Regional Briefs – October 8, 2015

De Blasio Meets With Cuban President Castro

NEW YORK – Mayor Bill de Blasio on Saturday met with Cuban President Raul Castro for an hour at the Cuban Mission to the U.N., The Associated Press reported. The two discussed Cuban history, pre-K, health care. They did not discuss human rights.

Ex-Gov. Paterson to Step Down as Chair of NY Dems

ALBANY – Former Gov. David Paterson said Wednesday he is stepping down from his post as the leader of the state’s Democrats, The Associated Press reported. Paterson had since last year served as chairman of the New York State Democratic Committee, which is largely controlled by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Ex-Lieutenant Fired Over Gorilla Post Plans Appeal

NEWARK – A white Newark police lieutenant fired over an online exchange that referred to the city’s black mayor as a gorilla is appealing, NJ.com reported. Anthony Caruso was terminated Friday for his “disparaging” remark. His attorney says it had nothing to do with race.

Head of New Jersey Cancer Society Killed by Falling Tree

COLTS NECK, N.J. – The director of New Jersey’s chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society was killed Saturday when a tree fell on her vehicle during a storm, NJ.com reported. Friends said the death of Stacey Weathers, 46, is a huge loss for people with blood cancer.

Supreme Court Leaves in Place Staten Island Toll Discounts

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal challenging discounted Verrazano bridge tolls for residents of Staten Island. A lower court threw out a suit by drivers in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut who claimed it violated their constitutional right to travel.

Christie Wears Fleece for Briefing But Not That Fleece

SEA ISLE CITY, N.J. – Gov. Chris Christie wore a fleece jacket for a media briefing on last weekend’s storms, but it wasn’t the fleece he famously wore during Superstorm Sandy, The Associated Press reported. He said he would only wear that blue fleece “in case of real emergency.”