Regional Briefs – December 31, 2015

35 Years Later, Man Wounded in Shooting Dies

NEW YORK – New York City’s medical examiner has determined that a man’s death last year was due to wounds suffered in 1979 when he was shot and paralyzed. The death of Anthony Defonte, 69, is now being classified as a homicide, the Daily News reported.

Fight Breaks Out at Newark Anti-Violence Demonstration

NEWARK – They gathered for peace but ended up brawling. An anti-violence rally on the steps of Newark City Hall devolved into a physical altercation, NJ.com reported. Organizers said the skirmish lasted only a few minutes, and there were no serious injuries. Mayor Ras Baraka called it “disheartening.”

Man Trying to Smoke Out A Skunk Sets House Afire

LISBON, N.Y. – A homeowner’s attempt to evict a skunk using a smoke bomb on Wednesday left his home on fire damage, the Watertown Daily Times reported. Andrew Dawson says he has used smoke bombs before, but this was the first time it resulted in a fire. The skunk has disappeared.

Lake-Effect Regions in NY Brace for Foot of Snow

ALBANY – The weekend is expected to bring more than a foot of snow to the lake-effect snowbelt, the National Weather Service predicts. The snow will arrive Thursday afternoon and continue into Saturday morning.

Cuomo Postpones Annual Mansion Open House

ALBANY – A traditional open house event at New York’s Executive Mansion that is typically held Jan. 1 is being postponed until March 27. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he wants to privately mark the first anniversary of the death of his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo.

Ex-NY Senate Leader Eligible for $95K Pension

ALBANY – The former leader of the New York state Senate filed paperwork to begin collecting a state pension of up to $95,000 per year, The Associated Press reported. Dean Skelos automatically lost his seat upon his conviction two weeks ago but he remains eligible for benefits because of his 35 years of public service.