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Sound Bites: Connecticut College president won’t attend graduation

Former Connecticut College President Katherine Bergeron resigned in March following criticism from students and staff.
Former Connecticut College President Katherine Bergeron resigned in March following criticism from students and staff.

Good morning! Katherine Bergeron, the embattled president of Connecticut College, will not be attending the school’s commencement ceremony later this month. In a school-wide email sent Monday, Bergeron’s name wasn’t even mentioned as part of the ceremony. Instead, Board of Trustees chair Debo Adegbile will give opening remarks.

“President Bergeron congratulates the Class of 2023 and their families on a momentous four years. She will be with them in spirit as they celebrate this major milestone together,” the school told WSHU in a statement.

Bergeron is stepping downfrom her role after lengthy protests and calls from both students and faculty to resign. She was criticized after the school's chief diversity officer resigned in protest over a planned school fundraiser at an allegedly racist and antisemitic Florida club.

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

Riverhead residents will be billed for emergency ambulance services starting as early as June. These bills will be implemented in order to address rising fuel, equipment and service costs. According to the Riverhead Ambulance District, residents’ bills will be sent directly to their personal medical insurance companies or will be billed directly if they don’t have insurance.

Bridgeport public schools are struggling to provide for their students due to high inflation costs. The city’s Board of Education requested the city provide a $12 million increase to the school system in order to prevent job cuts and food shortages in the latest budget plan. However, the Ganim administration's $628 million spending plan will be an additional $2 million. Hundreds of positions in Bridgeport's schools have been cut in the past five years.

The Village of East Hampton Village created a new Emergency Medical Service Department. The department will oversee ambulance association volunteers as a part of their goal to provide emergency medical services to the East End community. Currently, the department comprises seven members, including Village EMS Chief Mary Mott.

The number of students unable to speak and understand English have risen sharply in Bridgeport public schools. According to the school board’s Teaching and Learning Committee, only 33% of third graders are able to read at grade level, while 40% fourth graders are able to read at grade level. About a third of all Bridgeport kindergarten, elementary and middle school students were found to read at or above grade level, a significant increase in the past two years.

Stamford Mayor Caroline Simmons will seek to create 1,000 new affordable housing units by 2025. During her State of the City address on Thursday, she also debuted the “Walk-In Permitting Center” program at the government center for residents to ask city employees about residential and commercial projects, and the “Made in Stamford” program to highlight locally made products and businesses. Simmons also proposed a new green energy initiative to reduce emissions from the city, including a strategic plan to better sustain local parks.

Shelter Island’s historical 1652 Sylvester Manor will see improvements. Sylvester Manor is one of the oldest farms in the country and serves as an important archaeological site for 17th and 18th century life. The manor received a three-year grant of $3.75 million from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation last month. The grant will be used to improve and expand infrastructure and to fund new full-time staff positions at the manor’s History & Heritage Department to implement new public programs, tours and exhibits.

Connecticut, home to the Millstone Nuclear Power Plant, might get rid of nuclear waste stored in Waterford. The U.S. Department of Energy has released their new process to resolve issues with nuclear fuel and waste storage. Some of these improvements include focusing on equity and environmental justice when handling nuclear energy and allowing communities to have greater roles in site assessments. Millstone has housed uranium fuel for over 50 years but now that fuel may be moved in the next 10-15 years.

Bridgeport began tearing down the abandoned Remington Arms plant in April. The plant was first constructed in 1867 but was abandoned in 1988 when the gun-maker moved to Delaware. Bridgeport plans to preserve the famous Remington tower but had to demolish other parts of the plant this month due to significant degradation of the roofs, walls, masonry and flooring and could threaten residents passing by the plant.

Dogs may be able to soon walk on state beaches and parks on Long Island. A proposed state bill would allow people to bring their dogs in certain areas of public parks and beaches, but requires dogs to be vaccinated and be leasehold at all times. Currently, all dogs are banned from state parks and beaches in the region.

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Eric Warner is a news fellow at WSHU.
An award-winning freelance reporter/host for WSHU, Brian lives in southeastern Connecticut and covers stories for WSHU across the Eastern side of the state.