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NY board to weigh rules for workers who get tips

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York plans to hold public hearings on regulations governing service workers who get tips and have base pay lower than the state's hourly minimum wage.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has directed labor officials to convene a Wage Board to recommend changes in light of statutory increases in the minimum pay for other workers to $8 this year, $8.75 next year and $9 in 2015.

Tipped workers are paid a required base rate, currently $5 an hour for food service, assuming tips equal at least $3 an hour.

The board includes Heather Briccetti of the state Business Council, Peter Ward of the Hotel Trades Council and Timothy Grippen, retired Broome County executive.

After board recommendations, Labor Commissioner Peter Rivera is expected to issue a final decision by February.


Police officer rescues toddler from Erie Canal

WATERLOO, N.Y. (AP) - A police officer is being credited with rescuing a 3-year-old boy from the Erie Canal in central New York.

Police in the Seneca County village of Waterloo tell local media that they were called to a home Wednesday afternoon by a neighbor who noticed the 3-year-old and his 4-year-old brother unattended in her backyard.

When officers arrived, the boys' father had caught up with his 4-year-old son but the younger boy was nowhere to be seen.

Officer Matthew Scaglione found the 3-year-old floating in the nearby canal. Scaglione jumped in and rescued the child, who was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. He remains hospitalized Thursday but police say he's recovering.

Police say the boys had climbed out a window.

The boys' parents were charged with endangering the welfare of a child.


Parolee arrested after standoff in rural town

COBLESKILL, N.Y. (AP) - Authorities say a Syracuse-area parolee is back in jail after he kept two women from leaving an upstate New York home and started a police standoff that lasted nearly five hours.

State police say Schoharie County 911 dispatchers received a call around 3:15 a.m. Wednesday reporting a fugitive in a house in Cobleskill. The caller eventually provided the home's address, and troopers and sheriff's deputies arrived on the scene.

Shortly before 8 a.m., police negotiators made contact with a woman inside the house. Three people then exited the home: a 28-year-old Cobleskill woman, a 34-year-old Salina woman, and 33-year-old Sean Hill of Mattydale.

Hill was charged with criminal obstruction of breathing, unlawful imprisonment and parole violation. It couldn't be determined if he has a lawyer.

Hill served prison time for attempted burglary.


Crew breaks natural gas line, street evacuated

TONAWANDA, N.Y. (AP) - Authorities have evacuated a Buffalo-area neighborhood after a construction grew ruptured a natural gas line.

Police in the town of Tonawanda say the line was broken around 10 a.m. on Vulcan Street, on the Tonawanda-Buffalo border. Officials say Vulcan Street is closed to traffic as crews respond to a major natural gas leak.

Businesses and other buildings have been evacuated.

Tonawanda volunteer fire companies have responded to the scene.


Ailing firefighter gets 340 T-shirts from comrades

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - A Buffalo-area volunteer firefighter battling leukemia won't have to buy T-shirts any time soon.

WGRZ-TV reports that Dave Blank of the North Boston Volunteer Fire Company was at Buffalo's Roswell Park Cancer Center earlier this month when he told a nurse he wanted to wear T-Shirts from other firefighter organizations to help him get through his chemotherapy treatments.

The nurse also happens to be a volunteer firefighter. She mentioned the idea to her fire chief, who spread the word among other suburban Buffalo fire companies. The T-shirt donation request hit social media, and now Blank has about 340 fire company T-shirts.

The shirts and other firefighter paraphernalia have been sent from as far away as Alaska and Hawaii.

Blank says he gets a boost from knowing so many people are rooting for him.


Rochester marks 50th anniversary of race riots

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) - Public officials and community leaders in Rochester are marking the 50th anniversary of race riots that drew national attention to the upstate city.

A special ceremony was held Wednesday night at High Falls on the Genesee River, and Mayor Lovely Warren has designated the next two days "Days of Remembrance and Re-Commitment."

Racial tensions were already high in Rochester when the riots started 50 years ago Thursday after police arrested a 19-year-old black man during a street party. The violence lasted for three days and two nights and resulted in hundreds of arrests and millions of dollars in damage.

Five people died during the unrest, four of them from the crash of a helicopter that was surveying the damage.

Rochester's riots came a week after riots erupted in Harlem.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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