Regional Briefs – August 26, 2015

Man Sues Hotel Named as Source of Legionnaires’ Outbreak

NEW YORK – A man who came down with Legionnaires’ disease and spent several days in a hospital filed a civil lawsuit against the hotel identified as the source of the deadly outbreak, The Associated Press reported. Leslie Noble’s lawsuit against the Opera House Hotel says its “negligence, carelessness and recklessness” caused him physical pain and mental anguish.

De Blasio Defends Jail Boss As Violence Spikes in Jails

NEW YORK – Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday defended his jails commissioner after a Daily News editorial called for his ouster following a record-breaking month of inmate violence, The Associated Press reported. He said that critics of Joseph Ponte “don’t know what they are talking about.” There were 22 stabbings in jails in July, the most in any single month in 15 years.

10 Firefighters, 12 Others Injured in Manhattan Fire

NEW YORK – A fire at a Harlem high-rise building injured 22 people on Sunday morning, including 10 firefighters, The Associated Press reported. It took nearly an hour to put out the blaze, which started in a 16th-floor apartment. The Red Cross says it provided food, clothing and other supplies to some of the affected residents.

NY Looks for Alternatives to Sanctions to Curb Test Opt-Outs

BUFFALO – New York education officials are steering away from financial sanctions for schools whose students skipped this year’s Common Core tests and looking at districts with high test participation for ways to curb opt-outs elsewhere, The Associated Press reported. Organizers of the opt-out movement say they expect double the amount of students to sit out the tests next April.

Teen Becomes First to Swim 20 Miles Through New York Bight

SEA BRIGHT, N.J. – A 17-year-old open water swimmer from New Jersey became the first person to swim a course of just over 20 miles through what’s known as the New York Bight, The Associated Press reported. Charlotte Samuels began her journey around 7 a.m. Saturday and finished before 5 p.m.

Worker Dies After Falling at Manhattan Construction Site

NEW YORK – A construction worker died on Tuesday in a tragic fall from four stories at a Manhattan work site, WABC reported. The 30-year-old man was trying to walk across a beam when he fell down an elevator shaft.

Aging Coal-Powered Plant Closing; Another in Jeopardy

ALBANY – An energy company filed an application with the New York Public Service Commission on Tuesday to close an aging coal-fired power plant by next March, eliminating 79 jobs, the Associated Press reported. NRG Energy is placing on hold its $150 million project to transition from coal to natural gas at another plant because of a federal lawsuit filed by a competitor.