$13.3 Million for Twelve Small Cities Across Connecticut

Twelve municipalities across the state received federal grant funding totaling $13.3 million through the Community Development Block Grant Small Cities program, Gov. Ned Lamont and Connecticut Housing Commissioner Seila Mosquera-Bruno announced on Friday.  Administered by the Connecticut Department of Housing with funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the program funds projects that develop housing and infrastructure in smaller communities to primarily benefit lower-income residents.    “These grants go a long way toward improving neighborhoods so that we can make our communities more attractive and encourage continued growth for the benefit of all of our residents,” Gov. Ned

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Lamont Announces Retroactive Expansion of Benefits for 38,000 Unemployed

Gov. Ned Lamont announced the signing of an executive order Friday morning expanding unemployment benefits for workers impacted by COVID-19.  The order directs the state Department of Labor to expand eligibility for the Federal Lost Wages Assistance Program to Connecticut residents who previously did not qualify.  The federal program, which added a supplemental $300 weekly to benefits for Americans who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only applied to workers who had a minimum benefit of $100 per week.  While 160,000 state residents received supplemental benefits, 38,000 others who had lost their jobs due to the pandemic received

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Rob Derry, Clinton’s Green Party Police Commissioner

CLINTON — Rob Derry was never interested in politics. From a young age, he knew he wanted to become a state trooper, just like his grandfather. For the last three decades, Derry has worked in law enforcement, as a local police officer and then a state police sergeant.  Derry said his work has led him to develop relationships with many local politicians, including Dick Smith, longtime first selectman of Deep River, who Derry became close to during his time in Westbrook as a state trooper. One day, Smith gave Derry a laminated copy of an article about him in a

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Lamont Outlines Expected Timeline for COVID Vaccinations

In a Thursday afternoon press conference, Gov. Ned Lamont, alongside the co-chairs of his vaccine advisory group, laid out his plan for statewide vaccine distribution. The first doses of Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines are set to arrive in Connecticut on December 14 and December 21, respectively, and pending FDA approval, the state plans to administer those vaccines in two phases.  The first part of phase one, starting as soon as vaccines arrive, will include the state’s 200,000 healthcare workers, 22,000 nursing home residents, and 6,000 medical first responders. The state anticipates all residents in those categories who choose to be

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Eric Bergman Explains Local Success for Greens in Clinton

CLINTON — Eric Bergman, an English teacher at the Morgan School, was elected to the Clinton Town Council in November. A resident of Clinton for nearly 20 years and an active participant in local politics, he is an unsurprising choice. But Bergman ran as a Green Party candidate, making him the first third-party candidate in history elected to Clinton town council.  Bergman estimates that Clinton has roughly 2,700 registered Democrats, 2,300 registered Republicans, and close to 5,000 unaffiliated voters, a breakdown that created a clear opportunity for a third-party candidate to succeed at the local level.  “Clinton has a distinctly

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It’s All in the Details: Connecticut Moves Toward Legalizing Marijuana

Arizona, Montana, South Dakota and New Jersey all voted to legalize recreational marijuana on November 3, joining eleven other states and the District of Columbia. Just 15 states still outlaw marijuana in any form, and Connecticut is not one of them, having decriminalized possession in 2011 and legalized cannabis for medical purposes in 2012.  New Jersey joins three other states in the region, Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine, which already legalized cannabis products. New York and Rhode Island are also mulling over the issue, and Connecticut’s state leadership has made it clear that marijuana legalization is a priority for the upcoming

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Courtney Sketches Out Agenda Under a Biden Administration

CT Examiner spoke with Joe Courtney, Connecticut’s 2nd District representative, about his legislative priorities heading into the lame duck session and the next administration.  The following transcript has been edited for clarity and condensed.  Stimulus and the Lame Duck CT EX: What are the prospects for a stimulus package and COVID relief bill in the new Congress?  COURTNEY: First off, we’re still seeking to get a COVID relief bill done in the lame duck session. No one’s given up on that, and Plan A is still to get relief out as soon as possible. COVID is picking up speed, and

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Halda Therapeutics Joins Redevelopment of Winchester Arms in New Haven

Halda Therapeutics, a Branford-based biotech company founded by Yale professor Craig Crews, is returning to New Haven.  The drug discovery startup signed a lease on a 9,800 square foot lab and office space in Science Park, located just west of Yale’s Science Hill campus at the former Winchester Arms factory. Halda recently completed a $25 million round of Series A financing. The move was announced Wednesday in a press release from Winchester Partners, a joint venture of Twining Properties, L+M Development Partners and the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, which owns the former factory, a 145,000 square-foot building at 115

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Osten Offers Quick Take on Election

State Sen. Cathy Osten, D-Sprague, will return to Hartford for her fourth term representing a district that stretches from Marlborough to Ledyard, beating back a challenge from Republican businessman Steve Weir with 54 percent of the vote.  “We ended up exactly where I was anticipating we would be at the end of the day,” Osten said. “I’m excited and honored to be reelected, because it lets you know what your job performance was.”  Speaking from the car as she drove up to Hartford, Osten said she was already putting in legislation requests for her fifth term. Among them are bills

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Paglino Offers Takeaway from Third-Party Bid

Green Party candidate Justin Paglino, a physician from Guilford, challenged incumbent Democrat Rosa Delauro for Connecticut’s third House district.  DeLauro beat back Paglino and her Republican challenger, real estate developer Margaret Streicker, with 54.7 percent of the vote.  For Paglino, his 1.4 percent of the vote counts as a win.  “I’m happy I got over one percent of the vote, because that means that the Green Party gets to keep a ballot line for the next election in two years,” Paglino said. “It was very grueling work getting 2,100 signatures over the summer, so I’m glad we don’t have to

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Door to Door with Senate Candidates for Southeast Connecticut

Every day of the 2020 campaign for the Connecticut State Senate has run under a shadow of pandemic, with reports in the final weeks before election day of increasing hospitalizations and a rising statewide daily positivity rate for COVID-19. “A second wave,” Gov. Ned Lamont called news on Thursday of a 6.1 percent state positivity rate. But with time still before the election, candidates are finding ways to get out the vote and get in touch with district residents. To get a flavor of the election and a sense of the challenges, CT Examiner checked in on two competitive races

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