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WINSTED — Christian Allyn of North Canaan sought advice on how to keep up with his business, Invasive Plant Solutions, which is, literally and figuratively, growing out of control. Marianne Burns of Burlington, who is launching a personal concierge service dedicated to helping seniors, needed input on scalability, competition and potential roadblocks. Catherine Tatge, award-winning PBS filmmaker, asked for direction on how to enlist the support of businesses for her Democracy 2020 Youth Media Challenge.

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Winsted

Town and school at odds over tuition

WINSTED — Officials from the Winchester School District and The Gilbert School are at odds with each other over negotiations for a new contract.
Gilbert is the semi-private school that handles the district’s seventh- through 12th-grade students.
School operations are run by the William L. Gilbert Trust Corporation, which was formed in 1895 to manage the endowment left by William L. Gilbert to build The Gilbert School.

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Healing continues for town finances

WINSTED — Winsted is steadily recovering from the years of damage done to town finances by former Finance Director Henry Centrella, who is in jail for embezzling more than $2 million from the town.
On Tuesday, Jan. 8, the financial report and state single audit for fiscal 2017-18 was released. The fiscal year begins July 1.
The report was compiled by Winsted Finance Director Bruce Stratford; the audit was compiled by longtime town auditors King, King & Associates of Winsted.

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School cost quadruples to $21 million

WINSTED — After reviewing potential options, the Winchester School District has decided on a plan to renovate and reopen Hinsdale Elementary School that, if approved by residents at a referendum, could cost the town an estimated $21 million.
At previous Winchester School District meetings, school officials said the cost for the project was estimated to be $4.5 to $5 million.
The school building, located on 15 Hinsdale Ave., was closed in 2016 during the district’s state receivership, which lasted from June 2015 to August 2017.

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Budgets will be key questions in 2019

WINSTED — The state’s General Assembly convened for its 2019 session on Wednesday, Jan. 9.
The session marks the beginning of the fourth term for state Rep. Jay Case (R-63).
Case, a Winsted native, won in the November election against Winsted Mayor Candy Perez (D). 
In late December, House Republican Leader Themis Klarides (R-114) named Case assistant Republican leader.

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Doing good works as a church mission

WINCHESTER CENTER — The Rev. Jackie Hall, who has been pastor of the Winchester Center Congregational Church for nine years, believes that church should be about more than just Sunday services.
“I always wanted to do much more than just get up in front of the church and give a sermon to our members,” Hall said. “I read from the Book of James that ‘faith without works is dead.’ That was when I told our members that we really need to do some things to give back to the community.”

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Of Congress, rats and reforms: Ralph Nader’s new book

WINSTED — Consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader is turning 85 in February but he shows no signs of slowing down.
Nader continues to give lectures around the country and works in Washington, D.C. He still maintains a residence in his native Winsted.

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2018: Charlotte Hungerford plans modern medical center in Winsted

WINSTED — Charlotte Hungerford Hospital (CHH) announced plans in November for a new medical center on South Main Street in Winsted.
Charlotte Hungerford already has an emergency department and LifeStar medical helicopter services in Winsted, along with cardiac rehabilitation, X-ray and other services, all at the medical center on Spencer Street.
On Main Street, the hospital has a center for behavioral health; at Ledgebrook Plaza there is a primary care physician.

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Dreams come true at ‘con’

Northwestern Connecticut Community College in Winsted held its first Comic Con in April. The comic book convention drew students and residents from throughout the Northwest Corner, many of whom dressed up as fantasy characters.

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2018: Mural project approaches finish date

WINSTED — After 17 years of planning and slow-but-steady effort, the American Mural Project (AMP) is now projecting that it will open to the public in September 2019. 
AMP founder and Sharon resident Ellen Griesedieck calls it “the largest collaborative piece of artwork in the world —  a mural that is 120 feet long, 48 feet high and 10 feet deep.”
The mural is being constructed in two former industrial buildings in downtown Winsted. 

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2018: After 84 years, Laurel Festival still a milestone for young ‘royals’

WINSTED — To add an extra celebratory air around the crowning of a new queen at the 2018 Laurel Fest in June, festival commission member Lara Green Kazlauskas tracked down past Laurel Queens and shared their photos and memories with The Lakeville Journal.

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