Regional Briefs – July 11, 2016

NYPD: Homicides, Shootings Fell in First Half of 2016

NEW YORK – NYC saw declines in both homicides and shootings in the first half of 2016, according to crime statistics released Monday by the NYPD. There were 161 homicides and 435 shootings through June, compared to 172 murders and 545 shootings over the same period last year.

Insurers Warned on Treatment Of Women With Depression

ALBANY – New York on Monday warned health insurers not to discriminate against women dealing with maternal depression. Specifically, they are prohibited from denying coverage, cancelling plans or changing rates because a woman had been diagnosed.

Motorcyclist Beat Tunnel Toll With Retractable Plate

JERSEY CITY – A motorcyclist used a retractable license plate on Sunday to escape paying a toll at the E-ZPass lane of the Holland Tunnel, The Associated Press reported. Henry Pogue, 51, was noticed by a police officer using a toggle switch to return the plate to its position and was arrested.

Blaze Breaks Out Inside Western NY Fire Station

VICTOR, N.Y. – Members of a fire company turned the hoses on themselves Sunday when a blaze broke out in their own fire station, The Associated Press reported. The fire started in the engine of a truck that was parked inside the building. One firefighter was hospitalized for smoke inhalation.

Activist Files Right-to-Film Lawsuit Against NYPD

NEW YORK – An activist arrested while videotaping police officers is suing the NYPD for violating his First Amendment, The New York Times reported. The NYPD says it will review Ruben An’s suit.

Judge Fired for Accepting Bribes Gets $120K Pension

BUFFALO – A state judge forced to step down after he pleaded guilty last month to accepting bribes is leaving with his $120,500 annual pension intact, the Buffalo News reported. John Michalek began his public career in 1977. His job ended abruptly when he admitted taking bribes from a lobbyist linked to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.