Regional Briefs – August 19, 2015

NY State Fair Erects Memorial For Military Dogs

GEDDES, N.Y. – A new monument honoring dogs who served in the military is coming to the New York State Fairgrounds on Sept. 3, The Associated Press reported. The War Dogs Memorial features a marble image of a combat veteran and a dog with a plaque dedicated to those who “gallantly served in war and peace.”

Six JFK Cargo Handlers Arrested in $250,000 Theft

NEW YORK – Six cargo handlers at JFK Airport were arrested on Tuesday in a scheme to steal airmail containing an estimated $250,000 in cash, The Associated Press reported. The crew targeted international flights transporting mail with foreign currency and would use the airport’s currency exchanges to convert their haul into U.S. dollars.

Cuomo’s Brother Aids Man Fighting Riptide in Hamptons

EAST HAMPTON, N.Y. – CNN anchor Chris Cuomo helped rescue a man who was swept away by a riptide in the Hamptons on Sunday, the New York Post reported. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s brother was on his fishing boat when he spotted the man struggling in the Peconic River. He threw the man a life preserver, jumped into the water and pulled him to shore.

NY Expands Colorectal Cancer Screening With Federal Money

ALBANY – New York is using $8 million in federal funding to expand screenings for colorectal cancer, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday. The state sees nearly 10,000 new cases of the disease and 3,000 deaths each year. The expanded program will focus on New York City, Syracuse, Buffalo, Rochester and the North Country.

Mysterious Gravestone Found at Bus Terminal Belonged to Dog

NUTLEY, N.J. – The mysterious gravestone found at a New Jersey bus terminal earlier this month noting the death of “Max Ferreira, age 9” actually belonged to a dog of that name, not a child as originally suspected, NJ.com reported. Detectives matched records at a local animal hospital.

Western NY Assemblyman Switches From GOP to Democrat

ALBANY – A western New York assemblyman on Tuesday switched parties, changing his affiliation from Republican to Democrat to increase their already overwhelming 104-43 majority, The Associated Press reported. John Ceretto, whose district includes Niagara Falls, said he’s often found his values are “more in step” with Democrats.

New Jersey Collects Nearly $2B in Taxes in July

TRENTON – New Jersey’s tax haul is up 7 percent compared with 2014, collecting nearly $2 billion in taxes last month, in line with projections, The Associated Press reported. That is important because if revenue were below projections, as it was last year, the state could have to unexpectedly cut the budget.

Drunk Man Has His 10-year-Old Drive Him Home

STILLWATER, N.Y. – An upstate man had his 10-year-old drive his pickup truck on Saturday while he was sitting in the passenger seat drunk, the Times Union reported. Police pulled over the truck and found the child behind the wheel while his father, John Barling, was intoxicated. The father was arrested.

School Guard Fired Over ‘Black Thug’ Post to be Reinstated

VINELAND, N.J. – A New Jersey school security guard fired over posts that used the phrase “black thug” to describe suspects accused of killing a Philadelphia police officer will be reinstated next month, the Vineland Daily Journal reported. Mary Czaplinski will return to her job on Sept. 1 as part of the settlement, which requires her to complete a sensitivity course.