Regional Briefs – September 20, 2016

838 Will Be the New Area Code Coming to Eastern NY

ALBANY – New York regulators on Tuesday added 838 as the new telephone area code to join eastern New York’s 518 region, The Associated Press reported. Because there will be two area codes within the 17-county region, everybody will have to dial 10 digits for local calls. The change will be phased in over a period of months.

Runners From Cancelled NJ Race to Run in NYC Event

NEW YORK – Some runners from a New Jersey race cancelled after a pipe bomb explosion will participate in a NYC charity event this Sunday, WCBS reported. The Seaside Semper Five Marine Corps fundraiser have accepted an invitation to take part in the annual Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers race to help 9/11 families.

Letter Carrier Sentenced in Stolen Money Order Scheme

NEWARK – A letter carrier who stole hundreds of blank money orders and converted them to cash was sentenced Tuesday to a year in prison, The Associated Press reported. Jonel Normil, 26, delivered mail in the town of Cape May Court House. He turned over the checks to others who imprinted them with $1,000 values.

2 Cops Suspended for Running Over Groundhog With Golf Cart

TROY, N.Y. – Two upstate police officers were suspended without pay Monday for using a golf cart to run down and kill a groundhog, the Times Union of Albany reported. The officers then failed to disclose to their department that authorities in nearby Troy were investigating the killing of a woodchuck on a golf course in July.

Application Deadline Coming For Vacancy on NY Top Court

ALBANY – With a vacancy on New York’s highest court opening next year, a state commission is reminding prospective candidates that applications are due by Monday. A short list will the be created of possible nominees to replace Judge Eugene Pigott Jr., a Pataki appointee. Gov. Andrew Cuomo will then choose from the list.

Christie Frees Up $33M He Held Pending Retiree Health Cuts

NEWARK – Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday released $33 million in state funds he had held up until lawmakers identified $250 million in retiree health costs, The Associated Press reported. The unfrozen funds include money for the Rutgers Cancer Institute, where Christie spoke on Tuesday, and 17 other programs.