WEDNESDAY MORNING UPDATE

NO BILLBOARD FOR FLEMINGS

The Ston­ing­ton Zon­ing Board of Ap­peals re­jected a vari­ance for a dig­i­tal bill­board in front of Flem­ing’s Feed on Route 1 for the second time in nine months. By a 4-1 vote last night, the board said Flem­ing’s should in­stead submit an application to change the reg­u­la­tions to al­low dig­i­tal bill­boards in­stead of seek­ing a vari­ance to the reg­u­la­tions that pro­hibit them. The vari­ance was sought be­cause town zon­ing reg­u­la­tions pro­hibit dis­play­ing any elec­tronic, me­chan­i­cal or il­lu­mi­nated signs.

BUDGET HEARING TOMORROW NIGHT

The Norwich Board of Education says it supports its $83 million proposed budget. It’s a nine percent increase from this year’s spending plan and includes purchasing ten additional buses. School Business Administrator Athena Nagel and Superintendent Abby Dolliver said the new buses are not luxury items but are necessary for the extensive transportation of students to 106 different locations and an expected increase in special education students. The City Council will hold a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at City Hall on the combined city, school and capital improvements budget of $126.8 million.

IMMIGRANT RESOLUTION DEBATED

A re­cently pro­posed New London city res­o­lu­tion that some con­tinue to call the “sanc­tu­ary city” res­o­lu­tion has gen­er­ated con­tro­versy. A fiery de­bate happened Tues­day over whether the city is set­ting it­self up for fed­eral scru­tiny by re­solv­ing to pro­tect im­mi­grants in this coun­try il­le­gally. Po­lice Chief Peter Re­ichard said po­lice do not de­tain peo­ple sim­ply be­cause of their im­mi­gra­tion status. He said the fo­cus of his de­part­ment is on crim­i­nals. City Coun­cilor Don Ven­ditto said the res­o­lu­tion would be per­ceived as cre­at­ing a sanc­tu­ary city and pos­si­bly jeop­ar­dize fed­eral fund­ing to the city. The res­o­lu­tion was first pre­sented to the city ad­min­is­tra­tion by a lo­cal ac­tivist group called Peo­ple Power.

DUMPING AMBULANCE COMPANY MAY BE TOUGH

The Ledyard Town Council is expected to vote to request proposals for the town’s ambulance services, after Mayor Fred Allyn III formally ended the town’s contract with the Ledyard Volunteer Emergency Squad, known as LVES. But the town may have to make its case to the state in a months long process to prove LVES is falling short as an emergency medical services provider. LVES is exclusively designated as the town’s main responder to emergency calls. If the town requests a change and LVES voluntarily relinquishes its rights as the town’s primary service provider, the town would enter a new contract with another ambulance service. However, if LVES instead contests Ledyard’s request for a new provider, the issue then would go to a hearing before the state, a process that would take several months. LVES would also be able to appeal the decision, possibly stretching the process further.

MAN CHARGED IN SHOOTING

A New London man has been charged in a convenience store shooting. Twenty-three-year old Taj Johnson is accused of criminal attempt to commit murder, first degree assault, and criminal possession of a fire arm in the March 12th incident at the Ravi Mart on Broad Street, where a young male was shot. Johnson remains held on an additional one-million dollars cash bond.

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