Regional Briefs – June 13, 2018

NYPD Giving Deaf Motorists Cards to Communicate

NEW YORK – The NYPD is distributing cards with symbols for common traffic violations like speeding and cellphone use to 11,590 deaf or hard-of-hearing drivers to improve communication in the event they’re pulled over, The Associated Press reported. The move resulted from a 2009 court settlement.

Audit Finds $1B in Fraudulent Medicaid Payments

ALBANY – A report Wednesday revealed massive Medicaid fraud, in which New York paid out $1.28 billion in premiums for people who already had private insurance, The Associated Press reported. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli blamed it on “glitches,” saying that most of the money is gone forever.

Chocolate Factory Ravaged By Sandy Reopens

QUEENS – A candy factory that was devastated by Superstorm Sandy finally reopened on Tuesday, WCBS reported. The Madelaine Chocolate Company was one Queens’ biggest employers before the storm. It reopened with a $20 million loan from the city.

Driver Who Dragged Officer Along Turns Himself In

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. – A man who grabbed a police officer’s tie and dragged him along while fleeing a traffic stop turned himself in Wednesday after a day on the lam, The Associated Press reported. Alan Fratello, 46, forced Det. Eric Tighelaar to run alongside the car before he freed himself.

Tiny Jellyfish With Painful Sting Found in River

TOMS RIVER, N.J. – People who frequent the Metedeconk River known for its fishing and kayaking are advised to watch out for a rare type of jellyfish with a powerful sting, The Associated Press reported. Clinging jellyfish are dime-sized and difficult to spot but their stings may result in hospitalization.

Zinc Mine Reopens With Hydropower Help From State

ALBANY – A zinc mine shut down in 2008 when the price of zinc fell is now reopening with a 4-megawatt power loan from a nearby dam, The Associated Press reported. Empire State Mines, covering 2,700 acres, employs 60 local residents.