Regional Briefs – March 23, 2017

NJ Bill Caps Public University Speaker Fees at $10,000

TRENTON – New Jersey lawmakers approved legislation on Thursday barring public universities from spending more than $10,000 on commencement speakers, The Associated Press reported. It now goes to Gov. Chris Christie. It comes after a celebrity earned $32,000 to speak at Rutgers in 2011.

Feds Designate 2 Counties as Uncooperative on Immigration

MALONE, N.Y. – A Homeland Security report identifies Franklin and St. Lawrence counties in northern New York as places that refuse to cooperate with immigration authorities, the Adirondack Daily Enterprise reported. The so-called “sanctuary cities” routinely fail to turn over deportable aliens.

New Jersey Unemployment Rate Falls to 10-year Low

TRENTON – New Jersey added 12,600 jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell to 4.4 percent, a 10-year low, The Associated Press reported. The Bureau of Labor Statistics report Thursday was touted by Gov. Chris Christie.

Man Charged With Bias Crime Over Parking Spot Fight

UNION, N.J. – A trucker threatened his neighbors and used racial slurs after they complained about his parking a truck on two separate occasions on the sidewalk in front of their house, The Associated Press reported. Glenn Miller, 59, was arrested and charged.

Air Freshener Prompts Hazmat Scare at High School

VINELAND, N.J. – A pungent air freshener Wednesday morning caused a hazmat scare that prompted the evacuation of a Vineland high school, NJ.com reported. Police was dispatched after students complained of respiratory distress. A sweep determined it was patchouli oil.

Postal Worker Scammed $1.2M in Federal Benefits

BUFFALO – A U.S. Postal Service worker pleaded guilty Wednesday to scamming the federal government out of $1.2 million by falsely claiming to be disabled, The Associated Press reported. Richard Klaffka, 59, claimed he couldn’t walk or dress himself but was seen hiking and biking.