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Sound Bites: New York to expand support for transgender youth for Transgender Awareness Month

Governor Kathy Hochul makes an announcement and signs two bills into law at the LGBT Community Center in 2021.
Don Pollard
Office of Governor Kathy Hochul
Governor Kathy Hochul makes an announcement and signs two bills into law at the LGBT Community Center in 2021.

Good morning. New York Governor Kathy Hochul will expand funding opportunities for the Lorena Borjas Transgender and Non-Binary Wellness and Equity Fund for Transgender Awareness Month. This brings the initiative's total fund to $3 million for the 2024 fiscal year. 

The fund supports transgender youth through suicide prevention programs. According to the Trevor Project, nearly two thirds of transgender youth experience symptoms of depression. 

The transgender flag will be raised at the state Capitol and 16 landmarks, including the East End Gateway at Penn Station, Empire State Plaza and One World Trade Center, will be lit pink, white and light blue in honor of the Transgender Day of Remembrance. 

Here’s a bite-sized look at what else we are hearing:

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont announced that he will invest $70.9 million into upgrading cybersecurity infrastructure in the Connecticut Education Network. The investment was approved by the U.S. Department of Treasury on Thursday. The upgraded infrastructure includes 100 gigabit per second network capability with essential cybersecurity services. Over 170 community organizations across the state will receive the upgrades and expanded public Wi-Fi.

Jewish Long Islanders are increasingly purchasing guns as antisemitism spreads in the wake of the Israel-Hamas War. Following the death of over 1,400 Israeli civilians on Oct. 7, Suffolk County police received almost 170 pistol license applications while Nassau County police received almost 115. 30 members of the local Jewish community applied for a pistol permit for the first time at Guardian Security Investigation and Training in Deer Park to protect themselves from hate crimes.

A fireball was seen flying over Connecticut and Long Island on Thursday night. NASA’s Meteor Watch confirmed the spectacle on Friday. The meteor reportedly flew southeast at 116,000 miles per hour before disintegrating 49 miles above the Atlantic Ocean. According to the American Meteor Society, several thousand meteors pass the Earth daily but most are not visible because they appear during the day or in uninhabited areas.

Islip’s Historical Society erected a headstone for Civil War veteran Frederick Wright on Sunday. Wright died in 1889, but his grave at Bay Shore’s Oakwood Cemetery remained unmarked until last weekend. The historical society held a ceremony commemorating the headstone, joined by Civil War reenactors and a descendant of Wright, Paul Perryman of Rhode Island.

The Connecticut Natural Gas Corporation and Southern Connecticut Gas Company plan to increase gas rates. CNG requested an additional $20 million from the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, which would increase bills by $6-7 per month. SCG requested $41 million, which would increase bills by $13 per month. Attorney General William Tong denounced these rate hikes on Friday, claiming state residents already pay far too much for basic utilities.

A Suffolk County judge ruled that Nassau authorities can press gun charges against alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex Heuermann on Friday. According to Newsday, Heuermann possessed at least 26 unregistered handguns, 15 unregistered assault weapons and 10 high-capacity magazines in his Nassau home. Over 280 firearms were seized from his home shortly after his arrest in July. No guns are believed to have been used in the Gilgo Beach murders.

Guilford, Connecticut native and American Idol winner Nick Fradiani will play Neil Diamond in Broadway’s “A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical. Fradiani won the 14th season of American Idol in 2015. He was previously set as an alternate for the musical but was promoted to the lead role on Halloween. The musical is currently at the Broadhurst Theatre and will continue showing through June 2024.

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Eric Warner is a news fellow at WSHU.