Regional Briefs – January 11, 2016

Series of Mailbox Check Thefts Reported in Yonkers, Bronx

NEW YORK – Authorities are warning of a series of check thefts from mailboxes in the Bronx and Yonkers, WCBS reported. Thieves then use chemicals to remove the ink off the checks and change dollar amounts and names. Police urge anyone sending checks to use a gel ink pen, not leave blank spaces and to drop it off at the post office.

NYC High School Graduation Rates Slightly Up

NEW YORK – NYC high school graduation rates are up 2 percent while dropout rates are down 9 percent, Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina said Monday. Seventy percent of the class of 2015 graduated, including 64 percent of Hispanics and 65.4 percent of blacks, 85 percent of Asian and 82 percent of whites.

Data Show NYC Street Homelessness Complaints Up

NEW YORK – NYC homelessness complaints more than doubled since 2013, according to 311 data, the New York Post reported. There were 29,159 complaints in 2015, up from 12,848 in 2013. Mayor Bill de Blasio says it’s because he’s encouraged people to call 311.

Winter Survey Shows 77 Bald Eagles at NY Refuge

SENECA FALLS, N.Y. – Spotters on Friday counted 77 bald eagles in a midwinter survey at the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, including 30 juveniles in just one tree on the edge of a pond, the Auburn Citizen reported. The tally far surpassed last year’s record of 43.

NYC to Pay $3.75M to Man Cleared of 1997 Killing

NEW YORK – NYC will pay $3.75 million in taxpayer funds to a man who spent almost 17 years in prison before he was exonerated of a 1997 fatal shooting, Comptroller Scott Stringer said. Roger Logan has already settled with the state for $2.975 million in taxpayer dollars.

Former State Chief Judge Joins Law Firm in NYC

ALBANY – New York’s former chief judge has joined a NYC law firm after retiring at the end of 2015 after turning the mandatory retirement age of 70, The Associated Press reported. Jonathan Lippman joined Latham & Watkins as counsel in its litigation and trial department.