SATURDAY MORNING UPDATE

FIRED NFA COACH PLEADS NOT GUILTY

Anthony Facchini (Norwich PD)

NEW LONDON – During a brief appearance at New London Superior Court Friday morning, Bryan Fiengo, lawyer for the fired Norwich Free Academy coach accused of two counts of sexual assault, entered not guilty pleas on behalf of his client.   The Bulletin reports Judge Hillary Strackbein also on Friday upheld the state’s request to keep the warrant affidavit for Anthony Facchini’s case sealed.   Facchini’s case was continued to Oct. 19.   Facchini, 25, of Norwich, was arrested Sept. 12 by Norwich police on two counts of second-degree sexual assault. He is accused of having sexual relations with two NFA students beginning in 2017 when he was on staff as a coach at the school.   Facchini remains free on a $75,000 bond.

WHITE POWDER SCARE

GROTON, Conn. (AP) — Police say they are investigating a white powder scare at the Islamic Center of New London as a hate crime.   The substance, which has been sent to the state crime lab for analysis, was found in an envelope at the mosque just before 9 a.m. Friday.   Police say a 43-year-old man was exposed to the powder, but was not injured. Police say experts at the scene determined there was no danger to the surrounding community.   Authorities had everyone in the building shelter in place and the street outside the center was closed for three hours while authorities, including the FBI, state and local police investigated.   The Connecticut chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations says the envelope contained a white substance and a letter that included derogatory comments about Islam.   The organization is calling for increased security at other Islamic institutions.

HARBOR COMMISSION LOOKING FOR IDEAS

NORWICH — The Norwich Harbor Management Commission is asking for input from the public to help the harbor become a better economic asset to Norwich.  The harbor commission put out a 36-question survey in July asking Norwich residents and visitors for feedback.   The harbor commission will host a public meeting Tuesday to review some of the results from that survey to-date, and to provide a forum where residents can voice their concerns and present ideas for improvements and enhancement opportunities. The meeting is set for 5 p.m. Tuesday at Norwich City Hall.

PONEMAH MILLS PHASE TWO GROUNDBREAKING

Ponemah Mills construction (The Day)

NORWICH — The Lofts at Ponemah Mills broke ground on phase two of its construction Friday with a ceremony including speeches from local and statewide officials and project stakeholders.   The groundbreaking for phase two was paired with a ribbon-cutting ceremony commemorating the completion of phase one of the development that came nearly a year after the first residents moved in to the historic mill. Now, 116 residential rental units are online, of which 60 percent are low-income housing tax credit units and 40 percent are offered at market rate.   Ponemah Developer Finn O’Neill told The Bulletin nearly all units in phase one are currently occupied, save for approximately six of the affordable housing units.  Phase two of the project, which O’Neil said he hopes will be completed by Fall 2019, will bring online an additional 121 units, including 74 low-income housing tax credit units.

SHIPYARD EXPANSION

Electric Boat, Groton

GROTON, Conn. (AP) — Submarine builder Electric Boat has announced plans for an $850 million shipyard expansion in Connecticut.   The Day reports the company released plans for expanding its Groton shipyard Thursday as it prepares to build a new class of ballistic missile submarines.   Electric Boat says it plans to construct a new assembly facility and a floating dry dock.   The environmental consulting company helping with the project says the facilities will allow Electric Boat to bring the submarine materials to the site by water and help reduce construction traffic.   Some residents have opposed the project, arguing that it will impact their waterfront views and lower their property values.   Electric Boat says it looked at alternative sites, but none of them worked.   Construction on the buildings is expected to start in 2019.

SEAPOWER SYMPOSIUM

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — Senior military representatives from more than 100 countries have met in Rhode Island to talk about ways to cooperate and address shared challenges. Adm. John Richardson, the U.S. chief of naval operations, hosted the 23rd International Seapower Symposium at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport. It concluded Friday. About 80 heads of navies and 20 heads of Coast Guards attended. They discussed evolving maritime strategy and ways to innovate, among other topics.   The theme was security, order and prosperity.

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