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Sound Bites: 13 international gang members indicted in Islip

Salvador Melendez

Happy Friday. A bit of bright news for your timeline: Stamford has acquired its 47th nature preserve, to be named after Gene Wilder. Not feeling excitement for the weekend? Take a trip to Long Island’s newest rage room in Selden, where you can smash anything from wine glasses to computer screens. There’s something for everyone.   

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

An indictment charging 13 alleged MS-13 gang members was unsealed in federal court in Islip on Thursday. The indictment charges the defendants with racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to provide or conceal material support to terrorists, and narco-terrorism conspiracy. Though not all of the defendants are yet within U.S. borders, Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, stated that “Geographic borders will not shield violent actors from American justice.”

The Connecticut Department of Children and Families has come under fire for lacking adequate safety planning after an investigation into the death of a baby from fentanyl poisoning. The investigation, which was run by the state Office of the Child Advocate, also determined that the department lacked public transparency and documentation in moderate and high-risk cases.

A land swap of county parkland in exchange for the construction of a wastewater treatment facility in Montauk has been denied. The Suffolk County Parks Board of Trustees cite a fear of parks land misusage in the future for their 9-0 decision against the swap.

A for-profit nursing school, Stone Academy, is under investigation for violating the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. Attorney General William Tong announced the decision after receiving over 100 complaints from nursing students attending the school whose education was cut short after the school closed its doors with little notice. Tong has asked for detailed information and records regarding the education provided to, and tuition collected from, each student, among other documentation. The academy has until March 10 to respond.

Long Island South Shore University Hospital nurses reached a tentative labor deal, taking a Monday strike off the table. The contract, made with Northwell Health, increases salaries and retirees’ health benefits, as well as making improvements to safe staffing standards, one of the main reasons the union gave notice of a strike.

Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley is planning on making a stop in Connecticut on her campaign trail. Haley, who acted as ambassador to the United Nations under the Trump administration, will be the headlining guest at the 44th annual Prescott Bush Awards dinner in Stamford at the end of May. General admission to the event starts at $300 a pop, while couples receive a discount at $500 for the pair.

A parking lot in Norwalk, Connecticut is receiving a makeover. The 4.97-acre municipal parking lot is set to transform into mixed-income housing, shops, restaurants, and office spaces. Governor Ned Lamont announced Friday that the project will receive $2 million in state funding to support the redevelopment. Plans for the space include approximately 472 mixed-income apartment units, 57,786 square feet of retail space, and 25,000 square feet of office space.

New London City Council has banned smoking cannabis in city-owned parks and recreation areas. The action builds on already-standing ordinances that ban the smoking of tobacco in the same areas. The decision by the council was made in response to the legalization of cannabis for adults 21 and older in the state of Connecticut, and subsequent opening of cannabis shops in the area.

Eda Uzunlar is WSHU's Poynter Fellow for Media and Journalism.