Regional Briefs – April 19, 2016

Brush Fires Near Tracks Halt Trains Near NYC

SECAUCUS, N.J. – Two brush fires in New Jersey Tuesday have halted some rail service outside NYC, The Associated Press reported. Amtrak’s busy Northeast Corridor line is on hold between Newark and Penn Station and NJ Transit trains into Manhattan are being diverted.

Tax Lawyer Denied License For Finding Taxes ‘Annoying’

HARRISBURG, Pa. – A lawyer with a master’s degree in taxation who told investigators he found paying taxes “annoying” had his request to reinstate his law license denied by the state Supreme Court, The Associated Press reported. Sebastian Rainone taught ethics classes at NJ’s Strayer University.


Two Killed in Fires in Brooklyn and Queens

NEW YORK – Two people died in separate house fires Monday, The Associated Press reported. Patricia Thomas, 64, died when a fire broke out at her Crown Heights home. Several firefighters also suffered minor injuries. And a 52-year-old man died in St. Albans, Queens.

NY Comptroller: Foreclosures Hurting Municipalities

ALBANY – New York’s high home foreclosure rate is squeezing municipalities, the state comptroller’s office reported Monday. One out of every 21 home mortgages was in foreclosure in last year’s third quarter, the second-highest rate in the nation behind NJ. This leads to lowered property values, smaller tax bases and increased crime.

Solar Farm Planned for Whiteface Mt. Electricity

CHAMPLAIN, N.Y. – Developers plan to break ground on a solar farm within the next three months, with Whiteface Mt. getting 40 percent of its electric needs from the agreement, the Plattsburgh Press-Republican reported. The project is part of an environmental initiative by the state and local grid.