9 things we liked this week, 4 we didn’t 

9 things we liked this week, 4 we didn’t 

We liked this week

A $50,000 grant for operating expenses will help a local arts group pay its bills until the spring. The money from the Bradley and Leila Upson Barnes Memorial Trust offsets revenue lost by Southington Community Cultural Arts since March. “That’s huge for us,” Mary DeCroce, arts group executive director, said of the grant. “We’re able to keep our staff and pay for utilities.”

Culinary students at Wallingford’s Lyman Hall High School are working on a project to distribute groceries to restaurant workers who have lost tips, wages or their jobs entirely during the coronavirus pandemic. “We wanted to give back to the community that suffered pretty hard this whole time,” said senior Becca Milewski, who presented the program to the Board of Education during a recent meeting.

Citing “very little evidence of harm and a wide-ranging medical consensus that” mask-wearing is safe, Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher on Monday denied a request for an emergency injunction against the state’s requirement that children wear masks in schools. Moukawsher said in his ruling that “no emergency exists” in CT Freedom Alliance’s argument that the state requirement for students to wear masks while in school poses an immediate threat to their health and safety.

The 2020 edition of the Record-Journal Readers' Choice Awards, which is traditionally held at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington, was held in a virtual format, due to limits on large public gatherings that were enacted to slow down the spread of COVID-19. Late-night talk show host James Corden was the event's virtual emcee, delivering snappy quips during the hour-long event. “Local businesses are the lifeblood of America,” Corden said.

The Cheshire Food Drive will be held on the First Congregational Church green today and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. “A lot of our fundraising efforts have had to change because of COVID-19 restrictions, but residents should know that we are there for them should they need us,” said food drive co-president Marlena Soble.

Spanish Community of Wallingford youth programs and the agency’s assistance to families impacted by the pandemic will be bolstered by a $25,000 donation from Nucor Steel’s annual golf tournament. Even though the event was canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak, sponsors kept their contributions intact, allowing Nucor to raise $31,000.

Wallingford children were invited to a rare trick-or-treat experience at the Trail of Terror on Halloween night. Dozens of children, dressed in costumes, went through part of the trail and received candy. “It is an experience for the kids,” Trail of Terror owner Wayne Barneschi said. “I hope they enjoy it.”

The parking lot at Our Lady Of Mount Carmel Church in Meriden was packed with cars and smiling kids in costumes yelling “Happy Halloween!” last Friday. Members of the church and the Knights of Columbus volunteered to assist with the trick-or-treating.

The Coalition for a Better Wallingford has joined a new partnership with the town and the apparel brand Life is Good, and one of the first awareness campaigns is a fundraiser. The Coalition is selling lawn signs with a custom-made image for $10 each. Proceeds will go toward young adult programming.

We didn’t like this week

Wallingford’s Sheehan High School has closed to in-person learning and Lyman Hall High School continued remote learning as new coronavirus cases and quarantines strained the school district’s ability to fill classrooms. Sheehan is set to be closed until Nov. 16, while students at Lyman Hall were scheduled to return to their classrooms on Friday. 

Wells Fargo Bank processed its final transaction Wednesday at its downtown branch, the last bank in downtown Meriden. “While branches are important in serving our customers’ needs, customers have more ways than ever to bank and digital usage continues to increase,” Wells Fargo spokesman Kevin Friedlander said in an email. 

The state will reimpose some restrictions on businesses and gatherings, including reducing the capacity in restaurants again, as coronavirus rates increase in the state, Gov. Ned Lamont said Monday. State judicial officials also postponed a plan to resume jury trials. Lamont said the latest rules would take effect Friday.

Flyers with a racial message turned up this month in Wallingford, as they did about a year ago. About a dozen flyers — with the phrase “It's okay to be white” in capital letters — were observed pasted to mailboxes, bus shelters and utility poles downtown and along Quinnipiac Street on Monday.

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