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Sound Bites: Bridgeport councilwoman to challenge Rep. Andre Baker

State Representative Andre Baker Jr.
Molly Ingram
State Representative Andre Baker Jr.

Good morning. Democrats backed Bridgeport City Councilwoman Eneida Martinez for state House on Tuesday night despite recent scandals. Incumbent State Rep. Andre Baker said he will primary Martinez. Baker has served in the state General Assembly, representing the 124th district since 2015.

Martinez has been accused of mishandling ballots during Bridgeport’s mayoral primary in 2023 alongside the Democratic Town Committee’s vice chairwoman, Wanda Geter-Pataky. Neither Martinez or Geter-Pataky were formally charged with mishandling absentee ballots. The case is still under investigation. Martinez said her past won’t prevent her from fulfilling the needs of the community.

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

Connecticut lost nearly 500 farms between 2017 and 2022. Most were small hobby farms that generated less than $2,500 a year. However, Connecticut's farmland value has increased. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Connecticut has the third highest farmland value among the mainland United States, with one acre costing approximately $13,900. More than 5,000 farms remain in Connecticut.

New York is considering legalizing online “prop bets.” A new law would allow state residents to bet on specific details at sporting events, such as how many times a player will score in a quarter or what color Gatorade will be used to drench a coach. Despite the potential profit from the bets, researchers fear this could lead to increased gambling addictions and manipulated games.

Connecticut grocery prices have increased by 6% since 2023. Food prices in Connecticut saw one of the highest jumps in the country. State Attorney General William Tong suspects it’s due to price gouging. He has sought for the General Assembly to create tougher laws against the practice in response to a recent Federal Trade Commission report. It found that grocery store profits rose during the pandemic and remained elevated afterward.

New York courtrooms missing over 220 state court reporters. The shortage of legal proceeding transcribers is expected to halt civil and criminal court functions statewide. Officials say it could be due to a lack of four-year degree programs for the job. The remaining court reporters fear their jobs may be replaced by audio recording and digital transcription services.

Dominion Energy cancels contract with Ørsted and Eversource. Dominion’s 472-foot offshore wind turbine installation vessel will no longer come to New London. The Charybdis was slated to support the construction of the Revolution Wind and Sunrise Wind projects. Dominion did not say why the contract was thrown out. The energy companies are now expected to use small barges to transport turbine parts.

Swimming advisories are in place at more than 60 Suffolk beaches. The Suffolk County Department of Health Services says harmful bacteria levels in the water are higher than state standards. These beaches are susceptible to stormwater runoff from surrounding watersheds and experience limited tidal flushing. The advisory is expected to be lifted Wednesday morning after more testing.

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Eric Warner is a news fellow at WSHU.