FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE

SENATE CANDIDATES DEBATE

Bringing the state out of its economic doldrums is the focus of several of the questions posed last night to the two hopefuls in the 19th district state senate race. Democratic incumbent Cathy Osten is seeking a fourth term, and is being challenged by retired Norwich police detective, Republican Mark Lounsbury. Osten says she’s been at the forefront of efforts at the State Capitol to bring in more jobs to the state.  Lounsbury questions whether the state’s job situation has been improving.  While the candidates disagreed on many issues, both thought more study needs to be done to determine if recreational pot usage should be legalized in the state. Osten, though, says having a small amount of marijuana on you should, at least, not be a criminal offense. The two candidates debated last night at the Kelly Steam Magnet School in Norwich. It was sponsored by the Day and the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut.

RED BARN UNVEILED

The opening of the newly rejuvenated Red Barn on the Mitchell College campus in New London was celebrated at a ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday. Mitchell College President Janet Steinmeyer was exuberant during her address to the many faculty and dignitaries on hand, calling it a “momentus day and major milestone” in the school’s master plan.  In 2016, Mitchell launched an ambitious campaign to raise funds to rebuild the structure in its original footprint and likeness.

PRESTON DISCUSSES GOING TOWN MANAGER FORM OF GOVERNMENT

Faced with challenges from the former Norwich Hospital property and the continuing difficulty finding candidates to run for local office, Preston First Selectman Robert Congdon asked retired former Groton Town Manager Mark Oefinger to discuss the issues of a town manager form of government during an hour long workshop. Last night, Oefinger, who served as Groton town manager for 15 years, said he would not advocate one way or the other and discussed pros and cons of both forms of government. He said many towns like Preston are now considering hiring a manager or administrator to become the equivalent of a CEO for the town. Preston selectmen are looking into the option but took no votes on the issue Thursday.

BOATHOUSE PARK PLANS UNVEILED

About 70 peo­ple at­tended the presentation of the master plan for the $2.2 mil­lion Mys­tic River Boathouse Park and an artist’s sketch of the $2.5 mil­lion Hart Perry Boathouse last night in Mystic. The plan calls for open views of the river, a float­ing dock for the Stonington High School crew team as well as a pub­lic float­ing dock and a pub­lic boat ramp for kayaks, ca­noes and pad­dle­boards. The two-story struc­ture will ac­com­mo­date row­ing shells and pub­lic bath­rooms. The sec­ond floor, which will be ac­cessed by an el­e­va­tor, will have a train­ing area with lock­ers, coaches’ of­fices and a bal­cony to view re­gat­tas.

JAZZ CONCERT AIRS TONIGHT

Starting today, the Groton Public Library will be broadcasting monthly concerts by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. It’ll be one of the first public libraries in the nation to use free content from the Digital Concert Network. Tonight’s concert will be “Spaces,” a composition by Wynton Marsalis, the managing and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. The other two concerts will be “Presidential Suite” on Nov. 9 and “Big Band Holidays” on Dec. 7. All programming begins at 7 p.m.

 

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