Regional Briefs – July 2, 2015

City Officials Say Major Crime is Down This Year

NEW YORK (AP) – Officials say New York City is on pace this year for fewer than 100,000 reported major crimes for the first time in at least two decades.

Dermott Shea with the New York Police Department said Wednesday that for the first six months of 2015, there were 46,775 reports of general crimes. Overall crime is down 6 percent, but shootings and homicides remain up this year.

The decrease in major crime for the year comes even despite a jump last month that prompted hand-wringing from city officials and criticism over enforcement changes.

West Nile Virus Found In NYC Mosquitoes

NEW YORK (AP) – The New York City health department says the West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitoes. But no human cases have been reported so far this season.

The health department is setting up more traps and treating catch basins, marshland and areas that have standing water.

Public Advocate: NYC Funds Should Divest From Wal-Mart

NEW YORK (AP) – New York City Public Advocate Letitia James is calling for the city’s pensions funds to divest from Wal-Mart.

James, the city’s elected watchdog, says the New York’s five pensions boards should not invest in the chain store because it is the nation’s largest guns retailer.

NY Environmental Commissioner Martens Resigns

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – A day after enacting a promised ban on fracking, New York Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens has announced that he’ll step down this month.

The Open Space Institute, a Manhattan-based non-profit land preservation group, said Wednesday that Martens will join the group this summer as a consultant focusing on national climate change policy. Martens headed the group before he was appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to head the DEC in 2011.