Regional Briefs – July 3, 2019

New Jersey Confirms Its Earliest Ever West Nile Virus Case

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey health officials have confirmed the state’s first human case of the West Nile virus this year, the earliest it has ever been detected in state history.

They say a Hunterdon County man in his 70s began showing signs of meningitis on June 21 and was hospitalized for several days. They later confirmed he had contracted West Nile virus, which is spread by mosquitoes that have fed on an infected bird.

Officials say 61 people in New Jersey were infected by West Nile virus last year, marking the highest number of cases ever reported in the state.

Gov. Cuomo Touts Investments In State Parks

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is encouraging residents and visitors alike to see the results of new investments in state parks.

The Democrat visited Jones Beach State Park on Long Island on Tuesday and then went to Brooklyn to announce the opening of the new Shirley Chisholm State Park.

The state has invested $100 million at Jones Beach, now in its 90th year of operation. Cuomo took the inaugural ride on a new zip line during his visit Tuesday.

Medical Marijuana May Be More Accessible In New Jersey

FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey expanded its medical marijuana program, including increasing the number of illnesses eligible for cannabis use, boosting the amount that can be dispensed and raising the number of cultivator permits, under a broad new law.

Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, signed the Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act on Tuesday at a tavern in Freehold known for holding charitable fundraisers.

Canadian Motorcyclist Dies After Hitting Deer In New York

MOOERS, N.Y. (AP) — A Canadian motorcyclist has died after colliding with a deer in northern New York.

State police say 55-year-old Christian Martin of Saint-Louis De Bland, Quebec, was riding Monday morning on Route 11 in Mooers, a town near the Canadian border in Clinton County. He collided with a deer that entered the road around 11:30 a.m.

Audit Finds Big Cost Overruns For New NY Highway Rest Areas

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — An audit from Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has identified more than $12 million in overruns at new I Love NY highway rest areas.

The audit, first reported by USA TODAY Network’s Albany bureau, found the state Department of Transportation failed to properly plan for the facilities’ construction. In one instance, a sewer system was initially left off plans for a Long Island rest stop, leading to $7 million in overruns.