Highs and lows from last week (March 31, 2014)

Highs and lows from last week (March 31, 2014)


Low: There appears to be a problem with aggressive white dogs in North Stonington and Ledyard that may — or may not — be wolf-dog hybrids, which are illegal in Connecticut. The dogs reportedly have attacked two horses, bitten a bicyclist and threatened a local resident, according to Dennis Schain, the communications director for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. One dog was shot, and a tissue sample was sent to a lab in California for testing, and Ashbow Sebastian, who lives on Lantern Hill Road (part of the Eastern Pequot reservation), has seven animals the Environmental Conservation Police want to test, according to Schain. “They’re listed as illegal,” he said of wolf-dogs, “because they pose a danger to both human health and safety.” Let’s hope Schain and his colleagues get to the bottom of this.

High: Marijuana and prescription drug use are on the rise in Rhode Island, Richmond Police Chief Elwood Johnson said at a Tuesday Chariho School Committee meeting, but that’s not the case in the Chariho School District. In fact, such a large majority of the student body — 71 percent in grades seven through 12 — refrains from drug use that the Chariho Task Force wants to emphasize the fact at future health forums. The idea is that the majority might influence those students leaning toward substance use to steer clear of it. “We’re reaching out to educate these kids,” said Terri Censabella, the prevention counselor at Chariho Middle School.

High: Longtime Pleasant Street Baptist Church pastor Joshua A. McClure has taken over as president of the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center’s board of directors. McClure, 82, who retired from the church six months ago, is stepping in for June Strunk, who served as president for about three years. Vicki Anderson, the center’s executive director, said the changeover will be seamless. “We’re very fortunate we have Rev. McClure on the board,” she said. “Josh is a very strong, well-respected leader. He led Pleasant Street to growth that many never thought possible.”

High: The Mystic Irish Parade reasserted its massive popularity — the 11th annual parade last Sunday drew an estimated 30,000 despite brisk winds and cold temperatures. An hour before the event, traffic was backed up on Greenmanville Avenue all the way to Interstate 95, and on Allyn Street, cars were parked on the side of the road more than a mile north Route 1. “It really has become a great event for all of Mystic,” said Neil Ryan, vice president of the parade foundation, who made sure to thank fellow organizers and volunteers.

High: Westerly’s downtown makeover has begun, courtesy of Benjamin Moore’s Main Street Matters campaign. Westerly was one of 20 towns chosen to receive revitalization assistance from the paint company, and more than 30 downtown buildings will benefit. The businesses were given the choice of a fresh coat of their current paint color, or selections from the Benjamin Moore-chosen palette, and every business chose the selected colors. Priming has already started. “It’s too good to be true, really,” Lisa Konicki, executive director of the Greater Westerly-Pawcatuck Area Chamber of Commerce, said of the project.

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