Archive for Information

THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE

COSTCO BAGS EAST LYME

Costco has dropped its plans to open a big-box store in East Lyme at the Gate­way Com­mons site off In­ter­state 95’s Exit 74. The de­vel­op­ers said they now are mar­ket­ing the site for a new re­tail ten­ant. Officials of Sikon Devel­op­ment Corp., said Costco in­formed the de­vel­op­ers about a week ago that the re­tail com­pany made the de­ci­sion to pull out of the lease for the East Lyme site. He said the com­pany did not pro­vide a spe­cific rea­son, but he noted that re­tail in gen­eral is in a pe­riod of dis­rup­tion. The store would have brought hun­dreds of jobs to the re­gion.

SLOTS DOWN AT MOHEGAN

The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority on Wednesday reported slot machine revenue from Mohegan Sun is down by about six percent from this time last year. That’s about $3.2 million dollars. The figures represent the second year of consecutive decline for the casino in its slot machine revenue. This October, the casino contributed $11.9 million to the state’s special revenue fund, a decrease of $800,000 over last October’s contribution.

EDUCATORS SHOW OFF PLANETARIUM

Teacher’s Memorial Middle School

It’s been a part of the Teacher’s Memorial Middle School since the Norwich building opened in 1975. The planetarium, though, had fallen behind the times in recent years, but not anymore. More than 200-thousand dollars in state alliance district grant funding has upgraded the facility into a state-of-the-art teaching tool, according to city school curriculum director Thomas Baird. He says it’ll play a major role as Teacher’s becomes a Global Studies magnet school for sixth through eighth graders next Fall. Teacher’s Memorial technology instructor Andrew Kortfelt says he and his fellow instructors are learning to use the new technology. School officials plan to eventually offer planetarium programs to others besides Teacher’s Memorial students.

TAX REFORM MAY DERAIL REID & HUGHES RENO

A federal program that has helped the city of Norwich revitalize historic buildings like the Wauregan and Ponemah Mills, and possibly the Reid & Hughes, is on the chopping block in Congress. The House Republican tax overhaul, which the chamber hopes to vote on Thursday, would eliminate the 20 percent federal investment tax credit for historic preservation projects, a tax break Congress approved about 40 years ago to revitalize many of the nation’s downtowns.

WEDNESDAY EVENING UPDATE

HEARING ON STORM RESPONSE

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Representatives from Connecticut’s two major electric utilities say trees continue to wreak havoc on power lines, despite years of tree-trimming and tree-removal efforts.   Eversource Energy and United Illuminating Co. officials appeared Wednesday before the General Assembly’s Energy and Technology Committee for a hearing on the utilities’ response to last month’s damaging rain and windstorm. The hearing was requested by Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff of Norwalk and Sen. Cathy Osten of Sprague. Both Democrats question whether the utilities followed minimum performance standards for emergency preparation and response to the storm, which left more than 100,000 residents in the dark for multiple days. Eversource senior vice president of emergency preparedness Peter Clarke says three years of drought conditions and heavy rains led to the large number of fallen trees.

HOUSE PASSES BUDGET FIX

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut’s state budget debate is over – at least for now. The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 123-to-12 in favor of fixes to the recently passed two-year $41.3 billion budget. The Senate approved those same changes on Tuesday. The bill now moves to the governor. The bill makes various changes to a tax on hospitals that provides the state and hospitals with federal reimbursement funds. It also fixes language that held up $26.4 million in financial assistance to elderly renters. Democratic representatives from Vernon and Windham complained the fix will disproportionately harm their communities, which will have to come up with thousands of dollars to help cover the program. Republican Rep. Melissa Ziobron is warning lawmakers their work isn’t done, noting this new budget is already in deficit.

LOOKING BETTER IN SCOTLAND

THE TOWN OF SCOTLAND’S FINANCIAL STATUS IS LOOKING UP. EARLIER THIS YEAR, STATE BUDGET CUTS LEFT THE TOWN LOOKING AT AN 8-MILL TAX INCREASE AND POTENTIAL INSOLVENCY. FIRST SELECTMAN DAN SYME SAYS MOST STATE FUNDING HAS BEEN RESTORED AND WITH SCOTLAND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL GIVING BACK ABOUT 180-THOUSAND DOLLARS, THE TAX RATE WILL ACTUALLY GO DOWN BY 1.3-MILLS. SYME SAYS AN INFORMATIONAL PUBLIC HEARING ON THE BUDGET TOOK PLACE WEDNESDAY NIGHT, WITH A TOWN VOTE ON THE BUDGET SET FOR NOVEMBER 30TH. Syme says he’s “excited” about the positive turn in the town’s budget situation.

ALLEGED SERIAL BURGLAR IN WATERFORD

An alleged serial burglar in Connecticut apparently struck in Waterford. Court officials say a warrant was served on 28-year old Isaiah Prue of Suffield while he was in court earlier this week. Police say Prue is a suspect in a September, 2016 burglary at an Old Norwich Road residence where a car and a bedroom had been ransacked. Two firearms and some 20-thousand dollars in gold coins were reported stolen. Prue is being held on 10-thousand dollars bond in the Waterford case, but has eight other pending court cases regarding various burglary charges. He’s been in prison since September of last year.

BOIL WATER IN WESTERLY AND PAWCATUCK!

WESTERLY, R.I. (AP) – The Westerly Water Department has issued a boil water notice after E. coli bacteria was found in the water supply. The state Department of Health said Wednesday that water customers should boil water used for human consumption- including drinking and cooking -for at least one minute. Customers can also use bottled water. E.coli is bacteria that signal the presence of fecal matter. It was detected in a routine sample taken on Monday. The water department sells water to customers in Westerly and nearby Pawcatuck. The advisory will remain in effect until corrective actions are completed and satisfactory bacteria results are obtained. E.coli can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches or other symptoms.

WEDNESDAY MORNING UPDATE

FULL STEAM AHEAD

Abby Dolliver

Plans are moving ahead for Norwich’s two newest magnet schools. Prinicipals from the Kelly Middle School and the Teachers Memorial Sixth Grade Academy updated the city’s school board last night on the plan to have both schools convert to magnet school curriculums by next September. Budgets have been finalized for both facilities, and now numerous meetings are planned regarding curriculum, staffing, and student recruitment. Superintendent Abby Dolliver says existing staff are now determining where they’ll fit in in the new arrangement. Both magnets will be open to only Norwich students in grades six through eight, with the conversion being funded by federal grants. A curriculum night explaining current and new options for Teachers Memorial students and their parents will be held tonight at 6 at the school, preceded by an unveiling of the school’s refurbished planetarium. A curriculum night at the Kelly School occurs tomorrow night at 6. The Kelly Magnet School will emphasize science, technology, and the arts, while Teachers will focus on global studies.

FATAL WRECK LEADS TO PLEA

Gerard Dube (NBC CT)

A Swansea, Massachusetts man will be sentenced Jan. 23rd to up to nine months in prison followed by three years of probation after pleading guilty Tuesday in New London Superior Court to three counts of negligent homicide and reckless driving. Gerard Dube was the driver of a tractor-trailer involved in an October 2014 highway crash in Waterford that killed a 26-year-old man and two young children. Lawsuits alleging negligence and carelessness filed against Dube for driving with inadequate or defective brakes, speeding, driving when his alertness was impaired by fatigue and not leaving enough distance between vehicles were settled confidentially.

SITE BOUGHT FOR SAIL

William Vogel, chairman of the USS Groton Sail Foundation board of directors, told the Groton Town Council on Tuesday that the foundation has signed a letter of intent to buy land on Bridge Street for a memorial to display the sail of the town’s namesake nuclear attack submarine. Several councilors said they were unhappy with how that decision was made. The town ini­tially owned the land where the sail would be placed, but af­ter the Gold Star Me­mo­rial Bridge was built, the town turned it over to a pri­vate owner. The foun­da­tion is now buy­ing the land back. Mayor Bruce Flax said he un­der­stands why the de­ci­sion was made and he sup­ports the fi­nal plan. But he doesn’t like how it played out. Flax said the town gave the pri­vate owner the land for free and he’s now sell­ing it back to the town. The ask­ing price was not im­me­di­ately avail­able.

INVASION DIDN’T HAPPEN

Stonington Police say reports of a home invasion in Mystic in September never happened. Following an investigation, police obtained a warrant to arrest Nicole Fustini of 171 Hewitt Road and have charged her with falsely reporting an incident and second-degree making a false statement. Police did not release any other details about Fustini’s motivation for reporting the home invasion. She was released on a promise to appear in court Nov. 22nd.