The volunteer fire service is at a serious crossroads. Current membership is at its lowest point in nearly two decades, and further erosion could have dire consequences.
What the general public may not realize is the fire companies protecting their communities are often staffed exclusively by volunteers. When an emergency breaks out, these volunteers leave their homes and offices to respond, not the local firehouse, as paid firefighters do.
The Times Union looked at one of the region's more dangerous roads for pedestrians in its story Sunday, "Toll: 8 dead, 300 injured." Now the Times Union and WAMC Northeast Public Radio will present a public forum to address the issue of pedestrian safety in the Capital Region. The public is invited to the program at 2 p.m., April 17 at the Linda, WAMC's Performing Arts Studio, which will consist of a panel discussion moderated by Alan Chartock, WAMC's president and CEO.
NYS Education Commissioner John King released a statement Friday lamenting the mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut. King said, “Our schools are meant to be safe havens where children can learn, free from fear and violence.”
What happened on Friday reminded many of us of another tragic school shooting at Columbine High School on April 20th, 1999. That is the day seniors Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students and one teacher, as well as injuring 24 others.
Sandy Hook Elementary School perhaps did everything right. Its staff and teachers worked every day to create a climate that valued kindness and posted the plan for all to see. They had lockedown drills that trained everyone to stay low and quiet in the event of an emergency. A security system introduced this year required visitors to ring a bell, sign-in and produce a photo ID. After 9:30 a.m., the doors were locked.
And now it's the home of the one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history, twenty children dead and eight adults, including the shooter.
The Massachusetts Highway Safety Division director has lost her job after a newspaper reported that her driving record included seven accidents, four speeding violations and one failure to wear a seat belt.
Secretary of Public Safety and Security Mary Elizabeth Heffernan tells the Boston Globe that Sheila Burgess will be assigned to a "different role" within the department. Burgess has been on medical leave since she suffered a head injury in an August crash.
New York conservation officials have updated the advice they give people about the safety of eating fish from the state's waterways.
Among this year's changes is the addition of the Lewiston Reservoir in Niagara County and part of the Beaver River in Lewis County to the advisory list. And there are changes in the fish species included in advisories for four Adirondack waters: Fall Lake in Hamilton County; Francis Lake in Lewis County; Schroon Lake in Warren and Essex counties; and Cumberland Bay on Lake Champlain.