TOWNSPEOPLE APPROVE STATE HOSPITAL AGREEMENT
Preston voters Tuesday night, by a wide margin, approve a 200 to 600-million dollar development agreement with the Mohegan tribe for the former state hospital grounds. The final vote: 813 yes, 137 no. The tribe is take over ownership of the 388-acre site once the environmental clean-up on it is completed by the town and state, which is expected to take about a year. The town’s Redevelopment Agency approved the purchase and sale agreement with the tribe after the referendum tally was announced. A formal signing of the agreement between the town and the Mohegan Tribe will take place Wednesday at 12:15 pm in front of the former administration building on the state hospital site. Governor Malloy will be there as well. The tribe is proposing numerous developments on the property, including an indoor water park, theme park, hotels, senior housing, year-round skiing, and a marina.
ETHICS COMMISSION MEMBER LOOKING TO MOVE OUT
A departing member of Norwich’s Ethics Commission says he plans to move out of the city as soon as he can. Greg Schlough says health concerns are only part of the reason he’s stepping down from the panel. He says people should not serve in any volunteer role in the city, describing it as-quote-thankless and unrewarding. Schlough says Norwich should create a new charter revison commission, that gives the Ethics Commission more power to enforce its rulings, noting that many of the recommendations it made in the Derbygate case have largely been ignored. Schlough will continue to oversee this September’s State Firefighters Convention and Parade in Taftville, but says he’ll delegate some of the work to others.
CHILD PORN ARREST
A Norwich man incarcerated at the Corrigan-Radgowski Prison in Montville, is facing charges of possessing child pornography. 42 year old Michael Riley is accused of having hundreds of photos on his cell phone, all consisting of naked girls under 13 years old. Riley was convicted in 2008 of attempting to commit second degree assault by choking his girlfriend, and has been convicted on several larceny charges. He also has pending drug-related cases. He’s being held on 300-thousand dollars bond, and is due in court May 1st.
Norwich police make an arrest in a report of shots fired. The call came in just before five Monday afternoon from the area of Oakwood Knoll. Police did not find any victims but they did get descriptions of a suspect and his vehicle. The vehicle was later found on Fairview Avenue where police arrested 27-year-old Dimitri Thomas. He’s been charged with interfering with police. Police anticipate more arrests will be made and they are asking for the public’s help. Thomas is out on bail and has an April 27th court date.
NFA FOOTBALL COACH LEAVING
The long-time football coach at Norwich Free Academy is stepping down. Jemal Davis says he’s leaving NFA to pursue opportunities in educational leadership. Davis has served as the school’s football coach since 2008, having led the Wildcats to two Class LL Championship games during that time. The team also had two undefeated regular seasons with Davis at the helm. NFA athletic director Eric Swallow says the search for Davis’ replacement will begin immediately.
New London firefighters are being credited with saving an historic building from being destroyed. Fire crews responded to 715 Ocean Avenue around 7:15 AM Tuesday, and were able to confine the damage to a front porch, saving the multi-family residential building built in 1870. No injuries reported, two people have been displaced, and are getting help from the Red Cross. The building has been at the center of a 10-million dollar lawsuit filed by two tenants, who claim the city has intentionally failed to act on numerous building violations. The landlord claims the tenants are retaliating against him because he has tried to evict them for not paying rent.
NEWTOWN SCHOOL BOARD WAITING FOR TRUMP
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – The Board of Education in Newtown is waiting to hear back from President Donald Trump after asking him to take a stand against conspiracy theorists. A letter it sent to the president asks him to publicly reject those who question facts regarding the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, including the radio host Alex Jones. The White House this week told The Associated Press that Trump has been clear that “we, as a nation, are united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.” One man whose son was killed at Sandy Hook says he doesn’t think the president would be able to help much because conspiracy theories are rooted in mistrust of government. Leonard Pozner is among the victims’ relatives who have faced harassment from people who claim the shooting was staged.