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Town Hall, Greece, NY. Photo: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Greece,_New_York_town_hall.jpg">Daniel Penfield</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Town Hall, Greece, NY. Photo: Daniel Penfield, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Atheist to deliver invocation at Greece town board meeting

GREECE, N.Y. (AP) An atheist is set to deliver the opening "prayer" before the upstate New York town board where the U.S. Supreme Court's recent prayer case was centered.

The Center for Inquiry says Rochester atheist Dan Courtney will open the July 15 Greece Town Board meeting.  Go to full article
Heroin needle, Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/danielleellis55/13295727434/in/photolist-mfU5xU-mfS6bc-cenaT-Jyndv-4PsCEL-4KNJ9Q-65SpkG-5DbZz4-aDrE9x-aqV1pK-5SviVC-5xG6CF-gpwP73-j2iq6X-65G8XH-jFr6Gt-jFrmQz-jFrE2D-jFsgDv-jFsrcr-jFstic-jFsKi8-jFsKUM-jFsNXk-jFt4zt-jFtoD8-jFtp3W-jFtsqN-jFtvXg-jFtEgG-jFtHrE-jFtW9o-jFtYZJ-jFuhsb-jFunvA-jFuxkq-jFuRzw-jFvoAj-jFvV33-jFso6B-jFsPje-jFsRtp-jFsZkX-jFu469-jFu6w1-jFujoU-jFuAbW-jFv1au-jFvbsy-jFvoMJ">Danielle Sprags</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Heroin needle, Photo: Danielle Sprags, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NY Legislature passes package of anti-heroin bills

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York's Legislature has passed a series of bills to curb heroin and opioid use throughout the state.

The 11 bills, which passed unanimously Thursday, include a requirement for insurance companies to better cover substance-abuse treatment. They also call for a public awareness campaign and harsher penalties for illegal drug distribution.  Go to full article

NY lawmaker: 12,000 disabled waiting for care

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York lawmakers have passed legislation intended to clear what one lawmaker calls a waiting list of 12,000 disabled individuals who need services or housing.

The bill directs the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities to clarify and implement new guidelines by April 1 identifying services needed for families to keep a disabled relative at home and indicating when residential placements are appropriate.  Go to full article
33,000 fans pack the Carrier Dome for an SU game. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/tamurray5/5378719050/">Theresa Murray</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
33,000 fans pack the Carrier Dome for an SU game. Photo: Theresa Murray, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Syracuse hoops topped nation in 2013-14 attendance

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) Syracuse is back as the No.1 draw in college basketball.

NCAA figures released recently show that Syracuse averaged 26,253 fans for its 18 home games at the Carrier Dome in 2013-14, the team's first as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference  Go to full article
New York Assembly chamber. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/44768401@N07/4126004276/sizes/z/in/photolist-7hARjL-g7DJZn-g9nRWg-g9nRoH-g9noDw-g9o3Mp-g7DJ1Z-g9nWqM-g9nioU-g9nuSy-g9nY2n-g9npsh-g7DUT1-g9o2yT-g9newK-g9o1tX-g7E8yu-g9o174-g9o3f2-ajkNj6-ajoAzh-ajoB6U-ajoAQ3-bQzVQK-7se9hY-bBFfdd-i8an4G-i8ah5e-bQzVXr-i8ajF5-i8akqG-4ernCN-bANXEn-de5hpK-7hWQRS-8V4mPS-6f1dHj-AQy16-9hZeM2-6Lifh5-7D7k2q-5G8MKz-czAarG-a1e79H-4G6fd7-4G6fg7-4G25up-bdgr9F-bdgqqc-2pQhDT-6QZJy3/">Matt H. Wade</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
New York Assembly chamber. Photo: Matt H. Wade, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NY Lawmakers OK Common Core teacher safety net

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Low-rated teachers in New York won't be at risk of losing their jobs based simply on student performance on the new Common Core tests--at least for a few years--under legislation passed by lawmakers.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's bill aims to prevent teachers deemed "ineffective" or "developing" from facing termination or a denial of tenure based solely on student test scores.  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/64072859@N02/6054602708">Capt. Kris Kelley</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photo: Capt. Kris Kelley, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

New York releases tentative bird hunting seasons

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York state environmental officials have released tentative fall hunting season dates for ducks and other migratory game birds.

Department of Environmental Conservation officials say they're releasing the tentative schedule for ducks, geese, woodcock, snipe and rails to give hunters time to plan in advance.  Go to full article
Birth control packets Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/nateone/2713580189/">Nate Grigg</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Birth control packets Photo: Nate Grigg, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NY Assembly passes birth control insurance bill

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) A bill that would prevent employers from discriminating against workers for reproductive health decisions has passed the Democratic-led Assembly.

The "Boss bill," passed 80-22 on Wednesday, seeks to close a loophole in New York's anti-discrimination laws.  Go to full article
Tornado. Photo: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tornado#mediaviewer/File:Seymour_Texas_Tornado.jpg">NOAA</a>
Tornado. Photo: NOAA

Officials: Tornado struck central New York

VERONA, N.Y. (AP) The National Weather Service says a tornado packing winds up to 100 mph touched down in central New York.

The storm hit the Oneida County Town of Verona about 10 p.m. Tuesday. The weather service says it left a nine-mile path of damage into the neighboring Town of Westmoreland, knocking down road signs and tearing the roof from a gas station.  Go to full article
Emergency service crews at work in the blast and fire zone of Lac-Megantic. Photo: Surete du Quebec
Emergency service crews at work in the blast and fire zone of Lac-Megantic. Photo: Surete du Quebec

U.S.-Canada mayors call for safer rail oil shipping

Mayors of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River cities are calling for improved safety of oil transportation across through the region.

The mayors of both Canadian and U.S. cities say the reaction of federal governments and energy and transportation companies to accidents such as Lac-Megantic has been slow and insufficient.  Go to full article
The deer tick, Ixodes scapularis, carries and spreads Lyme disease. Photo (greatly enlarged): Scott Bauer, USDA
The deer tick, Ixodes scapularis, carries and spreads Lyme disease. Photo (greatly enlarged): Scott Bauer, USDA

NY senators propose steps against Lyme disease

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York senators are proposing several measures to deal with tick-borne Lyme disease that appears to be spreading across the state.

The task force report cites 462 cases reported through the first week of June in New York and a recent federal estimate of 300,000 new cases annually with only a fraction actually reported.  Go to full article

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