Regional Briefs – September 8, 2016

Schumer: 4,000 Cellphone Dead Zones Upstate

ALBANY – Sen. Charles Schumer said Wednesday that his office has identified more than 4,000 cellphone dead zones in upstate New York, underscoring the need for service providers to upgrade their reliability and speed. He says dead zones are a public safety issue.

Irish, Puerto Ricans Outraged At de Blasio’s Comparison

NEW YORK – Mayor Bill de Blasio outraged the Irish and Puerto Rican communities when he equated the violence at the Caribbean J’Ouvert event this week with their parades, CBS News reported. State Sen. Ruben Diaz called it “disrespectful” and “shameful.” NYPD Chief Bill Bratton said no comparison could be made between the two.

‘Red Wig’ Bank Robber Who Used Paintball Gun Sentenced

NEWARK – A White Plains woman was sentenced to 13 years in prison for robbing three banks in New Jersey and Connecticut using a paintball gun and disguising herself with a red wig, The Associated Press reported. Michelle Cantatore must pay $400,000 in restitution.

Construction Worker Burned In Explosion Near School

EGG HARBOR, N.J. – A worker moving fuel from underground diesel tanks to new above-ground ones near a school was burned Wednesday when the tank exploded, The Associated Press reported. Joseph Palmieri, 29, was thrown about five feet by the blast, which sent flames shooting up about 30 feet.

Disability Retirement Benefits Raise for NYC Firefighters

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law Thursday increasing disability retirement benefits for recently hired NYC firefighters. The law would provide benefits equal to three-quarters of average wages measured over five years.

European Business Incubator Will Open in Brooklyn

BROOKLYN – Europe’s largest business incubator will open its first U.S. site at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, an industrial park that’s home to more than 330 businesses in New York. The initiative by Netherlands-based B. Amsterdam is designed to boost opportunities for startups on both sides of the ocean.