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Sound Bites: Connecticut farmers get disaster relief for July’s heavy rainfall

A tractor pulls a planter through a field as corn is planted in Princeton, Ill.
Daniel Acker
Bloomberg/Getty Images
A tractor pulls a planter through a field as corn is planted.

Good morning. Gov. Ned Lamont announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide federal disaster relief to Connecticut farmers after heavy rainfall in early July caused significant flood damage to farms and crops statewide.

Farmers can apply for federal disaster assistance from the Farm Service Agency, such as emergency loans to cover production losses they experienced as a result of extreme weather.

 Interested farmers should contact the state Department of Agriculture at 860-713-2500 or agr.disaster@ct.gov. Additional resources are available online. Farmers will have eight months to apply for emergency loans.  

This is the second agricultural disaster declaration approved for Connecticut this year after sub-freezing weather destroyed crops in May.

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

Five states have issued a recall on oysters harvested in Connecticut. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the state Department of Agriculture first issued a recall after finding “poor sampling results.” Retailers were advised of potential sewage contamination, a “flesh-eating” bacteria found in oysters harvested in state-approved shellfish beds in Groton. Contamination is not related to the bacteria Vibrio, which killed two residents and a third in Suffolk County, Long Island.

The Belmont Stakes could be held in Saratoga as reconstruction is underway thanks to a $455 million loan for event-runners at the New York Racing Association. The last renovation was in 1968. Subject to the approval of the Franchise Oversight Board and State Gaming Commission, NYRA wants The Triple Crown series to be held in Saratoga. The 2024 Belmont is planned to be held on June 8. NYRA’s vision is for the Belmont to be held in Saratoga similarly to how it has been held. The Town of Hempstead, the Long Island Regional Planning Council and other local businesses are concerned about the economic impacts of temporarily losing the Belmont Stakes.

UConn basketball star Paige Bueckers signs a marketing deal with Nike. Childhood dreams have come true for the 21-year-old Minnesota native after signing the name, image and likeness deal with the popular shoe brand. Bueckers' contract with Nike will promote the new GT Hustle 2 sneaker this fall. Bueckers holds the 2021 National Player of the Year title, with an impressive NIL resume with partnerships with Gatorade, Crocs, Chegg and Stockx. Bueckers returned to the court this August after knee surgery during the offseason last year.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer wants the Sound Beach post office back. Schumer (D-NY) wrote a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to question why the local post office was closed in late May due to a structural issue. Residents were astounded by the lack of communication around the shuttered post office. According to community leaders, the only form of communication was “temporarily closed” signs placed within the building's windows and a statement from a USPS spokesperson saying “remains closed awaiting necessary repairs.” Schumer said the Miller Place Post Office, where USPS personnel have been located, is also understaffed.

Hartford had its first line-of-duty death of a police officer in decades. Officer Bobby Garten, 34, was killed Wednesday night after being struck by a vehicle traveling at high speed through a red light. Garten was one of two officers who were struck; the second officer remains hospitalized after sustaining injuries. Mayor Luke Bronin said Garten was a beloved officer and was known for his “immeasurable” acts of service and bravery when being on the frontline. The 18-year-old driver, Richard Barrington, is facing multiple charges, including interfering with police and motor vehicle charges.

A new music venue is expected to open in Bridgeport in 2025. Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater will no longer stand alone as the owner announced that there are plans for another venue to be built in 2025. Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater, Live Nation and Oak View Group are in partnership with Fillmore, a historical music venue operated by Live Nation. The new venue is expected to have the capacity for a 3,000-person standing-room concert. They aim to host up to 200 shows annually, with 350 events held in all three venues. Amenities offered will be similar to the extent of Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater.

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Andrea Quiles is a fellow at WSHU.