Regional Briefs – January 8, 2015

Ex-Janitor Might Have To Pay for School Fire

EDISON, N.J. – A judge on Tuesday postponed for three months deciding whether a janitor will have to pay restitution for tossing a cigarette into a trash can, sparking the blaze that gutted a school, the Home News Tribune reported. But he said it would be “appropriate” to make Jerome Higgins pay. Higgins, who was fined $200, has since retired.

NYC Promoting Tourism in Harlem

NEW YORK – New York City wants visitors from around the globe to experience Harlem’s cultural and culinary vibe. NYC & Company released a documentary Wednesday that spotlights the northern Manhattan neighborhood for cities as far away as Shanghai. It’s part of the city’s effort to highlight its diverse and distinct neighborhoods.

Student Burned During Science Lab Experiment

SELDEN, N.Y. – A Long Island teenager suffered second-degree facial burns during an earth science class experiment with alcohol and water that flared up on Tuesday, Newsday reported. The student was taken to Stony Brook Hospital for evaluation.

N.Y. Orders Plans for Protecting Long Island Drinking Water

ALBANY – New York is directing state conservation officials to write a plan for protecting Long Island drinking water from a plume of contaminants and chemicals from a nearby former military plane manufacturing site, The Associated Press reported.

Arrestee Tells Cops ‘Everyone Drives Drunk’

VINELAND, N.J. – A man arrested for drunken driving had a novel excuse why he shouldn’t be charged, telling the arresting officer that the secular holiday season is a time when “everyone drives drunk,” the Daily Journal reported. Daniel Pratts was also cited for refusal to take a breath test and reckless driving.

Indicted Grimm Bids Farewell After Landslide Reelection

STATEN ISLAND – Outgoing Rep. Michael Grimm thanked voters in his Staten Island and Brooklyn district for electing him three times, leaving weeks after pleading guilty to tax evasion. He said his district office would remain open to help residents.