MONDAY EVENING UPDATE

INVESTIGATION OF INTERIOR INACTION REQUESTED

The U.S. Department of Interior is not commenting on a request by Connecticut officials for an investigation of the agency’s failure to act on agreements between the state and two Native American tribes that are needed for the tribes to build a new casino. An Interior Department official on Monday referred questions about the request to the Department of Justice, which did not return a message. U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, and U.S. Reps. John Larson and Joe Courtney, asked the Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General to investigate Monday. The Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes are planning a joint casino in East Windsor to compete with an MGM casino in Springfield, Massachusetts, that’s expected to open in September.

GOLF CLUB OWNER FACES DRUG CHARGES

The owner of the Great Neck Country Club in Waterford has been charged with selling cocaine. Groton Town Police say 57-year old David Mortimer was arrested earlier this month for narcotics possession with intent to sell. 45-year old Kenneth McNeil, also from Waterford, was also charged. Police say the arrests occurred after police stopped a vehicle on Route 12 in Groton, and discovered cocaine and cash in the car. Both suspects are out on bond, and are due in court Friday.

NL SCHOOL IS DISTINCT

An honor for the Winthrop STEM Elementary Magnet School in New London. It has been recognized as a School of Distinction by the Connecticut Department of Education. School officials say Winthrop was recognized for being in the top ten percent of schools with the highest growth for students in the high needs-category, which includes low income, special education, and english language learners.

OPEN SPACE GRANTS ANNOUNCED

Several local municipalities are among the 23 communities in Connecticut sharing more than 6-million dollars in state open space grants. The money will be used to preserve just over 2-thousand acres of land. Among the grants: Preston is getting 195-thousand for the Kendall/Thoma Preserve, North Stonington, Griswold, and Preston receiving 555-thousand for the Tri-Town Ridgeline Forest, and 158-thousand dollars going to Sprague and Franklin to preserve the Peltier Property on Holton Road. Parcels in East Haddam, Old Lyme, Lyme, and Mansfield are also getting funding.

LOOKING FOR ALLEGED CAR VANDAL

Norwich police are hoping you know who may have damaged some motor vehicles Sunday morning at a local dealership. Police say surveillance photos show a white male wearing a winter hat and dark Zoo York sweatshirt, in the Dream Auto lot on Laurel Hill Avenue between 5:15 and 6:30 AM. The suspect was then picked in a red Kia Soul at the nearby Cumberland Farms. Call Norwich police detective Kevin Wilbur at 860-886-5561 with any information.

NORWICH COUPLE CHARGED WITH DRUG DEALING

A Norwich couple faces a February 22nd court appearance after police found more than 650 bags of Fentanyl in their Yantic Street residence. 33-year old Christopher Dubicki and 30-year old Angela Ziroli face drug possession charges and two counts of risk of injury to a minor, as there were children in the home. Dubicki is being held on 10-thousand dollars bond, while Ziroli is out on bond. Police seized the drugs, along with some opiate pills, packaging materials, a police scanner, two-way radios, and cash.