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Sound Bites: No booze aboard this train, Santa

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Good morning. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will ban the consumption of alcohol at Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North station platforms this weekend in preparation for SantaCon 2023. 

The ban will take effect starting at 4 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9 and end around noon on Sunday, Dec. 10. Santas found with alcohol at the platforms will have their booze confiscated, be issued a court appearance and removed from trains if uncooperative or intoxicated. 

Hundreds of participants dressed like Santa are expected at the annual pub crawl in New York City on Saturday. The tipsy Santas are also expected in Norwich, Conn. on Saturday, Dec. 16. 

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

A former Holiday Inn in Bridgeport has finally reopened as an apartment complex. Developer John Guedes had planned to open Park City Place this past summer but supply chain issues and unforeseen repairs delayed the opening. Seventy-three affordable housing units are available. The rent for a one-bedroom unit is $1,800 per month and two-bedroom units are $2,000 per month. Guedes plans on reopening a former first-floor restaurant, a lounge and catering facilities.

Former Suffolk County Police Chief James Burke may accept a plea agreement to resolve a public lewdness case. Burke was arrested for exposing himself to an undercover park ranger in August. A hearing in the case was adjourned last week as discussions with his lawyers continue. While serving as police chief, Burke was arrested in 2015 and spent three years in prison on federal charges after being convicted of beating a handcuffed prisoner — and trying to cover up the incident.

A Suffolk County legislator-elect was arrested for driving while impaired by drugs on Sunday. Catherine Stark’s attorney claimed she was not intoxicated but was rather under the effects of medication prescribed to treat cancer. She was transported to Riverhead Police Headquarters and held for arraignment. Stark was elected to succeed former County Legislator Al Krupski in November. Krupski was elected Southold Town supervisor.

The former Fairfield public works superintendent was sentenced to five years in prison on Friday. Scott Bartlett was found guilty of illegally dumping thousands of tons of PCB and lead contaminated soil on town property since 2013. It will cost the town over $100 million to remediate the properties.

Connecticut’s Fairfield Judicial District will now be called Bridgeport Judicial District. In 2024, officials will change the name in order to better illustrate where the courts are since all three courthouses are found in Bridgeport — not Fairfield. The Bridgeport Judicial District will continue serving the municipalities of Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford and Trumbull.

Almost 800,000 New Yorkers were dropped from Medicaid health plans in the past four months. This is due to a pandemic-related pause on eligibility checks ended earlier this year. Most residents failed to resubmit paperwork in time for reenrollment or were deemed ineligible based on income. Officials fear more than 1 million New Yorkers could lose Medicaid access, increasing the state’s uninsured population by 20%.

Young soccer players who head the ball are more likely to suffer mild traumatic brain injuries than other players, according to a new study. For two years, Columbia University studied the brain structures of almost 150 players from 18 to 40 years old, including those found on Long Island. Researchers found that repeat head injuries can cause players to develop chronic traumatic encephalopathy, memory loss and deterioration of the brain.

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Eric Warner is a news fellow at WSHU.