WEDNESDAY MORNING UPDATE

CHANGES ON THE BRIDGE

The Gold Star Bridge will see southbound travel lanes shifted to the south side of the bridge beginning Friday.  The Department of Transportation advises motorists the Bridge Street on-ramp will have to merge into the right lane of I-95 southbound traffic when the shift occurs. The Route 184 on-ramp will begin as a dedicated lane and will not need to merge into I-95 southbound traffic. All entrance and exit ramps will remain open during construction, but additional lanes may be closed during off-peak hours.

DEAD OFFICER USED TO PATROL OLD LYME

Rob Tyson, a part-time officer who spent his weekends in Old Lyme patrolling town beaches or keeping a watchful eye on happening festivities, was found unconscious behind a building on State Street in Hamden over the weekend.  Emergency personnel rendered medical assistance and transported Tyson to Yale New Haven hospital but it was too late. The 40 year old was pronounced dead. The medical examiner said the cause of death was pending further study. Police said no foul play is suspected.

NEW WEBSITE UNVEILED

In an effort to draw more people to Groton, the town unveiled a new exploremoregroton.com website Tuesday. Officials say this will make business assistance resources and information about the town’s offerings available in one place. The website includes demographic information on Groton, links to resources from the Southeastern Connecticut Enterprise Region, and a listing of major employers. It also features information on Groton’s outdoor recreation and educational opportunities.

NEW COUNCIL INSTALLED, NEW, OLD MAYOR TAKES OVER

It’s back to the future for the newly-elected mayor of Norwich. Republican Peter Nystrom was sworn into office last night, four years after losing the mayor’s seat to Democrat Deb Hinchey, who chose not to seek re-election this year. Nystrom thanked his predecessor for her service to the city, praising her especially for the new housing development at Ponemah Mill.  Members of the Norwich City Council were also sworn-in on Tuesday. Nystrom is joined on the council by Stacy Gould and fellow incumbent Republicans Joanne Philbrick and Bill Nash, as well as Democratic newcomers Joe DeLucia, Stephanie Burnham and Sam Browning. Nash will serve as council president pro-tem.

DEMS TAKE OVER GROTON

Groton’s all-Democratic town council was sworn in Tuesday and went on to unanimously elect Councilor Patrice Granatosky as town mayor.  One former town councilor asked the new council to provide more opportunities for residents to speak during meetings.

FURLOUGHS ACCEPTED

The Ledyard teach­ers union over­whelm­ingly voted Mon­day in fa­vor of ac­cept­ing a two-day fur­lough, which is ex­pected to save $170,000 in the ed­u­ca­tion bud­get. The vote was ap­proved 151-47. Town of­fi­cials and the su­per­in­ten­dent ex­pressed con­cern that more dras­tic mea­sures, like layoffs, may need to be taken in the ab­sence of fur­lough days to help make up the more than a $1.5 mil­lion cut in state aid.

FRITZ DIES

One of the Stonington Police Department’s first K-9 team members was euthanized Monday night. Fritz, an 11-year-old German Shepard had been suffering from health issues and the decision was made to put him down on Monday. Police officials say Fritz was very effective in tracking down suspects and narcotics. Fritz served in the department from March 2008 to June 2014.

LOCAL FAMILY WINS BIG

A Connecticut family has won $50,000 in a national Christmas display competition.  Daniel Amarante, of Killingly, says “Amarante’s Winter Wonderland” won first-place in Monday’s season premiere of the ABC television show, “The Great Christmas Light Fight.”  The 22-year-old electrician says his display contains about 160,000 lights, 43 inflatables and 36 Christmas trees. He says his love for holiday decorations came from his father, who died when Amarante was 16.  The Amarantes are planning to donate a portion of the winnings to charity. They plan to spend the rest on their first child, who is expected in May.