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Sound Bites: West Haven city parks, beaches closed at night for foreseeable future

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Good morning. All West Haven city parks, beaches and other public recreational locations will be closed from sunset to sunrise until further notice. West Haven officials and police announced the decision after a violent gathering of teenagers at West Haven Beach this week. 

Twelve suspects have been arrested so far in connection to the incident. Most of the juveniles are believed to be non-locals due to the influx of out-of-town buses that night. West Haven Mayor Dorinda Borer plans to purchase beach quads and establish a command post for police. 

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

$22 million made available to New Yorkers for air conditioning. The AC units will be provided through the Home Energy Assistance Program. It’s meant to help keep low-income and medically vulnerable residents cool this summer. Applications will be accepted until the end of August or when funding runs out. Over 27,000 households across the state are expected to receive cooling assistance this year.

Sikorsky to lay off more Connecticut workers. The aircraft manufacturer will lay off 400 Connecticut employeesin response to the U.S. Army scrapping the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft program. It was intended for Sikorsky to develop a new utility and armed scout helicopter. U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) called this news “extremely” disappointing, but will work to help keep aviation jobs in Connecticut.

Bayville Adventure Park owner arrested. Donald Finley has been sentenced to two years in prison for COVID-19 relief fraud. Finley received$3.2 million in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. He used the funds to purchase a Nantucket home, among other personal expenses. Finely will also pay that same amount in restitution, $15,000 in fines and serve 500 hours of community service.

Car thefts in Connecticut rose by 33% in 2023. According to the nonprofit National Insurance Crime Bureau, the state had the third highest car theft increase in the country, behind only Washington D.C. and Maryland. Car thefts are also increasingly being conducted by juveniles.

A New York City man attempts suicide via Fairfield police. Police responded to a suspicious individual call, and found Orlando Roper wielding an ax on the Post Road. Roper urged police to kill him, and ran off across railroad tracks to I-95. Westport and state police later joined the pursuit. Roper was charged with second-degree breach of peace and interfering with officers.

The tri-state area to face more hurricanes this season. According to researchers at Colorado State University, 23 named storms and 11 hurricanes are expected to make landfall along the East Coast this hurricane season. Researchers cited warm Atlantic temperatures and the formation of a La Niña event in the Pacific. This hurricane season is expected to run from June 1 to November 30.

West Islip teen who was arrested this week is now out on bail. The 17-year-old student brought a gun to West Islip High School on Monday. He pleaded not guilty to second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in a Central Islip youth court, and said he did not intend to harm anyone. He’s expected to return to court on Monday.

Connecticut home prices are on the rise. According to Hearst Media, the average West Hartford home costs $430,000 — a 20% increase from 2023. Meanwhile in Greenwich, the average is $2.1 million. That’s a 40% increase from last year. Only about 6,000 Connecticut properties were sold in the first three months of 2024. Real estate insiders cited high-interest rates.

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Eric Warner is a news fellow at WSHU.