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EDITORIAL: 15 things we liked this week

EDITORIAL: 15 things we liked this week

We liked this week

Connecticut on Wednesday allowed the reopening of restaurants, gyms, spas, movie theaters, hotels and other businesses, under strict social distancing and health protocols. Phase 2 of the economic restart, which was expected to reopen 95 percent of the economy, came three days earlier than originally scheduled amid a steep drop in both COVID-19 hospitalizations and positive virus test rates.

Roberto Rosado, chief of the Willimantic Police Department, has been named Meriden’s next police chief.  Rosado, a Meriden native, will replace outgoing Chief Jeffry Cossette effective July 1. Rosado, now a Windham resident, joins the Meriden department after serving 22 years in the Willimantic department. 

Following the overwhelming support of students, the Wallingford school district is moving ahead with plans to hold four drive-in commencement ceremonies, two for each high school, to ensure that as many students can participate as possible.

Hundreds of vehicles ventured out onto the streets from Southington High School Tuesday evening, giving the class of 2020 a festive motorcade sendoff to a school year that was upended in March by the pandemic.

Wilcox Technical High School in Meriden will hold a Senior Day/Graduation on Monday, June 22. Graduates who choose not to participate may pick up their diplomas at the school Wednesday, June 24.

The gate for the road up to Castle Craig in Meriden’s Hubbard Park is now open for the season. The gate will open at 10 a.m. and close at 5:30 p.m. daily through the end of October. The gate will be locked promptly at 5:30 p.m.

State lawmakers frustrated by the mounting COVID-19 deaths in Connecticut’s nursing homes issued a series of pointed questions they want to see addressed as part of an investigation ordered by the governor’s office. “What went wrong? What steps were missed?” asked Rep. Michelle Cook, whose father-in-law died after contracting the disease. “How have we lost over 2,500 lives in our nursing homes due to COVID?”

Gov. Ned Lamont signed an executive order on Monday that imposes new use-of-force rules for members of the Connecticut State Police, including a ban on chokeholds and other tactics, as well as a move toward “demilitarizing” the agency in the wake of George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis. Lamont called on state lawmakers to pass legislation in an upcoming special session of the General Assembly that codifies the new rules in state statute and ultimately applies them and other reforms to municipal police departments across Connecticut.

As communities across the country place a greater amount of scrutiny on policing tactics, Meriden city councilors are looking into establishing an independent civilian board that would review use-of-force complaints against the police department, the purpose of which “would be to add some level of transparency to the review and follow-up of the use of force,” Council Majority Leader David Lowell said in introducing the idea during a virtual meeting.

The Southington Board of Water Commissioners has postponed a decision on rate increases, citing the pandemic’s effect on customers. Those increases have been five percent or less over the past few years. Commission Chairwoman Erika Pocock said this month didn’t seem like a good time to increase rates. 

Photos, quotes and anecdotes were compiled into a video made by eighth-grade students at Southington’s DePaolo Middle School that showcased their life in quarantine. This video project, titled Quaran“teened,” was a part of the students’ journalism curriculum in their language arts class. 

The U.S. Presidential Scholar recognition is one of the nation’s highest honors for graduating seniors, and this year Elizabeth Ann Wozniak of Platt High School in Meriden is one of the three Connecticut recipients. Wozniak was named as a Presidential Scholar in Career and Technical Education. The U.S. Department of Education selected this year’s class of 161 scholars from a national pool of 621 semifinalists.

Tia Guay has learned at a young age to be charitable and give back. The Southington High School sophomore has authored a children's book to help a cause close to her heart. “The Long Walk” discusses the global water crisis and solutions. A portion of the proceeds will go to The Thirst Project, a nonprofit. “I’m in a lot of clubs and I try to give back as a volunteer,” the 16-year-old said.

The Meriden Public Library’s Board of Trustees has hired Clevell “Cle” Roseboro II, director of Willington’s public library, as the library’s new director. Roseboro takes over for interim director Marian Amodeo. Roseboro, 48, has been library director in Willington, a rural town of about 6,000 people in Tolland County, since September.

The state is allowing nursing homes to begin allowing some residents to meet with loved ones outside, wearing a mask and adhering to social distancing, months after Gov. Ned Lamont imposed a ban on most visits to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. “We know that the social and emotional connection is incredibly important,” said Connecticut Long Term Care Ombudsman Mairead Painter.

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