Regional Briefs – February 11, 2015

Town Finds Another $340k In Quarters Stolen

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. – Officials in a town where the public works inspector admitted stealing $460,000 in parking meter quarters have discovered an additional $340,000 in quarters stolen, The Record reported. Thomas Rica pleaded guilty in March, but the new find raises questions as to whether others were also involved.

Court: 43-Minute Traffic Stop Unacceptable

WARREN, N.J. – Prosecutors cannot use a gun found in a trunk as evidence, an appeals court ruled, since the state trooper overreached by conducting a 43-minute traffic stop, the Courier News reported. Officer Erik Larsen stopped Devin Henderson in 2013 because of failure to use a turn signal and because an air freshener obstructed his view.

Cuomo Plans Unpaid Tax Crackdowns

ALBANY – The Cuomo administration is proposing new measures to press people to pay their taxes, including lowering the threshold of debt for suspending driver’s licenses. The program begun in 2013 generated $125 million so far from nearly 14,000 delinquent taxpayers. Lowering the threshold would bring in another $9 million from 11,000 more delinquent taxpayers.

New Push in Congress To Award WWII Spies

BUFFALO – There’s a renewed push in Congress to bestow its highest civilian honor, the Congressional Gold Medal, on the nation’s World War II spy agency that was led by a Buffalo native, The Associated Press reported. The Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the CIA, was led by Gen.  “Wild Bill” Donovan. The specialized units he created are the forerunners of today’s special operations forces such as the U.S. Navy SEALs.

Arrest Made in Theft of Mark Twain Plaque

ELMIRA – A man was arrested Tuesday for stealing a bronze likeness of legendary author Mark Twain from his gravesite, The Associated Press reported. Daniel Ruland was found from a tip Friday night and police recovered the plaque from a vehicle leaving his Elmira residence. Twain, born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, grew up in Missouri, but summered for 20 years in Elmira and is buried in the family plot of his wife, Olivia Langdon.