MONDAY EVENING UPDATE

NO ECONOMIC BOND FOR NORWICH

City Hall Norwich

A proposed 8-point-47 million dollar economic development bond package for Norwich will not be moving ahead.  The measure failed to get enough support tonight from the city council to send it to voters this November.   The bond would’ve built upon a similar, but smaller measure that was approved eight years ago, and would’ve expanded the development incentives into other areas of the city, not only downtown. The bond measure was approved by the 4 to 3 Republican majority on the council, but needed five votes to pass.   Aldermen did unanimously approve sending a 2-point-7 million dollar bond to referendum for new police radios.

NL NOW HAS BUDGET

The City of New London finally has a budget for the next year. At a council meeting tonight, the previously revised budget, with savings of half a million dollars, passed with a vote of 6 in favor to 1 against. The budget previously stalled after a citizens’ petition forced New London to either hold a citywide referendum or look at reductions to the almost $50 million budget  It then failed again, after being revised, when it didn’t receive the necessary five votes from the city’s councilors. The new budget takes effect immediately.

DRUG CZAR IN NEW HAVEN

Jim Carroll (center, Middletown Press)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) – President Donald Trump’s nominee for drug czar has called Connecticut a national example of helping people get addiction treatment. Jim Carroll visited New Haven on Monday after more than 100 recent overdoses on synthetic marijuana at a city park. He met with officials including Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and first responders to discuss the overdoses and the country’s drug crisis. Carroll says about 200 Americans die every day from addiction. He says the Trump administration is trying to curb the problem with prevention, treatment and law enforcement efforts. New Haven authorities responded to more than 100 overdoses Wednesday and Thursday, mostly on the New Haven Green. Some people overdosed multiple times. Everyone recovered. Officials blamed a potent batch of K2. Three people were arrested.

38TH  RECOUNT HALF DONE

One half of the recount in the tight Democratic primary race in the 38th state house district has been complete.   Montville election officials say the hand recount today in their town shows the same results as last Tuesday’s voting, with Patrick Murphy leading Baird Welch-Collins by 62 votes, and Nick Gauthier by 74 votes.  The recount in Waterford takes place tomorrow.   Final results from last Tuesday’s primary showed Baird-Collins winning by 8 votes over Murphy, with Gauthier coming in third.

HIGHWAY RIBBON-CUTTING

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) – Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has cut a ribbon marking the imminent completion of a major project to widen Interstate 84 in Waterbury. State transportation officials say three completed eastbound lanes of the interstate should open this week and the westbound lanes should open next month, a year ahead of schedule. Final paving is expected to be finished later this fall. The project to add a third travel lane and full width shoulders in each direction along a 3-mile stretch of the highway cost an estimated $330 million. Speaking to reporters, Malloy also reiterated the need for the $10 million study on whether to reintroduce tolls in Connecticut. The governor said he is tired of people comparing Connecticut’s transportation infrastructure to states whose residents have made sacrifices to fund better systems.

IN THE BLACK, FOR NOW

 HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut’s main spending account has a projected surplus, for now. In a letter sent Monday to Democratic Comptroller Kevin Lembo, Office of Policy and Management Secretary Ben Barnes says higher-than-expected tax collections have led to a potential $137.9 million operating surplus in the state’s main spending account for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30.  Barnes is stressing how these estimates “will undoubtedly be revised.” The state’s General Fund is roughly $19 billion. Barnes says the largest revenue change comes from the withholding portion of the personal income tax, which is up nearly $97 million. The sales and use tax is up more than $58 million than originally budgeted. Meanwhile, $85 million in additional estimated income tax payments will be deposited in the state’s budget reserved account.

WESTERLY SUN SOLD

MERIDEN, Conn. (AP) – The Record-Journal Publishing Co. has agreed to sell The Westerly Sun to a publishing group that owns newspapers in Rhode Island.    The Record-Journal reports the sale to Rhode Island Suburban Newspapers was announced Monday and is effective Aug. 31. Rhode Island Suburban Newspapers will also acquire several related publications, including the weekly Mystic River Press. The Record-Journal in Meriden  says it wants to strategically reposition to focus on other growth areas. It purchased The Westerly Sun in 1999. Rhode Island Suburban Newspapers, a privately-owned publisher, owns several other daily and weekly newspapers in Rhode Island.
It says it’s looking forward to growing its portfolio of local news publications and plans to keep all of The Westerly Sun’s employees.

FREE HEPATITIS CLINICS

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Free vaccination clinics will be offered to prevent a hepatitis A outbreak.  There hasn’t been an outbreak in Connecticut but there have been in other states. The state Department of Public Health said Monday there’s concern that a similar outbreak could happen in Connecticut. Health officials in Arkansas said last week that an atypical and unusually severe hepatitis A outbreak in northeastern Arkansas has infected at least 85 people. A waning outbreak in Utah has killed three people.   Hepatitis A is transmitted primarily by oral contact with fecal matter. It attacks the liver.  Proper personal hygiene and hand-washing can reduce transmission. Health departments in Hartford and Torrington will be offering the first round of clinics this week. The schedule is online . More clinics will be held around the state.

DISASTER DECLARATION

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – President Donald Trump has approved a disaster declaration for Connecticut following severe storms that included four tornadoes. The tornadoes touched down in six towns in Connecticut during the May 15 storms. Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy asked the federal government to help with the recovery. Trump approved the federal assistance Monday.  The White House says federal funding is available for eligible municipal and state expenses on a cost-sharing basis. Malloy’s request for assistance for individuals impacted by the storms remains under federal review.  Two people died in Danbury and New Fairfield when trees hit their vehicles.
Malloy says the storms had a devastating impact, causing significant damage that’s still being cleaned up and repaired months later.   The White House says federal funding is also available throughout the state to prepare for disasters.

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