WEDNESDAY MORNING UPDATE

NL BUDGET GETS A HEARING

New London residents offer their thoughts on a 92-point-8 million dollar budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year. The spending plan includes a 488-thousand dollar increase in taxpayer funding for the school district. That’s two million-dollars less than what the board of education had requested. Daniel Spurr says that’s not nearly enough.  Meanwhile, New London resident Cheryl Lawrence says she wants the city to reduce spending, and that includes the school budget.  A public hearing on the budget was held last night at the Science and Technology Magnet High School.

SOBER HOUSE OVERSIGHT PASSES

A bill to regulate Connecticut’s sober homes passed the House and likely will be heard on the Senate floor. The bill pushes sober home operators to seek certification from legitimate organizations. A similar bill passed the House last year but wasn’t voted on in the Senate. Jeanne Milstein, New London’s human services director, says the speed in which the state bill evolved shows how serious Connecticut is about tackling the sober homes, which typically aren’t subject to government regulation and sometimes feature dismal conditions.  New London has been pushing the bill for months.

LYME-OL BUDGET SUPPORTED

Lyme and Old Lyme res­i­dents voted 408 to 111 to accept the 2018-19 ed­u­ca­tion bud­get at a ref­er­en­dum Tuesday. The spend­ing plan for Lyme-Old Lyme schools next year of $34.2 million rep­re­sents a 1.97 per­cent in­crease over this year’s plan. The vote breakdown was 141-21 among Lyme res­i­dents and 267-90 among Old Lyme res­i­dents. Ris­ing health in­sur­ance costs were the largest fac­tor in the bud­get in­crease for next year.

STONINGTON BUDGET PASSES

Stonington voters have approved the proposed 2018-19 budget by a vote of 681-255 at Tuesday’s referendum. Only seven percent of the town’s 13,568 registered voters turned out to cast votes.

DEALER TO GET 20

A Gro­ton man has pleaded guilty to drug charges in con­nec­tion with the death of another Gro­ton man in April 2017. Ulpi­ano Lugo’s plea stemmed from a statewide ini­tia­tive tar­get­ing nar­cotics deal­ers who dis­trib­ute heroin, fen­tanyl or opi­oids that cause death or se­ri­ous in­jury to users. Lugo’s sen­tenc­ing is sched­uled for Aug. 1st. The charge car­ries a max­i­mum of 20 years in prison.

NEW LIFE FOR SYNAGOGUE

The new owner of the for­mer Beth El syn­a­gogue in New London will break ground on a ren­o­va­tion project today to cre­ate a re­gional school for chil­dren with spe­cial needs. A $5.1 mil­lion revamping of the 36,000-square-foot build­ing is planned for the Ocean Av­enue LEARN­ing Academy. LEARN, a re­gional ed­u­ca­tional cen­ter serv­es 25 towns in south­east­ern Con­necti­cut. The new school, funded at an 80 per­cent state re­im­burse­ment rate, will con­sol­i­date LEARN’s spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion di­vi­sion, and stu­dent sup­port ser­vices pro­grams, that pro­vid­e spe­cial­ized care for chil­dren with de­vel­op­men­tal dis­abil­i­ties and emo­tional and be­hav­ioral is­sues.

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