Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s calculated decision to make a public show of challenging unionized teachers two years ago still dogs the first-term Democratic governor as he prepares for a 2014 re-election he cannot win without support from organized labor. Gov Malloy, who walked a picket line on the summer day he won the Democratic primary in 2010 and forcefully defended workers during a recent lockout at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, gets stellar reviews for many policies from key union leaders. But the same leaders say that Malloy still has significant work remaining to salve wounds opened by his sharp rhetoric during concession talks in his first year and, even more so, as he framed his call for teacher tenure reform in his second year as an act of political courage.
Besides leaving 10 inches of snow on the ground by Friday evening, Connecticut’s first winter storm of 2014 also should test the state’s new effort to control flying ice on its highways. According to a new law that took effect last week, truck drivers could be fined up to $1,250 if accumulated ice dislodges and causes damage to a person or to another vehicle. What became known as the “flying ice” or “ice missile” law is the product of more than a decade of legislative debate over how to handle large sheets of frozen material that unexpectedly crash into the windshields of unlucky motorists each winter.
The state Supreme Court will hear arguments on Thursday on whether police in Connecticut can withhold arrest reports from the public and just issue press releases instead, while prosecutions are pending. Journalists are calling the case critical for reporters being able to get arrest reports quickly, and for the public’s right to know how their police departments operate.
Workers from J.P. MaGuire Associates returned to the C.H. Booth Library on Main Street in Newtown, early Sunday morning, January 5, to continue damage control from flooding that occurred at the library Saturday afternoon, when pipes located above the second floor office of the director froze and burst. "We're doing mitigation of water damage," explained Brian Molloy, project manager for the property damage company owned by Jim MaGuire, as workers pulled down soaked ceiling tiles and dry wall. Dropped ceiling tiles in the director's office, the tech area, and the circulation department fell under the onslaught of water when the pipes broke, said Acting Library Director Beryl Harrison. Water soaked the main floor carpet and spread through the fiction department, as far back as the Young Adult Department on the second floor.
Comptroller Kevin Lembo says the state of Connecticut is on track to end this fiscal year with a $273.3 million budget surplus. In a letter to Governor Dannel P. Malloy, released on Thursday, Mr Lembo said the largest portion of the excess revenue stems from the state’s recent tax amnesty program, which allowed people to pay off their back state taxes. However, Lembo said there are also positive trends developing in all overall state revenue.
As 2014 opened, members of Newtown Hook & Ladder Company were looking forward hopefully, as their plans for a new firehouse in the borough finally were starting to take shape. The project will enable the fire company to own its facility rather than to continue as a tenant of the Town of Newtown. The group, which has served as a local firefighting organization since 1883, for more than 25 years has sought new quarters that would suitably provide shelter and storage for its equipment. Multiple proposals for a new Hook & Ladder firehouse at multiple places have failed to materialize over the years for various reasons. Hook & Ladder currently occupies a municipally owned structure at 45 Main Street, behind Edmond Town Hall. It is hoping to join the ranks of the town's other four fire companies, each of whom own their firehouses.
With the arrival of winter weather, town police are reminding local residents and commercial snow removal personnel of multiple laws that pertain to snow and ice control. Among the seasonal reminders: one town ordinance prohibits the parking of vehicles on town roads between sunset and sunrise from November 15 through March 15; another requires that residents to clear snow, ice, and debris from sidewalks along any streets adjacent to their homes; and a third makes it illegal for property owners and snow removal companies to deposit snow and/or ice on roadways.
Firefighters from eight volunteer fire companies responded about 1:07 pm on Thursday to a report of house fire in Sandy Hook which extensively damaged the wood-frame structure amid frigid conditions.There were no injuries in the blaze, which initially was reported as a fire in a bathroom and was soon upgraded to a working structure fire at 6 Thunder Ridge Road. The cause of the fire was not immediately clear.Thunder Ridge Road is a dead-end street which extends southward from Berkshire Road (Route 34), just west of Great Ring Road.Firefighters from Sandy Hook, Botsford, Hook & Ladder, Dodgingtown, Hawleyville, Southbury, Stevenson, and Monroe responded to the incident. More than two dozen firefighters responded to the scene. The town’s assessment records list Michael Holroyd and Carla Seymer as the owners of 6 Thunder Ridge Road. The two-story, four-bedroom house on 2.4 acres was built in 1984. After they arrived, firefighters used ladders to climb to the roof of the house where they cut a hole to ventilate the burning structure. They also used a high-pressure hose line to fight the blaze from an elevated rear deck.
A snow storm that has yet to fully reach Newtown as of late Thursday afternoon has town officials planning on locations for residents who may need to seek shelter should their homes lose electricity, and therefore heat. The snow storm will keep Newtown under a Winter Weather Warning until at least 1 pm Friday. Up to 10 inches of show is possible. Forecasters are also predicting temperatures at or below zero, and wind chills bringing additional concerns. First Selectman Pat Llodra and Governor Dannel Malloy are both concerned about the same thing: that residents stay warm.