Regional Briefs – March 13, 2016

Firefighter Falls Through Floor While Battling House Fire

EAST GREENWICH, N.J. – A firefighter escaped serious injury Saturday night when he fell through a floor while battling a fast-moving house fire, The Associated Press reported. Three people who lived in the home were able to safely escape.

Ratings Agency: NJ Benefits From Pension Case Denial

TRENTON – A ratings agency says the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to hear an appeal on New Jersey’s pension contributions is credit positive, as the state can continue annually determining its payments, reported. Moody’s referred to the court’s ruling last year that the state need not come up with billions to pay promised benefits.

Lawmakers Seek to Rename Law to Honor Late Trooper

TRENTON – Lawmakers want to rename a traffic law in honor of a state trooper killed Tuesday when he was struck by a passing car, The Associated Press reported. The Move Over Law would memorialize Trooper Sean Cullen, who was responding Monday to a car on fire. The law requires cars to slow down when emergency lights are on.

With Warmer Weather, NY Bars Brush Burning

ALBANY – State officials are reminding residents that a ban on brush burning in towns with fewer than 20,000 residents starts Wednesday. Open burning of brush is the most common cause of spring wildfires in New York, especially as the weather turns warmer.

New York Expands Zika Virus Testing

ALBANY – Expectant women whose spouses have recently traveled to countries impacted by the Zika virus can now get free testing, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced. Current rules only offers tests for expectant women who themselves traveled to affected areas. So far, the state has had 40 cases.

Niagara Falls Man Gets Prison Time for Bouncing Checks

BUFFALO – A Niagara Falls businessman was sentenced Thursday to two years behind bars for bank fraud for writing checks he was unable to cover, The Associated Press reported. Timothy DePetris must also pay $178,000 in restitution.