Mental Health Center rededicated

State and University officials on Thursday dedicated the newly-expanded Connecticut Mental Health Center at a ribbon-cutting ceremony. A $13-million new wing of the center was phase one of a two-part project funded by both Yale and the state. The second part of that project will involve a $6-million renovation of existing research areas, fully funded by Yale. Tomas Reyes Jr., who works with the center, said the expansion was required because the demand for office space began to overwhelm the existing facilities. The entire first floor of the facilities will be dedicated to a bilingual Hispanic Clinic.

—Eva Galvan

Unemployment benefits extended by 13 weeks

Recently laid-off Connecticut residents need not fear the loss of unemployment benefits — at least for another 13 weeks. Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced Thursday that since the state is facing an unemployment rate above 6 percent, the federal government has extended the length of time workers are eligible to receive the payments beyond the 20 weeks of federal aid — that is in addition to the 26 weeks workers receive from the state. According to the office of the state Labor Commissioner, Connecticut mailed over 100,000 unemployment checks in the last week of December.

—Zeke Miller

Freezing temps thwart train schedules

With temperatures hovering around 17 degrees Thursday, some Metro-North trains along the New Haven line were backed up because of frozen door motors. The disturbances pushed some trains as much as 15 minutes behind schedule. Metro-North spokesman Dan Brucker said trains that run in the New Haven line are the most antiquated models within the fleet. He expressed confidence that the new M8 cars — set to premiere late this year — will resolve the problem.

—Yale Daily News

Latham reappointed to stem cell advisory board

Gov. M. Jodi Rell on Wednesday reappointed Stephen Latham, a Hamden resident, to the state’s recently formed Stem Cell Research Advisory Board. The nine-member board oversees a $100-million fund, set up by a Rell-backed 2005 Connecticut law, for 10 years of stem cell research and standardization for donation of sperm and embryos. Latham, who has spent much of his career on the ethics of scientific research, is currently deputy director for the Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics at Yale and has a law degree from Harvard and a doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley.

—Colin Ross

Paul Newman honored in House resolution

Rep. Jim Himes co-sponsored a resolution last week to honor the life, achievements and contributions of actor and philanthropist Paul Newman DRA ’54, who died at his Westport, Conn., home in September at the age of 83. Newman, a 10-time Academy Award nominee, settled in Westport with wife, Joanne Woodward, in 1958. His films included “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and “The Color of Money,” for which he won an Oscar in 1986. The former actor also co-founded Newman’s Own, a food and beverage company that has donated over $250 million since 1982.

—Carmen Lu