WINTER STORM-UPSTATE NY
Winter storm warning issued for much of upstate NY
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for much of upstate New York ahead of a system that's expected to dump up to two feet of snow on some areas.
The warnings are in effect starting early Wednesday morning and continuing through Thursday morning from western New York to the Mohawk Valley, and from Wednesday morning through Thursday night across the Adirondacks.
Forecasters say snowfall totals are expected to range from 14 to 18 inches in the Buffalo area and north-central New York, with winds gusting to 45 mph later Wednesday. Areas along Lake Ontario, including Rochester, could get 18 to 24 inches.
Albany and areas farther south in the Hudson Valley and Catskills are expected to get a mix of snow, rain and freezing rain.
BOARD OF REGENTS VOTE
New Board of Regent member elected by Legislature
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Josephine Victoria Finn, a Monticello village justice and former community college associate professor, is replacing former Board of Regent member James Jackson who withdrew his bid for re-election.
The joint Legislature on Tuesday overwhelmingly supported Finn, who needed a majority vote of 107 from both the Assembly and the Senate. The Assembly Democrats typically control the vote but because of vacant seats only had 99 votes.
The state education policy-setting Board of Regents has been under fire by parents, educators and lawmakers for the poor rollout of the Common Core, a new tougher testing standard.
At-large members Wade Norwood and James Cottrell, who represent the entire state, and Christine Cea, who represents Staten Island, were re-elected.
NY teacher dissents from Cuomo's Common Core panel
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A western New York teacher who served on the panel created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to look into Common Core standards says its recommendations are flawed.
East Aurora High School teacher Todd Hathaway released a prepared statement Tuesday that said the panel did not comprehensively examine Common Core's failure to address student testing and teacher evaluation issues. Teachers unions have been among critics of the new standards' rollout in New York.
The 11-member panel on Monday recommended banning standardized tests for the youngest students and capping the amount of instructional time that can be used for test prep.
Hathaway said that though the report was issued with his name attached, the Cuomo administration ignored his concerns.
Cuomo told public radio's "Capitol Pressroom" Tuesday he never expected total consensus.
NEW YORK BUDGET
NY Assembly favors property tax 'circuit breaker'
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The leader of the Democrat-led state Assembly says their budget proposal will include a property tax "circuit breaker" instead of the rebate program sought by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Speaker Sheldon Silver made the comment to reporters Tuesday as the Assembly and the state Senate prepared separate budget resolutions staking out their positions on the fiscal plan due April 1. Leaders of the two houses are negotiating with Cuomo on a final plan this month.
Cuomo's budget plan to freeze property taxes through rebates to homeowners in jurisdictions that meet spending and shared services goals is unpopular with many state lawmakers and the local officials they represent.
The Assembly is expected to instead propose expanding a "circuit breaker" that takes into account property tax burdens relative to homeowner income.
ONEIDA INDIAN AGREEMENT
Cuomo: 1st $11M payment made in Oneida Nation deal
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The Oneida Indians have made their first payment of $11 million under a deal with the state that guarantees the tribe exclusive territory for their central New York casino.
A federal judge last week approved the deal reached with the Cuomo administration last May. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says Tuesday the payment was made to Madison County and more money is forthcoming.
The deal assures the Oneidas that no competing casino will be located near their Turning Stone casino in Verona in neighboring Oneida County. In return, the tribe will give to the government 25 percent of the casino's net revenue from slot machines, expected to be around $50 million annually.
The deal helped pave the way for Cuomo to shepherd expanded casino gambling in New York and settled longstanding tribal tax and land claim issues.
NY college students charged after dog's beer photo
BROCKPORT, N.Y. (AP) - Authorities say two students at a New York state college were charged with animal abuse after a dog was held upside down over a keg and forced to drink beer.
Police say one of the College at Brockport students held the black Labrador retriever over a keg and apparently forced the animal to drink from the tap during an off-campus party Saturday at a house in the village, located 17 miles west of Rochester.
Another student took a photo and posted it on a Twitter account featuring stories and pictures from parties thrown by students enrolled at state colleges in New York.
The two men, both 20, were charged with torturing and injuring an animal. They were issued appearance tickets for town court.
The dog was taken by the local dog warden.
NY nuclear plant shut down again after restart
SCRIBA, N.Y. (AP) - A nuclear power plant on Lake Ontario in central New York is shut down again after being brought back online following a six-day outage caused by a problem with an off-site power supply.
Constellation Energy Nuclear Group, owner of Nine Mile Point Unit 2 in Scriba (SKREYE'-buh), tells The Post-Standard of Syracuse that the plant automatically shut down at 4:30 p.m. Monday after a worker inadvertently contacted a highly sensitive plant component. The worker wasn't hurt.
The company says the contact set off an automatic shutdown of the plant. The shutdown doesn't present a risk to public safety.
The shutdown isn't related to the one that occurred last Tuesday after the loss of off-site power to the plant's control and alarm electrical circuits. The plant had returned to service on Sunday.
DUAL DWI-SAME PLACE
NY man charged twice with DWI for 2 accidents
ONEONTA, N.Y. (AP) - State police say they twice charged a 31-year-old man with driving while intoxicated for accidents that occurred just hours apart at the same upstate New York fast-food restaurant.
Troopers say Zachary Boynton of Oneonta drove his car into the back of a vehicle ahead of him in the McDonald's drive-thru around 1 a.m. Sunday.
Boynton was charged with DWI after troopers say his blood-alcohol content was .25 percent, more than three times the legal limit of .08 percent. Police say he was released to a sober third party, who took him home.
Troopers say Boynton later left home, walked back to the same McDonald's and struck the building while driving away around 5 a.m. He was arrested again and charged with a second DWI. It couldn't be determine if he has a lawyer.
Brad Paisley kicking off New York State Fair
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Grammy Award-winning country singer Brad Paisley is kicking off the Grandstand concert series at the New York State Fair on August 21.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says tickets go on sale March 29 at 9 a.m. and cost $45 to $65 through the fair's online ticket seller, Etix.com. Members of Paisley's fan club can purchase standing-area tickets for $85 starting March 19.
Paisley has won three Grammys and 14 Academy of Country Music Awards, including Entertainer of the Year. Opening for him will be singer/songwriter Randy Houser.
Paisley performed at the fair for the first time in 2000.
The fair runs from Aug. 21 through Sept. 1 at the fairgrounds in Syracuse.
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