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Sound Bites: CT to consider restricting pesticides that poison birds

The Bald Eagle is one of the birds that has returned to Connecticut after nearing extinction in the 1970's due to DDT.
Charlie Neibergall
/
AP
The Bald Eagle is one of the birds that has returned to Connecticut after nearing extinction in the 1970's due to DDT.

Good morning. Connecticut legislators will consider adopting Californian policies to limit the use of bird-harming pesticides. Legislators previously proposed restrictions on pesticides in 2022 but the proposal failed to reach a vote. 

California passed a law in 2020 that restricts the use of pesticides to food and agricultural sites only. Many farms, stores and other food institutions use pesticides to prevent rodents and other pests from eating or infecting their product with various diseases. 

But birds of prey often become poisoned as well, after ingesting the infected pests. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 72 million birds die from poison annually nationwide.

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

New Yorkers spend the least amount of funds on groceries nationwide, according to a new U.S. Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey. On average, New Yorkers spend $266 on groceries weekly while the majority of people in the country spend $4 more on groceries weekly. In contrast, Californians spend the most on weekly groceries with $297 on average.

Mexico’s lawsuit against the Connecticut-based gun manufacturer Colt is allowed to proceed. Mexico is suing United States gun manufacturers for poor gun regulation and allowing thousands of guns to be illegally obtained by the cartel. Mexico intends to hold Colt accountable for allegedly aiding and abetting the trafficking of guns into their country and seeks monetary relief and gun regulation reform.

A Smithtown family is suing the town's school district and several of its employees after their son was allegedly harassed for years over his sexuality and gender identity. According to the lawsuit, Michael Coppola received death threats, homophobic taunts and was physically abused from grades 4-9, which led Coppola to develop depression and an eating disorder. The Coppola family claims the school district hosted widespread unlawful discrimination and neglected to properly defend their son.

A former New Canaan police officer turned down a plea deal after being accused of owning several explosive devices. David Rivera was arrested in 2022 for possession and charged with animal cruelty for killing 10 dogs at his Black Rock Canine Training facility. Rivera rejected a Bridgeport Judicial District Courthouse judge’s offer to serve two years in prison and will go to trial at Waterbury Superior Court in February.

A discrimination lawsuit against former Southampton Village Mayor Jesse Warren has been dismissed. Former village administrator Charlene Kagel-Betts sued Warren last year after she allegedly received demeaning emails and was blocked from conducting various job duties. A state Supreme Court judge dismissed Kagel-Betts' claim after they determined she was not discriminated against for her age or gender and found allegations against Warren “vague” and “generalized.” Kagel-Betts plans to appeal.

No evidence of antisemitism was found within Connecticut’s top law enforcement following an independent investigation. Police Lieutenant Adam Rosenberg filed several complaints in 2022 and 2023, accusing the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection of Jewish discrimination against him. The month-long investigation found no evidence to support Rosenberg’s claims but he rejected the findings and plans on suing the department.

Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch has filed a petition for bankruptcy. The Riverhead-based troubled youth care center has almost $5 million in debt to over 50 creditors. Five pending lawsuits have additionally been filed against the ranch for negligence and sexual assault incidents from the 1980s and 1990s.

Connecticut paid state employees a record-high $5.4 billion last year. This is a $60 million increase from 2022’s state employee payment. According to the Office of the State Comptroller, the pay boost stemmed from new wage and salary increases in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic and litigation payments. Of the nearly 90,000 state employees paid, UConn men’s basketball coach Dan Hurley received the highest payout with $5.2 million.

UConn women's basketball star Paige Bueckers is a top pick for a national award. She was named as one of 10 candidates to possibly receive the 2024 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award. The annual award recognizes the top shooting guard in women's NCAA Division I college basketball. The award will be narrowed down to five finalists in March. Bueckers scores 19.8 points per game and averages 4.7 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.1 block per game.

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Eric Warner is a news fellow at WSHU.