MORE SNOW IN THE FORECAST
BOSTON (AP) – If the bitter cold wasn’t enough, much of New England is now bracing for a potential snowstorm. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch beginning late Wednesday and continuing through the day on Thursday for an area stretching from coastal Maine to eastern Connecticut.
A coastal flood watch has also been issued for Thursday. Forecasters say up to a foot of snow could fall in some portions of New England with strong winds and blizzard conditions possible at the height of the storm. However, the Channel 3 Early Warning Forecast Center is predicting four to eight inches for Eastern Connecticut. The storm approaches as the region continues to deal with the dangerous cold snap, with temperature readings again in the teens or single digits on Tuesday.
COLD WEATHER PROTOCOL CONTINUING
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says he’s extending Connecticut’s severe cold weather protocol, which requires agencies to work with United Way 2-1-1 and the state’s network of homeless shelters to make sure people are protected from the frigid temperatures. The Democrat announced Tuesday the system he activated last week will be in place through 5 p.m. next Monday, given the continuing forecast of bitter cold. Malloy says Connecticut must take precautions to make sure services are available to some of the state’s most vulnerable people. Under the protocol, 2-1-1 acts as a clearinghouse to match shelters and warming centers with people who need them. A list can be found on the organization’s website or by calling 2-1-1. Malloy is also urging residents to check in on seniors and neighbors during the cold spell.
NO SCHOOL AT NATHAN HALE
Students at the Nathan Hale Arts Magnet School in New London have an extended holiday vacation. The school is closed till Monday because of burst water pipes. School officials say several classrooms, hallways, and other areas have been affected. The damaged pipes serve the school’s heating system.
DEATH REPORTED IN CAR CRASH
A two car crash on the Gold Star Highway in Groton yesterday has turned into a fatal. Police say 88-year-old Jean Shutsky of Oakdale died this morning at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Authorities say she was driving a 2007 Nissan Versa on the highway when she collided with a 1999 Honda Fit coming out of Flanders Road. The operator of that vehicle, 66-year-old Marilyn Comrie of Groton was seriously injured and is still in the hospital at Yale. The accident happened around noon and closed Route 184 for about 3.5 hours. An investigation is ongoing.
WHITING NOW SEPARATE
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is using his executive powers to change the structure of Connecticut’s only maximum-security hospital following allegations of abuse by staff members. The Democrat announced Tuesday he signed an order separating the Whiting Forensic Division from Connecticut Valley Hospital – a state-run psychiatric hospital in Middletown. That means there will now be a distinct entity known as Whiting Forensic Hospital. Thirty-seven employees have been implicated in the alleged abuse of a patient at Whiting. Seven have been fired and 10 arrested. Malloy contends this change will allow the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to focus more on the changes and improvements in care that need to be made at the forensic hospital. The full transition is expected to be finished by the end of January.
MASHANTUCKET, Conn. (AP) – The tribe that owns and operates the Foxwoods Resort Casino has sworn in two new members of its leadership council. The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation’s annual inauguration ceremony on Tuesday marked the start of the first terms for Matthew Pearson and Latoya Cluff. A bible written in the mid-1600s in an Algonquin language was used during the ceremony. The Tribal Council includes a total of seven elected officials who serve three-year terms. Cluff has worked in the past at the tribe’s Government and Gaming Commission and at Foxwoods. Pearson has served as director of a tribal project to improve the physical, social, emotional, and cultural well-being of tribal adolescents and as a board member for a tribal business development company.
LATEST DEFICIT PROJECTION
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – State Comptroller Kevin Lembo says Connecticut is on track to end the fiscal year with a $224 million deficit. But in a letter released Tuesday to his fellow Democrat, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, he notes how his projection could change if the General Assembly acts on a plan to mitigate the red ink in the $20.5 billion bipartisan budget. Lawmakers are expected to return to the state Capitol later this week to vote on a proposal that restores $54 million cut from a program that helps needy seniors pay for Medicare-related expenses. Legislative leaders have not decided when to address the deficit. Lembo notes that personal income tax collections in December outpaced last year, but that’s mostly due to people trying to pre-pay before new federal tax changes take effect.
GIRLFRIEND CHARGED WITH STEALING BOYFRIEND’S CAR, ABANDONING HIM
The girlfriend of a Ledyard man has been charged with driving under the influence, and third-degree larceny. Town police say 41-year old Kelly Conti of West Warwick, Rhode Island got into a fight with her boyfriend early New Year’s morning, stole his car, and left him along Route 214. Police say they found the boyfriend walking along the highway, underdressed for the weather. Conti was later located at a local residence. She was being held on 3-thousand dollars bond, pending court arraignment.
ARREST WARRANT FOR PAZ
Police say they issued an arrest warrant for retired boxing champion Vinny Paz after he was accused of attacking a Rhode Island man and sending him to the hospital. Providence police say they were called to a home early Tuesday morning, where witnesses told them Paz had accused a friend of stealing $16,000 and then assaulted him. The man was taken to the hospital with injuries including several broken teeth, a black eye and bite marks that drew blood. Police issued an arrest warrant on a felony assault count later Tuesday. Paz made a series of statements on Twitter and to a local TV station, saying that he was the victim . He told WPRI-TV that he got robbed, “and when that happens, you gotta do what you gotta do.”