Winners and Losers , 6-7-2014

We liked this week

Relay for Life events in our readership area are not only highly successful and full of enthusiasm, but also are a wonderful way to build community while raising funds for vital research. We applaud all participants and organizers — they “light up” our world with hope.

The only American soldier held prisoner in Afghanistan has been freed by the Taliban in exchange for the release of five Afghan detainees from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Obama administration officials said. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was handed over to U.S. special operations forces by the Taliban last Saturday evening, local time, in an area of eastern Afghanistan, near the Pakistani border. Officials said the exchange was not violent and the 28-year-old Bergdahl was in good condition and able to walk.

Meriden’s Police Department is expecting to hire nine new officers by the end of the year. Three future officers are expected to graduate from the police academy early next month, three are slated to graduate from the academy later this year and three more were made conditional job offers, said Lt. Thomas Cossette. If all nine are hired, the department will be fully staffed with 124 officers.

Top property owners in the downtown Southington are optimistic about the future of the municipality’s center and hope more downtown residents will bring back shops that once lined the streets. It would be good to see this materialize.

Wallingford residents were getting their hair cut for a cause Sunday, as The Sisters’ Project teamed with Salon Le Rae to raise money for families affected by cancer. The Sisters’ Project, run by a “sisterhood” of women, hosts fundraisers throughout the year for the Masonicare Hospice unit and families facing the costs of medical care.

Inventions by 27 seniors were on display in the Southington High School auditorium last week. For nearly six months the seniors, as part of a national program called Project Lead the Way, have been working on projects involving engineering design and production. Students showed off the work to family, other students and staff. Project Lead the Way is intended to get them excited about science, technology, engineering and math. Students had to find a real-life issue, form a problem statement and create a project to help solve the problem.

A Southington police officer recently awarded the local American Legion Law Enforcement Officer of the Year honor is in the running for a statewide award. Officer Thomas Gallo, a 24-year veteran, is a DARE officer, runs the child safety seat program, serves as a school resource officer for the elementary and middle schools, and runs other community programs. He’s a busy guy! We wish him well.

During a special meeting Monday night, Wallingford’s Board of Education voted to appoint Lyman Hall High School Assistant Principal Cindy Lavalette as the new assistant superintendent for personnel. We wish her well in her new post.

We didn’t like this week

Meriden police are looking for a “suspicious“ person in connection with an early morning fire that damaged the restaurant at Hunter Golf Club. Fire Marshal Steve Trella said the call came in at 3 a.m. from a passerby. When firefighters arrived at Violi’s restaurant, the rear of the building was on fire, Trella said. The fire started near a golf cart, spread to the outside of the building, and up into the attic. The fire spread because the sprinkler system was only in the restaurant portion of the building, not in the attic, Trella said. There was not a lot of damage to the downstairs interior, but the outside of the building did sustain significant damage.

Federal regulators began an inspection of Connecticut’s nuclear power plant in Waterford Monday, more than a week after a power failure forced both units to shut down and water was found to be slightly radioactive. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced it’s examining the response by Millstone Power Station to the May 25 outage that lasted about six hours. Inspectors will look at equipment performance and evaluations by owner Dominion Resources Inc. Specifically, inspectors will examine drainage from the reactor’s coolant system and why equipment, known as a rupture disk, opened to relieve pressure.

A bookkeeper for the National Veteran Services Fund was arrested Monday and accused of embezzling more than $830,000 from that charity. Cynthia Tanner, 52, of Darien, was being held in lieu of $250,000 bail while awaiting arraignment on a charge of first-degree larceny. Officials went to police after an internal audit found some “questionable entries” on financial statements, said Phillip Kraft, the executive director of the charity.



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