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Sound Bites: MTA to resume using Twitter to post alerts

Passengers exit the Astoria-Ditmars Boulevard subway station in the Queens borough of New York.
John Minchillo
Passengers exit the Astoria-Ditmars Boulevard subway station in the Queens borough of New York.

Good morning! The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will resume using Twitter to post service updates after previously announcing they will stop using the platform last month.

The MTA planned to stop using Twitter after they were unable to access their account twice in April due to the platform launching their Twitter Blue paid subscription service. On May 2, Twitter management announced that it would not charge the MTA to post alerts on the platform. 

Service updates will appear for Metro-North, Long Island Rail Road and New York City subways. 

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

A Suffolk County grand jury may convict or terminate the positions of Child Protective Services employees — for knowingly letting Thomas Valva live in an abusive home. In winter 2020, the 8-year-old froze to death after he and his brother were forced by his father to sleep in an unheated garage. The grand jury has been investigating this death for years now and may indict three CPS employees for failing to intervene after receiving dozens of abuse allegations against the Vulva family.

The water company Liberty Utilities is planning a 34% rate hike for Nassau County customers, according to a state filing. If approved by New York’s Department of Public Service, monthly water bills will increase by an average of $14 in 2024. The rate hike would be used to fund low-income bills credits, improve the reduction of leaks and maintain degrading infrastructure. In January 2022, Liberty took over New York American Water, which had the highest rates in the state.

Alex Jones’ attorney will have to pay Sandy Hook families for filing for bankruptcy ahead of the defamation trial. Mark Bankston, an attorney for the families, said that Jones intentionally filed in 2022 to delay the start of the trial. According to Hearst Connecticut Media, Jones’ attorney Andino Reynal will owe the families $97,000 for the bad faith delay. This was the first time Jones filed for bankruptcy.

Northwell Health beganconstruction on a new emergency department at Mather Hospital in Port Jefferson. This $52 million project will be twice as large as Mather’s current emergency department and will house private patient rooms, imaging services, isolation rooms and a mental health crisis treatment area. The new department is expected to be complete by 2025.

Three Connecticut Superior Court judges will consider Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim’s plea to have his law license reinstated. Ganim, who was a lawyer before becoming mayor in 1991, was stripped of his license and spent seven years in federal prison on charges, including racketeering, extortion and bribery. Ganim will advocate for his license in June this year.

Ninety-five percent of African American New Yorkers live in a highly segregated county, according to a report released by New York Governor Kathy Hochul. Two-thirds of white residents own their homes while only a third of Black residents and a quarter of Hispanic residents own their homes. The report recommends creating more affordable housing with avenues for community support.

New Haven Public Schools staff will be trained to respond to active shooter situations. Nearly 400 city police officers were already trained to better respond to active shooter situations this year. None of New Haven’s schools have ever been affected by active shooters, but the Board of Educationwants everyone prepared. They point to around 130 school shooting incidents this year so far, according to the K-12 School Shooting Database.

New York will create a new hurricane evacuation study — to improve public safety planning efforts for areas impacted often by catastrophic tropical storms. These areas include New York City, Long Island and Westchester County. The study will be conducted primarily by the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services in conjunction with several federal and national organizations. This is the first New York hurricane evacuation study since 2009.

The New Haven-based national arts model, NXTHVN, will present artist Amy Sherald for their annual Keynote Conversation on May 11. Sherald is perhaps best known for her oil-on-linen grayscale paintings of First Lady Michelle Obama and Breonna Taylor. Curator and writer Allison Glenn will discuss Sherald’s career and her latest exhibit, “The World We Make.”

Huntington will propose changes to legalize apartments in basements and detached garages. The town board is expected to announce a public hearing on June 13 to change the town code on accessory dwelling units. Lawmakers hope the additional spaces will boost affordable housing and provide economic relief for residents.

2023 NCAA National Championship winner the UConn men’s basketball team will be honored by President Joe Biden when they visit the White House on May 26. A ceremony will be additionally held in their honor that evening. This is the fifth time the UConn men’s basketball team was honored with a White House visit, having previously met Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.

Eric Warner is a news fellow at WSHU.