New York News

This is a picture of cattle on a farm
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New York farmworkers are hoping a legal challenge might tip the scales in their favor after years of protesting a state law that prevents them from unionizing.

Single payer supporters at the New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

Faith leaders from around New York came to the Capitol Tuesday to gain support in the state senate to adopt a statewide single payer health care system. It would be an alternative to the national Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, which Republicans in Congress and President Trump have been trying to dismantle.

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In the wake of the terrorist attack on Manchester, New York City Police have stepped up counter-terrorism efforts around Madison Square Garden and other high-profile locations. Authorities closer to home are also on heightened alert.

Elvert Barnes/Flcikr

The New York Police Department says it has tightened security at high-profile locations "out of an abundance of caution" following the deadly explosion in Manchester, England.

Penn Station
Hunter Desportes | Flickr

Some New York state lawmakers want to withhold millions of dollars of funding from Penn Station until Amtrak resolves chronic commuter train delays. 

Legislation in the Senate would direct the Long Island Rail Road and Metropolitan Transportation Authority to cease regular payments for Penn Station for the rest of the year until 95 percent of the trains using the station are on time.

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Six Democratic state attorneys general including New York's are asking federal regulators to place new restrictions on crude oil trains that pass through their states.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says these trains can carry crude oil through densely populated areas such as downtown Albany without any limit on explosiveness or flammability.

Adirondack Park sign
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York is adding almost 300 acres of land to Adirondack Park to settle more than a century of differences between the state and a group of townspeople.

The Capitol
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

After an embarrassing controversy over stipend payments, the beleaguered group of breakaway Democrats in the state Senate are trying to change the subject.

 

Lawmakers in New York are debating whether to add electronic cigarettes to the state's ban on smoking in public areas like workplaces, bars and restaurants.

The state Assembly already has endorsed the idea.

Uber
Flickr

 

New York's Assembly minority leader is urging the body to accelerate authorization of ride-hailing services in upstate communities.

Republican Brian Kolb says he hopes the Assembly will quickly consider legislation that will permit ride-hailing apps to begin services north of New York City in time for the busy July Fourth weekend.

Penn Station
Hunter Desportes | Flickr

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling on President Donald Trump for federal help at Penn Station, saying the impact of its disrepair is at "a tipping point."

https://www.flickr.com/photos/aphrodite-in-nyc / Wikipedia

Oprah Winfrey was among the honored guests at Skidmore College’s 2017 Commencement on Saturday.

Speaking to graduates after accepting an honorary doctorate, the global media star asked the audience at Saratoga Performing Arts Center to “challenge their spiritual muscle” and live gratefully.

The first of a dozen massive fermentation tanks destined for a Rochester brewery has started its westward journey aboard a barge on the Erie Canal.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

More than 30,000 utility customers in eastern New York lost electricity after severe thunderstorms packing high winds knocked down trees and power lines across the region.

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Throughout Friday and Saturday, students, scientists, state and local officials, and area residents are exploring the ins and outs of the PFOA contamination of water supplies in Hoosick Falls, New York, and Bennington, Vermont.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul in Waterford at the Erie Canal, May 2017
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

This morning, the New York State Canal Corporation began celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Erie Canal's groundbreaking. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul officially opened the canal's 2017 season.

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

There are reports that New York state Senators who received payments for chairing committees that they in fact did not lead are now under a probe by the State Attorney General and at least one U.S Attorney.

Photo provided / Witt Construction, Inc.

Neighbors of a proposed development project on Saratoga Lake have environmental concerns. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports the local municipality is taking steps to prevent clear-cutting.

After voting Tuesday, it appears 2017 was a great year for the passage of school budgets, according to preliminary reports by New York State United Teachers and the New York State School Boards Association.

Former State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos
Karen DeWitt

Federal appeals court judges don't seem eager to embrace the arguments of lawyers seeking a new trial for Republican former New York Senate leader Dean Skelos.

School budgets were up for votes in communities around New York state this week, with a vast majority of spending plans being passed by voters.  The New York State School Boards Association says  just five of the 676 budgets proposed by school boards around the state on Tuesday were defeated.

A protestor From Buffalo displays an antti-Carl Paladino poster May 17, 2017 on the steps to the State Education Building In Albany.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Activists from Western New York demonstrated Wednesday at the New York State Education Department building in Albany. The group had hoped to confront the State Education Commissioner to demand Carl Paladino be kicked off the Buffalo Board of Education.  But MaryEllen Elia was out of town.

New York State Office of General Services

In July 2014, the prison atop Mount McGregor in Saratoga County closed after nearly four decades in operation. Now, the state of New York is looking to sell the property. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports a request for proposals expires at the end of the month.

Alexander Torrenegra/Wikimedia Commons

Uber and Lyft may be coming to upstate New York in time for the 4th of July.

A new audit from New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is blasting Gov. Andrew Cuomo's economic development agency for failing to meet more than half of the reporting requirements for its highly touted tax credit and job creation programs.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

As law enforcement adapts to the growing heroin and addiction crisis, members of local communities are finding new ways to help those in recovery get back on their feet. One group based in upstate New York is distributing bicycles to help people get to work or to meetings and restore a sense of independence.

 

West Point cadets are starting their annual summer training exercises.

The U.S. Military Academy says residents near the Hudson Valley installation can expect to occasionally hear the likes of helicopters and artillery fire now through mid-August.

 

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a panel of judges will decide New York's favorite craft beer with a blind taste test.

The final tasting of the Taste NY Inaugural Craft Beer Challenge is set for Wednesday in New York City.

IDC's Klein Defends Stipend Practice

May 16, 2017
Sen. Jeff Klein
Karen DeWitt

Speaking Tuesday in Albany, New York Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Senator Jeff Klein for the first time publicly answered questions from the media about news stories that some of his members received stipends for committee chair positions that they do not actually hold.  Klein defended the practice, while the leader of the Senate Democrats is calling for an investigation.

New York state is moving to restrict the ability of auto insurers to use a customer's job or education to set premiums.

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