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Sound Bites: A Connecticut high school mired in racism, safe zones on Long Island for online shopping

Data brokers collect information on how you use the Internet, from personal data you share on Facebook to online shopping.
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Data brokers collect information on how you use the Internet, from personal data you share on Facebook to online shopping.

Good afternoon — state governments have reacted in various ways to President Biden’s State of the Union Address last night, with some polarizing opinions. 

In Connecticut, Governor Ned Lamont described the address as “restoring the soul of the nation, rebuilding the middle class and uniting the country”, while New York Governor Kathy Hochul also approved of “efforts to combat the gun violence crisis.” She added, “President Biden is right: America's best days are ahead of us.” 

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

RHAM High School in Hebron, Connecticut, has reported two racist incidents on school premises in the past three months. Last week, school administrators discovered racist graffiti on a bathroom stall door, and in November, a noose was found in a boy’s locker room. A 17-year-old was arrested for hanging the noose. Investigations are underway into the graffiti.

A Norwalk memorial bench washed up on the shore of Long Island after being swept away in a storm in November. The bench was made to memorialize the lives of Nahum and Judy Hacohen, two Suffolk County residents. The bench was placed on Bell Island, but was found on West Meadow Beach after being missing since last November.

Home for the Brave, which offers housing and clinical services for Connecticut veterans, has expanded through the opening of a new Annex location in Bridgeport. The clinical program provides care for veterans with mental health and substance use disorders. The goal is to help returning veterans lead productive lives and end homelessness among veterans.

Sixty therapeutic animals died in a fire at Kelly's Kids Inc. in Prospect, Connecticut. An investigation is underway into a possible fire caused by a heat lamp on Friday. A Go-Fund-Me was set up to repair damages at the children’s therapy non-profit and purchase new therapeutic farm animals.

A state Supreme Court in Connecticut has ruled that criminal defendants must be allowed to question people about their immigration status when testifying in court. This ruling clamps down on how undocumented immigrants may misuse the U visa program to falsely implicate people to gain immunity from deportation and other benefits from the program.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is conducting a year-long pollution study to determine which areas of Nassau County are disadvantaged from air pollution sources. This is part of a plan to reduce the state’s greenhouse gasses by 40% by 2030.

Academy-award-winning filmmaker Spike Lee, perhaps best known for his 1992 film "Malcolm X", will lecture at Southern Connecticut State University in May. Lee will be the featured Mary and Louis Fusco Distinguished lecturer, an annual event where a political, social, or creative leader speaks to students and the New Haven community.

Police have opened two new safe zones in Riverhead and Yaphank for online sellers and buyers to meet. This comes after NYPD Officer Adeed Fayaz, of Deer Park, was shot while arranging to buy a car off of Facebook Marketplace while off-duty on Saturday. Fayaz died of his injuries on Tuesday.

New York state court judges should not undergo additional training to better understand the state's bail laws, according to a joint hearing on Tuesday. Acting Chief Administrative Judge Tamiko Amakerdismissed Hochul’s proposal to improve mandatory training, claiming that despite state bail laws changing often these past few years, bail is still set on a case-by-case basis.

Eric Warner is a news fellow at WSHU.