Regional Briefs – December 4, 2014

Obama Invokes Dante de Blasio on Policing

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama invoked Mayor Bill de Blasio’s son at a White House meeting Monday with mayors and rights groups about police-community relations. “The president referred to when he met my son Dante,” de Blasio said. “Well, I can tell you, I think every night about my son, making sure he comes home safe.”

Assembly Speaker Silver On Solidarity Trip to Israel

NEW YORK – Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver left for Israel on Motzoei Shabbos to show solidarity during the latest flare-up with Hamas, the Daily News reported. He took along a group of Democrat lawmakers and will return after Shabbos.

Ice Cream Truck Jingle Logs Thousands of Complaints

NEW YORK – The noisy jingle of ice cream trucks garnered 1,804 complaints to 311 so far this year, DNAinfo reported. “The repetitive ice cream truck music is driving my wife and I insane,” one resident wrote to 311. “It doesn’t wax and wane — at some point between 9 and 10 p.m. every night since the start of spring my wife and I have been greeted by this unrelenting demonic jingle.”

Medal of Honor Push Included In U.S. Defense Bill

ALBANY – Congress’s annual defense bill contains a provision for a posthumous Medal of Honor for a black World War I hero from New York, The Associated Press reported. Sgt. Henry Johnson’s supporters say that race played a role in the denial of the nation’s highest military honor.

Seven JFK Baggage Handlers Charged With Thefts

NEW YORK – Seven baggage handlers at Kennedy Airport were arrested Wednesday for stealing more than $20,000 worth of electronics and jewelry from checked luggage since 2012, The Associated Press reported. Some of the loot was sold to an undercover police agent.

NYS Comptroller Candidates Show Big Spending Gap

ALBANY – State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli spent $1.5 million in the waning days of his successful re-election last month, The Associated Press reported. His Republican challenger, Robert Antonacci, spent about $21,000 altogether.