Regional Briefs – December 24, 2015

Christie Pardons Gun-Toting Marine Recruiter

TRENTON – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday pardoned a Marine charged with unlawful possession of a handgun that he legally owned in Massachusetts, The Associated Press reported. Sgt. Joshua Velez, 26, was stopped in September for a traffic offense and a 9mm gun was found in the glove compartment.

Cop Arrested for Arresting Man Who Filmed Him

NEW YORK – An NYPD officer was arrested Tuesday for arresting a man for filming him with a cellphone camera, The Associated Press reported. Jonathan Munoz pleaded not guilty to official misconduct charges in the March 2014 arrest of Jason Disisto. A police spokeswoman said Thursday that officers are reminded that people can record police interactions.

Law Requires Annual Reports on NYC Subway and Bus Crimes

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a law requiring the NYPD to provide to the City Council annual reports detailing crimes, complaints and arrests on specific subway lines and bus routes. The data will help cut and monitor crime, as well as allow police to focus on areas most needing protection.

NY to Pay Small Businesses Within 15 Days of Invoices

ALBANY – A new law directs state agencies to pay small businesses within 15 days of receiving an invoice, instead of 30 days, the Associated Press reported. The law takes effect in six months. Interest would accrue on late payments. Small businesses are defined as having their primary place of business in New York with no more than 300 employees.

NY Driver’s Actions Save Kids From Fire on Bus

LISBON, N.Y. – The quick reaction of a school bus driver is credited with getting students off the vehicle safely after it caught fire Tuesday afternoon, the Watertown Daily Times reported. Nine students were on board in Lisbon, along the Canadian border, when driver Tammy Cook noticed the smell of oil and saw flames shooting from the hood.

U.S. Geologists Survey Adirondacks for Rare Earth Minerals

MINEVILLE, N.Y. – The U.S. Geological Survey is wrapping up work using low-altitude flights over the eastern Adirondacks to map underground rocks and search for rare earth minerals used in cellphones, rechargeable batteries and super magnets, The Associated Press reported. The minerals may be in gravel left over from extensive iron mining in the late 1800s and early 1900s.