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Sound Bites: Plans to increase maximum speed to 90 mph on Metro-North’s New Haven line

 A Metro-North conductor beckons to riders.
A Metro-North conductor beckons to riders.

Hope you’re having a great weekend! 

The Connecticut Department of Transportation plans to replace a track in Metro-North’s New Haven line to improve commuter rail service in the state. A public information meeting about the advancements will be held on Tuesday, April 25, at Stratford Town Hall. According to department documents, the upgrades are expected to cost up to $385 million. Construction will begin in the spring of 2025 with plans to increase maximum speeds to 90 mph. The renovations are not expected to cause serious disruptions because they will be constructed in stages.

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

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) filed a violation notice against the Sand Land mine in Noyac. One count is for failing to follow the filed plan to reclaim the mine and another for having mined too close to sea level. The violations each carry up to an $8,000 fine, with an additional $2,000 charged for every day the violations continue. Aside from Long Island, DEC oversees mining across the state, which primarily uses aquifers for its drinking water.

New scanners at New Haven’s airport will eliminate the need to remove electronics from carry-on bags. The first computed tomography, or CT, scanners begin Wednesday, April 26 and will continue the rest of the week in Tweed New Haven Regional Airport. After the first lane is adjusted and completes verification, it will open for screening, and then a second CT scanner will eventually be installed.

The MTA announced plans to reduce its carbon emissions by 85% by 2040. Plans include converting its entire bus fleet to electric vehicles, installing more solar panels in MTA facilities, LED lights on bridges, and remote controls for third-rail heaters for subway tracks. Officials said the main goal is to maintain and grow ridership.

A Connecticut woman has been awarded $6.5 million in a wrongful death lawsuit against Yale University over her stillborn baby. In 2016, Jomayra Rodriguez, 37, from Shelton, lost her baby at 37 weeks during an attempted vaginal delivery at a hospital in New Haven, where he was stuck in the birth canal and couldn’t be delivered. Earlier this month, the jury awarded Rodriguez $1.5 million for the wrongful death and $5 million for medical malpractice.

A couple in East Hampton have sued village officials, accusing them of “gross malfeasance” over renovations of a nearby park. The couple want to stop the construction of pickleball courts and plans for ice skating and concerts in Herrick Park, claiming it will be loud and a nuisance to the neighborhood. Renovations began earlier this month with fixing up athletic courts and rebuilding the tennis courts. The lawsuit details conversations between Mayor Jerry Larsen and one of the litigants over concerns about the new improvements of the park.

A public hearing addressed Riverhead Town’s building and planning administrator, who’s facing disciplinary charges. Last month the Riverhead Town Board voted to suspend Jefferson Murphree for up to 30 days without pay. Murphree has been charged with insubordination, misconduct, neglect of duty and incompetence. If Murphree is found guilty, it could result in dismissal from service, demotion in grade or title, suspension without pay, a fine or a punishment. The hearing will continue June 13 at 10 a.m.

North Ferry will seek a rate hike, which will be outlined at next week’s Shelter Island Town Board work session. The company added a new boat to its fleet and raised and lengthened two of its ramps, with two other ramps to follow in similar improvements next spring. Details about what the company is seeking will not be disclosed until next week. The Town Board work session is Tuesday, April 25, at 1 p.m. and is open to the public.

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Clare Gehlich is a news intern at WSHU for the spring of 2023.