6 things we liked this week, 2 we didn’t like

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We liked this week

Southington school officials plan to use federal pandemic relief funds to hire eight new educators to help with student mental and behavioral health. School superintendent Steven Madancy recommended hiring three social workers, a school psychologist, two board-certified behavior analysts, a special education teacher, and a program behaviorist. A certain urgency is felt in hiring due to a shortage of school staff.

Meriden City Council has approved changes that will allow a former care home on Westfield Road to be converted into market-priced accommodation. There are plans to convert the long unused 120-bed old retirement home to residential use. This is part of an effort to reuse city properties that have been neglected.

An essay contest created by state Rep. Craig Fishbein, who is also a councillor, is part of an effort to engage young people in celebrating Wallingford’s 350+2 Jubilee. One winner from four finalists will be chosen and announced at the History Day Breakfast on June 20.

Meriden City Council cleared a $500,000 loan to Thompson Brands to proceed, approving a resolution to issue $218,000 in bonds to fully fund the loan. One of Meriden’s oldest businesses, chocolatier Thompson plans to use the money to upgrade and expand production facilities. The deal has yet to be finalized.

Southington officials are taking steps to consider adjusting plans for the $17 million public library voters approved in last year‘s referendum. Concern over shortages and soaring material costs sparked the idea of ​​doing more with less. One of the concerns is $1 million in state funding that the city doesn’t want to risk by changing its plans too much.

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona delivered the commencement address during graduation ceremonies at Maloney High School in Meriden, and was a proud parent of eldest son, Miguel Jr., who was one of graduates. It was one of the many graduation highlights in the area.

We didn’t like this week

A Connecticut Mirror story highlighted a growing nursing crisis in Connecticut, where the shortage of nurses has been made worse by the coronavirus pandemic. Steps needed to counter this disturbing trend include a new state law calling on the Office of Workforce Strategy to expand college programs and other educational opportunities.

Meriden officials are scrambling to make changes after the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Community Planning and Development determined the city failed to disclose the conflicts of interest of two councilors councils ahead of a hearing on block grant applications earlier this year. A complaint from a resident brought the dispute to the agency’s attention.

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