Regional Briefs – January 1, 2015

Cuomo Pardons Two Former Inmates Facing Deportation

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday pardoned two men who completed jail terms and turned their lives around but faced threats of deportation. Cuban Antonio Argibay and Alvaro Khalil Cumberbatch of Guyana deserve a second chance “without fear of being separated from their families,” Cuomo said.

N.J. Minimum Wage Rises by 13 Cents

TRENTON – The minimum hourly pay for New Jersey workers increases Thursday by 13 cents to $8.38 to keep in tandem with the consumer price index, a marker of inflation. The hike in 2015 is a 1.59 percent increase over last year’s rate, which increased to $8.25 from $7.25 after voters approved the 2013 initiative.

Lake-Effect Storms Predicted Through Thursday

ALBANY – A lake-effect snow watch was declared for western New York from Wednesday afternoon through late Thursday, the National Weather Service said. Forecasters are predicting close to a foot of snow, with some areas getting three feet. Highs are in the mid-20s and wind gusts over 30 mph will hamper visibility.

New York to Require Inmate Discharge Planning

ALBANY – New York will require by Feb. 28 discharge planning for inmates who received mental health treatment in prison so they should not put others at risk once they reenter society. On June 1, a mentally ill ex-inmate stabbed two children in a Brooklyn elevator nine days after being released from prison.

MTA Officer Dies From 2013 Accident on Bridge

NEW YORK – An MTA officer on Monday died from injuries suffered on Oct. 20, 2013, when he was struck by a car as was reopening a closed roadway on the Verrazano Bridge. Officer Thomas Choi, 62, joined the MTA in 2003.

Drunk Driver to Arresting Cop: I’m a Judge

HARRISON, N.Y. – Suburban town judge Marc Lust drove drunk, hit another car and then tried to persuade police to let him go because he was a jurist and would “take care of this.” Police said he was unsteady, slurred words and said he’d had three drinks.