NY Briefs, September 8, 2014

Man Arrested for Setting At Least 12 Wildfires

MULLICA, N.J. – Multiple counts of arson were filed against Michael Evangelista, 38, for setting at least 12 small wildfires in New Jersey during a six-week period this summer, The Associated Press reported. In each instance, firefighters extinguished the flames and there was no reported damage.

New Jersey’s Credit Rating Lowered — Again

TRENTON – New Jersey’s credit rating has been lowered for the second time this year, The Associated Press reported. Citing poor economic performance and plans to cut $2.4 billion from pension payments, Fitch Ratings on Friday dropped the rating one step to A.

Gravedigger Falls Into New Grave He Dug

NEW YORK – A Queens gravedigger was injured Friday while falling backward into a freshly dug plot that he dug, The New York Times reported. The worker was positioning a monument in St. John’s Cemetery when he fell into the 8-foot-deep hole. Firefighters pulled him out using a pulley.

Town Celebrates Teddy Roosevelt Link

NEWCOMB, N.Y. – An upstate town on Saturday celebrated its link to former President Theodore Roosevelt. Newcomb held its annual Teddy Roosevelt Celebration, complete with a Roosevelt impersonator, wagon tours and fireworks. In September 1901, the then-vice president was there when President McKinley was shot in Buffalo.

NYC to Scuttle NASA Review of 911 System

NEW YORK – Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday scrapped a $13.2 million contract for NASA to overhaul the 911 system, the Daily News reported, nixing the deal struck by ex-Mayor Michael Bloomberg. City officials will now do the review themselves. The 911 system is several years behind schedule and $1 billion over budget.

Key NY Senate Republican Faces Primary

BINGHAMTON – A top New York state senator is getting a primary challenge Tuesday, the Binghamton Press reported. The state Board of Elections on Friday lists a Denver Jones as a Republican foe to Sen. Thomas Libous, the deputy majority leader who was charged this year for lying to the FBI about using his position to help his son.