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Sound Bites: Bridgeport’s “Law & Order” star Richard Belzer dead at 78

Actor Richard Belzer attends a special screening of 'Our Idiot Brother' Hosted by the Cinema Society at MiMA Tower on Monday, Aug. 22, 2011 in New York.
Evan Agostini
Actor Richard Belzer attends a special screening of 'Our Idiot Brother' Hosted by the Cinema Society at MiMA Tower on Monday, Aug. 22, 2011 in New York.

Good afternoon — Happy National President’s Day! 

Sadly, Richard Belzer, perhaps best known for his role as Sergeant John Munch on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”, died on Sundayin his Beaulieu-sur-Mer, France home due to circulatory and respiratory complications. He was 78.

We bet you didn’t know he was born and raised in Bridgeport, Connecticut — Belzer graduated from Fairfield Warde High School, and before a stint on Saturday Night Live, he worked as a paperboy and later a reporter for the Bridgeport Post.

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

Long Island’s MacArthur Airport was declared a Superfund site. PFAS, a “forever chemical” used in firefighting foams at airports, were found contaminating nearby soil and groundwater. Newsday reports the Town of Islip, the owners of the airport, will work with the state Department of Environmental Conservation to clean up the site.

Black men are more likely to be restrained during trips to emergency rooms than any other demographic in Connecticut hospitals. Several Connecticut-based doctors havepublished studiesto determine if socioeconomic and demographic factors would increase the odds of restraint use in hospitals. Potential systemic biases were found to increase the likelihood of Black men being restrained during emergency room visits compared to white men.

Long Island will host its first-ever spring wild turkey hunting season in May. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservationreintroduced wild turkeys to Suffolk County in the 1990s after their population nearly disappeared in the 19th century due to deforestation. It’s estimated that more than 3,000 turkeys roam Long Island today.

ASMR TikTok and YouTuber star Selena Agosto, of Bridgeport, was featured on a billboard in Times Square. Otherwise known as SassySounds, Agosto has over 660,000 subscribers on YouTube and over 5.3 million followers on TikTok.

The population of senior citizens living in poverty in New York has risen by close to 40% in the past decade. According to a study conducted by the New York policy organization Center for an Urban Future, the state’s elderly population has dramatically increased — nearly 3.5 million state residents are 65 years old or older.

A Brookfield, Connecticut, elected official is facing backlash from Democrats following tweets she posted criticizing, and allegedly threatening, President Biden. Republican First Selectman Tara Carr posted several tweets earlier this month about the president’s actions regarding the suspected Chinese spy balloon. “He's aiding & abetting the enemy. Ready. Aim. Fire. One shot, one kill. That simple,” she said, before the tweets were taken down on Sunday and her Twitter account was suspended.

Long Island art deco theater, The Suffolk, will present three concerts featuring local talent throughout March. Partnering with the nonprofit Long Island Stage, the concerts are designed to boost interest in live performances following the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide a platform for local musical creators to have their time in the spotlight.

Connecticut legislators will consider a proposed bill to make healthcare more affordable for small businesses. The state's Insurance and Real Estate Committee will hold a public hearing on Tuesday to review thebill, which specifically aims to allow small business employees to receive health insurance.

Eric Warner is a news fellow at WSHU.