Kingston, NY – A State Supreme Court judge has permanently banned New Paltz Mayor Jason West from marrying couples without a valid marriage license. In his decision, the judge says the mayor has neither the right nor the obligation to disobey a law he believes is unconstitutional. Attorneys who filed the suit against West say they will now file another one to have West removed from office. More from WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne.
Albany, NY – Faced with a 10 million-dollar deficit and the lowest credit rating of any town or city in New York State, the City of Schenectady has announced an agreement with Schenectady County that will save the city millions of dollars, but will cut 40 jobs from the city payroll. WAMC's Brian Shields reports.
Springfield, MA – High schools are graduating this time of year. But in order to graduate in Massachusetts, students first have to pass the MCAS test or they can't get a diploma. While passing rates are high and climbing throughout the state, there are several districts still pulling the average down. In Western Massachusetts, Springfield and Holyoke students are failing the exam at much higher rates than their peers in other parts of the state. WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief Kelly Wilkinson has this report.
Brattleboro, VT – A panel discussion with dairy industry experts was held during the recent Strolling of the Heifers festival in Brattleboro, Vermont. Panelists discussed options that would keep prices to dairy farmers stable, including developing a New England "brand" of milk. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.
Hudson Falls, NY – The Environmental Protection Agency has come out with so-called quality-of-life standards for the PCB cleanup project in and along the Upper Hudson River. These benchmarks are the agency's first for a superfund project, and must be incorporated into General Electric's design plans for the dredging. More from WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne.
Albany, NY – Former President Ronald Reagan, who died Saturday, will be laid to rest Friday after a state funeral in Washington D.C. . Reagans political style and legacy are being considered by his supporters and opponents. WAMC's Brian Shields reports.
Pittsfield, MA – This week in Pittsfield, officials from the Environmental Protection Agency gave a tour of the work being done in and along the Housatonic River to remove PCBs. The agency is in the process of deciding how much more of the river will be cleaned south of Pittsfield. On the tour were mostly members of environmental and citizen groups, who are pushing for the river to be cleaned all the way to Long Island Sound. Kelly Wilkinson has this report.
Plattsburgh, NY – Drilling wells is a often a cheaper, cleaner and less invasive method of getting municipal water. But in the Adirondack Park there's a problem - drilling could violate the "Forever Wild" clause of the New York State constitution. The Adirondack Council wants state legislators to begin work on a state constitutional amendment that would allow towns in the Adirondacks to tap into underground water sources. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.
Kingston, NY – Democratic New York Senator Hillary Clinton is part of a bi-partisan effort to allow National Guard and Reserve members access to a defense department health-insurance program. She says there is much opposition from the Bush Administration. Clinton and National Guard officials say such insurance would be a useful tool to bolster recruiting and retention efforts. WAMC's Allison Dunne has more.
Plattsburgh, NY – A new study indicates many Adirondack communities are not taking advantage of the Internet. As a result, they may be losing out on economic development opportunities. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.