Pubdate: Wed, 11 Jun 2003
Source: Chronicle (CT)
Copyright: 2003 Chronicle Printing Co. Inc
Author: Matthew L. Brown


WILLIMANTIC - The long and anxiously awaited "60 Minutes" piece on 
Willimantic is scheduled to air Wednesday.

According to First Selectman Mike Paulhus, the piece will air during "60 
Minutes II," the CBS newsmagazine show, at 9 p.m. Wednesday.

Paulhus said he would be watching. "Absolutely, just like millions of other 
Americans and the 23,000 here."

He said he would be interested to "see if it's negative. I'm curious to 
know if there's going to be balance."

Paulhus said that he was bothered that while in town filming the piece, the 
"60 Minutes" crew showed no intention of speaking with or interviewing him, 
then interim police Chief Lisa Maruzo-Bolduc or Windham County State's 
Attorney Patricia Froehlich.

"There's not open drug dealing on every street corner," Paulhus said.

CBS news personality Dan Rather came to Willimantic shortly after the city 
gained national attention as the subject of the Hartford Courant's 
five-part "Heroin Town" series, which was published in October.

"I don't like to take a knock, billing us as heroin town is unacceptable," 
Paulhus said, adding that there may be a benefit to the television news piece.

"Hopefully it deters people from getting hooked on narcotics," he said.

The Courant series sought to examine aspects of the city's heroin problem 
by following the lives of a number of heroin addicts and the work of local 
police and town officials. Town and state officials were shaken by the 
series, which for five days brought to the front page a problem often 
reserved for the police blotter.

A scramble for answers and solutions ensued complete with a campaign visit 
from Gov. John G. Rowland with federal drug czar John Walters, and the 
formation of a blue ribbon task force on substance abuse, which has since 
concluded its study.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Alex