Regional Briefs – March 1, 2016

Con Ed Scam: Phony Worker Tied Up Elderly Woman

NEW YORK – Con Edison is warning to ask employees for photo ID following an incident Sunday where a woman posing as a Con Ed worker tied up an elderly woman at knifepoint and ransacked her Coney Island home, the Daily News reported. Quanisha Hankerson, 25, was arraigned Tuesday.

Partial Shutdown in Paterson Amid Budget Showdown

PATERSON, N.J. – Nonessential city workers in New Jersey’s third-largest city stayed home Tuesday amid a budget showdown between the mayor and city council, The Associated Press reported. A special meeting is scheduled Tuesday night. The shutdown could go into Wednesday if no progress is made.

Man Charged in Hit-and-Run That Killed NYPD Officer

ELIZABETH, N.J. – A driver who struck and killed an off-duty NYPD officer in a hit-and-run Sunday was charged Monday, The Associated Press reported. An SUV belonging to William Espinal-Mejia, 35, collided with Vincent Harrison’s car. Harrison, 25, got out of his car and was on the shoulder when he was hit.

NY Transit Workers Seek Protections Against Assaults

ALBANY – Transit workers are lobbying for protection against assaults by frustrated passengers they say happen four times a day, The Associated Press reported. They’re backing a bill to make it a felony with up to seven years in prison for assaulting cleaners. That law already covers drivers.

Ex-NYC Schools Chancellor To Take Over Queens Library

NEW YORK – Former NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott will take over the scandal-plagued Queens Library system, the Daily News reported. The Queens resident just ended an appointment to monitor the East Ramapo School District.

NY Reform Advocates Fault Budget’s $2.4B in Lump Sums

ALBANY – A government reform group says the Cuomo administration’s budget contains $2.4 billion that allow spending decisions after the budget passes, The Associated Press reported. Citizens Union says it’s “a risk for corruption.” The state says they need the “flexibility.”