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New laws took effect Wednesday

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New laws, including laws about pet shops, went into effect Wednesday.

HARTFORD, Conn. – Several new laws take effect today including new regulations on pet stores and the sale of electronic cigarettes, as well as a law cracking down on domestic violence.

Here are a few of the laws going into effect on Oct. 1 as identified in the Office of Legislative Research’s “2014 Major Public Acts” report:

Continue reading New laws took effect Wednesday

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Rilling: There are other options than bisecting Ryan Park

A 2013 artists rendering of the Washington Village design

A 2013 artists rendering of the Washington Village design shows one of two concepts for Ryan Park in the foreground.

NORWALK, Conn. – Drawings presented to the Friends of Ryan Park as approval was sought for the Washington Village redevelopment turn out to be a less than accurate representation of what is to occur.

The need for a “berm” in Ryan Park, which was not factored into the public discussion in early 2013, has resulted in the circulation of a concept that has some South Norwalk activists concerned that Ryan Park might not be the community asset they had hoped it would be. The berm, a raised escape route for Washington Village in the event of a flood, would bisect the park diagonally which would, in effect, make it into two triangles with a raised area between them. Continue reading Rilling: There are other options than bisecting Ryan Park

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Rilling, Rivera duel in Norwalk Mentor Challenge

Superintendent Manny Rivera

Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling has some fun with Superintendent Manny Rivera at the Mayor’s Night Out Monday in Cranbury Elementary School.

NORWALK, Conn. – Mayor Harry Rilling and Superintendent Manny Rivera are having a friendly little competition – to see who can help more Norwalk schoolchildren.

Rilling has attempted at multiple public meetings to recruit mentors for Norwalk kids. On Monday night he took advantage of the angst expressed at the Mayor’s Night Out about littering to motivate the audience before they walked out the door: “One last thing before Dr. Rivera gets you – if you really want to teach a kid about littering we have a mentor challenge,” Rilling said.   Continue reading Rilling, Rivera duel in Norwalk Mentor Challenge

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Weeding out the gubernatorial candidates; tax returns come up during 2nd debate

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (left) and Tom Foley debate Tuesday night. (Christine Stuart photos)

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (left) and Tom Foley debate Tuesday night. (Christine Stuart photos)

The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 4.

The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 4.

HARTFORD, Conn. – Both Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and his Republican challenger Tom Foley said they will not increase taxes next year and they had both smoked marijuana, but that’s about where the similarities ended.

In a lightning round at the end of Tuesday’s debate, WFSB host Dennis House asked the candidates if they’ve ever smoked marijuana.

Continue reading Weeding out the gubernatorial candidates; tax returns come up during 2nd debate

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Senators use FBI report to encourage retailers to adopt anti-gun policies

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (Hugh McQuaid photo)

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (Hugh McQuaid photo)

HARTFORD, Conn. – Connecticut’s U.S. senators renewed their call Tuesday for national retailers to discourage customers from bringing guns into stores. They cited a FBI report that found nearly half of active shooter incidents occur at commercial establishments.

Continue reading Senators use FBI report to encourage retailers to adopt anti-gun policies

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Task force to take a comprehensive look at state tax code

Former State Sen. William Nickerson is named co-chairman of the tax panel (Christine Stuart photo)

Former State Sen. William Nickerson is named co-chairman of the tax panel (Christine Stuart photo)

HARTFORD, Conn. – A panel of experts in tax law, tax accounting, tax policy, economics and business finance convened for the first time Monday to start the process of examining the state’s tax code for the first time in 25 years.

“The world economy has changed,” Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee Co-Chairwoman Patricia Widlitz said. “The way we do business has changed and it just occurred to us that instead of tweaking the system we really need to do an in-depth study.”

Continue reading Task force to take a comprehensive look at state tax code

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Medical providers will have to give notice of mergers, acquisitions

 HARTFORD, Conn. – New legislation requiring hospitals, health systems, and medical practices to provide Attorney General George Jepsen with notice of acquisitions or changes in affiliation goes into effect on Oct. 1.

The law is in response to a rapid consolidation of Connecticut’s health care industry.

Continue reading Medical providers will have to give notice of mergers, acquisitions

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Jefferson Magnet School earns high national honor for narrowing achievement gap

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announces the National Blue Ribbon Program awards on Tuesday.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announces the National Blue Ribbon Program awards on Tuesday.

NORWALK, Conn. – A Norwalk elementary school has received national recognition for closing the achievement gap.

Jefferson Science Magnet School is one of 48 schools that were chosen across 47 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Department of Defense Schools in Germany and Japan by the National Blue Ribbon Schools as exemplary gap closing schools.

Continue reading Jefferson Magnet School earns high national honor for narrowing achievement gap

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New thought: Maybe Norwalk Council’s Planning Committee could cover the entire city?

Norwalk Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Tim Sheehan, left, chats with the Common Council Planning Committee recently.

Norwalk Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Tim Sheehan, left, chats with the Common Council Planning Committee recently.

NORWALK, Conn. – Odd, a former Norwalk Zoning Commission chairwoman said, that the Common Council’s Planning Committee is by its nature focused only on the urban core when it should be planning for the entire city.

“(The Planning Committee) is not staffed by the city planning department, but rather the Redevelopment Agency! In other words the City doesn’t look at Rowayton, East Norwalk, West Norwalk, most of South Norwalk etc. in any of its meetings. (RDA Executive Director) Tim Sheehan even thinks this is a bad conflict since often the Redevelopment Agency brings plans and projects to the City for approval and yet there is no staff there from the City to vet and protect the city,” Jackie Lightfield said in a comment left on Nancy On Norwalk. “No other city in CT operates like this.” Continue reading New thought: Maybe Norwalk Council’s Planning Committee could cover the entire city?

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Cranbury queries Norwalk for fire house, traffic calming and littering at Mayor’s Night Out

Mayor Harry Rilling, right, leads his latest Mayor's Night Out on Monday night at Cranbury Elementary School.

Mayor Harry Rilling, right, leads his latest Mayor’s Night Out on Monday night at Cranbury Elementary School.

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk expects to hire an expert to study the need to improve Norwalk Fire Department response time in the Cranbury section part of town.

That was one of the pieces of information offered Monday in the latest Mayor’s Night Out, where Norwalk department heads were questioned in Cranbury Elementary School by a small but well-prepared group of citizens. Topics included that perennial favorite of Norwalk citizens everywhere – traffic; the city’s website; and littering, which led to a discussion the possibility of teaching civics in Norwalk schools.  Continue reading Cranbury queries Norwalk for fire house, traffic calming and littering at Mayor’s Night Out

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Report projects decrease in uncompensated care, but Connecticut group has doubts

The cost of health care

The cost of health care

HARTFORD, Conn. – A report released last week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services projected that hospitals will save $5.7 billion in uncompensated care costs because of the Affordable Care Act.

The report, which is based on projections from large national hospital groups, concludes that states like Connecticut that expanded Medicaid eligibility will see greater savings compared to states that did not expand Medicaid.

Continue reading Report projects decrease in uncompensated care, but Connecticut group has doubts

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