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Sound Bites: Connecticut looks to ban minors from marriage

Rona Proudfoot

Good afternoon! Hope your arms aren’t sore from shoveling the first significant snowfall of this unusually warm winter. 

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

Connecticut legislators are debating changing the current minimum age for people to be married to 18. This bill would raise the age from as young as 16-years-old to marry, if the marriage is approved by probate court.

In 2021, New York saw a 21% increase of millionaires residing in the state. That’s according to the new Tax Facts section on the state Department of Taxation and Finance website. It was unveiled to report new tax information and trends, including tax returns reporting $1 million or more in income increased from $69,688 to $84,366 in 2021 — the highest number in recent state history.

In the past five years, the number of millionaires residing in New York has steadily increased.
In the past five years, the number of millionaires residing in New York has steadily increased.

Two Metropolitan Transit Authority workers have pleaded guilty in federal court of rigging vehicle auctions to ensure their company won bids for contracts. Dzmitry Yaniuk and Marina Yaniuk pleaded guilty to one count of fraud conspiracy and are scheduled to be sentenced in May. The two workers could face up to 20 years in prison.

The New York state Department of Labor is investigating pharmaceutical company Akorn for abruptly laying off over 300 Amityville employees. Akorn filed for bankruptcy on Thursday. Employees have filed a class-action lawsuit against the company for failing to properly notify workers of the company’s closure 90 days in advance, according to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.

Huntington Town will raise fees for parks, beaches and other recreational activities. The fee increases range from 50 cents to $50, depending on the activity. The goal is to hire more staff for competitive wages, after town officials say they were forced to cut programs last year due to staffing shortages. That includes lifeguards, ice rink attendants, camp counselors and more.

Suffolk County has squashed an idea to house homeless men at a motel in Copiague. Officials said it would have placed an unfair burden on Town of Babylon services, and worried about the motel’s proximity to a school. The plan would have housed over half of Babylon’s 200 homeless men at the motel, along with 60 others who have been at an East Farmingdale motel since November. The local fire department said they get three to four calls from the motel per day that involve drug overdoses or violent situations.

More than 6,000 Yale union workers will receive checks up to $1,300 to settle a lawsuit against the university’s wellness program. In 2019, several union workers filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Connecticut claiming that Yale’s Health Expectation Program violated federal statutes after workers were required to participate in the program or be fined thousands of dollars annually.

A West Haven contractor, who was convicted of conspiring to misuse the city’s federal COVID-19 relief funding, has filed for a motion of acquittal. John Trassaco, along with state Representative Michael DiMassa, conspired together in 2020 to divert pandemic relief funds to their personal accounts or associated companies. State courts have until March 8 to oppose the motion.

Almost 2,000 residents in Fairfield are expected to lose discounts on flood insurance this year. The loss of the discounts is due to finding contaminated soil at Penfield Pavilion in violation of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Town officials hope to work with FEMA to extend the discounts amid high price concerns.

Embattled Rep. George Santos (R-NY) was once part of a Secret Service investigation in 2017 involving ATM fraud. Gustavo Ribeiro Trelha, a “family friend” of Santos, was arrested in Seattle for skimming ATM customer data from tourists and sending them to Brazil and Florida-based fraud groups. This Secret Service case is still open.

Eric Warner is a news fellow at WSHU.