YWN Tri-State Area Morning News Roundup 5/29/08

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ywn logo8.jpg*Federal authorities in New York say they’ve charged seven people in a drug probe, including two Customs and Border Protection officers accused of taking bribes. The group allegedly imported hashish and other drugs and contraband into the United States through JFK Airport.

*Authorities say they arrested a contractor at the Indian Point nuclear power plant in New York for carrying a loaded .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun on site.

*The big Gambino crime family roundup from earlier this year seems to be turning into a plea bargain sale as some reputed mobsters admitted their guilt yesterday in Brooklyn in an effort to get good deals on prison time.

*New Jersey’s State Police superintendent has ordered an investigation into how troopers responded to reports of a plane crash in Ocean County. One couple says troopers did not take them seriously when they reported that they saw a small plane falling from the air on May 17. They reported the problem around 1 p.m., but the wreckage was not found for another three hours after a survivor called on his cell phone.

*(WNBC) New York City officials will no longer require that buildings inspectors be present when cranes are moved at construction sites. The Buildings Department on Wednesday amended an order it put out after a crane collapse in midtown Manhattan killed seven people on March 15.The department said it will still conduct unannounced inspections of sites. Also, contractors will have to notify the city and hold safety meetings before raising, lowering or lengthening a crane.

*Three deceased Metropolitan Transportation Authority board members still have free E-ZPass accounts, according to a report in the New York Daily News. The report said Robert Waldbauer died in November 2005 while Eben Pyne and Herbert Libert passed away last month, but an MTA spokesman last night said there has been no activity on the three accounts for at least two years. The MTA is considering putting an end to its practice of providing free travel perks – including subway, bus and commuter railroad passes – to former board members.

*A former Garfield municipal judge who was forced from the bench in the midst of a federal money-laundering investigation was found dead Wednesday night at his house, police said, according to a report in The Record of Bergen County.

*TRI-STATE WEATHER: Today and tomorrow will be gorgeous days with warm temperatures, low humidity, and spectacular sunshine, according to the National Weather Service. So enjoy the outdoors for now as the weekend will turn soggy.

*BALTIMORE ― There are renewed concerns over children, lead paint poisoning and how it could affect you in a dangerous way later in life. The study shows a link between lead exposure in early childhood and an increased risk for criminal behavior later in life.

*BALTIMORE ― With gas and electricity prices at an all-time high, people are finding they can make a little extra cash selling gold jewelry and other valuables.  Despite the tight economy, pawn shops are thriving.

*BALTIMORE – The Maryland Public Service Commission has approved the plan by Baltimore Gas and Electric to distribute rebates owed to customers under a recent agreement with the state. The rebates will cost $187 million. Under the plan, residential customers receiving service from BGE on Aug. 29 will receive a $170 credit on their next
month’s bill. BGE expects about 1.1 million households will get the credit. The rebates are part of a $2 billion settlement between the state and BGE’s parent company, Constellation Energy Group.

*BALTIMORE – The Baltimore Sun is reporting the Board of Estimates approved a four percent increase in water and sewer rates yesterday. That increase would amount to about 30 dollars a year for the average household. Customers in Howard, Anne Arundel, and Carroll Counties can expect to see an increase too since they rely on city water. City
officials have said federal and state mandated programs are calling for changes in the way fresh and waste water are handled.  Also, ordinary operating costs are going up.

*WASHINGTON – The number of D.C. police officers who were fired, reinstated, and possibly fired again has grown, according to a spokesperson for D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier. At a press conference last week, Lanier announced she was seeking to re-fire 17 officers who she said had “credibility issues” and may have been unable to perform
the full range of their duties, including testifying in court.

*WASHINGTON – America’s oldest aquarium has a new look, and you might not know it’s in an unlikely place in downtown D.C. The National Aquarium is inside the the U.S. Department of Commerce building on 14th Street between Pennsylvania and Constitution avenues in Northwest. The aquarium is “at the very end stage” of a makeover, with
new paint and carpet and impressive new displays, thanks to a partnership with the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

*Baltimore Shkia: 8:25 (21215 & 21209)

*Baltimore Weather: Today – Sunny. Highs in the mid 70s.
Tonight – Clear. Lows near 60 downtown…lower 50s across the suburbs.
Friday – Sunny. Highs in the lower 80s.
Friday Night – Mostly cloudy. Lows in the lower 60s.
NOTE: CHANCE OF SEVERE STORMS ON SHABBOS.

(YW-MD03 / YWN Desk)