16 things we liked this week, 1 we didn’t 

16 things we liked this week, 1 we didn’t 

We liked this week

Southington’s incoming Fire Chief Richard Butler made his first visit to town. He toured fire stations, met department members, acquainted himself with the town and looked for a house. “I think I’m going to like living here,” he said.

Connecticut-based Pratt & Whitney will provide more than 170 of its geared turbofan engines, worth nearly $1 billion, for an Airbus aircraft order signed Tuesday by JetBlue Airways. JetBlue is the first customer for the rebranded Airbus A220-300, the new name of the former Bombardier CSeries line of jetliners.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection hopes to have Wharton Brook State Park open by the end of summer after May’s severe thunderstorm and microburst brought down about 800 trees across the park. Nearby Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden fared even worse in the storm, and the department is not sure when Sleeping Giant will reopen. While Wallingford’s Tyler Mill Preserve remains closed until further notice due to storm damage, a small group of 16 volunteers is doing what it can to remove trees and brush from the 1,000-acre open space parcel’s extensive network of trails.

The Meriden Historical Society is working with members of the Police Department to collect memorabilia and photographs for an exhibit commemorating the department ’s 150th anniversary in October. The project is being spearheaded by Debora Patterson, a board member of the society, Police Chief Jeffry Cossette and Officer Mike Ford.

The Wallingford Public Utilities Commission is relying on $3.3 million in reserve funds to offset a potential increase in residential electric bills. The PUC will spend the reserves to absorb an increase in the amount of money the municipal electric company pays for wholesale power, rather than passing the costs off to customers. 

Lawyers for two immigrant children detained in Connecticut after being separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border asked a federal judge on Wednesday to order that the girl and boy be reunited with their families. A four-hour hearing was held at U.S. District Court in Bridgeport.

A new unit at York Correctional Institution in Niantic, the state’s prison for women, was formally introduced Monday. It will house inmates no older than 25 with the goal of steering them away from lives of crime.

Nearly 200 veterans were honored Tuesday with state Veterans of Wartime Service Medals in a ceremony at Platt High School in Meriden. Each veteran received a commemorative medal and some families accepted the medals for veterans honored posthumously.

The Summer Campership Fund for Meriden-Wallingford has passed the 2018 goal of $64,000 with $17,235 in new donations. A total of $65,177 was raised to send 500 kids to local camps. One hundred percent of the funds raised are used directly to fund camperships.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has announced a $600,000 spending plan for the purpose of ensuring housing for Puerto Rico evacuees residing in the state. Disaster case managers continue to work with about 100 households to find permanent housing. Thousands of families from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have sought refuge in the state since Hurricane Maria hit last September.

The Meriden Farmers Market has opened for the season and will run Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon through Oct. 20, rain or shine, on the Pratt Street side of the Meriden Green, across from the firehouse.

Prospective solar energy providers were to tour the Southington Calendar House Monday as part of a plan to put solar panels on the new senior center roof. The town is accepting proposals from companies to install panels on about a third of the Calendar House roof and sign a power purchase agreement.

Four college-bound graduates received the Eloise B. and William L. Woods Scholarship Friday to help continue their education. The event, sponsored by the Meriden-Wallingford NAACP, was held at Hunter’s Ambulance in Meriden.

A nonprofit group will hold focus groups to learn how young people in Southington believe substance abuse can be prevented. “We want to hear directly from them what we can do to help them stay away from drugs and alcohol,” said Kim Selvaggi, executive director of LISA Inc. LISA stands for living in safe alternatives. The group received a $25,000 grant from the Bradley Barnes and Leila Upson Barnes Memorial Trust.

The University of Connecticut Board of Trustees voted unanimously Friday to sell the former West Hartford campus for $5.2 million to a global financial-technical firm to develop a new, $283 million headquarters there. The project planned by Seven Stars Cloud Group will create an estimated 330 jobs over the next five years, supported by a $10 million loan from the state of Connecticut.

The 12 boys and their soccer coach rescued from deep within a flooded cave in Thailand made the V-for-Victory sign Wednesday from their beds in a hospital isolation ward where they are recovering from the 18-day ordeal.

We didn’t like this week

A review released Monday by the state Auditors of Public Accounts found that the Capital Region Development Authority did not conduct annual performance evaluations for any of its employees during the 2015 and 2016 fiscal years. And yet, at least five employees received two pay increases during the period covered by the audit.


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