THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE

FIRST DEBATE IN BOOKS

Democratic nominee Ned Lamont and independent candidate Oz Griebel participated in a gubernatorial debate in West Hartford Wednesday night. (WFSB)

How to improve Connecticut’s economy is the focus of the first scheduled debate last night between the gubernatorial candidates in this November’s elections. Only two candidates participated, as Republican Bob Stefanowski decided to sit this one out. Democrat Ned Lamont and unaffiliated candidate Oz Griebel generally agreed on many issues, and both declined to say exactly what taxes, if any, they would increase to tackle the state’s projected budget deficits. Griebel says he would first concentrate on cutting spending, and reducing duplication of services, perhaps giving some municipal aid to regional council of governments. Lamont did mention the possibility of tolling tractor-trailers on state highways, as well as more regionalization of services, saying he’s not looking to raise people’s rates, “right now.”  Both candidates support an open bidding process for a possible Bridgeport casino, although Griebel admits the state has to first determine how that would affect the current slots agreement with the Mashantucket-Pequot and Mohegan tribes.

PLEA DEAL REACHED IN THREAT CASE

A Cromwell man pleads no contest to threatening to kill judicial workers at a Connecticut courthouse. Fifty-three-year-old Edward Taupier was in New London Superior Court yesterday pleading to the offense against judges and judicial staff in the Middletown courthouse. The threats came in Facebook posts. Taupier is already in prison for threatening to shoot a family court judge. He’s appealing that conviction, arguing all his threats are protected under the first amendment right to free speech. On the latest conviction, Taupier will serve four months in prison.

RESIDENTS WANT MILL SECURED

Connecticut Casting Mill

Pawcatuck residents want the old Connecticut Casting Mill secured. About 60 of them gathered at a forum last night to tell town officials to secure the building, clean up the site and try to develop it. The mill along the Pawcatuck River on Stillman Avenue is crumbling and is plagued by trespassers. The mill’s ownership group is dissolving and plan to abandon the site.

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