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TEACHER EVALUATIONS

New York releases teacher evaluation data

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - The results of New York state's mandatory teacher evaluations are in.

Data released by the Education Department Thursday shows that 94 percent of teachers earned a rating of effective or highly effective for the 2012-13 school year.

The results give 5 percent a rating of "developing," while 1 percent of teachers were labeled ineffective.

The data doesn't contain teacher names and excludes New York City teachers because evaluations didn't start there until the following year.

The data expands on preliminary results released in October. It enables those interested to look up the effectiveness of teachers and principals in specific districts or schools. Parents can get their child's teacher's rating from the district.

State law requires that scores be based on a combination of measures, including growth on standardized tests.

LT GOVERNOR-NEW YORK-ENDORSEMENT

NY Times endorses Wu over Cuomo running mate

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The New York Times has endorsed Tim Wu for New York lieutenant governor over Kathy Hochul (HOH'-kuhl), delivering another snub to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's re-election campaign.

In an endorsement published online Wednesday night, the newspaper's editorial board said Wu offers a "fresh perspective and a new voice." The Columbia University law professor is running alongside liberal gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout.

The endorsement highlights concerns some liberals have with Cuomo and his running mate Hochul, a former Buffalo-area congresswoman.

The editorial questioned Hochul's record on the environment, health care and gun control, saying she's changed her views based on political pragmatism.

Hochul released a video Thursday defending her support for "core Democratic values."

The Times announced Tuesday it wouldn't endorse Teachout or Cuomo with an editorial that nonetheless sharply criticized Cuomo.

BULLETPROOF VESTS

New York police get $60K for new bulletproof vests

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Police departments in New York state have received another $60,000 for bulletproof vests from the state attorney general's office as they face a reduction in federal funds for the equipment.

The money will help departments in Binghamton, Watkins Glen and 12 other law enforcement agencies in the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier purchase about 175 of the vests.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the funding on Thursday. An additional $2.6 million in funding for vests has already been announced.

The money comes from civil and criminal forfeitures and is intended to make up for a reduction in federal funding for vests.

Authorities say 71 officers in New York have been fatally shot in the line of duty since 1984.

EBOLA-COLLEGE STUDENTS

Ebola in mind, US colleges screen some students

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - College students from West Africa can expect extra health screenings when they arrive to study in the United States. They're part of plans administrators have made as they try to insulate campuses from the worst Ebola outbreak in history.

With the virus continuing to kill, the expected arrival of as many as 10,000 students from impacted countries has U.S. authorities on alert, but cautioning against alarm.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued no specific recommendations for colleges, but many are using CDC guidance in drafting precautionary plans. The University of Illinois and Liberty University in Virginia are among those checking the temperatures of students arriving from impacted countries.

They stress that the illness spreads only through bodily fluids, and not by sitting next to someone in class.

DOG KILLED-ARROW

NJ man convicted of cruelty; killed dog with arrow

KINGSTON, N.Y. (AP) - A 39-year-old New Jersey man has been found guilty of animal cruelty for killing an Ulster County family's dog with a bow and arrow while he was deer hunting.

The Kingston Daily Freeman reports that David Moors of Beachwood, N.J., was found guilty Thursday in a non-jury trial of felony aggravated cruelty to animals. He faces a maximum sentence of up to two years in Ulster County Jail. Sentencing is Oct. 30.

County Judge Donald Williams called the killing "reprehensible" and without justification.

The shepherd-terrier mix named Clara was killed in October 2013.

Moors said he believed the dog was feral and he had a right to kill it.

Julie Palinkas, Clara's owner, said the dog was outside for less than nine minutes when she was killed.

PEACE BRIDGE-AIR STUDY

NY launches yearlong air study at Peace Bridge

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - The state Department of Environmental Conservation has launched a yearlong study of air quality in the neighborhood near the Peace Bridge in Buffalo.

The study will monitor seasonal changes in air quality associated in traffic patterns around the bridge.

Local resident Kathleen Mecca tells the Buffalo News that another study isn't needed. She says there's already scientific proof the air is unsafe.

Mecca, president of the Niagara Gateway Columbus Park Association, says residents want trucks moved off the bridge to alleviate the air problem.

DEC performed a six-month air monitoring study near the Peace Bridge in 2012 and 2013 that focused on particulate matter and black carbon and found the air quality met state and federal standards. Environmental groups criticized that study.

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

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