Regional Briefs – January 14, 2015

FBI Says Kidnapping Scam Targets NYC Residents

NEW YORK – There is a rise in scammers calling New York City residents claiming to have kidnapped a family member and demanding ransom, the FBI said Tuesday. A scammer may tell a victim his daughter was kidnapped, and a woman is screaming for help in the background.

Jersey City Response Program Modeled After Hatzolah

JERSEY CITY – Jersey City officials are launching a community response system modeled on Israel’s United Hatzolah, The Associated Press reported. Mayor Steven Fulop says 100 volunteers will be linked into the 911 system, allowing them to be immediately dispatched to nearby emergencies until ambulances and paramedics arrive.

Alert Newspaper Carrier’s Tip Leads to Ailing Woman’s Rescue

SPARTA, N.J. – A newspaper carrier who noticed a pileup of papers on Friday grew concerned about the elderly customer’s well-being, the New Jersey Herald reported. He alerted police, who entered Olive Blaison’s home and found the 85-year-old had suffered a heart attack several days earlier. She was taken to a hospital and is recovering.

Retired CBS Reporter Lou Miliano Dies in Florida

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. – Longtime CBS reporter Lou Miliano, 67, died Monday in Florida after battling lung cancer for several years, The Associated Press reported. Miliano’s career spanned four decades but he joined CBS in 1998. He later became a New York-based anchor before retiring in 2007.

Home Aide Indicted Following Death of Patient

NEW YORK – A Bronx nursing home aide was indicted Tuesday for criminally negligent homicide in the death of a patient last month, The Associated Press reported. Cherrylee Young was caring for dementia patient Frank Mercado, 77, when she allegedly punched him on Dec. 8. A table broke and Mercado fell and was impaled on a protruding piece of metal.

NYC Jail Oversight Approves Restrictive Housing Units

NEW YORK – The agency overseeing New York City jails voted Tuesday to create restrictive housing for violent inmates and ban solitary confinement for inmates younger than 21 by 2016, The Associated Press reported. In August, a federal investigation probing teen Rikers inmates released a scathing review.

Suspect Pleads Not Guilty in Fatal Subway Push

NEW YORK – A man accused of fatally pushing a stranger in front of a moving subway train in the Bronx pleaded not guilty to murder. Kevin Darden pushed Wai Kuen Kwok, 61, in front of an oncoming train as he was standing with his wife on Nov. 16.