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

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

We liked this week

President Joseph R. Biden has designated Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, a Meriden resident and Connecticut’s commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services, to become assistant secretary for mental health and substance use at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Connecticut regulators on Wednesday criticized the state’s two largest electricity distributors and said they are considering fines over what they called the companies’ failures in their preparation and response last August to Tropical Storm Isaias, which left hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in the dark for days.

Meriden police officers injured in an incident on North Second Street Monday night have all been treated and released from area hospitals. The five officers were injured when a man reportedly drove into them while they were attempting to approach a vehicle suspected to be involved in a recent shooting, police said. 

For those longing for a return to pre-pandemic recreation activities, the Southington Drive-In is planning to open this summer. An official opening date for the town-owned drive-in on Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike will be set at the next meeting of the drive-in committee, which Recreation Director Dave Lapreay expects will be held in the next few weeks.

The Maloney High School Department of Music and Theater performed the musical version of “Little Women” on a wide concrete pad adjacent to the school’s front driveway last Friday. U.S. Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, the state’s former commissioner of education and Meriden’s former assistant superintendent of schools, was among almost 100 spectators.

Connecticut’s population slightly increased over the past decade, according to new census data released Monday, which indicates that the state will retain its five congressional seats.

Two dozen organizations, including those that serve low-income families, homeless and other at-risk populations, are slated to receive continued funding under a competitive federal grant program. Meriden officials expect the city will receive a little more than $1.07 million in Community Development Block Grant funding, which is administered through the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.

Dozens of vaccine providers across Connecticut are offering walk-up appointments for COVID-19 shots, which began Tuesday. Previously, residents were required to book an appointment in advance. As demand for scheduled appointments wanes, Gov. Ned Lamont said more supply has been freed up to accommodate the walk-ups. 

The Coalition for a Sustainable Cheshire’s latest project was a month-long observance of Earth Day called The Great Global (solo) Trash Pick-Up. It’s a collaborative effort, put together with members from other community partners, including St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, the First Congregational Church of Cheshire and Cheshire Academy.

Significant spending on downtown, eliminating blight and improving the city’s image were reoccurring topics at a recent joint meeting of the Meriden City Council’s Economic Development, Housing and Zoning Committee and the Planning Commission. “From where I sit, our downtown defines our community,” said City Councilor Michael Rohde.

Meriden school officials are hoping to provide the class of 2021 with graduation ceremonies and other end-of-year activities that closely resemble those held prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Board of Education voted unanimously to set June 10 as the graduation date for both Platt and Maloney high schools.

Twenty-five Platt High School seniors finished personalizing some 20 parking spaces, which they used during senior year, with water-based house paint on Wednesday as part of a longtime plan first suggested by the school’s student government more than a year ago. The project was aimed at helping the students literally make their mark on the school at which they have labored for the last four years, Principal Dan Corsetti said.

The Summer Campership Fund for Meriden-Wallingford finished the third week at $16,985 with new donations totaling $4,675. The fund is in its 46th year offering campership awards of $140 to boys and girls in Meriden and Wallingford to attend local camps. 

We didn’t like this week

A local health official blamed the spike of COVID-19 cases among Cheshire High School students on a failure to follow public health precautions, not a variant of the virus. “To our knowledge, this uptick in COVID-19 cases for the town of Cheshire is not due to the variant, it’s due to people not practicing the safe COVID-19 mitigation strategies,” said Kathryn Glendon, a public health specialist with the Chesprocott Health District, which includes Cheshire.

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