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Sound Bites: MTA congestion pricing plan approved by feds

Midtown, Manhattan.
Molly Ingram
Midtown, Manhattan.

Happy Saturday! The federal government has approved the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's congestion pricing plan.

The plan will toll motorists who enter Manhattan south of 60th street. It is unclear what the toll will cost. The Federal Highway Administration will require the MTA provide a break on tolls for taxis, for-hire vehicles, and low income drivers. 

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

U.S. Rep. George Santos has confessed to theft in Brazil. Santos (R-NY) agreed to pay restitution and fines in exchange for prosecutors dropping the criminal case against him. He has 30 days to pay $2,000 in fines and $2,800 in restitution to the victim.

A former nurse’s aide at a Danbury nursing home has been charged with sexual assault. 57-year-old Juan Farfan of Danbury was charged this week. Complaints about Farfan came from staff and residents at the home.

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli sees no obstacles to a fully public Long Island Power Authority. It is unclear if the legislature could take the necessary steps to do so in this session.

A Rocky Hill bus company will pay more than $24,000 in fines for violating air quality standards. Busses belonging to Autumn Transportation were left idle too long at a Hartford bus yard, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said. The EPA found pollution from the vehicles is damaging to the environment.

Bethpage and Hicksville will receive $17.5 million for clean water. The money comes from a state grant. Bethpage will receive $3 million for a new treatment system and Hicksville will receive $14.5 million for an oxidation processor as well as carbon treatment systems.

Nassau County Inspector General Jodi Franzese has resigned — the first person to hold the post. She will become chief of the Nassau district attorney’s public corruption bureau on June 2.

Connecticut hospitals are seeing a rise in unpaid medical bills. This comes as the state explores erasing medical debt by purchasing it in bulk from insurance companies- which legislators say is cheaper than individuals paying it off.

A Bridgeport man accused of burning dogs has been acquitted. Judge Elizabeth Reid said state prosecutors did not provide sufficient evidence in the case. 41-year-old David Valle called the charges against him a “misunderstanding.”

Wesleyan University in Middletown plans to open a new arts center. They will renovate an existing building and add an addition to make way for the new Integrative Arts Lab. It will be located at 56 Hamlin Street.

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Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.