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Sound Bites: 8 people injured in partial building collapse in New Haven

Molly Ingram

Morning. At least six people were injured in a partial building collapse on Friday. The collapse occurred at a construction site on Lafayette Street. City Director of Emergency Operations Rick Fontana said two people were critically injured.

All of the people have been rescued and brought to a local hospital for treatment. Fontana said the building is owned by Yale University but was leased to commercial real estate developer RMS.

The father of a missing child from Ansonia will soon be on trial for murder. Jose Morales, 46, is accused of killing Christine Holloway, the mother of Vanessa Morales. Vanessa was 15 months old at the time of her disappearance in 2019. She was reported missing after her mother was found dead at home. According to Jose’s lawyer, the trial is likely to begin in the fall.

New York lawmakers passed a bill to recognize the Montaukett Indian Nation — for the fifth time. The bill passed both chambers unanimously. Governor Kathy Hochul vetoed a similar bill in December, and former Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed similar bills three times. It is unclear if Hochul will sign this time around; in December, she said more work needed to be done to verify the tribe’s historical designation.

More than 50 people were arrested at the Connecticut State Capitol on Thursday. They were blocking traffic in front of the Capitol building as they advocated for more funding in the state budget for caregivers. Governor Ned Lamont and legislative leaders have said they must abide by state spending caps to improve Connecticut’s financial position. The budget must be completed before the session ends on Wednesday, June 7.

Long Island is experiencing climate change at a faster rate than the rest of New York. That’s according to Dr. Joyce Novak, the executive director of the Peconic Estuary Partnership, whose message was echoed by Shelter Island Town Councilman Jim Colligan. Colligan said the county has not been able to keep up with a population explosion and needs to upgrade the sewer infrastructure, as well as stop the use of toxic fertilizers.

The town of Babylon has received funding for sewer projects. The award from the county’s Water Infrastructure Fund will connect 346 homes in the Belmont Lake area to sewers. Money will also be given to finish designs for sewer projects in Wyandanch, Deer Park and Wheatley Heights so that they will be ready for federal and state funding applications.

Connecticut legislators have passed a ban on horseshoe crab harvesting. The horseshoe crab population is declining in the Long Island Sound, due to fishermen capturing and using the crabs as bait for whelk and eels. The state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection reduced the harvest by up to 92% last year, but an attempt to outright ban the practice failed in the state Senate. The bill now goes to the governor for signature.

Suffolk County will settle a police brutality lawsuit. Steven McCune, 55, from Commack, said he was permanently injured in 2012 when police subjected him to physical and psychological abuse in the Hauppauge Union Hall parking lot. McCune was seeking up to $40 million in damages, but it is not clear what the final settlement was.

An audit of the Long Island Rail Road revealed workers operating under “severe fatigue” due to long hours. LIRR track employees worked shifts as long as 24 hours on more than 4,000 occasions over a year-and-a-half span, and exhaustion led to accidents that may have been avoidable.

Connecticut’s incoming 9th graders can attend camp at the office of the Chief State’s Attorney this summer. The Division of Criminal Justice’s inaugural “Camp Justice” will run from July 24-28 and introduce teens to the criminal justice system. Interested applicants can apply online here.

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