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Sound Bites: “Just Call” to prevent underage drinking

Liam Norris
Getty Images/Cultura Exclusive
Suffolk County launches social media campaign to prevent underage drinking.

Good morning! Suffolk County has launched a social media campaign to curb underage drinking.

Titled “Just Call”, the campaign asks young drivers — and their support system — to use police hotlines to prevent underage drinking during prom and graduation season. The local Social Host Law penalizes anyone over 18 who knowingly allows underage drinking on their property with fines up to $1,000 and could receive up to a year in prison. 

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

Fatal drug overdoses in Connecticut slightly declined in 2022 but are still higher than pre-pandemic. Data from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and Department of Public Health reported 1,432 overdoses resulted in death last year, almost 100 less than the year prior. In 2019, just over 1,200 fatal overdoses were reported in the state. Opioid and fentanyl drugs make up the majority of substances used in fatal drug overdoses.

The Supreme Court has turned away a case that would have given New York families more child medical exemptions from state school vaccine requirements. Parents who petitioned for the case claim the vaccine requirement violated their constitutional rights and put their children in danger from vaccine effects. The case was first introduced in 2022 when the COVID-19 pandemic began to recede.

Eversource was ranked second to last in a national customer satisfaction study. The American Customer Satisfaction Index released their Energy Utilities Study 2022-2023 on Tuesday. The study ranked Eversource among the worst electric utilities companies in the country, in terms of customer satisfaction. Eversource serves 4.4 million people in New England. The company had difficulties providing energy this winter due to failures in wholesale energy markets.

The development of a new health center in New Haven has received $3 million in federal funding.  U.S. Rep Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) announced on Tuesday that Fair Haven Community Health Care Organization would be awarded this money, after the project previously received $3 million in state funding in December to support its construction.

PSEG Long Island will remove seven 90-feet-tall power line poles in Eastport. Residents have complained that the poles obstruct drivers’ view of traffic. Two vehicle collisions have resulted in fatalities since 2018. The utility company will spend $7.6 million to replace the poles with underground power lines.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation will receive $2 million to develop a statewide public transit information system for mobile devices. This system will allow public transit riders to pay fares directly from their smartphones and allow riders to view real-time arrival information. The system will help riders become accustomed to paid bus fares starting in April.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and AAPR announcedon Wednesday the creation of the Health Across All Policies Committee. The legislative task force is designed to ensure that age-friendly policies are incorporated into all proposed legislation in the county. Bellone said the goal is to make Suffolk become the most age-friendly county in New York.

Lee Zeldin has formed a political consulting firm, Zeldin Strategies. Zeldin serves as chairman of the new Leadership America Needs PAC to support attracting Millennial and Gen-Z voters to the GOP. He recommends Republicans unite in supporting a single candidate ahead of the 2024 presidential election. However, Zeldin, a former GOP candidate for governor of New York and Long Island Congressman, told the New York Post on Tuesday that he is currently not endorsing any presidential candidate for 2024.

The 2023 Sky’s The Limit Hiking Challenge in Connecticut State Parks is live. This year’s challenge theme is “In, Under, Over and Through CT State Parks and Forests.” Residents who take part in the challenge and hike or walk 10 of the 15 trails will receive a “Sky’s the Limit” hiking staff medallion and a certificate. People who complete all 15 trails will receive previous prizes and have a chance to win a hand-carved hiking staff. Entries for the challenge are due by Friday, Dec. 1, 2023.

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Eric Warner is a news fellow at WSHU.