13 Things we liked this week

13 Things we liked this week

We liked this week

Beginning this week, Wallingford police are able to view footage from school security cameras as a way to monitor for incidents at the schools. The police dispatch center will have access to cameras at all 12 schools and will use the video only when responding to an incident, Police Chief William Wright said. “It’s another level of protection, another tool,” Wright said.

Wallingford will hold a community forum on school safety and mental health resources next week to discuss ways to make local schools safer in light of the recent shooting in Florida. The event will be held Tuesday, March 6, at Town Hall.

A group of girls at Kelley School in Southington come together once a week to learn how to Double Dutch jump-rope. “It’s a form of jump-roping where there are two turners, two ropes and a jumper jumps in the middle,” said Kim Sprague, assistant coach of the Double Dutch class. It is a great alternative for children who don’t play traditional sports, Sprague said.

The city’s deficit projection for the current fiscal year has decreased from $2.3 million to $1.8 million, which officials attributed to increased property tax collection and the postponement of a pension fund contribution. City staff shared current revenue and expenditure data with the City Council Finance Committee Tuesday night.

The University of Connecticut has sent a posthumous letter of admission to the family of a student killed in the mass shooting at a Florida high school. UConn officials say they learned through news reports that 14-year-old Alex Schachter had dreamed of going to the university. He was one of 17 people killed Feb. 14 in a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

The Meriden Housing Authority has selected a development partner to build 45 market-rate apartments on the corner of Maple Branch Road and Maple Street. The Total Group, also known as Total Interiors of North Branford, has worked on MHA projects before. 

Work is underway on a $2.7 million project to transform Pratt Street into a boulevard-style “gateway ” to downtown Meriden. The project will reduce the road to one lane in each direction with a landscaped median. LaRosa Construction Co. was awarded the contract after a bidding process last summer. 

Western Connecticut State University in Danbury sponsored a celebration of the life of the late music icon Marian Anderson on Tuesday, the 121st anniversary of her birth. The opera singer is credited with breaking down barriers for blacks in the arts and galvanizing the fledging civil rights movement with a 1939 concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. First lady Eleanor Roosevelt arranged for the concert after the Daughters of the American Revolution refused to allow Anderson to perform at their Constitution Hall. Anderson lived in Danbury for nearly 50 years.

Thousands flocked Sunday to the annual Healthy Family Fun Fest, featuring hundreds of booths offering health information, medical screenings and other activities at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. John Myers, the Southington- Cheshire YMCA executive director, estimated 3,000 to 4,000 attended throughout the day.

Massachusetts is joining a coalition of states that are promising to expand efforts to share information on illegal guns and ultimately make progress on gun safety measures. The information-sharing group, which consists of Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, is called “States for Gun Safety.”

The Southington-Cheshire Community YMCA held its 4th Annual Ice Bucket challenge Saturday at Bartlem Park in Cheshire. Campers and parents gathered to watch members of the YMCA board of directors, team coaches and Board of Education members drenched by buckets of cold water and ice. The event is held every year to raise money for summer camp scholarships. 

Meriden, Wallingford and Middlesex County saw a 49-percent decrease in homelessness since 2013, and an 84-percent decrease in homeless veterans, housing officials said. “Connecticut can reclaim the mantle of leadership,” said U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. “What this state has done is a wonderful model.”

Three local elementary schools were recognized for academic growth in an annual statewide evaluation of schools by the state Department of Education. Chapman School in Cheshire, Thomas Hooker School in Meriden and Thalberg School in Southington were among the 124 Schools of Distinction named in the Next Generation Accountability Report. The designation signifies that they are in the top 10 percent of schools for academic growth in the 2016-17 school year.


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