New York News

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.

Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Voters are deciding on school budgets across New York today.

flickr

A lawyer for the New York Senate says paying leadership stipends to state lawmakers who don't hold the positions is constitutional.

Calls For Investigation Of Albany's "Lulu" Scandal

May 15, 2017
Senator Jose Peralta speaking in Albany on Monday, (at a press conference to increase speed cameras near schools)
Karen DeWitt

There are calls for a criminal investigation of some questionable stipend payments to some New York State Senators. One of the Senators who received those payments is giving it back, while another is calling the whole controversy a  “witch hunt.” 

NYS DEC

New York state is expanding its fight against an invasive beetle. 

The emerald ash borer has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees in North America, including many trees in upstate New York.

Matthew Trump

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is revising the state budget proposal he unveiled in February to address a now-larger projected deficit.

Alexander Torrenegra/Wikimedia Commons

A proposal before state lawmakers would allow Uber and Lyft to start service in upstate New York in time for the Fourth of July holiday.

The Village of Hoosick Falls has received a financial boost to help cover costs related to its response to the chemical contamination of its water supplies. Meanwhile, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation says work is continuing on finding the village a source of clean drinking water.

Advocates talk to lawmakers about very personal stories about death and dying.
Compassion & Choices / Facebook

Supporters from across New York gathered in Albany this week to ask lawmakers to pass the Medical Aid in Dying Act, which would authorize doctors to prescribe lethal medication to terminally ill adults wishing to end their lives. 

Saint-Gobain's plant in Hoosick Falls, NY
Lucas Willard

Marking 500 days of water contamination in Hoosick Falls, residents gathered at the state capitol on Thursday to pressure state leaders to find a new, uncontaminated source.

Wikimedia Commons/Alan Turkus

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are calling for a private operator to take over New York's troubled Penn Station, the nation's busiest rail station. 

School districts across New York state are holding votes on their budgets Tuesday, May 16th.  The vast majority are keeping their spending requests within the mandatory tax cap, but schools wonder whether the tax cap, over the long term, is sustainable.

A beloved Capital Region bakery that closed last year, taking its Italian bread and rolls off supermarket shelves, is back in business.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen, a Democrat who is serving her second two-year term, is hinting at a run for a third. WAMC’s Lucas Willard reports a challenger has already entered the race.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Flyers promoting a white supremacist group were found this week on parked cars in Saratoga Springs, where recent instances of hate speech are set to be discussed at a public meeting later this month.

Lake George, the site of a fatal boat collision last summer.
Lucas Willard

The Lake George Park Commission has released new materials aimed at making the lake a safer place for boaters and visitors this summer.

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