2021-05-12@7:11pm–#Stratford CT– #cttraffic– Today’s vehicle fire is on I-95 northbound near exit 32.
Hartford, CT) — Citing serious concerns about the safety and well-being of children and the harm social media poses to young people, Attorney General William Tong has joined a coalition of 44 attorneys general urging Facebook to abandon its plans to launch a version of Instagram for children under the age of 13.
In a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the coalition contends that social media can be detrimental to children for myriad reasons and that Facebook has historically failed to protect the welfare of children on its platforms.
“Instagram for kids will undoubtedly open the door for predators, cyberbullying and other potential dangers. Facebook has failed to protect its adult users from disinformation, abuse and privacy breaches, so how can it be expected to protect vulnerable and impressionable children from these dangers?” Attorney General Tong said. “The science has shown us that social media usage among children is linked to increased mental health issues and self-harm behavior. Facebook should strongly reconsider the launch of this product for the health and safety of our children.”
In their letter, the attorneys general express various concerns over Facebook’s proposal, including research that social media can be harmful to the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of children; rapidly worsening concerns about cyberbullying on Instagram; use of the platform by predators to target children; Facebook’s checkered record in protecting the welfare of children on its platforms; and children’s lack of capacity to navigate the complexities of what they encounter online, including advertising, inappropriate content and relationships with strangers.
At a Congressional hearing in March, Zuckerberg dismissed the idea that social media is harmful to children, despite strong data and research that has shown a link between young people’s use of social media and an increase in mental distress, self-injurious behavior, and suicidality. Instagram has been frequently flagged for increasing suicidal ideation, depression, and body image concerns in children.
Additionally, the attorneys general argue, young children are not equipped to handle the many challenges that come with having an Instagram account, including that they often lack a developed understanding of privacy. There is also a risk that predators may exploit children online and cloak their identities using the anonymity of the Internet. One report found an increase of 200 percent in recorded instances in the use of Instagram to target and abuse children over a six-month period in 2018. In 2020 alone, Facebook and Instagram reported 20 million child sexual abuse images.
Cyberbullying is also a major concern, and a 2017 survey found that 42 percent of young Instagram users had experienced cyberbullying on the platform, the highest percentage of any platform measured. As children spend more time online during the COVID-19 pandemic, these issues have likely been exacerbated.
The attorneys general also cast doubt on Facebook’s ability to protect children on their proposed Instagram platform and comply with relevant privacy laws such as the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). They point out that the company has a record of failing to protect the safety and privacy of children. For instance, Facebook’s Messenger Kids app contained a glitch that allowed children to circumvent restrictions and join group chats with strangers.
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2021-05-11@7:37pm–#Bridgeport CT– A man was apparently mowing his lawn when he somehow became trapped beneath the device,” said Deputy Fire Chief James Buck. His family found him with no pulse and not breathing. His son extricated him. EMS arrived and performed CPR. He was revived and is being monitored at the hospital in stable condition.
#Bridgeport CT–On May 8, 2021 at approximately 11:45pm the Bridgeport Emergency Operations Center reported a gunshot wound victim was brought into an area hospital.
The victim, identified as 22-year-old Raekwone McDonald, sustained a single non-life-threatening gunshot wound. McDonald said he was shot while traveling to a corner store located somewhere along Berkshire Avenue. Another citizen drove the victim to the hospital. He was treated and is reported to be in stable condition.
The Bridgeport Detective Bureau is investigating the incident. Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call Detective Angel Llanos at 203-581-5229 or utilize the Bridgeport Police Tips Line at 203-576-TIPS.
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#Westport CT– On September 5, 2020 at approximately 1:45 p.m., Westport Police officers responded to
Avis Rental Cars on a report that an individual rented a car and then allegedly failed to return the
vehicle. The manager stated that the car in question was supposed to have been brought back to
Avis in early August, but as of September 5 it had yet to be returned. The person who rented the
vehicle was identified as Michelle Kinner and prior to contacting the police Avis purportedly
sent a letter to Ms. Kinner requesting that she return the car.
Since the vehicle was a month overdue and efforts to recover it from Ms. Kinner were not
successful the car was deemed to be stolen. Therefore, a warrant for Ms. Kinner’s arrest was
completed and signed by a Superior Court Judge.
On the morning of May 6, 2021, Ms. Kinner turned herself in at the Westport Police
Department and per the warrant she was charged with Larceny in the First Degree (Motor
Vehicle Theft). Ms. Kinner was released on a Promise to Appear and is scheduled to be
arraigned at Norwalk Superior Court the morning of Friday, May 21, 2021.
HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that applications are now being accepted for the recently created Connecticut College Corps, which aims to recruit college students interested in working at summer enrichment programs as part of the governor’s plan to provide K-12 students and families with engaging enrichment and learning experiences in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the initiative, the state will partner with local colleges and universities to recruit 500 higher education students to participate in summer programs for children. Participants will receive training on social-emotional health, equity, diversity, and academic training to support the summer programs.
The state is partnering with local college and universities to identify students interested in participating. The Connecticut Office of Higher Education, Connecticut State Department of Education, Fairfield University, and other public and private higher education institutions across the state will work together to recruit college students and match them with summer programs. The effort is a collaboration of a statewide working group of higher education institutions seeking to support K-12 education summer enrichment efforts. It is funded with $1.5 million of Connecticut’s Coronavirus Relief Funds, in addition to $1.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds under a proposal the governor recently submitted to the state legislature.
“Thousands of students have had their school years significantly disrupted from the pandemic and it is critical that we help them have a stimulating summer and an engaging educational experience,” Governor Lamont said. “Our administration is launching the Connecticut College Corps as a way to provide K-12 students with much needed summer enrichment opportunities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, while at the same time giving college students experiences that will improve their career opportunities.”
“Investment in the Connecticut College Corps will ensure summer program providers have the staff necessary to expand access to high-quality, high-impact learning and enrichment opportunities,” Connecticut Education Acting Commissioner Charlene Russell-Tucker said. “College students will gain meaningful experience, and our children will benefit from the mentorship of older students, supporting our efforts to address children’s social-emotional well-being leading up to the fall. This is a win-win for everyone involved.”
“We couldn’t be more pleased to assist with this initiative to provide support to Connecticut students and hope that it will make a significant difference for those who fell behind academically during the pandemic,” Connecticut Office of Higher Education Executive Director Tim Larson said. “If the results are as encouraging as we anticipate, we should consider spinning it off into an AmeriCorps program model.”
“Fairfield University is honored to be the home for the Connecticut College Corps,” Fairfield University President Mark Nemec said. “Connecticut’s higher education institutions have worked collaboratively and in strong partnership with the state since last March. We are eager to continue that partnership in the form of the Connecticut College Corps and we look forward to recruiting and providing the necessary training to these young adults so they are equipped make a difference in the lives of children throughout the state this summer.”
Applications are open until May 21, 2021. Applicants should be undergraduate college students who attend Connecticut colleges and universities, including class of 2021 graduating seniors or Connecticut residents who attend college out of state.
More information on the program, including the application materials, is available online at www.fairfield.edu/collegecorpsct.
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