Regional Briefs – March 3, 2015

Unconventional Visitors Flock to N.Y.’s Javits Center

NEW YORK – Convention-goers aren’t the only visitors flocking to Manhattan’s Javits Center these days. The plant-filled “green roof” has attracted more than 500 birds, representing 11 species, and is the only roof in the city known to be used by nesting herring gulls.

Pickup Truck Goes Into Frozen River; Dead Dog Found Inside

TOMS RIVER, N.J. – A pickup truck drove onto a frozen river, spun around repeatedly and then plunged through the ice early Sunday. Rescue teams found a dead dog but no people inside, The Associated Press reported. The driver, who got out of the truck after taking it onto the ice, turned himself in for questioning.

Woman Pinned Between Taxis Critically Injured

NEW YORK – A 42-year-old woman was critically injured early Monday when she was pinned between two taxis in Midtown. She was loading luggage into the trunk of a cab when another cab struck her. The woman was taken to a hospital with leg injuries and is expected to survive.

Brooklyn Bridge Repairs $100 Million Over Budget

NEW YORK – Repair work on the Brooklyn Bridge is $100 million over the original $500 million budget and the completion date has been pushed back to 2016, the Daily News reported. Engineers discovered over 3,000 structural problems, including cracks in beams and fraying cables.

School Cellphone Ban Expired Monday

NEW YORK – The longtime ban on cellphones in New York City public schools was lifted on Monday, with Mayor Bill de Blasio fulfilling a campaign promise to end his predecessor’s order. Each school will now have individualized policies determined by the principal, with input from parents and teachers.

Prolonged Cold Spell Bedevils Home Septic Systems

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – The unrelenting cold this winter is wreaking havoc on home septic systems upstate, the Plattsburgh Press-Republican reported. One plumber has been putting in 18-hour days, seven days a week. Another plumber remembers similar conditions in the early 1990s, but not as long.