New Haven named finalist for national disability policy award

The National Organization on Disability announced last week that the Elm City is one of the seven finalists for the 2009 Accessible America Competition, which awards a $25,000 prize to cities with superior accessibility and disability policy. City Hall spokeswoman Jessica Mayorga said city officials are pleased to be recognized by the NOD. “We want to make sure that members of our community who live with disabilities experience high-quality services,” she said.

—Victor Zapana

Proposed union cuts and layoffs hit roadblock

Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s plan to secure approximately $295 million in concessions from the state’s 50,000 union employees is not progressing as fast as the Republican governor would like, she said Thursday. Rell refused to rule out layoffs, saying to CT News Junkie there may not be too many other options in the future. Rell’s budget, released Feb. 4, closed an estimated $6 billion budget gap, $2.7 billion less than the amount estimated by Democratic legislators in the General Assembly.

—Zeke Miller

Bank on Church Street robbed Thursday morning

The Bank of America at 157 Church St., located in Connecticut Financial Center next to City Hall, was robbed at 9:54 a.m. Thursday. Police said the suspect, who did not display a weapon, quitely passed the teller a note and then fled on foot with the surrendered cash toward Chapel Street. The suspect, who can clearly be seen in surveillance camera footage, is described by police as a black male of medium complexion in his 20s with no facial hair who was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, dark coat and a cap.

—Harrison Korn

From Washington: $5.8 million for Tweed

Rep. Rosa DeLauro announced Tuesday that Tweed-New Haven Regional Airport earned a federal grant worth $5.8 million. The funding will be used to extend and rehabilitate the airport’s taxiway. Tweed Executive Director Tim Larson said work on the taxiway could begin as soon as this spring, and additional projects will complete safety zones on either end of an existing runway. Funding for Tweed is still pending at the state level: The General Assembly’s Transportation and Commerce committees held hearings last month on proposals to award $1.5 million to the airport in fiscal year 2010, though Gov. M. Jodi Rell did not include that money in her budget.

—Yale Daily News