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LITCHFIELD — Michael Criss, first selectman of Harwinton and chairman of the Northwest Hills Council of Governments’ (NHCOG) legislative committee, told a group of state legislators that the 21 municipalities “are not asking for any more money.”

Criss was speaking at the legislative breakfast, sponsored by NHCOG and the Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, at EdAdvance in Litchfield on Thursday morning, Feb. 1.

The NHCOG is an organization made up of the first selectmen from 21 area towns.

Criss asked the legislators to avoid shifting...

Regional News

The power of political cartooning

TORRINGTON — Acclaimed Litchfield County illustrators Marc Simont and Barry Blitt have been tapped by the Litchfield County Writers Project to talk about political cartooning on Monday, April 4, at 6:30 p.m., at UConn’s Torrington branch.
Simont, whose work has appeared in this newspaper, is an artist, political cartoonist and illustrator of more than 100 children’s books. His first children’s book was published in 1939.

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Federal cutbacks could impact Torrington’s Planned Parenthood

shawi@winstedjournal.com

TORRINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment Friday, Feb. 18, to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood, eliminating $330 million in annual Title X funding that helps fund the organization’s preventative health services.
Susan Yolen, vice president of public affairs for Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, said in an interview last week that the potential federal cutbacks would make accessing services difficult for lower income residents.

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What good are state report cards to school districts?

corya@millertonnews.com, christineb@millertonnews.com

HARLEM VALLEY — Responding to their school district’s state-issued “report cards,” local superintendents attempted to put the results in perspective.
First, all three superintendents pointed out that the 2009-10 report cards are the first to use a new system of standards for the math and English tests.
Test results were broken up into four levels, Level 1 being the lowest and Level 4 the highest. Levels 3 and 4 are considered passing.

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Picture perfect

C. J. Brito and other fourth-graders from the Region One School District journeyed to The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville on March 9 for the annual regional Arts Day. Students took part in creative workshops and watched performances on The Hotchkiss School stage. For a story and additional color photos, turn to Page A3.

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Rigby votes against ‘sick leave’ bill

winstedjournal@sbcglobal.net

HARTFORD — State Rep. John Rigby last week voted against a proposal (S.B. 913) that would require some Connecticut employers to give employees paid sick leave. The bill passed by a 6-5 vote in the House Labor Committee.
If approved by the full Legislature, the measure will provide benefits to approximately 257,000 people in the private sector by mandating employers of more than 50 employees to offer paid sick leave to workers after three months on the job. Employees would earn one hour of sick leave for every 40 hours worked.

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How to help save horses from slaughter

editor@millertonnews.com

Dianne Engleke, a Millerton artist and political cartoonist for The Millerton News, has always loved animals. But she developed a special appreciation for horses — not just for their beauty, but for all they do — when she lived in eastern Arizona’s ranch country during the early 1980s.
“Before that I hadn’t really seen working horses,” Engleke said. “In those three years I realized how complex people’s relationship and attachment with horses is. I saw them as working partners.”

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Restaurant Week is coming up

christineb@millertonnews.com

Restaurant Week, actually two weeks and two weekends, has returned to the Hudson Valley for the fifth year. From March 14 to March 27, more than 150 restaurants in the counties north of New York, primarily in Westchester, are promoting 14 days of Hudson Valley dining deals.
Four restaurants in northern Dutchess and one in Columbia county are participating in the event this year: Stissing House in Pine Plains, The Red Devon in Bangall, La Puerta Azul in Salt Point, Terrapin in Rhinebeck and Greens at the Copake Country Club in Columbia County.

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Deals in Dutchess County dining, March 14 to 27

christineb@millertonnews.com

Restaurant Week, actually two weeks and two weekends, has returned to the Hudson Valley for the fifth year. From March 14 to 27, more than 150 restaurants in the counties north of New York, primarily in Westchester, are promoting 14 days of Hudson Valley dining deals.
The five participating restaurants in the nearby area this year are Stissing House in Pine Plains, The Red Devon in Bangall, La Puerta Azul in Salt Point, Terrapin in Rhinebeck and Greens at the Copake Country Club.

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Towns show little interest in federal disaster aid

cynthiah@lakevillejournal.com

Federal disaster aid has been offered to Connecticut towns hit hard by a snowstorm on Jan. 11 and 12, but Northwest Corner town officials aren’t sure they want to take it.
The general consensus, according to the director of a consortium of area first selectmen, is that requests from the small rural towns of Litchfield County are likely to be turned down in favor of requests from bigger towns and cities; and that even if money is paid out, it will be in small amounts that won’t be balanced out by the large amounts of paperwork the federal government demands.

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You won’t notice change, Postal Service says of automated sorting

karenb@lakevillejournal.com

The United States Postal Service plans to accelerate its use of automated letter sorting equipment — the type that scans addresses by machine eye. The Postal Service says no one beyond the post office should notice anything different come April. Mail destined for addresses in the Northwest Corner will be sorted at a Springfield, Mass., facility that can process 36,000 letters an hour.

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