Christine Goupil Weighs in on ‘No’ Vote to Legalizing Marijuana

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Gov. Ned Lamont signed a bill legalizing recreational marijuana into law on Tuesday, after the state legislature passed the legislation last week. Effective July 1, possession of limited amounts of marijuana will be legal for people aged 21 and over, and legal sales of the drug are expected to begin next summer. The House passed the legislation 76-62, with one Republican voting in support, and 12 Democrats opposing.  One of those 12 Democrats is State Rep. Christine Goupil of Clinton, who defeated Republican John Hall by just 274 votes last November. The district had previously been represented by Republican Jesse

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Clinton Schools Await State Guidance on Masks, Request Local Feedback on Spending

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Clinton schools are looking for public feedback on its reopening plan for the fall and how to use $1.7 million of federal dollars the town is expected to receive under the American Rescue Plan Act. Every school district in Connecticut must create a “safe return to in-person instruction” plan to access federal funding. The town’s current plan is to drop the remote learning option, but continue with masks and social distancing, in accordance with current state guidelines.  At a Board of Education meeting on Monday, superintendent of schools Maryann O’Donnell said that the plan is still dependent on state guidance.

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Clinton School Plans Expansion of Special Education and Mental Health Services

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CLINTON — The town is making plans to strengthen its mental health and special education services at the Morgan School in response to an increase in student need for support.  At a Board of Education meeting on Monday, Superintendent Maryann O’Donnell said that the partnership with the Wheeler Clinic, a community health center that also runs a program for school districts, would allow the district to strengthen the special services program they already offer at the high school rather than having to place students in programs outside the district.  “If we don’t take this step, there’s a likelihood that we’re

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Schools Across the Region Outline Varying Ideas for Spending Federal Dollars

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School districts across southeastern Connecticut are in the process of drawing up plans for how they intend to spend millions of dollars of federal funding that will be available over the next two years. The money comes in the form of two anticipated grants, known as ESSER II and the American Rescue Plan.  The proposals include a variety of projects, from outdoor classrooms to bilingual therapists, summer enrichment and chromebooks.  Here is a rundown, district by district:  Lyme-Old Lyme Ian Neviaser, superintendent at Lyme-Old Lyme schools, said the district won’t be using the combined $1.48 million in federal aid for

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Clinton Reports Better than Expected Revenues, Smooth Transition for New Town Manager

CLINTON — It’s been a year since the town hired Karl Kilduff as town manager to oversee the municipal budget, and members of the town council say that they can already see the benefits of having a professional in charge of the town’s finances. “Having him in place has had a huge impact on the town,” said Chris Aniskovich, chair of the town council.  On Nov. 19, 2019, Clinton transitioned from a board of selectmen form of governance — with a first selectman as “town CEO”— to an appointed town manager overseen by a seven-member elected town council. Aniskovich said

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Clinton Chamber Raises Money for Small Businesses

CLINTON — The Clinton Chamber of Commerce is offering $200 grants to local small businesses that are struggling to pay their monthly bills.  Paul Orsini, executive director of the Chamber, said that the board decided to start fundraising for a grant program back in October, when they realized they were going to have to cancel all of their major events due to the COVID. He said that while $200 doesn’t seem like much, he knows from experience that it can mean a lot to a small business owner who is just starting out.   Through the support of some anonymous donors,

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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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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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Clinton’s First Appointed Town Manager Talks Budget Planning, Sewers

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Karl Kilduff said that his first three months on the job have felt like drinking water from a firehose, but luckily as Clinton’s first appointed town manager, it’s not a process that he will have to repeat anytime soon. “In recent history there has been a lot of turnover, so by the time the selectman was up to speed on the issues they were running for re-election,” Kilduff said. According to Kilduff, the driving force behind the transition to a managerial form of government was to reduce turnover and hopefully foster a better functioning government.  In recent years Clinton has

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