Regional Briefs – January 13, 2015

NY Senate Approves 8 Women’s Rights Bills

ALBANY – New York’s Senate on Monday unanimously approved eight women’s rights bills but excluded a ninth to codify Roe v Wade. Assembly Democrats will not pass the bill without the ninth part. The bills ensures equal pay, outlaws employment discrimination and requires reasonable workplace accommodations for expectant women.

Christie Skipping Inauguration Trips Due to Weather

TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie is skipping trips to two of his fellow Republican governors’ inauguration festivities in Ohio and Illinois because of bad weather — but not the ones to the early-voting states of South Carolina and Iowa, The Associated Press reported.

NJ Lawmakers Want Faster Handling of Food Stamps

TRENTON – New Jersey lawmakers are considering a bill to require handling food stamps applications within a week. The federal government cut funding because the state was missing a 30-day processing limit.

Cannonball Found in Niagara May Be From 1679

NIAGARA FALLS – Is an old cannonball found in a Niagara Falls history teacher’s backyard an artifact from four centuries ago? Mike Esposito thinks so, the Niagara Gazette reported. In 1679, a French expedition led by Robert de la Salle built a sailing ship on the island. To celebrate the Griffon’s completion, the crew fired several shots from a cannon.

NYC Paying $17M for 3 Wrongful Conviction Cases

NEW YORK – New York City will pay $17 million to settle wrongful convictions handled by retired detective Louis Scarcella, The New York Times reported. Robert Hill, Alvena Jennette and Darryl Austin — three half brothers, one of whom died — spent a combined 60 years in prison before their convictions were vacated.

Coyote Captured in Upper Manhattan Park

NEW YORK – A coyote was captured Saturday in a Manhattan park and released in an “appropriate wilderness area in the Bronx” Sunday. Park rangers searched for the coyote after numerous sightings in the past two weeks. The last capture of a coyote in New York City took place in 2013.