Regional Briefs – July 24, 2016

Special Master of 9/11 Fund Stepping Down

NEW YORK– The administrator of the federal 9/11 compensation fund is stepping down after five years and $1.8 billion distributed, The Associated Press reported. Sheila Birnbaum’s replacement as special master will be Rupa Bhattacharyya, the director of the Department of Justice’s constitutional and specialized tort litigation section.

Schumer Wants Feds to Review NYC Airport Security

ALBANY – Sen. Charles Schumer asked federal officials to review if NYC-area airports have “blind spots” terrorists could exploit, The Associated Press reported. An NBC News probe found key areas of LaGuardia and Newark airports do not have full video surveillance.

Union Official: Operator Error Didn’t Cause Crane Collapse

NEW YORK – A union official said the crane operator knows what spurred a crane’s 250-foot-long boom to collapse across the Tappan Zee Bridge last week and it isn’t operator error, The New York Times reported. He told investigators he wouldn’t reveal the cause.

New Area Code Possible in Eastern New York’s 518 Zone

ALBANY – The Public Service Commission will hold hearings on a new area code for the 518 region. Starting Tuesday, the agency will consult with residents of Glens Falls, Colonie and Plattsburgh whether to overlay the new code throughout the region or divide it into two.

NY State Tax Collections Come in Under Estimates

ALBANY – Tax collections in New York state have fallen below projections, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli warned Thursday. The first quarter brought in $19.8 billion, $800 million less than the same period last year. Meanwhile, the state spent nearly $38 billion, $4.2 billion more than in 2015.