Regional Briefs – February 10, 2016

No Accord for NJ Transit Union as Strike Date Looms

NEWARK – Union officials said Wednesday they’re prepared to strike on March 13 unless NJ Transit improves an offer they say would increase workers’ health premiums by as much as $700 a month, The Associated Press reported. A federal board recommended a pay hike of 2.6 percent over 6 1/2 years.

Charges Dropped Against Woman Who Saved Squirrels

HOWELL, N.J. – Charges were dropped against a woman who nursed two abandoned baby squirrels back to health, NJ.com reported. Maria Vaccarella had documented the squirrels’ growth on social media, leading state officials to charge her in July for illegally possessing wildlife. She says she “would definitely save a life again.”

11 Children Hospitalized After SUV Runs Into School Bus

WEST SENECA, N.Y. – Eleven children were hospitalized Wednesday with minor injuries after their school bus was struck from behind by an SUV during a snowy commute, The Associated Press reported. There were 35 children on board.

Arrested Man Admits Role In Nearly 100 Thefts

AUBURN, N.Y. – A man guilty of 100 thefts was arrested again Monday night after he jumped into a woman’s car and stole her purse, The Associated Press reported. The victim recognized Kenneth Lafler, 24, because it was the second time he robbed her. Despite his record, Lafler is out on bail.

Federal Funding Set for New Veterans’ Cemetery in NY

PEMBROKE, N.Y. – Barack Obama’s final budget as president includes $36 million for constructing a new 132-acre national veterans’ cemetery near Buffalo, The Associated Press reported. There are currently 147 cemeteries for veterans.

Feds to Investigate Nuclear Power Plant After Water Leak

BUCHANAN, N.Y. – Federal regulators will investigate on Thursday how radioactive material was found in the groundwater below a nuclear power plant 40 miles north of Manhattan, the Journal News reported. Water contaminated by tritium was found Saturday at the Indian Point Energy Center.