Regional Briefs – September 25, 2015

For 1st Time, NYC Schools Close for Muslim Holiday

NEW YORK – New York City public schools closed Thursday to observe a Muslim holiday the first time the schools serving 1.1 million pupils closed for a Muslim holiday. They were closed Wednesday for Yom Kippur.

Man Smoking Cigarette Near Gas Can Catches Fire

WOODBRIDGE, N.J. – A man smoking a cigarette near a gas can caught fire and suffered serious burns over a large part of his body, NJ.com reported. The 45-year-old was filling up a lawn mower with gas Tuesday and left the can on the ground when a friend saw a bright flash. He wrapped him in a tarp on the ground to extinguish the fire.

New Ferry Begins Service Between New Jersey and NYC

MIDDLETOWN, N.J. – A new ferry is carrying commuters between New Jersey and NYC. The 400-passenger Molly Pitcher began service Tuesday from Middletown, N.J., to the World Financial Center in Lower Manhattan, Jersey City and Midtown Manhattan.

Rikers Guard Suspended for Smuggling Knives Into Jail

NEW YORK – A correction officer at Rikers Island was suspended without pay Wednesday for trying to smuggle knives into the prison, The Associated Press reported. Angelo Martinez, 51, was stopped during a routine screening and a folding knife with a 4-inch blade was discovered in his bag. After a search two more knives were found.

Ambulance Crashes En Route to Call, Killing EMT

RIGA, N.Y. – An ambulance rear-ended a backhoe Wednesday while en route to an emergency, killing a volunteer crew member. EMT Barry Miller was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead. Driver Zackery Czudak said he slowed down because of sun glare and fog.

Ex-Rep. Grimm Begins Prison Sentence for Tax Fraud

NEW YORK – Former Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm reported to a Pennsylvania prison Tuesday to begin his eight-month sentence for tax evasion, the Staten Island Advance reported. The Republican was assigned to a minimum-security section.