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Sound Bites: Connecticut’s sales tax-free week starts Aug. 20

Stew Milne
AP Images for Macy's

Good morning! The 23rd annual Sales Tax-Free Week in Connecticut will run from Aug. 20-26. The third Sunday in August is usually time to start window shopping for back-to-school items.. But what is covered?

  • Common clothes and shoes, such as dresses, socks, shirts or sneakers under $100 will be tax-free at this time, no matter how many items a customer purchases in a single transaction. 
  • Athletic equipment, jewelry or hair accessories, such as helmets, soccer cleats or hair nets are not covered. 

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

Swimming is temporarily banned at Jones Beach and other New York beaches after a Queens woman at Rockaway Beach was bit by a shark on Monday. Park enforcement and NYPD officers will patrol the beaches to monitor for sharks and keep swimmers out of the water. It's the first reported shark encounter from New York City in decades.

Bethany residents oppose a proposed solar array near their home. The California-based TRITEC Americas plans to install a solar photovoltaic facility, which could help Connecticut reduce fossil fuel emissions by 2024. Residents near the facility are worried about excess noise and possible contamination to surface water from chemicals used to clean solar panels. TRITEC agreed to reduce the size of the facility to 6.5 acres, while reducing the energy output to .99 megawatts.

A New Haven homeless advocate was found dead outside a soup kitchen on Monday. Keith Petrulis, an organizer of the New Haven Unhoused Activists Community Team, was discovered outside the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen, located on State Street. The facility is assisting police in their investigation. Petrulis’ cause of death remains unknown, but authorities believe he was not a victim of foul play.

A state Supreme Court has temporarily blocked New York from issuing new cannabis licenses. A group of veterans filed a lawsuit last week, claiming a priority licensing program for applicants with prior drug convictions was unconstitutional. This ruling will prevent cannabis store owners from opening new shops and expanding their business. A hearing on the case is scheduled for Friday.

Westport is among the first Connecticut towns to adopt dark sky rules. Gov. Ned Lamont signed the “Lights Out” law in June, requiring all state buildings to turn off or dim all nonessential outdoor lights after 11 p.m. until 6 a.m. year-round to protect nighttime migratory birds. Westport will require new or remodeled commercial buildings to use light bulbs with warmer colors, and have the lights face down.

A male inmate at Bridgeport Correctional Center assaulted a female guard last week, causing the correction officer to be hospitalized. The officer was conducting her routine duties when the inmate grabbed her, pushed her into a metal storage bin, and struck her repeatedly. Almost 200 incidents of assault or attempted assault toward corrections officers have occurred so far this year, according to the state Department of Correction.

Bridgeport residents are among the least satisfied with where they live in Connecticut. According to a series of surveys conducted by DataHaven, 69% of Bridgeport residents are satisfied with their city. In comparison, 90% of their neighbors in Fairfield are satisfied with their town. Most residents who were dissatisfied claim their local governments are not responsive to their needs.

Nassau County residents are calling for federal aid for sinkholes. Legislatorswant more funding expedited from President Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure law to help repair damage from and prevent sinkholes. Three large sinkholes tore roads apart in Baldwin, Oceanside and Lido Beach this summer. Legislators have spent $15 million in emergency funds for repairs.

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Eric Warner is a news fellow at WSHU.