgrades were funded by an 800-thousand dollar loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Stonington Representative Diana Urban says young families can now enjoy a state-of-the-art recreational facility for years to come. Urban spoke during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday.  The COMO upgrades include security enhancements and improved handicapped access.  A new roof was put on the main building and new fencing installed around the COMO’s two athletic fields and playground.  In addition, the tennis courts have been refurbished and the paddle tennis facility has been expanded.

ROAD CLOSURE NEAR OCEAN BEACH

If you’re planning to go to Ocean Beach Park over the next few days, New London officials are warning motorists that Ocean Avenue will be closed to traffic between Gardner and Neptune Avenues on Friday, Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday due to road construction.  Detours will be in effect, and those going to the beach are urged to use  Montauk Avenue to Pequot Avenue.  Beach traffic will be obligated to park in the Ocean Beach lots. Police may temporarily suspend residential parking rules on the nearby streets, if the beach parking lot gets filled.

NAACP SUING CT

Derrick Johnson

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – The NAACP is suing Connecticut over how it counts its inmates when crafting legislative districts, arguing it weakens urban districts. The civil rights organization hopes the case can become a template for lawsuits in other states where inmates are included in the population counts of areas where they’re imprisoned rather than their home districts. NAACP President Derrick Johnson says including incarcerated people in the population counts for districts where prisons are located is unfair to the legislative districts where the inmates came from. He says the practice can give disproportionate weight to rural parts of states and impact representation and allocation of state and federal funds. The suit was filed Thursday in federal court. It comes after several failed attempts to pass state legislation to change how inmates are counted.

SMALL CITIES GRANTS 

Four eastern Connecticut communities are receiving state funding through the small cities grants program. Sprague is getting 400-thousand dollars to rehabilitate low and moderate income housing in the town.  Voluntown is getting 700-thousand dollars to upgrade the Greenwood Manor public housing complex.  Killingly is receiving 700-thousand dollars to complete capital improvements on its domestic violence shelter, and Windham will spend 800-thousand dollars for an upgraded heating system at the Nathan Hale Terrace housing complex.  In all, some 16.5 million dollars is being distributed to 16 cities and towns in the state.

NO SPECIAL MIRANDAS FOR JUVENILES

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -has declined to set up new rules for police who question juveniles suspected of crimes that could be transferred to adult court.  A 5-1 ruling released Thursday comes in the case of a 16-year-old from Torrington who was charged in 2012 with attempting to rob several middle school students. Attorneys for William Castillo argued that police should have told the teen that his statements could be used against him should his case be transferred to adult court. The high court ruled that the teen was not in custody when he talked to police and was not entitled to be read his rights. They also declined to set up a new rule specifically for juveniles, saying there was no evidence that a “pervasive and significant” problem exits.

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