Archive for WICH Personality Radio

THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE

RECALL A FALSE ALARM

The Ledge Light Health District has retracted an alert about eggs tainted with salmonella saying the alert is a false alarm. The eggs were purchased at the Wal-Marts in Groton and Waterford. Inspectors had misread the numerical codes on the side of the cartons and their determination that the eggs were part of the recall was wrong. A spokesperson for the Department of Consumer Protection said Wednesday that the Ledge Light inspectors likely had based their decision on the “universal product code” that matched the recalled products’ numbers but did not check whether the plant number matched that on the eggs listed in the recall notice.

SAILOR MISSING

Groton Police say a 24-year-old U.S. Navy sailor is missing from his home. Tyler Jacob was last seen leaving his house in Groton on Tuesday morning. He’s described as white with blond hair and blue eyes, 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing about 220 pounds. He was riding a blue 2014 Honda CBR motorcycle with the Connecticut license plate 00KSVK. Police do not have a description of what he was wearing when he left his house. They’re asking anyone with information to call the Groton Town Police Department at (860) 441-6712.

FAIR HOUSING CELEBRATED

The Eastern Con­necti­cut As­so­ci­a­tion of Real­tors on Wed­nes­day morn­ing held a spe­cial mem­ber­ship meet­ing to com­mem­o­rate the 50th an­niver­sary of the Fair Hous­ing Act. Nor­wich NAACP Pres­i­dent Dianne Daniels com­mented that zip codes mat­ter nearly as much as ge­netic code in de­ter­min­ing life ex­pectancy in the rental or sale of a dwelling. Con­necti­cut Fair Hous­ing Cen­ter Direc­tor Erin Kem­ple spoke about tests to en­sure real­tors are com­pli­ant with fair hous­ing laws. Look­ing out across the room of mostly white real es­tate agents, Nor­wich Depart­ment of Com­mu­nity Devel­op­ment Direc­tor Kathy Crees commented, they need to do a bet­ter “job of mar­ket­ing a career in real estate to peo­ple of dif­fer­ent eth­nic­i­ties and col­ors.”

BOROUGH BUDGET UP FOR WEEKEND VOTE

The pro­posed 2018-19 Ston­ing­ton borough bud­get will be voted on at the an­nual bor­ough meet­ing, which will be held at 10 a.m. Satur­day at Bor­ough Hall. Borough War­den Jeff Cal­la­han said that for a home­owner with the me­dian as­sess­ment of $460,000, the pro­posed bud­get would in­crease their bor­ough taxes by $22. Res­i­dents will also be asked to ap­prove the bor­ough’s five-year cap­i­tal im­prove­ment plan.

WEDNESDAY EVENING UPDATE

CT REMEMBERING FORMER FIRST LADY

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Democratic Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy has ordered flags in the state lowered to half-staff to honor former first lady Barbara Bush. Malloy’s order on Wednesday applies to all U.S. and Connecticut flags at state buildings until the sunset Saturday, the day Bush will be interred.  Bush died Tuesday at the age of 92 following a series of hospitalizations. Malloy says Bush had the respect and love of the country, and that no one could deny the “honesty and dignity” with which she carried herself. He extends his sympathies to the Bush family. Bush brought a plainspoken, grandmotherly manner to Washington, according to her Associated Press obituary. Her 73-year marriage to former president George H.W. Bush was the longest of any presidential couple, beginning during World War II. A funeral is planned for Saturday in Houston, Texas.

SEAT CUTS MAY NOT HAPPEN

It looks like 670-thousand dollars in proposed service cuts to the Southeast Area Transit District may be averted. Senator Cathy Osten has indicated the state legislature may find another way to plug a gaping hole in the special transportation fund. SEAT general manager Michael Carroll says he’s crossing his fingers. Carroll says it’s been difficult to listen to the heartbreaking stories from local residents who have expressed concerns about the proposed SEAT reductions. A series of public hearings have been held in the region over the past week and a half.

STATE DACA BILL PASSES SENATE

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Immigrant students without legal status in the United States are hopeful this will be the year Connecticut legislators make them eligible for institutional financial aid at state-run colleges and universities. The Senate on Wednesday voted 30-to-5 in favor of this year’s version of the bill, which includes some provisions from the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA policy, such as requiring applicants not to have a felony record. Cheers filled the halls of the state Capitol following the vote. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives, where it has not been called up for a vote in previous years. Carolina Bortoletto, campaign manager for Connecticut Students for a Dream, says “we think we do have the votes” to pass the legislation after several years of lobbying.

GAMBLING STUDY MEASURE NO MORE

Legislation which would study expanded gambling in the state has died in the General Assembly. The bill would have sought proposals from consulting firms interested in studying how more legalized gambling in Connecticut would affect the state’s slots agreements with the Mashantucket-Pequot and Mohegan tribes. The bill would’ve also hired an independent third party to study how expanded gambling would affect quality of life here. The measure died in the legislature’s Appropriations Committee. All seven local lawmakers who serve on the panel voted against the bill.

POSSIBLE MONEY FOR LOUSY FOUNDATIONS

Matthew Ritter

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Top Democratic leaders of the House of Representatives are throwing their support to a $10 surcharge on Connecticut homeowner policies to help residents with foundations crumbling because of an iron sulfide. House Majority Leader Matt Ritter of Hartford says he hopes their support will give rank-and-file lawmakers political “cover” to back the concept in an election year. He noted Wednesday how it’s been difficult to pass legislation that generates more revenue to help pay for the costly repairs. One bill creating a $20 surcharge recently died in the Judiciary Committee.
House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz is optimistic the surcharge will pass the House. He pledged to help it pass in the Senate. That money would be deposited into an assistance fund created last year with $100 million over five years.

NO EXPANSION OF LEGAL FIREWORKS

A plan to expand the sale in Connecticut of commercial-grade fireworks beyond sparklers and “fountains,” to include items like roman candles, has died in the legislature’s judiciary committee. The bill would have limited the sale of the fireworks to those 21 and over, but opponents like Bloomfield Fire Marshal Roger Nelson, still worried about increased injuries among kids. The proposal could still be resurrected in another form before lawmakers adjourn next month.

PERKINS FARM PROJECT APPROVED

Perkins Farm property (Westerly Sun)

Work is expected to begin this summer on a new 121-unit luxury apartment complex in Mystic. Stonington’s Planning and Zoning Commission has given its approval to the project, to be built on the Perkins Farm property off Jerry Browne Road. The 70-million dollar effort also calls for a medical and research complex, and town houses, to be built in future phases.

SCHOOL ROOF APPROVED

The Doctor Helen Baldwin Middle School in Canterbury will be getting a new roof. Voters in the town have approved, by a more than 500-vote margin, the 1-point-79 million dollar project. A grassroots organization, dubbed the Canterbury Education Information group, is taking credit for bringing a relatively large turnout to the polls, and for the project’s approval. The group was formed after members say they were frustrated at the slow progress town officials were making in bringing the issue to referendum. The state will reimburse the town for 67-percent of the project cost.

CROCKER HOUSE GETS NEW OWNER

The Crocker House apartment building has been sold. The new owner of the State Street property in downtown New London hasn’t been publicly announced yet. Current owner, Old Lyme based Hamilton Point Investments, says the state’s worsening economic outlook prompted the sale. The building has 82 units. It sold for 7-point-4 million dollars.

TESLA HOPING TO MEET WITH CT CAR DEALERS

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Executives from electric car-maker Tesla Motors are reaching out to Connecticut auto dealers, asking to meet and possibly reach a compromise that might allow Tesla to sell its vehicles directly to consumers. Tesla sent an email Wednesday to the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association, asking the association for a meeting. Tesla says it “wants to respond in good faith” to multiple requests made by lawmakers for the two sides to discuss a possible deal. A message was left seeking comment with the association’s executive director. Tesla’s meeting request comes a day after a committee approved legislation allowing Tesla to bypass the state’s existing franchise system. Lawmakers said they thought the two sides were already negotiating a possible compromise and voted in favor of the bill to keep those talks going.

WEDNESDAY MORNING UPDATE

DON’T RISK IT

George Jepsen

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Attorney General George Jepsen is warning Connecticut officials not to assume a planned tribal casino in East Windsor can open without formal federal approvals.   In a legal opinion released Tuesday, Jepsen says legislation passed last year by the General Assembly still requires the U.S. Department of Interior to approve proposed amendments to the revenue-sharing agreement between the state and the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes before their new border casino can open. With no federal approvals yet, the state and tribes have filed a lawsuit, claiming the amendments were “deemed approved” under federal Indian gambling laws. Jepsen says making that assumption and allowing the casino to open could risk the underlying revenue-sharing deal, which grants Connecticut 25 percent of the slot machine revenues generated at the tribes’ two existing casinos.

COUPLE LOSES PARENTAL RIGHTS

Image result for Kirsten Fauquet and John Stratzman

Kirsten Fauquet and John Stratzman

The parental rights of a Groton couple whose children were removed by the Department of Children and Families have been lost. Judge John Driscoll terminated the parental rights of Kirsten Fauquet and John Stratzman, her partner and biological father of three of the children. The judge said no provider had recommended reunification of the children and parents, and that the children’s lawyers recommended terminating parental rights.The couple, whose son nearly died of starvation in a foster home, waited a year for their motion to vacate the order of temporary custody for the youngest.

FARROW FRONTS SEXUAL ASSAULT FORUM

Woody Allen, Dylan Farrow (People)

In­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist Andy Thibault has or­ga­nized a panel dis­cus­sion on sexual assault and will serve as mod­er­a­tor for the event. Three women, in­clud­ing Dy­lan Far­row, who says she was sex­u­ally as­saulted at age seven by her adop­tive fa­ther, film­maker Woody Allen, will take the stage at Quinebaug Val­ley Com­mu­nity Col­lege in Daniel­son next Mon­day and talk about be­ing sex­u­ally as­saulted. Panelists will an­swer ques­tions that au­di­ence mem­bers will sub­mit and if some­one in the au­di­ence wants to dis­close they have been abused, cri­sis coun­selors and a safe space to talk will be avail­able. The ‘Jane Doe No More’ panel discussion will be held April 23rd at 6 p.m. in the Robert E. Miller Au­di­to­rium and is free and open to the pub­lic.

SALES DOWN, VOLUME UP

Hous­ing sta­tis­tics of the Eastern Con­necti­cut As­so­ci­a­tion of Real­tors for New Lon­don and Wind­ham coun­ties show sin­gle-fam­ily home sales were down, but vol­ume was up, due to an in­crease in the me­dian sale price. More than 870 sin­gle-fam­ily home sales were recorded in the first quarter of 2017, while that number was 809 for the first quar­ter of 2018. But the me­dian sale price rose from $190,500 to $205,000.

EAST LYME GRAD WINS PULITZER

Emily Steele

A 2002 grad­u­ate of East Lyme High School and a re­porter at The New York Times was among the jour­nal­ists hon­ored this week with a Pulitzer Prize in Public Ser­vice. Emily Steel was acknowledged for “ex­plo­sive, im­pact­ful” jour­nal­ism that ex­posed pow­er­ful and wealthy sex­ual preda­tors, in­clud­ing al­le­ga­tions against one of Hol­ly­wood’s most in­flu­en­tial pro­duc­ers. Steel said she is grate­ful for the amaz­ing teach­ers and ed­u­ca­tors who sent her on this path.

BAD EGGS

The Ledge Light Health District is alerting residents that eggs sold at two local Wal-Marts could potentially be contaminated with Salmonella. More than 200 million eggs were recalled over the weekend after discovering they had the potential to be infected with Salmonella, however Connecticut was not among the list of states initially affected. Officials from Ledge Light Health District said the Groton and Waterford Wal-Mart locations are the only retail outlets that have been identified as having the potentially contaminated eggs.