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EDITORIAL: 10 things we liked this week, 5 we didn’t

EDITORIAL: 10 things we liked this week, 5 we didn’t

We liked this week

The Connecticut Department of Labor has received the go-ahead from Gov. Ned Lamont’s office to launch a “contact center,” which will provide unemployment filers with additional assistance online and over the telephone. Filers will have the ability to chat online or call a live agent, including 60 new employees, for more involved questions. 

The magic of summer camp can still be a part of children’s lives this year as many day camps will open, though with strict guidelines for staff and campers set by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood, and the governor’s office.

Connecticut is taking a big step toward re-energizing its construction economy. Treasurer Shawn T. Wooden has launched an $850 million bond sale to bolster Connecticut’s transportation program, and he plans to secure another $500 million in financing for various other capital projects and state initiatives. 

The Meriden Linear Trail extension from Platt High School to Bradley Avenue should be completed by the end of summer. The trail currently ends at Platt High School. The project will extend the trail along Coe Avenue to the Bradley Avenue bridge. At the end of the project, the contractor will mill and repave Coe Avenue.

Two Wallingford elementary school students — J.C. Dellaselva, a fourth-grader at Pond Hill School, and Rock Hill School fifth-grader Kale Seniff — have their homemade gadgets entered in the national Invention Convention. The virtual national convention and awards ceremony will be held in late June.

The Meriden-Wallingford Community Foundation Coronavirus Response Fund has so far provided 14 local social service agencies with $109,280. The fund and the United Way of Meriden and Wallingford distribute the money toward “individuals and agencies” that have been damaged by the coronavirus lockdown.

Recently, the Cheshire Police Department partnered with Bozzuto’s Hometown Foundation and Rossini’s Pizza to deliver over 200 pizzas to local health care workers. “Everything went extremely well and everyone was beyond happy to receive and be a part of the whole event,” said Police Sgt. Jeff Falk, a former town councilor. 

Neon lights lit up the computer screens of Lyman Hall High School seniors during a virtual prom last Friday night. For three hours, seniors, faculty, and administrators of the Wallingford school streamed the 2020 senior prom on Twitch TV courtesy of Sound Spectrum Entertainment. 

Cheshire reopened its dog park, skate park, and the tennis courts at the Cheshire Youth Center on Tuesday. The parks had been closed since late March or early April as the town tried to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

A UConn student sought by police as a suspect in a crime spree including two slayings in Connecticut has been captured, Connecticut State Police said Wednesday night. Peter Manfredonia, 23, had been the subject of a six-day search involving several police agencies and the FBI.

We didn’t like this week

Unfortunate but necessary: The Wallingford 350th Jubilee Committee has decided to reschedule the celebration to June 2021. In moving the event to next year, the committee considered the need to sponsor large-crowd events during safer times, according to a statement.

Three people were hospitalized after a shooting in Meriden Sunday night, and police responded to other reports of gunshots over the weekend. The city has been experiencing an uptick in violence over the past several weeks, which the department largely attributes to rival gang members.

As the state Judicial Branch continues to grapple with reopening courts months after the coronavirus pandemic brought most activity to a grinding halt, many stakeholders are left wondering what challenges months of inactivity will pose when courts reopen. The state closed the majority of smaller courthouses with lower case volume, including Meriden.

One out of every nine Connecticut high school freshmen doesn’t graduate from high school in four years, graduation rates released Wednesday by the State Department of Education show. Success varied dramatically across districts and student groups. Connecticut has long had some of the worst-in-the-nation gaps in achievement between student demographic groups.

Connecticut is one of 15 states certain to miss constitutional deadlines for drawing new legislative districts unless the U.S. Census Bureau reconsiders a four-month delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Conference of State Legislatures said Tuesday.