Regional Briefs – October 16, 2015

Pilot Program Ditches Screens in Some NYC Taxis

NEW YORK – Some taxis will lose the TV screens that riders love to hate, The Associated Press reported. The Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a one-year pilot program on Thursday to test new meter and payment systems in up to 1,000 taxis. The backseat screens showed commercials and brief news clips which many passengers found annoying.

Veteran Firefighter Dies While Directing Traffic at Scene

SOUTH AMBOY, N.J. – A longtime firefighter died Wednesday after he collapsed while directing traffic at an emergency scene, The Associated Press reported. Gerald Celecki, 70, was responding to a report of a natural gas odor and was directing a fire truck as it backed up to the home. He had served as a firefighter for 50 years and was chief of the Middlesex Fire Police.

NYC Launches Neighborhood-Specific Website

NEW YORK – New York City on Wednesday launched a neighborhood-specific website to help residents learn more about what’s happening locally. The site,, shows incidents in specific locations like a pothole report in Boro Park or a rat sighting at a Forest Hills diner. They show school closures, construction, transit alerts and leaking hydrants.

Computer Glitch in Terror List Caused Delays at JFK

NEW YORK – A glitch in the computer system that checks passenger names against a terror watch list caused major delays at JFK and other airports Wednesday night, The Associated Press reported. The Homeland Security department’s computer system was down for 90 minutes. They don’t suspect it was malicious in nature.

Feds Boosts Ocean Gas Plan; Foes Seek Cuomo Veto

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – A company that wants to build an ocean terminal off the coast of New York and New Jersey to import liquefied natural gas said Wednesday that a federal review backs its claim the $600 million project is safe, The Associated Press reported. The plan can be vetoed by the governor of either state but environmentalists are targeting Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York.