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Texas Gov. Perry challenges Cuomo on business

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry is countering Gov. Andrew Cuomo's latest initiative to lure businesses from out of state with a renewed bid to snag jobs from New York, a tactic he's tried from coast to coast.

Perry, a Republican, is slated to be in New York City on Wednesday to meet business owners to convince them to move their operations to Texas, where he says the business climate is friendlier.

Perry would not detail how many business meetings he has or with whom.

Cuomo's Start-Up NY program, which allows businesses that locate near college campuses to operate tax-free for 10 years, has had commercials playing in Texas.

Perry made a similar trip to New York last June.


Caesars enters New York casino competition

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Caesars Entertainment is vying to build a casino 50 miles north of New York City.

A Caesars spokesman said Tuesday the Las Vegas-based company has submitted a $1 million casino license application fee for a proposed $750 million complex in Woodbury.

Wednesday is the deadline to pay the application fee for groups contending to open one of four planned upstate casinos.

A state constitutional amendment passed last year authorizes casinos in the Albany-Saratoga area, the Catskills and the Southern Tier. Selections will be made this fall.

The owners of Traditions Resort and Conference Center submitted an application fee for their Southern Tier proposal. Others paying the fee include two entries from the Catskills: Empire Resorts and a group proposing a casino at the site of an old Nevele (NEH'-vuh-lee) resort.


New York AG seeks Airbnb's NYC sublet information

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The attorney for Airbnb is urging a judge to reject a subpoena for information about everyone using the global website to rent apartments or sublets in New York City, calling it "a fishing expedition."

Attorney Roberta Kaplan says the subpoena filed last year by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is overbroad and certain to snare private information about thousands people who haven't broken any laws.

Countering Tuesday in court, Executive Deputy Attorney General Karla Sanchez says many listings on the Airbnb website are for unoccupied apartments for less than 30 days that violate the state law against illegal hotels.

Acting State Supreme Court Justice Gerald Connolly, after questioning both lawyers and refusing to accept any late evidence, didn't immediately rule from the bench.


5 former Buffalo Bills cheerleaders sue over pay

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Five former Buffalo Bills cheerleaders are suing the team, saying they weren't paid for their time at games or mandatory public appearances that left them open to groping and sexual comments.

The lawsuit is the third filed this year against a National Football League team by its cheerleaders. The Oakland Raiders and Cincinnati Bengals also have pending wage battles.

Two members of the Buffalo Jills squad held a news conference Tuesday with their attorney, Frank Dolce (DOHL'-chay). They say they were wrongly classified as independent contractors by Stejon Productions, which manages the Jills and failed to pay them for hundreds of hours of work.

Their lawsuit seeks back pay and "other damages as allowed by law."

A Bills spokesman says the team doesn't comment on pending litigation. Stejon Productions hasn't responded to a request for comment.


NY hospital warns after e-cigarette fire, injury

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - A New York hospital is reinforcing its ban on electronic cigarettes after a patient on oxygen was burned by a fire that erupted while she was puffing on one of the devices.

Syracuse Fire Department investigator Joe Galloway tells The Post-Standard the exact cause of last month's fire at St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center has not yet been determined. But he says the patient had a battery-powered e-cigarette, which uses a heating element to vaporize nicotine.

Hospital officials have not identified the patient. They say she suffered first- and second-degree burns across her face, but is home and doing well.

Since the fire, St. Joseph's officials have reminded patients they aren't allowed to use e-cigarettes. The hospital also prohibits tobacco use on its campus.


1 hurt in shooting at Bennington Police Department

BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) - Vermont State Police say one person has been injured during a shooting in the lobby of the Bennington Police Department but that no officers have been wounded.

Spokeswoman Stephanie Dasaro says the person who suffered a gunshot wound during the incident around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday has been taken by helicopter to a hospital in Albany, N.Y. The condition was not immediately known.

The names of the injured person and the officer involved were not disclosed.

State police are investigating the shooting.


Fire companies in NY seek volunteers

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Fire departments from around New York state are opening their doors this weekend as they look for new volunteer members.

The open houses on Saturday and Sunday are part of the fourth annual Recruit-New York campaign. The Firemen's Association of the State of New York says fire companies need more volunteers since membership has fallen off in recent years.

Association president James A. Burns says the open houses have helped in the past. Last year, nearly 600 departments in 59 counties across the state participated.

Participating departments gives tours of their firehouses, allow visitors to try on turnout gear and talk about volunteering.

Firefighter groups plan a kickoff news conference Wednesday at the Halfmoon Fire Department near Albany.


Cuomo announces parks that receive $90 million

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo says $90 million is going to repair and improve several parks and historic sites.

On Tuesday Cuomo announced that he is advancing 69 projects to improve 53 state parks and historic centers as part of a $90 million commitment in the state budget enacted earlier this month.

Jones Beach State Park on Long Island will be given $10 million as part of a multi-year $65 million revitalization program. Robert Moses State Park also in Long Island will be getting a cumulative $8.33 million for two projects.

Niagara Falls will receive $9 million to continue a $50 million revitalization initiative.

The full list of recipients can be found on Cuomo's website at .


NY canal system scheduled to open May 3

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York officials say the State Canal System is scheduled to open for the season at 7 a.m. Saturday, provided conditions permit it.

Initial hours of operation for the statewide system of waterways are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. through May 21.

From May 22 to Sept. 10 the hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., returning to the earlier schedule after that until Nov. 19.

Various locks and lift bridges will operate on demand during schedules posted by canal officials.


E-filing saving big bucks for NY tax dept.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Electronic filing of tax returns in New York is saving a lot of trees.

New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Thomas Mattox says e-filing saves 160 million sheets of paper a year. Of the 23.7 million tax returns processed each year by the department, about 70 percent are filed electronically.

In terms of income taxes, more than 91 percent of New York taxpayers e-filed this year. That's up from 88 percent last year and just 28 percent a decade ago. The department also reduced its own paper consumption 37 percent over three years.

Mattox says e-filing saves New Yorkers more than $1 million annually in paper costs alone, and he calls that just a fraction of the savings when processing and storage costs are considered.


6 NY communities certified 'Climate Smart'

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The cities of Albany and Kingston are among the first six municipalities to achieve certification under the state's Climate Smart program, which is designed to support efforts to meet the challenges posed by climate change.

The other winners announced Tuesday were Orange County, the city of Watervliet (water-VLEET) in Albany County, and Cortlandt and Dobbs Ferry in Westchester County.

Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said the Climate Smart program helps communities increase energy efficiency, promote recycling, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and become more resilient against storms and flooding.

The program coordinators are funded by proceeds from the sale of Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative carbon dioxide emissions allowances.

To date, 130 local governments have pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, prepare for climate change and encourage a green innovation economy.

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

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