The Wheelhouse Digest
10:31 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Law Enforcement Grants; UConn's Faculty Surge; Waterbury Absences

It's the last day of September, so you know what that means: it's your last day to celebrate the full functioning of federal government, which may be partly out of commission by this time Wednesday. All the same, federal grants were just awarded to five Connecticut towns for law enforcement purposes. We'd hate to see those grants not come through, but these are strange times at The Wheelhouse Digest. That story and more on this federal holiday of sorts.

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Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

FEDS AWARD LAW ENFORCEMENT GRANTS TO FIVE CONNECTICUT TOWNS
The funding is meant to address violent crime, property crime, and school safety.

Five Connecticut communities have received grants ranging from $125,000 to over $2 million from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing, Diane Orson reported Monday. Bridgeport and Farmington will use the funds to hire school resource officers. Hartford will increase its police force and hire ten more officers. Norwich will hire an additional four cops. A $150,000 grant will go to Newtown to hire two school safety officers. 

Read more at the U.S. Department of Justice.

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UCONN REPORTS LOWER STUDENT TO TEACHER RATIO
A surge in hiring at the university since 2011 will continue over ten years.

The UConn Board of Trustees reported that the university's student-to-faculty ratio decreased from just over 17:1 to just over 16:1 in the last year. Since 2011, UConn hired 169 new faculty members, funded by tuition increases. The school's undergraduate student population has also increased, from about 17,500 students last year to about 18,000 this fall. An additional 245 faculty members will be hired over the next ten years. 

Read more at The Hartford Courant.

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STUDENTS ABSENCES JUMP IN WATERBURY
Local school officials are blaming new state rules allowing parent sign-offs.

Student absences in Waterbury jumped by 11 percent last year. Officials are blaming new state definitions of legitimate absence that allow parents and guardians to sign off on the first nine days unquestioned. Death in the family, religious holiday or illness are apparently no longer the only legitimate reason. The state Board of Education approved new definitions in June 2012 for regional and local boards of education to determine which students qualify as truant for state reporting purposes.

Subscribers can read more at The Republican-American.