Students and Parents Rally in Norwich to Protest School Bullying

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NORWICH — Students from several school districts in the eastern part of the state marched around Parade Green in the pouring rain on Saturday to protest bullying and threats of violence in the local districts over the last few months.  Holding signs that read “How do you learn and cope @ the same time?” and “Fear has no place in schools”, a group of about 25 students and parents circled the green, led by a 12th grader with a megaphone leading chants of “I’ll back you up,” and “No silence, no violence.”  Other parents, students and community members crowded under

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CCM Pitches a Regional Approach to Federal Funding Opportunities

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It was going to take an awful lot of work to convert the former second-hand store in a Norwich strip mall into the barbershop that Carlos Ventura had long dreamed of owning.  But after weeks of gutting the storefront and surviving the setback of a burst water pipe, Carlos and his wife Brenda opened Ventura Barbershop earlier this month and couldn’t be happier with the unexpectedly strong business they are doing so far.  “We put in this place everything we’ve got,” said Carlos, originally from the Dominican Republic. “It’s my dream.”  Helping to realize his vision was a $10,000 check

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Peter Nystrom Campaigns Door to Door in 19th Run for Office

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After decades in public office, from city council member to state representative to mayor, Norwich Mayor Peter Nystrom said his favorite method of campaigning is door knocking. “Sometimes, while knocking on doors, you discover a need that you wouldn’t have heard about otherwise,” said Nystrom, recalling a meeting with a resident who invited him into his house to see dramatic water damage from flash flooding in Norwich this summer. In 2017, Nystrom was elected with 57 percent of the vote.   This year, Nystrom is running for a third term in office. The Republican incumbent is facing off against Democrat Mark

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Peter Nystrom Talks Fiscal Responsibility, a Third Term as Norwich Mayor

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Republican Mayor Peter Nystrom is running for reelection this fall, seeking a third term in the office. The Republican incumbent is facing off against Democrat Mark Bettencourt, who serves as Norwich City Council President Pro Tempore and lost to Nystrom in the 2009 Norwich mayoral race.  In 2017, Nystrom was elected with 57 percent of the vote.   The Connecticut Examiner spoke with Nystrom about why he’s seeking a third term, and what he’s proudest of during his tenure as mayor.  This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.  What led you to run for a third term as mayor

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Mark Bettencourt Makes His Case for Norwich Mayor

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Norwich City Council President Pro Tempore Mark Bettencourt is running against incumbent Mayor Peter Nystrom, who is seeking a third term. In 2017, Nystrom was elected with 57 percent of the vote. Bettencourt, who lost to Nystrom in the 2009 Norwich mayoral race, has served on the City Council for a collective ten years.  The Connecticut Examiner spoke with Bettencourt about what inspired his run, and what policies he would prioritize if elected.  This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.  What inspired you to run for Mayor of Norwich?  I lost election to the City Council six years

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After 60 Claims of Abuse, the Diocese of Norwich Files for Bankruptcy

The Diocese of Norwich has filed for bankruptcy, saying it was unable to pay damages for over 60 claims of abuse alleged to have taken place at the Mount Saint John School, a former residential school in Deep River. The Diocese announced Thursday that it would be filing under Chapter 11, a provision under the U.S. bankruptcy code that allows businesses to “restructure” their debts in order to pay their creditors. Bishop Michael R. Cote, the head of the diocese, said that filing a Chapter 11 was “the most equitable way” to address the lawsuits.  Cote said that the decision

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St. Vincent de Paul Place Seeks Donations to Meet Demand; Charter Oak Matches total $400,000

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NORWICH — At St. Vincent de Paul Place in Norwich, 916 families found help at the food pantry this November. Last year, the pantry served 701 families in November, typically the busiest month, according to Tim Hathaway, marketing coordinator for St. Vincent de Paul Place.  The nonprofit, which is a ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Norwich, also distributed an average of 390 meals a day in November through their Community Meals program, which offers breakfast and lunch six days a week. And people made about 172 visits to the food pantry each day in November, up almost 40 percent

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Vincent Marks Gains in Norwich Redevelopment

NORWICH — A couple of doors down from Foundry 66 and Epicure Brewing on Franklin St. are several small shops where a number of streetwear designers have established a foothold.  “There are six businesses that operate out of this storefront and they also have a Shopify program for each vendor. They’re not open because they are selling on the internet. Streetwear needs a 50/50 profile — you have to be online but you also have to have a brick and mortar and so there’s a kid here that sold a pair of sneakers for $1,600,” said Jason Vincent, president of

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Nurses Picket Backus Hospital as Negotiations Hit an Impasse

NORWICH — Nurses at Backus Hospital in Norwich began a two-day strike at 7 a.m. today as contract negotiations between the union and the hospital reached an impasse.  A few hundred nurses picketed in the pouring rain, holding signs that read “Nurses Strike for Unfair Labor Practice” and “Honk if You Love Nurses.”  The hospital and nurses had 22 negotiating sessions, the most recent beginning at 10 a.m. on Sunday and lasting more than 10 hours.  According to Sherri Dayton, president of the Backus Federation of Nurses, the Sunday negotiating session ended with the hospital’s lawyer telling the union negotiating

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