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Sound Bites: Victory lap for UConn hoops

UConn's Donovan Clingan is greeted by fans as the team arrives for a rally at Gampel Pavilion in honor of UConn's NCAA men's Division I basketball championship, Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in Storrs, Connecticut.
Jessica Hill
UConn's Donovan Clingan is greeted by fans as the team arrives for a rally at Gampel Pavilion in honor of UConn's NCAA men's Division I basketball championship, Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in Storrs, Connecticut.

Good morning! We are gearing up for a victory parade and rally in downtown Hartford on Saturday to congratulate the UConn men’s basketball team for winning the 2023 NCAA National Championship. UConn won its fifth men’s basketball national title, 76-59, against San Diego State University on Monday.

The parade will begin at 11:30 a.m. and will step off from the State Capitol building, followed by a rally outside of the main entrance of the XL Center on Trumbull Street, where the players, coaches, and other guests will be invited to give speeches.

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

The State Bond Commission approved $100 million for housing initiatives in Connecticut. About $20 million will be set aside for a popular down payment program for first-time homeowners. More than $70 million will be available for municipalities to build affordable housing projects. This is part of a combined $800 million in state borrowing that was approved to pay for school construction and infrastructure projects across the state.

A dozen real estate brokerages are being sued in Nassau County for steering away potential tenants who were eligible for government housing vouchers. The lawsuit follows an undercover investigation between 2020 and 2022. The nonprofit Housing Rights Initiative said the alleged conduct violates state and local laws prohibiting landlords and real estate brokers from discriminating against people using lawful sources of income for housing.

A New Haven man is sentenced to seven years in prison for the 2019 attempted shooting of a city police officer. Marcus Rivera pled guilty last December to attempted assault, as well as weapons and drug charges. While fleeing from police, he exchanged gunfire with Detective Francisco Sanchez. Investigators ruled Rivera being wounded in the pelvis area as justified. Rivera also entered guilty pleas to assault and weapons charges for injuring a woman in a 2018 shooting.

The LIRR Commuter Council wants riders to share their experiences with recent service changes. The Long Island Rail Road watchdog group launched an online survey to review service to Grand Central Madison. The results will help the group inform the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s new schedule changes expected in the beginning of the summer.

The Long Beach City Council hired three law firms to study Equinor’s wind farm proposal. The developer hopes to bury transmission cables from Long Island’s South Shore beaches beneath city streets. Equinor’s proposal promises host benefits to Long Beach for hosting the infrastructure. Community members are concerned about environmental and health impacts.

The state Department of Education will use $5.5 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to expand dual credit offerings in Connecticut high schools. High schools offer dual credit courses through public and private colleges and universities to help students get a jump start on earning credits on a college transcript. The goal of the programs is to help students save money and boost college enrollment.

Connecticut joined other state authorities in announcing 3,000 packages of foreign contraband cigarettes were detected, seized and destroyed so far this year. The law enforcement efforts were due to reforms enacted through a settlement between Connecticut, California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, the City of New York and the U.S. Postal Service. Most shipments — nearly 8,000 cartons of cigarettes — were mailed from China, Israel and Russia and sent to addresses in New York City. Nearly 44 packages were being sent to addresses in Connecticut.

Suffolk County leads New York in pesticide and herbicide use, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The latest data from 2021 shows over 6.5 million pounds of pesticides were applied in Suffolk County. Most counties use less than 100,000. The majority of chemicals were used for landscaping — not for raising crops.

Quinnipiac University’s men’s ice hockey team will play in the NCAA Championship. The Quinnipiac Bobcats defeated Michigan, 5-2, in the Frozen Four on Thursday, earning the university its third trip into the national title game in the men’s ice hockey program history. The Bobcats will meet top-seeded Minnesota on Saturday night at 8 p.m.

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A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.