Archive for WICH Personality Radio



October was not a good month for the two tribal-owned casinos in the area, at least as far as slot revenues  go.   Mohegan Sun reports a 10-point-6 percent decline compared to October 2017, while Foxwoods earlier this week reported a 10-percent drop for the same time period. Meanwhile, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission says MGM Springfield kept 14-point-6 million dollars in slots revenues in October, 3-and-a-half million less than September, which was the facility’s first full month of operation.


NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) – A former blackjack dealer at a local casino who helped a gambler cheat the facility out of more than $78,000 has avoided prison. 55-year-old Roy Mariano was sentenced Thursday to five years of probation. He pleaded guilty in February to second-degree larceny. Authorities say the Mohegan Sun worker was approached in 2015 by Marlene Rivera, who said she would pay him if he gave her extra chips when she won. Mariano, of New London, who had worked at the casino since it opened in 1996, told investigators he was unhappy about a reduction in his work hours and needed the extra money. Together they cheated the casino out of more than $78,000. Mariano apologized in court. Rivera was previously sentenced to a year in prison.


 Hartford Healthcare has announced plans to build a 20-million dollar health facility off Jerry Brown Road in Mystic.  It’s part of phase three of the planned Perkins farm development, which also includes apartments and condominiums. The three-story, 7-thousand square foot facility would offer primary care, and other medical services.   A site plan application has been submitted to the Stonington Planning and Zoning Commission. A public hearing could be held as early as January.  Hartford Healthcare is also building a 25-thousand square foot medical facility at the site of the former Maple Breeze park on Route 2 in Pawcatuck.


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – A federal judge in Connecticut has ruled that thousands of Navy and Marine Corps veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who developed post-traumatic stress disorder but were denied Veterans Affairs benefits can sue the military. Senior U.S. District Judge Charles Haight Jr. on Thursday certified a class-action lawsuit against Navy Secretary Richard Spencer by veterans who say they were given less-than-honorable discharges for minor infractions linked to untreated mental health problems. The discharge designation prevents them from getting VA health benefits. Navy officials did not immediately return messages seeking comment Friday. The lead plaintiff, Marine veteran Tyson Manker, of Jacksonville, Illinois, called Thursday’s ruling a victory for tens of thousands of military veterans. Yale Law School students are representing the veterans and have filed a similar lawsuit against the Army.


LINCOLN, R.I. (AP) – Police have charged a man they say left his 4-year-old daughter locked inside his car for more than half an hour while he was inside a Rhode Island casino.  Jose Funes, of Cumberland, faces a charge of child neglect. Lincoln police responded to the Twin River Casino last weekend after security personnel found the girl crying inside a car in the parking lot.  They opened the car and cared for the girl.
They estimate she was in the car for 30 to 40 minutes when the temperature outside was 36 degrees. Police say when they found the 27-year-old Funes inside the casino he appeared to be intoxicated. The child’s mother came and picked up the child and the case was referred to state child welfare officials.





The first snowstorm of the season to hit Eastern Connecticut brought a few inches of snow and slowed the evening commute to a crawl.  Residents were advised to stay off the roads early last evening.  There were a rash of spin outs and minor accidents but local and state police say there were no significant injuries.  The snow turned to rain overnight and helped clear local roads for the morning commute.  There were a handful of school opening delays.  Winter is still officially more than a month away.


Michael Lovering testified yesterday in the strangulation trial of his roommate Kristopher Prudhomme. Lovering said that as he was sitting on his heels in his bedroom in Norwich, he felt a pressure around his neck and everything went black. He said it felt like string or a rope. He found out later it was a leather corset that he owned. Lovering ended up in the hospital in an induced coma. Both legs amputated. Prudhomme been been charged with first-degree assault, second-degree assault, first-degree strangulation, intentional cruelty to persons and tampering with physical evidence. The defense will continue its cross-examination of Lovering today.


A-Cure LLC, a New London-based organization planning to use a Bank Street building for its administrative offices and as a base for its mobile opioid outreach services has withdrawn its application to the city. It provides outreach, support services and recovery housing for people with addiction disorders. Their application was opposed by New London police Crime Prevention Officer Ryan Soccio. He said the new facility could lead to more crime in the area, impacting the quality of life in the neighborhood.  New London Human Services Director Jeanne Milstein said she disagrees with Soccio. She said the portrayal of addicts as criminals, is a stigma connected with opioid addiction.


Residents and businesses in vulnerable coastal areas in Southern New London County along coastal southeastern Connecticut could see brief minor flooding near the waterfront and shoreline. This is most likely to occur during times of high tide tonight from 9:00 until 3:00 o’clock Saturday morning.


The second Thrive conference, hosted by the Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition, will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 4th at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center. The event is intended for those who work in the arts and culture industry in the region with the focus on the business aspects.



John Bilda

Embattled Norwich Public Utilities General Manager John Bilda is on indefinite paid administrative leave, with assistant G-M Chris LaRose taking over on an interim basis.    The city board of Public Utilities Commissioners unanimously agreed to the move tonight after meeting for two and half hours with legal counsel behind closed doors. Board chairman Grace Jones says the action was necessary after Bilda, along with four other officials of the local electric energy cooperative,  were indicted on federal corruption charges in connection with lavish trips to the Kentucky Derby and a golf resort.    LaRose has been the number two man at NPU for ten years.  Bilda didn’t attend tonight’s meeting.


The Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative met Thursday in its first meeting since learning of two FBI indictments of five individuals connected to  the group on November 6th. Paul Yatcko, general manager of South Norwalk Electric and Water, said CMEEC needed to show to the public that the organization was making changes to address the serious charges.  Despite his pleas today, though, the cooperative’s board of directors re-appointed three board officers who attended the controversial all-expense paid trips to the Kentucky Derby and a West Virginia luxury golf resort that are the focus of the FBI indictments. Jewett City Public Utilities chairman Kenneth Sullivan, Groton Utilities Director Ron Gaudet, and Louis Demicco were all re-appointed.  The list of officers still includes CEO Drew Rankin, along with interim CEO Mike Lane.  Rankin, along with CMEEC’s Chief Financial Officer,  were placed last week on unpaid administrative leave.


There will now be a recount of votes in the 33rd state senate district race. The Secretary of the State’s office says a reporting error in Essex has lead to the decision, with Democratic candidate Norm Needleman leading Republican hopeful Melissa Ziobron by 137 votes.  The recount is expected to be completed by Monday. The district covers several towns including Colchester, Old Saybrook, East Haddam, and Lyme.


A local member of the Sikh community is suing India’s Consul General, saying he has called him a terrorist.   Norwich businessman Swaranjist Singh-Khalsa    says the Indian official made the remark in a letter sent to Sprague state senator Cathy Osten.   Singh-Khalsa is pushing passage of a measure in the Senate  that would make November 30th “Sikh Genocide Remembrance Day” in memory of the more than 30-thousand Sikhs that were killed during a 1984 genocide in India. Singh-Khalsa also says the consul general has labeled Sikh activists “terrorists” in remarks made to Governor Dannel Malloy.


Groton Town Police are investigating reports of shots fired early this morning in the Midway Oval neighborhood.  Police received the report around 12:50 AM.   It appears there were no injuries, and there is no threat to the public.  Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 860-441-6712 or 6716.


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut Gov.-elect Ned Lamont has named a diverse advisory team to help him prepare for his new job. The Democrat and his running mate, Lt. Gov.-elect Susan Bysiewicz announced the steering committee members on Thursday at Gateway Community College in New Haven. Steering committee members are expected to advise Lamont and Byswiewcz on certain policy areas, including education, health care and government data. They will work with the five leaders of the transition team that Lamont announced following his Election Day victory. The 20 members announced Thursday includes representatives of organized labor, both Democratic and Republican elected officials, nonprofit advocates, business executives and attorneys.
The list includes Republican New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart, retired state Police Lt. J. Paul Vance, and former Connecticut Supreme Chief Justice Chase Rogers.   President of the Norwich/New London Building Trades Council Keith Brothers is also on the advisory team.


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) – Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s budget director is offering suggestions to Gov.-elect Ned Lamont, including canceling some planned tax cuts and lowering eligibility for a program that helps Connecticut seniors cover Medicare expenses. 
Office of Policy and Management Secretary Ben Barnes transmitted a tentative budget on Thursday to Lamont, saying the document is intended to be a “starting point” for the Democrat’s budget proposal that’s expected in February. The document comes the same day Lamont announced the members of steering committee that will help him prepare for taking office in January. Barnes says his office is projecting a $1.7 billion shortfall in the 2020 fiscal year budget. It grows to nearly $2.4 billion the following year. But Barnes is predicting Lamont will benefit from growing revenue and a strong economy.


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Former Rhode Island first lady Suzanne Carcieri has died.
Amy Kempe, a former aide to Republican Gov. Don Carcieri, says she died in the early morning hours Thursday. A spokesman for Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo confirmed her death. They did not immediately have other details. Sue Carcieri and her husband were high school sweethearts growing up in East Greenwich. Carcieri, 76, took a visible role during her husband’s two terms in office from 2003 to 2011 and was one of his closest advisers, often sitting in on his news conferences  David Tikoian, who ran Carcieri’s security detail, told WPRI-TV that she carried herself with grace and dignity, calling her generous and always concerned about others. Raimondo ordered Rhode Island flags lowered to half-staff in her honor.


CHARLESTOWN, R.I. (AP) – The United States Mint has released a special quarter celebrating Rhode Island’s Block Island National Wildlife Refuge. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials joined mint officials for the ceremony Thursday in Charlestown. 
The Block Island quarter depicts a black-crowned night heron in mid-flight, with the North Lighthouse in the background. The wildlife refuge is an important stopover point for migratory birds. Mint Director David Ryder says the coin is a tribute to the refuge as a “safe haven for migratory creatures and a testament to what dedicated humans can do to protect our world.” The America the Beautiful Quarters program started in 2010. 
The mint is releasing five quarters per year depicting national parks and other national sites, through 2021. The Block Island quarter is the final 2018 coin.









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