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Sound Bites: “Jane Doe” driver added to New Haven Randy Cox lawsuit

Doreen Coleman, Randy Cox’s mother, holds onto a poster showing a selfie of her son.
Jaden Edison
CT Mirror
Doreen Coleman, Randy Cox’s mother, holds onto a poster showing a selfie of her son.

Good morning! Check out this analysis of a dinosaur neck longer than a school bus by Stony Brook paleontologist Dr. Drew Moore Keep. Though the fossils were discovered in China, take this as your sign to go exploring. 

Keep reading for a bite-sized look at what we’re hearing.

New Haven police officers being sued in the Randy Cox lawsuit are adding a “Jane Doe” driver to their defense. The $100 million lawsuit was filed after five police officers arrested Cox, handcuffed him, and put him in the back of a police van. An officer slammed on the van’s breaks during transport, paralyzing Cox after his head hit the van wall. The defense has now added the driver who rolled forward at an intersection and forced the officer driving “to abruptly apply the transport van's brakes and sound the transport van's horn, to avoid colliding with the unidentified vehicle,” according to the driving officer’s attorney.

Suffolk Community College is seeing a jump in enrollment numbers. Institutional data shared Wednesday shows an almost 3% increase in enrollment, equating to 367 more students this year than last. College Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Patricia Munsch said, “The real story is the shift in persistence of students we’re seeing… More students chose to continue their studies from the fall ’22 semester to the spring ’23 semester as compared to last year.”

Governor Ned Lamont is expanding access to affordable health care for personal care attendants in Connecticut. Lamont announced that the deadline for attendants to apply for the state’s Premium Assistance benefit to receive financial assistance will be extended. Attendants will have the opportunity to enroll in Access Health CT, which will also provide navigator assistance through the healthcare system via telephone hotlines.

The Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority voted to reduce current Aquarion Water Company customer rates, effective immediately. The announcement cites a $67 cut from water bills annually as a result of the decision, and comes in opposition to Aquarion’s proposed multi-year distribution rate increase.

New York’s bail reform laws are leading to fewer occasions of rearrest, according to a study of criminal justice data released Tuesday. A component of the bail reform laws, which were implemented in 2020, eliminates judges’ ability to impose bail for low-level crimes. Though the 2022 midterm elections were fueled by predictions that the new laws would lead to higher rates of rearrest, results have shown the opposite effect.

Nassau County is seeing its first annual decline in the median prices of homes since 2015. The median price for homes last month were 1.5% below the median price in February 2022, with an approximate $10,000 difference. The number of listings available across the entirety of Long Island are just under 5,000, less than half than what was available on the market in 2020.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong is suing a solar installation company for “predatory, high-pressure sales tactics,” announced Thursday. More than a dozen consumer complaints against Vision Solar sparked the lawsuit. Tong cites misrepresentations about financing and tax credits among the company’s wrongdoings, and states that in some cases solar panel sets bought were never activated.

Members of Montauk’s business community pushed back against a plan to increase Suffolk County's hotel-motel tax by 2.5%. Officials estimate that the rise in taxes would bring in an additional $9 million. A portion of the additional funds would support a new Suffolk County Infrastructure Fund in part, but business owners say they are receiving little from the tax hike.

'The People's Court' filmed in Stamford has been canceled after 26 seasons. The decision was made considering market challenges in the daytime syndication landscape. The show was the longest-running traditional court television program, with a total of 39 seasons combined.

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