NEW LONDON SCHOOL BUSES COULD HAVE NEW HOME – AGAIN
New London’s fleet of school buses may be getting yet another new home. A portion of 131 Cedar Grove Ave. has been approved a zone map amendment from residential to a limited commercial zone by the Planning and Zoning Commission. The plan for the bus parking will be submitted later this month and outline how the applicant plans to mitigate any perceived nuisances to neighbors. The school buses from Student Transportation of America were evicted earlier this year from a city-owned parcel in Fort Trumbull.
TWO GROUPS LOOK TO THE COMMUNITY TO PREVENT YOUTH SUICIDE
Two groups are teaching community members how to recognize the warning signs and causes of suicide among youth and young adults. The Southeastern Regional Action Council (SERAC) agency won a $350,000 grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration on Monday to help do that. Statistically, 10 percent of nearly 8,500 local middle and high school students surveyed in 2016 and 2017 reported having seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year. At 9.7 deaths per 100,000, Connecticut has one of the lowest suicide rates in the country – likely because of its prevention efforts, but it still has seen a 20 percent hike since 1999. The state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said 402 people died by suicide in Connecticut last year but many professionals believe that number is low.
GASOLINE PRICES GOING UP
According to AAA, gas prices are climbing, which is unusual for this time of the year because refineries make the switch to their winter blend, which is less expensive, in September. Some drivers in Connecticut say they don’t mind the prices because they remember a much tougher time. According to AAA, the national average for a gallon of gas is $2.91. Connecticut is 12 cents higher coming in at $3.03 this week. Energy experts said the healthy demand for crude oil, which makes up about half of the cost of gas, is also driving up prices. Either way, drivers said they will continue to pick up the cost.
NORWICH DISABILITY AWARENESS WEEK
Norwich will host its first annual Disability Awareness Week, Oct. 9th through the 13th to encourage awareness of and compliance with civil rights of the disabled. The five-day observance at Otis Library will feature educational and cultural events — all of which are free and open to the public. Activities will include a service-animal demonstration, a resource fair, a luncheon with a presentation on the, ABCs of ADA, and a panel discussion by area legislators. The Blue Soul Jazz Unit, featuring Greater Hartford’s Ricky Alfonso on trumpet, is scheduled to perform in concert Friday, Oct. 12, at 7:30 p.m. Disability Awareness Week is sponsored by the Norwich Commission for Persons with Disabilities, with support from the City of Norwich, Eastern Connecticut Savings Bank, Norwich Public Utilities and Otis Library. For more information and a complete schedule of events visit www.otislibrarynorwich.org. Preregistration is required for some events and for sign-language interpretation.language interpretation.
LAWRENCE AND MEMORIAL HOSPITAL HOSTS COMMUNITY BABY EXPO
A free community expo for new and expectant parents will be held at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13th in Baker Auditorium at the main hospital campus on Montauk Avenue. Attendees will be able to learn about hospital programs and community resources. Tours of the hospital’s maternity unit will be available. Reservations are not required. For more information, contact Tiffany Kriz at 860-442-0711, ext. 2657.
FORMER TRIBAL CHAIRMAN DISPUTES STATE CIGARETTE TAX
MASHANTUCKET, Conn. (AP) – A former Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Chairman says he plans to take the state of Connecticut to court over Native American-made cigarettes. Kenny Reels tells The Day the state Department of Revenue Services seized cigarettes in his store on the Mashantucket Pequot reservation made by other Native American tribes. He said Thursday he didn’t pay state taxes on those cigarettes, and he believes they are exempt from taxes because they are distributed between sovereign tribes. A revenue department spokesman says the raid on Reels’ store was part of an “ongoing criminal investigation.” He declined to comment further. Reels’ lawyer says his client has complied with all state laws. Reels says he plans for his tribe to eventually grown its own tobacco and sell its own cigarettes.
2 HURT, ABANDONED RHODE ISLAND INDUSTRIAL BUILDING BURNS
PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) – Police in Rhode Island responding to reports of a man who had lit himself on fire later found a nearby abandoned industrial building on fire.
Pawtucket police found the man and a female acquaintance just before midnight Thursday. Officers discovered that a fire was spreading in the old Roberts Chemical building a short time later. Part of the building collapsed and Michael Sweeney, chief of the state fire marshal’s investigation unit, tells WPRI-TV the structural integrity of the rest of the building is compromised and it will likely need to be torn down. Crews from Pawtucket, Central Falls, North Providence and Lincoln responded to the scene. The man suffered serious but non-life threatening burns. The woman suffered smoke inhalation. Both were arrested on outstanding warrants. The fire’s cause remains under investigation.