This Weekend – Tag Sales, Farmers Markets and more

tag-saleSATURDAY, JUNE 18

THRIFT SHOP AND KIDS’ BOUTIQUE
The thrift shop and kids’ boutique is open Saturdays, 9 a.m. to noon at the First Congregational Church, 199 Valley St., Willimantic. New items every week. Spring items have arrived. The shops will be closed Saturday, July 2, for the holiday weekend. Info: (860) 423-6827 or visit www.churchw.org.

CANTERBURY VFW BOOK SALE
Canterbury VFW, Route 169, North Canterbury Road, Canterbury, will be holding a book sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

NEIGHBORHOOD TAG SALE – COVENTRY LAKE
The Gerald Park Association will be hosting a neighborhood tag sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Streets include: Avery Shores, Dooley Avenue, Fitzgerald Boulevard, Ross Avenue, Washburn Avenue and adjacent streets. Multiple tag sales within a few blocks.

GIANT YARD SALE
Canterbury Finnish Hall, Route 169, Canterbury, will be hosting a yard sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Vendors welcome. Info: (860) 564-7432.

ANNIVERSARY AND SUMMER READING SPECTACULAR
Janet Carlson Calvert Library, 5 Tyler Drive, Franklin, will host a summer reading program from 10 a.m. to noon. Visitors can enjoy a piece of cake and see how the library has grown. Sign up for summer reading and meet winners of the circus-theme anniversary quilt children’s contest.

‘STUPENDOUSLY WONDERFUL MUSIC SHOW’
The Babcock Library, 25 Pompey Hollow Road, Ashford will host Susan Peak’s “Stupendously Wonderful Music Show” at 10:30 a.m. in Knowlton Hall. For children ages 3-10.

SATURDAY BEREAVEMENT GROUP
Hospice of Eastern Connecticut, 34 Ledgebrook Drive, Mansfield will hold its Saturday bereavement group from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Group is appropriate for those who are grieving a year or more. Group is open to the community. Info: (860) 456-7288, ext. 293.

COVENANT SOUP KITCHEN 2nd STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL
Jillson Square, Willimantic, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. $5 Admission (children under 12 Free). Food and beverages available for sale. Games, entertain­ment and door prizes.

SCOTLAND HUNTINGTON HOMESTEAD OPEN HOUSE
Tour guides will lead visitors through the birthplace of Samuel Huntington, signer of the Declaration of Independence, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Gov. Samuel Huntington Trust opens the Homestead on the first and third Saturdays of each month through October and is located on Route 14 just west of the Scotland town center. Free admission, donations welcome. Info: (860) 423-1547.

33rd ANNUAL STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL
The First Congregational Church of Lebanon will host its annual Strawberry Festival at 7 p.m. Donation $7 adults and $3 children. Take-out available.

CARIBBEAN EVENING – MANSFIELD SENIORS
New summer hours at the Mansfield Senior Center, 303 Maple Road, Storrs, begin with a June 23 Caribbean dinner at 5:45 p.m. and entertain­ment provided by Bruce John. $5 payable with reservation by June 20. For info:/reservations call (860) 429-0262.

SUNDAY, JUNE 19

FATHER’S DAY BUFFET BREAKFAST
The American Legion Hall, Route 207, Lebanon, will be hosting a Father’s Day breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. Adults are $7, seniors $5 and children 12 and under $5.

ASHFORD FARMERS MARKET
The Ashford Farmers Market is held at Pompey Hollow Park, off Route 44 across from the town hall. The market will run every Sunday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. through October. Info: Loretta at birdeye123@earth­link.net.

FATHER’S DAY LOBSTER DINNER
The Legionnaires will be serving a lobster dinner at 1 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 138 Snake Hill Road, Coventry. Cost is $25/person. Reservations suggested. Info:/tickets: Jack Lacek at (860) 742-7017.

COVENTRY FARMERS MARKET
The Coventry Farmers Market is held at the Nathan Hale Homestead at 2299 South St. The market will run every Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through October. Info: www.coventryfarmersmarket.com.
Posted 6-17-2011

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A Local Bizz – Fresh milk, Connecticut grown since 1871

Meet Jim Stearns, owner of Mountain Dairy in Mansfield/Storrs, CT, an HTNP.com sponsor.

Mountain Dairy has been producing milk and dairy products on their farm since 1871. That’s right, 140 years! All the milk production and processing is done right on the farm using their own dairy herds which are growth hormone-free.

If you live in Eastern or Central Connecticut, you can find fresh Mountain Dairy products in convenience stores or at your independent grocery store. And some of you may be lucky enough to live within the dairy’s home delivery area to be able to get their products delivered right  to your door!

Look for and enjoy Mountain Dairy products – a true Connecticut Grown business.

Posted 6-16-2011

If you’d like your business featured in the Local Bizz, contact Jean Maheu at 1-800-207-9701.

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Columbia school board to have surplus

June 15, 2011 Local News No Comments

blurry_twenty_dollar_bills-600x450School offi­cials expect to have a surplus as they close out the current fiscal year, although they still do not have a final figure yet.

Superintendent Francine Coss said she hopes to have a final fig­ure for the surplus by sometime next week, as the school system is still waiting on some final bills.

“We don’t have any definitive numbers, but we do know we have a surplus,” Coss said.

The current fiscal year ends on June 30.

Once school officials have a more definitive figure, the board of education can decide how to handle the surplus funds.

Coss said the school board has a “gentlemen’s agreement” with the town to return any surplus in tuition funding to the town, but can use other leftover money for school purposes.

Under state law, residents ap­prove a total expenditure for school boards each year, but school boards can spend that mo­ney any way they choose and are not legally obligated to return excess funds. She said the board will first transfer surplus money to cover specific line items that may have gone over budget, then use any leftover funds for supplies or projects.

First Selectmen Carmen Vance, a former member of the school board, said the school board and selectmen agreed to the current arrangement in the “early 2000s.” She said there was some concern at the time the board of education was asking for too much money for special education because the figure can be “unpredictable.”

Vance said school and town officials agreed the school board should simply request funding based on the best information available, with the understanding the town would transfer money if the amount is not high enough.

“I think that’s worked out well,” Vance said.

She said it also benefits the town to allow the school board to use surplus funds for supplies and projects because the school board does not need to include those items in future budget requests.

“If they can somehow scrape some money together to do that, good for them,” Vance said.

As part of its final budget pro­posal, which passed at a May town meeting, the town’s financial allocations and planning commis­sion cut $90,527 from the capital budget from earlier proposals.

School officials said after the meeting the capital budget reduc­tions would mostly impact school projects.

Posted 6-15-2011

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Cousins' bond takes them from Columbia to Fenway Park

June 15, 2011 Local News No Comments
Bradley Bogue of Cambridge, Mass., pushes his cousin, Eric Bogue of Columbia, during the Run to Home Base fundraiser at Fenway Park in Boston recently.  Contributed photo

Bradley Bogue of Cambridge, Mass., pushes his cousin, Eric Bogue of Columbia, during the Run to Home Base fundraiser at Fenway Park in Boston recently. Contributed photo

One man’s tragic accident nearly five decades ago, a lov­ing cousin and their bond over the Red Sox recently came together in an outing to help veterans and their families cope with the stress of war.

Columbia resident Eric Bogue, 46, got the opportunity to meet his idol, former Boston Red Sox player Carlton Fisk, for the first time May 22 at the event.

But this isn’t merely a story about one man meeting his baseball hero.

When he was just a newborn baby, Bogue was involved an auto accident that resulted in traumatic brain injury, numerous physical limitations and, sometimes, seizures.

Now a full-grown adult, Bogue does not have use of his left hand and wears a leg brace that covers his whole left leg. His life has been a challenge.

Bogue and his 29-year-old cousin Bradley Bogue, formerly of Franklin, always shared a passion for New England’s “Hometown Team” – the Red Sox.

That shared passion came together when the Bogue cous­ins were able to trot on Fenway Park’s sacred ground as part of an event aimed at something close to Bradley Bogue’s heart: U.S. troops.

Bradley Bogue has been de­ployed three times as a member of the National Guard and is currently living in Cambridge, Mass. The first time, he was deployed to Saudi Arabia in November 2001. He was deployed to Ku­wait in February 2009 and to Kyrgyzstan in October 2010.

In the National Guard, he works with the U.S. Air Force support squadrons, a unit that provides personnel with recreation oppor­tunities when they’re not out wag­ing war.

“It’s a relatively safe career field, but it’s rewarding,” Bradley Bogue said.

Last month’s Run to Home Base fundraiser at Fenway Park proved to be the perfect union of both men’s passions.

A fundraiser for the Red Sox Foundation and the Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Pro­gram, Run to Home Base raised money for veterans and their fam­ilies with combat stress and/or traumatic brain injuries.

There to greet them was Fisk, a Vermont native and Red Sox icon famous for his 1975 World Series home run that won Game 6.

Fisk was a catcher for the Red Sox in 1969 and from 1971 to 1980. He ended his career with 376 runs, 1,330 runs batted in, 2,356 hits and a .269 batting aver­age. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.

“It’s a pretty exciting event,” said Eric Bogue’s mother, Jean Bogue of Columbia. “He just loves the Red Sox.”

The Run to Home Base event consisted of a walk of approxi­mately 5 miles in and around Fenway, including a stroll at the base of the park’s famed “Green Monster” wall in left field.

Bradley Bogue characterized the experience as an “outstand­ing” one.

He recently returned from Kyrgyzstan to run in the race with his cousin.

Eric Bogue, meanwhile, traveled in a large, push-vehicle called a jogger, while his cousin provided the locomotion.

“It was great because Eric’s a huge Red Sox fan,” said Bradley Bogue, who is not expecting to report for duty for “awhile.”

Although Eric Bogue is suffer­ing numerous ailments, his cousin said Eric “always keeps a positive outlook.”

Bradley Bogue said a total of 2,500 people participated in this year’s run.

In the weeks following the walk, family members have spoken about the cousins’ inspiration.

Jean Bogue spoke to her neph­ew’s kind spirit.

“You need to want to do some­thing for other people (to partici­pate in the run),” she said.

Jean Bogue said the partici­pants had photograph opportuni­ties when crossing home plate at the “race’s” finish and Bradley Bogue let Eric Bogue “have the limelight.”

“That’s just the kind of guy he is,” she said of her nephew.

In order to walk around Fenway, participants were required to raise $1,000 and the cousins raised more than $3,000 combined.

Donations came from vari­ous members of the community, including Eric Bogue’s dentist, whom Jean Bogue said donated $175. State Sen. Edith Prague, D-Columbia, also donated.

Beginning at 8 a. m. that morn­ing, the duo began their journey, but not without some obstacles.

On the first mile of their trek, the cousins got a flat tire. They tried to inflate the tire with a pump, but the pump broke.

Rather than give up, the team pressed ahead.

“He (Eric Bogue) almost froze to death,” Jean Bogue said of her son.

Eric Bogue was disappointed he could not attend the Red Sox-Cubs game that night because he developed a bad cold. Bradley Bogue said he would have loved to stay for the game.

The elder Bogue’s passion for the team is evident at his home, which he shares with his uncle, who is also physically chal­lenged.

His mother said the house is decorated in Red Sox parapher­nalia.

Her son’s love of the Red Sox began as a patient at the Children’s Hospital in Boston, Jean Bogue said.

“We were very fortunate to par­ticipate in it (the walk),” she said.

For more information, visit www.homebaseprogram.org. Donations can still be made by clicking on either Eric or Bradley’s names, listed on the second page of the donation list. Those who do not have access to a computer can mail donations to Jean Bogue at 42 Johnson Road, Columbia 06237, who will relay donations to the Run to Home Base.

Posted 6-15-2011

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Check out all the activites this weekend

Saturday June 11

AMSTON LAKE COMMUNITY TAG AND CRAFT SALE ON THE GREEN
The Amston Lake Association will host a community tag and craft sale Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the green across from Main Beach. Proceeds to benefit Amston Lake community events, kids’ events, and clubhouse maintenance. Amston Lake Association members are $5 per space; non-members, $10 per space. Contact Lynn at (860) 841-1116. Rain date is June 12.

ST. PETER’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH TO HOST TAG SALE
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 30 Church St. (Route 85), Hebron, will hold a huge tag sale from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Info: (860) 228-3244 or visit the church web site at www.StPetersHebron.com.

THRIFT SHOP AND KID’S BOUTIQUE
The Thrift Shop and Kid’s Boutique is open Saturdays, 9 a.m. to noon at the First Congregational Church on 199 Valley St., Willimantic. New items every week and spring items have arrived. The shops will be closed Saturday, July 2, for the holiday weekends. Info: (860) 423-6827 or visit www.churchw.org.

BIGG PLAY TAG SALE
BIGG Play will hold a tag sale on Jillson Square, Willimantic, from 9 a. m. to 1 p. m. 20 families will be participating.

TAG SALE – WILLIMANTIC
The McSweeney Regional Senior Center, 47 Crescent St., Willimantic, will be holding a tag sale from 9 a. m. to 3 p. m.

STATE’S ANNUAL OPEN HOUSE DAY
The Prudence Crandall Museum, 1 South Canterbury, Route 14 and 169, Canterbury, welcomes all visitors free to this year’s Open House Day, from 10 a. m. to 4 p. m. Open House Day is an annual event where cultural organizations and tourism attractions throughout the state open their doors inviting the public to discover and rediscover Connecticut’s fascinating world of art, history, film and tourism. Info: (860) 546-7800 or go to www.ctvisit.com.

COMMUNITY BIKE SAFETY FAI­R
The Hebron Lions Club will be hosting a Community Bike Safety Fair at the Hebron Lions Fairground, Route 85, Hebron from 10 a. m. to 2 p. m. The fair will include bicycle safety lessons, bicycle maintenance demonstrations, seat and handlebar alignment, bicycle exhibits, skill events, and competitions. The first 150 children who attend the fair will receive a token for a free gift that will be distributed at the end of the event. Free admission, rain or shine.

ONE-ROOM GREEN DISTRICT SCHOOL OPEN
On Open House Day, art galleries, museums, theaters, historic prop­erties, tourism attractions and other key sites throughout Connecticut open their doors. From 10 a. m. to 3 p. m., the one-room Green District School in Canterbury will be open. It is located adjacent to the First Congregational Church, Library Road, Canterbury Green, on Route 169 (South Canterbury Road) just south of the intersection with Route 14. Free admission.

REVOLUTIONARY WAR RE-ENACTORS – LEBANON
Members of the 6th Connecticut Regiment and several French caval­rymen and their horses will visit the Jonathan Trumbull Jr. House, 780 Trumbull Highway, Lebanon, and set up a demonstration camp on the lawn from noon to 4 p.m. They will be joined by a female apothecary who will have herbs and plants used for colonial medicines on display. The event is part of Connecticut Open House Day and admission is free. Info: (860) 642- 7987.

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE SUPPER AND AUCTION
The First Baptist Church of Mansfield, 945 Storrs Road, Route 195, Mansfield will host a public strawberry shortcake supper and silent auc­tion. Seatings are at 5 and 6:30 p.m. Cost is $10 for adults, $6 children 6-12 years old. Supper and auction proceeds will benefit the “Raise the Roof Fund” to replace the wooden shingles on this historic church. Info: (860) 429- 6043 or visit www.fbcmansfieldct.com.

EASTFORD HERITAGE DAY CHICKEN BARBECUE
Eastford Elementary School will host the Eastford Heritage Day chicken barbecue at 6 p.m. $10/dinner. For tickets John Paquin (860) 974-0256 or Jeannine Spink (860) 974-1678. Proceeds to benefit the Eastford Independent Fire Company.

‘THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST’
The Windham Theatre Guild ends its 2010-11 season “The Importance of Being Earnest,” opening at the Burton Leavitt Theatre, 779 Main St., Willimantic at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 adults, $12 students and seniors (60 plus), $10 for University of Connecticut/Eastern Connecticut State University/Quinebaug Valley Community College students and $8 for children under 12. Reservations by calling (860) 423-2245 or by visit­ing www.windhamtheatreguild.org. Tickets will also be available at the door.

GOLF TOURNAMENT – COVENTRY/ HEBRON
The Coventry Early Childhood Center will hold its annual golf tour­nament at the Blackledge Country Club, Hebron. Players and sponsors needed. All proceeds will benefit the center. Info: (860) 742- 5859 or www.scrambleforourschool.com.

Sunday June 12

WAIM’S ANNUAL FLEA MARKET FUNDRAISER
Mansfield Marketplace at the Drive-In will take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Proceeds will go directly to help support Windham Area Interfaith Ministry’s work in the community. Info: Neenah at WAIM at (860) 456- 7270, ext. 13.

CHAMBER CHICKEN WING CHALLENGE
The Windham Region Chamber of Commerce’s ‘Chicken Wing Challenge’ will allow participants to taste specialty chicken wings from six local restaurants and judge who has the best wings in the region.

Restaurants are Willington Pizza Too, Lucky Frog, Sneakers Sports Bar, American Eagle Saloon & Café, Fred’s Brickhouse Pizza and That Breakfast Place. (Locations subject to change). Registration 9:30 to 11 a.m. at TSI Harley Davidson. Cost is $20 for a single rider, $30 with pas­senger. Ends at the Bach Dor with a roast beef dinner. Register early and get a free raffle ticket. Info: ( 860) 423- 6389 or www.WindhamChamber.com.

ASHFORD FARMERS MARKET
The Ashford Farmers Market is held at Pompey Hollow Park, off Route 44 across from the Town Hall. The market will run every Sunday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. through October. Info: e-mail Loretta birdeye123@earthlink.net.

REVOLUTION CANNONS AND CALVARY AT HALE
“Revolution! Cannons & Calvary at the Nathan Hale Homestead” will featuring Sheldon’s Horse, Second Continental Light Dragoons and other re-enactment artillery and infantry groups at 3 p.m. skirmish, artisans, crafts and more. Event starts at 10:30 a.m. Adults $5, children free. Nathan Hale Homestead is at 2299 South St., Coventry. Info: (860) 742-6917 or visitctlandmarks.org.

CHICKEN BARBECUE – BROOKLYN
Moriah Lodge No. 15, 220 Providence Road, Brooklyn, will host a chicken barbecue from noon to 2 p.m. Cost is $10/person. Help support “Children First, Brooklyn.” Open house at the lodge is from noon to 3 p.m.

19TH CENTURY NATURE WALK
A nature walk will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. at the James L. Goodwin Forest Conservation Education Center off Route 6, 23 Potter Road, Hampton. Program will introduce a new outdoor program series called “The Victorian Naturalist.” This nature walk series will revisit the “country outings” that were so popular during Victorian times. Participants may wish to wear their tweeds, skirts and hobnail boots. Info: (860) 455-9534 or juan.sanchezjr@ct.gov.

Posted 6-10-2011

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Plans to close I-84 highway rest stops dropped

June 10, 2011 Areawide No Comments
“First and foremost, we must consider the safety of truck drivers and others traveling on the roads,” Rep. Hurlburt wrote in a June 7 letter toGov. Malloy. Image source: clkr.com

“First and foremost, we must consider the safety of truck drivers and others traveling on the roads,” Rep. Hurlburt wrote in a June 7 letter toGov. Malloy. Image source: clkr.com

State Rep. Bryan Hurlburt, who represents Ashford, Tolland and Willington in the General Assembly, has helped secure an agreement that will keep two rest stops on Route I-84 in Willington open.

Recently, Gov. Dannell Malloy’s administration had planned to close the stops July 1, as part of a longterm plan to close all seven of the state’s noncommercial rest stops by 2013 and save about $1.3 million in annual maintenance costs. The five other stops are in Danbury , Middletown , North Stonington, Southington and Wallingford .

The argument was that the rest stations were built nearly 40 years ago and are in poor condition and given the state’s current economic problems, it would be a better budgetary decision to just close them.

“I very much appreciate the willingness and flexibility of the administration to rethink this,” Hurlburt said in a prepared statement on Wednesday (June 8), the final day of the current Legislative session.

“We are always telling drivers to pull over and take a break if they are tired, so let’s not send a contradictory message,” Rep. Hurlburt said.

The Department of Transportation said closing both the east and westbound rest stops would save about $400,000 in maintenance costs, but Hurlburt argued that public safety and community concerns outweigh any estimated savings.

“First and foremost, we must consider the safety of truck drivers and others traveling on the roads,” Rep. Hurlburt wrote in a June 7 letter to Gov. Dannell Malloy. “Overtired truckers and drivers are a serious safety concern.”

Hurlburt also noted that charitable organizations such as the Boys Scouts and Willington Historical Society often offer “coffee breaks” at the rest areas as fundraisers.

Posted June 9, 2011

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Columbia-Hebron Police activity May 20 – June 6, 2011

June 8, 2011 Local News No Comments

police161On Friday, May 20, 2011, Police report that sometime between May 19 at 6:30 p.m. and May 20 at 1:45 p.m., the concession shed at Veterans Park on Wall St., Hebron, CT was broken into. The window of the structure appears to have been pried open, but nothing appears to have been taken from the inside. Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to contact the Hebron Resident Trooper James Nolting at (860) 537-7500.

On Thursday, May 26, 2011, sometime in the early morning hours, Murphy’s Drive-In Restaurant on Route 66, Columbia, CT was entered and a safe containing cash was stolen. The incident is under investigation.

On Saturday, May 28, 2011, Robert Welch, 24, of 12 Wood Acres Road, Hebron, was arrested for failure to drive (on the) right and driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol after being pulled over on a traffic stop.

On Monday, May 30, 2011, Nicholas Lafferty, 21, of 8 Lakeview Drive, Columbia, CT was arrested for third-degree assault and breach of peace following a verbal altercation which escalated to a physical altercation whereby the accused allegedly hit his brother at least four times about the head and arms. The victim was transported to Windham Hospital where he was treated and released.

On Tuesday, May 31, 2011, Dean Porter, 50, of 4 Circle Drive, Windham, CT was arrested in Columbia, CT for traveling too fast for conditions and driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

On Friday, June 3, 2011, Frank Wilkosz, 64, of East Hartford, CT was issued a ticket for failure to grant the right of way from a driveway following an accident with a vehicle driven by William Churchill, 59, of Brownington, VT on Route 85 in Hebron, CT. Mr. Wilkosz turned left from a driveway to head south on Route 85 and struck Mr. Churchill’s car, which was traveling northbound on Route 85. A juvenile passenger in Mr. Wilkosz’s car was transported for minor injuries.

On Sunday, June 5, 2011, Graham Waddington, 19, of 260 Skinner Road, Hebron, CT was arrested for breach of peace, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of less than 4 ounces of marijuana after he caused a disruption while being treated at the Middlesex Hospital Walk-In Clinic in Marlborough, CT.

Posted 6-8-2011

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Marijuana bill passage now up to Gov. Malloy

June 8, 2011 Areawide No Comments

marijuana-coverA piece of legislation that would lessen the penalties for being caught with a small amount of marijuana (less than half an ounce) has now cleared the CT Senate and House and is headed to the desk of Gov. Dannel Malloy, who has publicly expressed his support for the revised law.

The House vote this afternoon (June 7) was 90-57 in favor.

Under the new law, possession of less than half an ounce of marijuana would result in a $100 fine for the first offense and $200 to $500 for the second.

The new law also calls for anyone under age 21 caught with less than half an ounce of marijuana to lose their license for 150 days, and minors will be referred to the juvenile court system.

The change in the law is meant to reduce the burden on the courts for trying such cases and to keep what supporters consider a minor lapse in judgment from giving a young person a criminal record.

Opponents have said that decriminalizing marijuana at any level will encourage young people to try it, and that this can serve as the “gateway” to abusing other drugs.

Some research, however, has found that alcohol, not marijuana, is the drug that opens the door to other abuse and that there’s a much more serious problem with young people beginning what might become a life of addiction with prescription drugs found in the medicine cabinets of their own homes.

According to a story posted today in Capitol Watch (see link, below) in 2009 in Connecticut there were 9,290 marijuana arrests of persons 18 and older. Of these, 75 percent were for possession of less than half an ounce of marijuana.

The Capitol Watch story cites the non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis which estimates the state could save $885,000 each year in prosecutor and public defender salaries as well as court costs while also collecting up to $1.4 million (net) annually in fines and fees.

Following the House vote, Gov. Malloy released the following statement:

“Final approval of this legislation accepts the reality that the current law does more harm than good – both in the impact it has on people’s lives and the burden it places on police, prosecutors and probation officers of the criminal justice system.

“Let me make it clear – we are not legalizing the use of marijuana. In modifying this law, we are recognizing that the punishment should fit the crime, and acknowledging the effects of its application. There is no question that the state’s criminal justice resources could be more effectively utilized for convicting, incarcerating and supervising violent and more serious offenders.

“Modification of this law will now put Connecticut in line with the laws of two of our neighboring states, New York and Massachusetts, and a total of thirteen states across the country with similar statutes. I applaud the General Assembly in their passage of this legislation and will sign it into law. I would also like to specifically thank State Senator Martin Looney, who first introduced this legislation in 2009, for his support and advocacy of this issue.”

Posted June 7, 2011

Related links:

HTNP.com “CT Lt Gov Wyman casts tie-breaking vote to decriminalize marijuana”

http://windham.htnp.com/2011/06/05/ct-lt-gov-wyman-casts-tie-breaking-vote-to-decriminalize-marijuana/

CT News Junkie, “House sends marijuana bill to governor”

http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/ctnj.php/archives/entry/house_sends_marijuana_bill_to_governor/

Capitol Watch, “House begins debate on marijuana bill” http://blogs.courant.com/capitol_watch/2011/06/house-begins-debate-on-marijua.html

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State plans to close two Rt 84 rest stops – more to follow

June 8, 2011 Areawide No Comments

rest_area-signThe administration of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is planning to close the two Interstate 84 rest areas in Willington permanently on July 1.

This is a first step toward the permanent closing by mid-2013 all seven of the state’s non-commercial rest areas on interstate highways.

The DOT’s brief announcement of the move this week drew a sharp protest from Michael Riley, president of the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut.

Riley said the benefit of the free rest areas to the public and truckers is so great, it far outweighs what he considers the meager savings the state would realize from the closings.

The savings in staff and maintenance costs are predicted at $400,000 a year for closing the two Willington areas, the DOT said in a press release.

An additional $900,000 in annual savings would be realized by the subsequent closing of all five other non-commercial state rest areas on I-84, Interstate 91 and Interstate 95 – for an overall total of $1.3 mil­lion a year in savings out of the state’s annual budget of $20 billion.

“The state is in a serious budget crisis and some tough decisions had to be made,” Judd Everhart, the DOT’s spokesman, said on behalf of both the DOT and the Malloy administration.

But Riley said the rest areas are indispensable because they are “where truck drivers stop to get the rest they’re required by law to have.”

Truck drivers can work during 14 hours of the day at most and can only drive for 11 of those hours, Riley said.

By law, they need to rest for the other 10 hours, he said.

The large, state-maintained areas affected – which have restrooms, vending machines and parking areas in which drivers of both trucks and passenger cars can take breaks or sleep – include the two in Willington and one each in Danbury, Southington, Middletown, Wallingford and Stonington.

The last five would close by June 30, 2013, the DOT said.

Entrances and exits would be closed with concrete barriers and signs.

By closing all seven rest areas, the state will not have to make a one-time expenditure of $14 million for improvements, the DOT said in its press release. “These rest areas were built in conjunction with the Interstate Highway System in the 1960s and are in need of replacement,” reads the release.

The closings would not affect the service plazas along I- 95, I- 395 and the Merritt and Wilbur Cross parkways that have food and restroom facilities run by commercial enterprises.

The existing non-commercial rest areas have become familiar stopping points through the years, not only for Connecticut drivers, but also for out-of­-state tourists and other travelers who drive through Connecticut. Drivers and their families can take food and bathroom breaks at the rest areas without leaving the highway.

The planned closings would mean that drivers would need to pull off a highway exit, go through a traffic light or stop sign or two, and use a restroom in a restaurant, convenience store or other commercial establishment.

“It is anticipated that private roadway services located off the interstates will be sufficient to handle the traveler needs,” the DOT press release said.

The benefit of the current arrangement to truckers is these state-maintained areas provide the main, and sometimes only, areas where truck drivers can get their legally required rest, Riley said.

Truckers are the people who bring Connecticut residents their food, Riley said, but “no one wants truckers anywhere near them.”

If truckers pull into local streets or a shopping plaza to sleep, the police will be called to chase them away, he said.

Riley said he would be talking to the co-chairmen of the legislature’s transportation committee to seek a solution.

In the meantime, he said, the closings should be halted.

The governor’s office and the DOT had no reaction to Riley’s comments.

With the Willington service area closings, “vari­able message boards” will be used to notify the public two weeks before and after the closings, the DOT said.

Signs have been posted in the rest areas to notify patrons of the closing date.

The five DOT staff members who work at the Willington facilities have accepted vacant positions in other state agencies, the DOT press release said.

Posted 6-8-2011

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. Article originally appeared in The Hartford Courant and is used here by cooperative agreement with The Chronicle.

UConn announces Spring 2011 Dean's List

The University of Connecticut recently announced the names of students who attained the Dean’s List for the spring 2011 semester.

To make the Dean’s List, students must take at least 12 credits that semester, finish the semester with a grade point average (GPA) that is among the top 25 percent of students enrolled in their school or college, and have no grade below a “C.”

Below are the names of students in the HTNP.com readership areas:

Amston (Hebron) Kathryn Czaja
Amston (Hebron) Carlo Guerriero
Andover Louise Benjamin
Andover Kelsey Brault
Andover Kristin Burrington
Andover Robyn Caron
Andover Erika Eitland
Andover Samuel Keener
Andover William Perry
Andover Elizabeth Rey
Andover Kelly Stratton
Chester Christopher Biase
Chester Rachel Bisacky
Chester Russell Blair
Chester Sarah Conderino
Chester Pamela Murac
Chester Katherine Ritter
Colchester Elizabeth Ciccone
Colchester Bonnie Fiducia
Colchester Kandice Goguen
Colchester Robert Guarino
Colchester Kyle Josephs
Colchester Jaimie Kowalsky
Colchester Jennifer Larsen
Colchester Katie Lazuk
Colchester Joseph Lecourt
Colchester Cheryl Leith
Colchester Lauren Midgette
Colchester Justin Morse
Colchester Ashley Palma
Colchester Douglas Pence
Colchester Cara Pianta
Colchester Adam Pierce
Colchester Patrick Rutka
Colchester Cathryn Ryan
Colchester Michelle Shukis
Colchester Aaron Sullivan
Colchester Mary Jo Valenzuela
Colchester Mary Jo Valenzuela
Colchester Tacha Wasilewski
Columbia Katelin Collard
Columbia Emily Curry
Columbia Christopher Czarnowski
Columbia Caitlin Doyle
Columbia Ryan Drager
Columbia Leah Gawlak
Columbia Riley Houle
Columbia Brigid Keenan
Columbia Shane Kelly
Columbia Mark Marchitto
Columbia Andrew Millerd
Columbia Tanya Pare
Columbia Lauren Roberts
Columbia Camryn Santos
Coventry Rachel Anderson
Coventry Brian Booth
Coventry Meagan Cairns
Coventry Sam Cohen
Coventry Xiaotong Duan
Coventry Jacqueline Garland
Coventry Harrison Goodale
Coventry Joshua Hattin
Coventry Kristina Jablonski
Coventry Kristina Jablonski
Coventry Eric Leamon
Coventry Nolan LoRicco
Coventry Samantha Marrazzo
Coventry Aleksandr Morosky
Coventry Elise Ouellette
Coventry Jose Palacio
Coventry Jessica Pratt
Coventry Faith Raymond
Coventry Jenna Simmons
Coventry Jonathan Simmons
Coventry Kelley Smart
Coventry Taylor Trudon
Coventry Anna Maria Vromans
Coventry Joseph Yi
East Haddam Julia Ballek
East Haddam Julia Ballek
East Haddam Michael Bellows
East Haddam Bethany Ciullo
East Haddam Brittany Ciullo
East Haddam Macallister Harris
East Haddam Timothy Norton
East Haddam Megan Novak
East Haddam Molly Tassmer
East Haddam Ashley Wells
East Hampton Walid Ahmad
East Hampton Alison Branciforte
East Hampton Andrea Dato
East Hampton John Fidler
East Hampton Jason Foberg
East Hampton Michael Ford
East Hampton Andrea Galanto
East Hampton John Gordon
East Hampton John Gordon
East Hampton Eileen Higgins
East Hampton Anna Kierzkiewicz
East Hampton Marissa Levy
East Hampton Christopher Perkins
East Hampton Joshua Plaskonka
East Hampton Tyler Raddatz
East Hampton Benjamin Simmons-Telep
Hebron Erin Duffy
Hebron Robert Huntington
Hebron Dana Lovallo
Hebron John Mango
Hebron Kelsey Rath
Hebron Ethan Sarnoski
Higganum Joseph Cerino
Higganum Raymond Cerino
Higganum Chelsea Goodwin
Higganum Madison Haynosch
Higganum Jeffrey Roberge
Higganum Annie Stupik
Higganum Joanna Targonski
Lebanon Michael Barnett
Lebanon William Carlson
Lebanon Samuel Decaprio
Lebanon Micah Duhaime
Lebanon Julie Jahoda
Lebanon Katie Lamb
Lebanon Cassandra Leone
Lebanon Casey McCall
Lebanon Tanya Michnevitz
Lebanon Gabriel Paun
Lebanon Cecily Varvitsotis
Lebanon Erik Willett
Mansfield Anna Garrett
Mansfield Spencer Hamlin
Mansfield Arun Hegde
Mansfield Michael Koltracht
Mansfield Doris Lin
Mansfield Justin McManus
Mansfield Justin McManus
Mansfield Nicholas Moskwa
Mansfield Nibesh Paudel
Mansfield Isabella Pilato
Mansfield Sonya Poulin
Mansfield Ivan Pozdnyakov
Mansfield Hailey Rosa
Mansfield Eugene Sung
Mansfield Center Ian Campbell
Mansfield Center William Cassidy
Mansfield Center Maximilian Kort
Mansfield Center Khrystyna Nechyporenko
Mansfield Center Christian Pelletier
Mansfield Center Michelle Slavic
Mansfield Center Adam Warren
Mansfield Center Shuang Wu
Mansfield Depot Louisa Sonstroem
Mansfield Town Yichun Lin
Moodus Jennifer Barney
Moodus Allison Olderman
Moodus Allison Olderman
Moodus Amanda Smith
Moodus Devin Smith
N Windham Jacob Pomerantz
North Franklin Zachary Ladyga
North Franklin Andrew O’Hearn
North Franklin Virginia Steiner
North Franklin Samantha Vallone
North Windham Hayley Dunnack
North Windham Celia Poirier
North Windham Celia Poirier
North Windham Lori Sfakios
North Windham Megan Walker
Portland Momina Afrede
Portland Juliet Armstrong
Portland Lauren Crosen
Portland Sarah Harris
Portland Sarah Harris
Portland Michael Keller
Portland Robert Mancini
Portland Joshua Morse
Portland Nicholas Morse
Portland Nicholas Morse
Portland Katherine O’Brien
Portland Rebecca Ruitto
Portland Stephanie Tornaquindici
Portland Mary Van Steenbergen
STORRS Jiali Gao
STORRS Andrew Nonnweiler
Storrs Daniel Allie
Storrs Dana Boyer
Storrs Dana Boyer
Storrs Dana Boyer
Storrs Edward Boynton
Storrs Alexander Bryce
Storrs Michael Burke
Storrs Andrew Callahan
Storrs Molly Callahan
Storrs Victoria Chen
Storrs Lilian Cheung
Storrs Kousanee Chheda
Storrs Elizabeth Cronin
Storrs Kirsten Crowley
Storrs Natalie Curran
Storrs Shurui Dai
Storrs Elizabeth Dury
Storrs Julie Eaton
Storrs Charles Eaton III
Storrs Brian Epling
Storrs Marisia Fikiet
Storrs Juliana Flynn
Storrs Andrew Folsom
Storrs Sarah Garfield
Storrs John Giardina
Storrs Anna Green
Storrs Abraham Hilding Salorio
Storrs Sarah Hoyle
Storrs Mariana Hu
Storrs Corey Jendras
Storrs Ryan Jordan
Storrs Milod Kazerounian
Storrs Milod Kazerounian
Storrs Ryan Keech
Storrs Muhammad Khokhar
Storrs Muhammad Khokhar
Storrs Kristina Koprowski
Storrs Kristina Koprowski
Storrs Anton Kuratnik
Storrs Sheryl Lambert
Storrs Ashley Loviza
Storrs Chelsea Maigis
Storrs William Malone
Storrs Farida Mama
Storrs Stephanie Martin
Storrs John McKenna
Storrs Gregory O’Brien
Storrs Russell O’Brien
Storrs Anna O’Connor
Storrs Cristobal Ortega
Storrs Samuel Osborne
Storrs Brianna Ozimek
Storrs Evan Paradis
Storrs Christina Parmelee
Storrs Joseph Pinola
Storrs Elyssa Polomski
Storrs Emily Ramsey
Storrs Krista Rogers
Storrs Linda Ruutu
Storrs Kathryn Saltzman
Storrs Jessica Scianna
Storrs Sarah Scott
Storrs Matthew Shang
Storrs Kelly Shea
Storrs Kelly Shea
Storrs Eun-Ju Shin
Storrs Benjamin Solari
Storrs Elise Ursin
Storrs Nikolaj Volgushev
Storrs Aileen Yang
Storrs Andrew Yang
Storrs Cheng Yang
Storrs Jennifer Yik
Storrs Mansfield Michelle Guida
Storrs Mansfield Chantal Poulin
Storrs, Mansfield Taren Sarantos
Storrs, Mansfield Danielle Tilley
Storrs-Mansfield Amber Albee
WILLINGTON Xinmeng Yao
Willimantic Rebecca Cook
Willimantic Graham DeAngelis
Willimantic Mohammed Manzoor
Willimantic Justin Miller
Willimantic Stephanie Richard
Willimantic Jennifer Schoennagel
Willington Michelle Bashaw
Willington Samantha Bishop
Willington Ashley Bonet
Willington Rebecca Brooks
Willington Rebecca Brooks
Willington Cory Charpentier
Willington Nicholas Deets
Willington William DuPont
Willington Prescott Fulton
Willington Anthony Glaser
Willington Kyle Herold
Willington Paul Hills
Willington Christopher Keefe
Willington Sarah LaPrad
Willington Hillary Lackman
Willington Melissa Levenstein
Willington Siyao Li
Willington Jiajun Lu
Willington Donald McMenemy
Willington Aaron Nelson
Willington Kenneth Roper
Willington Meaghan Roy-O’Reilly
Willington Calli Schechtman
Willington Neil Schoppmann
Willington Neil Schoppmann
Willington Emily Szkudlarek
Willington James Trapp
Willington Emily Udal
Willington Jessica Upham
Willington Jusi Wang
Willington Rachel Weiss
Willington Savannah Williams
Windham Hannah Beesley
Windham Diego Dos Santos
Windham Celia Guillard
Windham Jennifer LeBaron
Windham Jennifer LeBaron
Windham Jordan Stearns
Windham Katelyn Werner
Windham Nicole Wilson
mansfield Madhu Aryal
mansfield center Zihang Zhou
mansfield center Zihang Zhou
storrs Klaritza Armenta
storrs Yiwen Ding
storrs Avijit Ghosh

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Local day camps made a great summer for cancer patients families

CHILDREN RUNNING from Windham Hosp FB page

In addition, the Town of Coventry Parks and Recreation Camp and Camp Asto Wamah in Columbia, CT each offered free spaces for children of cancer patients.

Connecticut budget ends with $359 million surplus

Ben Barnes CT Budget Director

Personal income tax receipts were up $55.1 million over last month. The corporation tax also was revised upward by $15 million.

Future of local water supply is topic of public forum July 29

A forum focused on our water supply – including who decides how it’s used – will be hosted by The League of Women Voters of Northeastern Connecticut (formerly the League of Women Voters of Mansfield) and the Connecticut Institute of Water Resources (CIWR) on Monday, July 29 from 7-9 p.m. at the Elks Lodge (lower level), located at 198 Pleasant St. in Willimantic.

Questions about water sources, usage and quality have come into focus recently in light of the Storrs Center development, UConn’s plans to bring in water to support a new Tech Park and the concurrent needs of the towns in this region, particularly in terms of their own development plans.

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