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Sound Bites: Hochul extends executive order to support asylum seekers

Susan Watts/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul

Good morning. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul extended a state of emergency to support asylum seekers. The order will give the state more flexibility to leverage funds and resources for towns providing humanitarian aid. It will also authorize the mobilization of the National Guard, who provide operational support at shelter sites. More than $1.7 billion in state funding has been spent supporting migrants with shelter, transportation and social services. 

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

Bridgeport will no longer attempt to purchase and raze its decommissioned PSEG power plant. Mayor Joe Ganim's administration planned to use $25 million to acquire the property in June, but only mustered $22.5 million. The administration proposed redeveloping the site for new housing and commercial retail. They abandoned purchasing the site from PSEG after it was determined soil contamination cleaning services would be too costly at the moment, among other factors.

A Suffolk Supreme Court judge declared a mistrial in the negligent homicide case of Evelyn Rodriguez. Justice Richard Ambro issued this declaration after the jury was deadlocked and unable to reach a verdict on Ann Marie Drago who was accused of running over Rodriguez — an anti-gang activist and mother of Kayla Cuevas, who was killed by MS-13 — in 2018. County District Attorney Ray Tierney said he intends to bring the case to trial for a third time after Drago was ruled as guilty in the first and overturned in the second.

Connecticut’s Division of Criminal Justice hired their first law school student apprentice to work with prosecutors. Olivia Hally was accepted under a new law designed to interview and recommend hiring law school students who recently passed the Connecticut Bar Exam. The law was made to address a shortage of state prosecutors. Hally will be sworn in in November as a deputy assistant to state Chief Attorney Patrick Griffin.

Nassau County Police are searching for a shoplifter who fired a gun during a struggle with a security officer in Green Acres Mall on Monday. The officer confronted the shoplifter after they attempted to steal items from the clothing store Clique. A single shot was fired into the ground before the shoplifter fled the scene in a red SUV. The mall and local schools briefly went into lockdown. Anyone with information can call Nassau Crime Stoppers at 800-244-TIPS.

Crime in Connecticut has declined 24% over the last decade. However, a report by the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection shows that the murder rate has increased by 44% and motor vehicle theft rose 15%. Gov. Ned Lamont credits increasing the state police force and new legislation against gun violence for reducing crime. The state is on-par with national crime statistics.

The Norwich Sea Unicorns could get their day in court. Connecticut Attorney General William Tong led 18 states to urge the Supreme Court to review a case against the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball. The Tri-City Valleycats, Inc. and Oneonta Athletic Corporation are going against the office after they found 40 Minor League teams lost the ability to compete for talent and all financial support from their Major League affiliates. In most sports, this action is prohibited by state and federal antitrust laws, but baseball is exempt from these laws. The coalition wants the Supreme Court to reverse this exemption.

Connecticut has granted funding for 46 local volunteer fire departments to help train personnel and purchase equipment. The grants are given to fire departments supporting towns of less than 10,000 people. Towns including Old Lyme will receive $2,291.17 on average.

Long Island Rail Road will make several changes to its train services and schedule starting on Monday, Nov. 13. Acting LIRR President Rob Free said these changes will further bolster the improving railroad ridership.

  • Two additional trains will travel from Ronkonkoma and Wantagh to Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn instead of Grand Central Madison at 5:30 am. 
  • A train will travel from Penn Station and stop at Jamaica and all local stops between Rockville Centre and Babylon every Monday through Friday. 
Eric Warner is a news fellow at WSHU.