Skip Navigation
r e g i o n a l   n e w s
on:

NCPR is supported by:

This is a Visitor-Supported website.

NCPR News Staff: Karen DeWitt

NYS Capitol Correspondent
Karen DeWitt has covered state government and politics at the New York State Capitol for public radio for ten years. Before that she worked at WINS, New York. She has also written for numerous publications, including Adirondack Life, Empire State Report, and Metroland. E-mail

Stories filed by Karen DeWitt

Show             
Damage from Tropical Storm Irene in Keene, NY. NCPR file photo: Susan Waters
Damage from Tropical Storm Irene in Keene, NY. NCPR file photo: Susan Waters

Big storms coming? NYS has a plan (or several)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo gathered local leaders from around the state to talk about reaction to past storms, and to plan for the next ones.

Cuomo invited government leaders from Long Island, the North Country, Central New York and other locales who experienced damage from Hurricanes Irene, Lee and Sandy. They gathered to praise their past efforts to react to the storms, and to report on steps they are taking to prepare for future disastrous weather events.  Go to full article
Gov. Andrew Cuomo in July, 2013, announcing the formation of the "Commission to Investigate Public Corruption" under the Moreland Act. Photo: Gov. Cuomo's office via <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/9194313964/in/set-72157634442666751">Flickr</a>
Gov. Andrew Cuomo in July, 2013, announcing the formation of the "Commission to Investigate Public Corruption" under the Moreland Act. Photo: Gov. Cuomo's office via Flickr

NYS corruption commission shouldn't have ended, say polled voters

A new poll finds that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is still feeling the fallout from the demise of his Moreland Commission, a panel that was investigating corruption in the legislature. Cuomo disbanded the commission as part of the state budget deal.

The Siena poll finds Cuomo's decision to end the Moreland Commission in the midst of a corruption probe doesn't sit well with voters. Since the budget was settled, US Attorney Preet Bharara has said he'll continue with the investigations, and has asked for and received all of the paperwork on the probes.  Go to full article
Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Karen DeWitt
Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Karen DeWitt

Poll shows Cuomo vulnerable on the left

A new poll finds Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a double-digit lead against his Republican opponent for the fall elections. But the survey finds that ratio changes if a progressive third party candidate emerges.

The Siena poll finds Cuomo leads GOP candidate Rob Astorino by 30 points. But fewer than half think the governor is doing a good job in office, and, if the state's Working Families Party follows through on threats to run a progressive leaning candidate on a third party line, Siena's Steve Greenberg says the race becomes much closer, to just a 15-point lead for Cuomo.  Go to full article
One reason many proposed mergers fail, says the New York Association of School Business Officials, is the threat of very long bus rides for rural children. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/freefoto/">freefotoUK</a> CC <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/deed.en">some rights reserved</a>
One reason many proposed mergers fail, says the New York Association of School Business Officials, is the threat of very long bus rides for rural children. Photo: freefotoUK CC some rights reserved

NYS residents don't want school mergers, study finds

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislature have approved a plan in the state budget to encourage local governments and schools to merge and share services over the next few years, in an attempt to lower property taxes. But according to a study by school administrators, attempts at school district mergers in recent years have failed, partly because the public doesn't want them.  Go to full article
Where drillers want to use hydrofracking in New York: pending well permit applications for high-volume hydraulic fracturing. Image: Innovation Trail
Where drillers want to use hydrofracking in New York: pending well permit applications for high-volume hydraulic fracturing. Image: Innovation Trail

NYS fracking review thorough, says group, so why secret?

A group opposed to hydrofracking says documents it's obtained show that the Cuomo Administration is conducting a thorough and comprehensive health study on the controversial natural gas drilling process.

The Finger Lakes-based organization is wondering, why then, the review has been conducted almost entirely in secret.  Go to full article
Demonstrators at the capitol call for state action against transport of crude oil on New York train tracks. Photo: Karen DeWitt
Demonstrators at the capitol call for state action against transport of crude oil on New York train tracks. Photo: Karen DeWitt

Green groups pressure Cuomo on rail oil trains in NY

National environmental groups are putting the spotlight on Gov. Andrew Cuomo, over the issue of the expanding international oil distribution center, located just blocks from the State Capitol, at the Port of Albany.

They call this Cuomo's "Keystone" moment.  Go to full article
A pleased Gov. Andrew Cuomo at the signing of the NY SAFE Act. Photo: Gov. Cuomo's office via <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/">Flickr</a>
A pleased Gov. Andrew Cuomo at the signing of the NY SAFE Act. Photo: Gov. Cuomo's office via Flickr

April 15 marks assault weapons registration deadline

April 15, besides being tax day, is the first day that owners of semi-automatic weapons will be required to register their guns with the state police.  Go to full article
Neon sign at a medical marijuana dispensary in California. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/caveman_92223/3410000930/in/set-72157624415963106">Chuck Coker</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Neon sign at a medical marijuana dispensary in California. Photo: Chuck Coker, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Medical marijuana: What's coming for NYS?

Now that the state budget is done, the focus at the Capitol shifts to some other priorities, including whether to allow medical marijuana. Advocates came to the Capitol to lobby lawmakers, but the bill is getting bogged down over political skirmishes.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver caused a bit of a stir when he seemed to say that a bill to legalize medical marijuana might be dead for the year, saying he does not think "it has a future" in the 2014 session.  Go to full article
NYSUT's new officers: Martin Messner, Secretary-Treasurer; Catalina Fortino, Vice President; Karen Magee, President; Andrew Pallotta, Executive Vice President; Paul Pecorale, Vice President. Photo: <a href="www.nysut.org/news/2014/april/first-woman-to-head-nysut-promises-to-be-a-strong-voice-for-change">NYSUT Media Relations</a>
NYSUT's new officers: Martin Messner, Secretary-Treasurer; Catalina Fortino, Vice President; Karen Magee, President; Andrew Pallotta, Executive Vice President; Paul Pecorale, Vice President. Photo: NYSUT Media Relations

New teachers' union president wants more clout for group

There's a big change at state's largest teacher's union, New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), as members elected new leadership.

The union's new president, Karen Magee, is the first woman to run the organization. The shakeup comes over concerns with the state's flawed implementation of the new Common Core learning standards. Teachers are complaining that they were not adequately prepared to teach to the new standards, and that the test results should not be used to evaluate their performance.  Go to full article

DiNapoli: I won't be "sacrificial lamb" on campaign finance reform

New York state comptroller Tom DiNapoli says he won't be participating in a new pilot public campaign finance program agreed to in the state budget, and government reform groups say, they don't blame him.

Saying he won't be a "convenient sacrificial lamb", DiNapoli says he won't opt in to a test system for public campaign finance that applies only to his office, and would use money from the comptroller's unclaimed funds to pay for it.  Go to full article

1-10 of 3095 stories   next 10 »   last »