Examining the State's Heroin Problem; Danbury's Economic Boost; Republicans' Alternative Budget

Apr 17, 2014

Heroin use is rising at an alarming rate here in Connecticut and in the northeast. According to U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty, 257 state residents have died from heroin overdoses, many in her district, which covers Torrington and Waterbury. Thursday, Esty met with the mayors of those two cities, along with law enforcement and public health professionals to explore options to combat the problem. 

In New Haven, the Federal government lent its support when Office of National Drug Control Policy acting director Michael Botticelli met with state senators, city government, and medical officials to discuss how the federal agency might help. Among many areas of need is the ability of those affected by this addiction to seek and receive proper treatment.

Cartus To Expand in Danbury with Help of State Economic Loan

Governor Dannel Malloy appeared Thursday in Danbury to announce an agreement on a $6.5 million loan from the state to help expand the Cartus Corporation. The loan will come from the state’s economic and community development fund, and will cover part of the Cartus’s estimated $15.4 million in expansion costs. In addition, Cartus, a global leader in real estate franchising, brokerage, relocation, and settlement services, will retain 1,275 jobs and add as many as 200 new jobs over the next five years.

Republicans Make Alternative Budget Proposals

State Republicans announced their alternative budget Thursday, introducing proposed modifications to the budget year that begins July 1. They also accused Governor Malloy of  conducting "business as usual" in the areas of borrowing and spending, saying he has not been transparent as many of the state's cities and towns were forced to be during Connecticut's financial crisis. The Republicans say they would trim over $800 million worth of what they call gimmicks and one-time revenues that they claim will set the state up for budget deficits in the years to come.

Hartford Contractor in Federal Probe

A Hartford contractor has been identified at the center of a federal investigation. Manafort Brothers, Inc. will pay $2.4 million in fines for allegedly lying about over $3 million of work on a state highway relocation project back in 2007. That work was part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program, which allocates a portion of certain jobs to be sub-contracted to companies owned by women and minorities. In this case, Manafort Brothers acted as a pass-through, giving sub contracting jobs to other firms and not DBE firms as the Department of Transportation requires. Manafort Brothers said they have hired a full time employee to oversee DBE compliance. 

Shooting Squirrels Can Mean Trouble!

There is trouble for a Milford man after he reportedly shot a squirrel this week. The New Haven Register reports that James Toigo, 65, was arrested after nearby police directing traffic heard a gun discharge. When Toigo’s home was searched, an unregistered assault rifle and three large magazines were found, along with several other firearms. Though he did not shoot the squirrel with the assault rifle, Toigo faces charges of cruelty to animals, breaching the peace, and failure to register an assault weapon. He is due back in court on May 13.