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Sound Bites: Suffolk County to cut its red light camera program

Molly Ingram

Good morning. Suffolk County’s red light camera program will end by Dec. 1. A bill to extend it by five years failed to pass the state legislature.  

As a result, Suffolk will be $8 million short for next year’s county budget. County Comptroller John Kennedy Jr. said some budget items may need to be cut or adjusted. In 2023, nearly 360,000 tickets were issued in the county from red light cameras, generating almost $9 million in net revenue. 

The program has drawn vocal opposition since it began in 2010. Some drivers call it a cash grab and have challenged the administrative fees in court. Supporters contend it improves safety by reducing crashes.

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

New Haven gang member sentenced to 15 years in prison. Jaedyn Rivera pleaded guilty in January to participating in seven attempted murders as a member of a gang called Exit 8. A U.S. District Court judge reduced the sentence from 20 years to 15 due to Rivera’s troubled past. The sentencing is the second of nine guilty pleas related to racketeering charges against Exit 8 members.

Connecticut to offer free, one-day fishing licenses on Father’s Day. State residents can apply for licenses using DEEP’s Online Sportsmen Licensing system. Typical resident all-waters fishing licenses cost $16 for teens and $32 for adults. Free licenses will be available again later this year between July 27 and August 10.

New York DMV launches Mobile ID. State residents with valid state-issued driver licenses, learner permits or non-driver IDs can use Mobile ID in place for their physical ID. Gov. Kathy Hochul explained that it’s designed for convenience, and will allow residents to verify their IDs more securely at security screenings. Mobile ID can be downloaded through Google Play or the Apple App Store.

Mystic chef named best in the Northeast. The head chef at The Shipwright’s Daughter restaurant was named the best chef in the Northeast by the James Beard Foundation on Monday. David Standridge was selected from five other finalists, including fellow Mystic chef Renee Touponce of The Port of Call. James Beard Awards recognizes chefs who set high culinary standards and leadership abilities and make efforts to create a sustainable work culture.

Memorial held Tuesday for fallen Minneapolis police officer from New Haven. Jamal Mitchell was shot and killed while responding to a neighborhood shooting on May 30. New Haven Police Chief Brian O'Hara called Mitchell a true hero and public servant. Mitchell was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart. He was laid to rest at a funeral at Evergreen Cemetery on Wednesday.

New York’s primary election is June 25. There are 26 congressional seats across New York state up for reelection this year. Voters must submit registration applications by June 15 to participate in the primary. Residents can also vote early once registered. Early voting begins on Saturday, June 15.

Desiree D'Iorio contributed reporting…

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Eric Warner is a news fellow at WSHU.