Regional Briefs – May 17, 2018

Candle Lit During Storm Causes Fatal Fire

WALDWICK, N.J. – An unattended candle lit during a blackout caused by powerful thunderstorms that battered New Jersey late Tuesday started a house fire that killed an elderly woman, NJ.com reported. Valentina Turley, 83, died in the blaze that consumed her home.

NY Declares End to Influenza Epidemic in State

ALBANY – For the first time in five months influenza is no longer prevalent in New York, Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said Thursday as one of the worst flu seasons in years winds down, The Associated Press reported. There were 128,000 cases reported, with 23,000 hospitalized and six deaths.

NY State Public Pension Fund Nearing $207 Billion

ALBANY – New York state’s public pension fund is nearing $207 billion thanks to the “Trump Bump” in the stock market, The Associated Press reported. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said Thursday the nation’s third-largest public pension fund earned an 11.3 percent return.

Report Estimates Aging Prison Population to Cost NY

ALBANY – New York’s rapidly aging prison population is putting pressure on its healthcare systems, The Associated Press reported. An Osborne Association report Thursday found that in the last decade, the number of inmates over 50 has increased by 46 percent.

Man Assaulted Twice in 1 Morning in Separate Crimes

CLIFTON, N.J. – A man was victimized twice in one morning, The Record reported. The 50-year-old was walking early Sunday when an armed robber took his wallet. The victim filed a police report then was searching the area, hoping the criminal had discarded it, when he was beaten by three men.

NJ American Water Company Hiking Rates by 12 Percent

TRENTON – New Jersey’s largest water company will increase its monthly rates by 12 percent starting next month, The Associated Press reported. New Jersey American Water says it amounts to about $6 more for water and $4 for wastewater. If the state rejects the increase it’ll refund customers.