Regional Briefs – April 15, 2015

Group Ends Challenge to “Under G-d” in Pledge

FREEHOLD, N.J. – A group has ended its legal challenge against a school district to the phrase “under G-d” in the Pledge of Allegiance after a judge in February ruled it does not discriminate against atheists, the Asbury Park Press reported. The deadline for the American Humanist Association to appeal has now expired.

Judge Orders Release of Man Convicted of Murder in 1991

NEW YORK – A judge on Tuesday ordered the release of a man convicted in 1991 of murdering an off-duty officer in Brooklyn, saying that Rosean Hargrave got an unfair trial, The New York Times reported. Acting state Supreme Court Justice ShawnDya Simpson said the detectives used “corrupt practices” in other cases.

NYPD Captures Coyote in Chelsea Church Courtyard

NEW YORK – This coyote wasn’t so wily after all. Cops used a sedative-filled dart on Tuesday to capture a coyote that had been spotted in the church courtyard in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, The Associated Press reported. The animal was taken to a care facility.

NYC Safe Sleep Campaign Aims to End Infant Deaths

NEW YORK – New York City launched a campaign Monday aimed at ending infant deaths. Babies should always be placed on their backs for sleeping. Blankets and other soft items should be kept out of the crib. Mayor Bill de Blasio says about 80 percent of all infant injuries are related to the infant’s sleep position.

NY Comptroller Discloses 2014 Tax Return

ALBANY – State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s tax return released Tuesday shows he made $146,900 from his salary in 2014 plus $11,452 from dividend income. He made $6,481 in charitable contributions and paid federal income taxes of $32,573 with a $5,399 refund due.

Hunters Kill Record Number of Bears in Catskills

ALBANY – An early bear hunting season in parts of the Catskills led to a record number of bears killed in 2014, The Associated Press reported. Statewide, hunters killed 1,628 black bears, including 1,110 in the Catskills region alone, well above the previous record of 983 in 2011.