Regional Briefs – February 15, 2017

Bronx Person Dies, Two Ill From Rat-Related Disease

BRONX – A Bronx resident has died and two others became severely ill in the last two months after contracting a rare disease transmitted by rats, The New York Times reported. City health officials say it’s the first time a cluster of leptospirosis cases has been identified.

Manhattan Bomber Wants Shootout Charges Dropped

ELIZABETH, N.J. – A lawyer for the man accused of setting off bombs in New Jersey and Manhattan filed a motion to toss charges he tried to kill Linden police officers, reported. Ahmad Rahimi has said he planted the bombs on behalf of the Islamic State.

Rutgers Condemns Anti-Muslim Poster Found at Center

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers University officials condemned an anti-Muslim poster found Monday night hanging outside a cultural center at their Piscataway campus, The Associated Press reported. The poster proclaimed, “Imagine a Muslim-Free America” and a silhouette of the Twin Towers.

Girl Donates 1,300 Books To Children’s Hospital

VOORHEES, N.J. – A 12-year-old girl spent the day Tuesday delivering over 1,300 books donated to a children’s hospital, a drive she started last year, the Courier-Post reported. Charlotte Olson wanted to give back to her town of Voorhees. She also gave $220 for more book purchases.

Ambulance Crash Kills Passenger En Route to Home

DUNKIRK, N.Y. – An elderly man died Tuesday night after the EmergyCare ambulance transporting him from a hospital to a nursing home crashed into a ditch, The Associated Press reported. Arthur McArthur, 77, was pronounced dead at the scene. The 49-year-old driver was lightly injured.

NY Lawmaker Makes Pitch to Name Baseball ‘State Sport’

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – A state senator is making a pitch to have New York designate baseball as the official state sport, The Citizen of Auburn reported. Jim Seward, a Republican, said his proposal was inspired by a letter sent to him last year by a fourth-grade class.