NPU BUDGET PASSES, WITH REDUCED RATE HIKES
Responding to public complaints about proposed new rate hikes, Norwich’s Board of Public Utilities Commissioners Tuesday night adopts a budget for the new fiscal year that reduces the rate increases. The 92-point-6 million dollar plan is more than 3-million dollars less than what was first presented two months ago. Rate hikes range from 1-point-89 percent for electric service to 3-point-5 percent for water–between 51 and 63-percent lower than what was first proposed. NPU General Manager John Bilda says budget adjustments include putting-off some new equipment purchases, using more rate-stabilization money from the local municipal electric energy cooperative, and realizing reductions of wholesale energy costs. The new budget represents the first NPU rate hikes in two years.
EAST LYME FUGITIVE BACK HOME
An East Lyme man who fled the state in the midst of his trial has been found and is back in Connecticut. 40-year old Michael Callanan was located in Tennessee early Saturday morning by a bail enforcement agent. Callanan failed to show up on the second day of his trial in New London Superior Court May 9th, and was ordered re-arrested by the judge. He was charged with threatening and harassing the foster parents of his infant child in September, 2016, as well as threatening East Lyme police. Bail enforcement investigators say Callanan cut off and discarded his GPS bracelet along I-95 in New York, before heading south. They say he had some contacts in Tennessee, and was staying with them when he was captured. He’s being held on 1.25 million dollars bond, and is due back in court Thursday. He will need a new attorney before his case can resume, as his lawyer withdrew from the case due to a conflict of interest.
PAY EQUITY NOW THE LAW IN CT
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has signed into law legislation that could have a major impact on the state’s equal pay efforts. The bill, signed Tuesday and proposed by Malloy in his State of the State address this year, will prohibit employers from asking about a prospective employee’s wage and salary history during a job interview process. Malloy says inequity is “perpetuated by the practice,” and disproportionality ensures women were underpaid at their first job “continue to be underpaid throughout their careers.” The new rule will take effect on Jan. 1, 2019, and was approved overwhelmingly in both chambers of the General Assembly, with only five Republicans voting against the bill. In Connecticut, women are paid on average 82 cents for every dollar paid to men.
MALLOY TALKING WITH TRIBES ABOUT SPORTS BETTING
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says he’s already reached out to Connecticut’s two federally recognized tribes to discuss the ramifications of possibly legalizing sports betting. The Democrat said Tuesday his administration has also met with other groups that could be impacted, including the University of Connecticut with its sports teams. A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision has cleared the way for states to legalize sports betting. Malloy plans to meet Wednesday with legislative leaders to discuss a special session, saying his administration will provide “a road forward for the legislature to consider” likely sometime this summer. Malloy says he wants to make sure the state’s revenue-sharing agreement with the tribes and their casinos isn’t jeopardized by any sports betting legislation. The tribes have exclusive rights to certain forms of gambling.
YOGI’S IN THE CAR
CANTON, Conn. (AP) – What might be the world’s hairiest vandal has destroyed the interior of a Connecticut woman’s car. Linda Morad tells WFSB-TV she was house-sitting in Canton last Friday when she noticed her car lights on and heard strange noises. She called police. Officers found a full-grown bear that had somehow gotten into Morad’s car and could not get out. Police opened a door, ran to the other side of the vehicle, and the bear scampered into the woods. The car’s exterior was almost untouched, but the car’s interior was torn to shreds. Morad says her insurance company told her the vehicle was totaled. There was no food in the car, but Morad had taken some garbage to the dump earlier that day and thinks the smell attracted the bear.