Regional Briefs – March 9, 2017

Store Owner Gets 2-Year Term for Food Stamp Fraud

NEWARK – A store owner who stole $1.1 million through a food stamp scheme was sentenced Wednesday to two years in prison, The Associated Press reported. Charles Silva, 33, allowed people to redeem their benefits for 30 cents on the dollar rather than food at his Elizabeth store.

New York Gets $5M for Homeland Security Programs

ALBANY – Communities around New York will share $5 million in federal funding for homeland security programs, The Associated Press reported. The grants will fund police tactical teams, search and rescue operations, and bomb dogs.

Few School Budgets Will Seek to Exceed Tax Cap

ALBANY – Voters in just 2 percent of school districts will be asked on May 16 to approve budgets that exceed the state’s property tax cap of 2 percent, The Associated Press reported. The 15 districts who submitted budgets to override it will need a 60-percent supermajority.

New 838 Area Code Will Soon Coexist With 518

ALBANY – A new area code will be phased in starting March 18 throughout the 518 area code zone, The Associated Press reported. The 838 area code will be “over-laid” across 17 counties, meaning callers will be able to dial either seven or ten digits. New numbers will be assigned beginning Sept. 19.