Regional Briefs – Nov. 3, 2016

WikiLeaks: De Blasio Says It Is ‘Hard to Defend’ Clinton Bank Speech

NEW YORK – Mayor Bill de Blasio defended Hillary Clinton for not releasing transcripts of her paid speeches to banks. But privately, he found it “hard to defend,” he wrote in a March 2 email released Thursday by WikiLeaks. “I’m trying, brother, but this one is hard to defend,” de Blasio wrote.

NY Lobbying Firm Fined $180,000 for Violating Rules

ALBANY – A lobbying firm was fined $180,000 on Wednesday after a state ethics panel determined it repeatedly failed to file on time 148 required bimonthly forms, The Associated Press reported. The Joint Commission on Public Ethics said State Advisers LLC also failed to pay lobbyist registration fees.

3 Arrested for Burglaries That Targeted Elderly

QUEENS – Three suspects were arrested Wednesday on hate crimes charges in a series of burglaries that targeted elderly victims, The Associated Press reported. The trio used deceptions to gain entry into homes, such as pretending to be a granddaughter or former neighbor.

Bill Changing Driver’s License Expiration Dates Advances

TRENTON – Birthdays might mean a trip to the Motor Vehicle Commission for some New Jersey drivers under a bill approved by a state Senate panel Thursday, The Associated Press reported. The measure changes expiration dates from the last day of the month every four years to the driver’s birthday.

Judge Lets Ban on Ballot Selfies Remain in NY State

NEW YORK – A federal judge on Thursday declined to overturn a New York state ban against “ballot selfies,” The Associated Press reported. Manhattan Judge Kevin Castel said people wanting to publicize their voting choices can do so through “other powerful means.”
Number of Homeless People in NYC at All-Time High

NEW YORK – The number of homeless people living in NYC has reached a record-high of 60,252, up 200 from two weeks ago, CBS reported. Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to require 25 percent of apartments built under a 421-A tax exemption to go for the homeless.