Regional Briefs – January 31, 2019

Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing Nearly $1M Sandy Funds

TOMS RIVER, N.J. – A contractor pleaded guilty to stealing $975,000 in Sandy funds, The Associated Press reported. Robert Brower, 45, took money from a homeowner for work never completed and obtained a federal grant for a home he never repaired.

Building Was Spilling Sewage Into Hudson for 100 Years

ALBANY – A century of toilet flushes have been draining into the Hudson River from a historic building in Albany because of a plumbing mistake just discovered, the Times-Union reported. The five-story Argus building was never hooked into the sewer system when the city installed new lines in 1913.

NY Mental Health Urges Caution On Legalized Marijuana

ALBANY – The Mental Health Association of New York State is urging lawmakers to proceed cautiously as they consider legalizing recreational marijuana, The Associated Press reported. The organization said it leads to addiction and a permanent impact on the brains of young people.

$7.5M Funds Available for City Streetlight Upgrades

ALBANY – Municipalities are eligible for $7.5 million in state funding to install smart street lights. Smart Street Lighting NY aims to replace at least 500,000 street lights with LED by 2025. Municipalities can apply for up to $500,000, while larger cities can get $2.5 million.