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Sound Bites: Norwalk’s Merritt 7 train station is ready

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Good morning. The state Department of Transportation plans to open Norwalk's Merritt 7 train station next week. Construction was completed during Christmas and New Year's Eve, with part of the station open since June. 

The station needs final inspections to guarantee elevators' safety and proper functioning. The project includes a handicap-accessible heated platform, 17 parking spaces and a pedestrian footbridge. 

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

A New Haven alder is seeking $100 million for a wrongful conviction. Troy Streater, 57, has filed a lawsuit for $50 million in punitive damages and $50 million in compensatory damages for the 24 years he wrongly spent in prison. Streater alleges police marked him for the 1990 murder of 19-year-old Terrance Gamble based on forged evidence and intimidated witnesses.

A New Haven lawyer investigates Bridgeport’s absentee ballot controversy. The city of Bridgeport has hired labor attorney William Ryan to investigate municipal employee Wanda Geter-Pataky after she violated personnel policies by handling absentee ballots while on the job. Geter-Pataky was put on administrative leave pending an internal labor investigation following surveillance footage of her illegally placing several absentee ballots in a drop-off box. She was working for Mayor Joe Ganim’s reelection campaign.

Connecticut labor employee files federal discrimination lawsuit. Jude Ebo alleges he was overlooked for multiple promotions due to his race, color and national origin. Ebo claims that former State Commissioner Scott Jackson couldn't understand his Nigerian accent, so he hired Thomas Wydra, the former Hamden police chief, to head the division instead. The lawsuit claims Wydra intentionally prevented Ebo from being promoted to assistant director, putting doubt on his job performance and letter of recommendation. The department is reviewing the complaint and does not comment on pending litigation.

A train from Ronkonkoma to Washington D.C.? Amtrak proposed a plan for this train service under a $500,000 Federal Railroad Administration grant. The plan seeks to provide three daily round trips on the Northeastern Corridor, expanding service from Moynihan Train Hall to the Long Island Rail Road's track system. The project is expected to be less expensive than other railroad projects.

Equinor and BP are ending their Empire Wind 2 contract. Equinor and BP have terminated an agreement with New York for an offshore wind farm off the south shore of Long Island. Equinor said it will decide in the coming weeks whether to rebid the project in the upcoming state solicitation for offshore wind power. The decision will be based on European wind energy developers' work to increase the financial viability of offshore wind farms amid high interest rates and material costs.

SUNY warns of future $1 billion deficit. Chancellor John King Jr. is asking for regular increases in aid or tuition to prevent annual deficits that could rise to $1 billion in the next decade. The SUNY system is anticipated to have a $244 million deficit in the upcoming academic year.

TGI Fridays closes “underperforming restaurants.” TGI Fridays has closed 36 restaurants, including three on Long Island, and a location in Newington, Connecticut. The chain offers over 1,000 employees the opportunity to transfer to other restaurants. TGI Fridays has seen its number of restaurants in the U.S. fall by more than 50% since 2014. The company said the closures are part of a plan to optimize and streamline operations, ensuring it is set up to meet and surpass its brand promise.

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Andrea Quiles is a fellow at WSHU.