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Audit: special ed contractor overbilled state

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) A new audit suggests a New York City special education contractor overcharged the state by more than $875,000.

The audit released Wednesday by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says TheraCare Preschool Services Inc. overbilled the state between 2008 and 2011.

TheraCare provides special education services to preschool-aged children in New York City and three nearby counties.  Go to full article
New York State Education Department building in Albany, NY, Photo: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NYSED_Building_Night_2.JPG">Matt Wade</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
New York State Education Department building in Albany, NY, Photo: Matt Wade, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

New York pulls out of inBloom student database

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) New York education officials say they will not store student information with the data storage firm inBloom.

State Education Department spokesman Dennis Tomkins says Wednesday that the state has directed inBloom to delete data that's been stored so far.

The move follows this week's passage of the state budget, which includes a provision to end the state's relationship with inBloom.  Go to full article
Solar at peak power in Middlebury, VT. Photo: <a href="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8091/8545535608_3b22631ef6_o.jpg">Adam Fagen</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Solar at peak power in Middlebury, VT. Photo: Adam Fagen, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Vt. has new law encouraging small power generation

EAST MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- A new Vermont law makes it easier for small power producers to sell any excess electricity they produce.

The "net metering" law signed Tuesday by Gov. Peter Shumlin in East Montpelier increases the amount of power small sources such as wind or solar can send to the electric grid from 4 percent of a utility's peak demand to 15 percent.  Go to full article
Recreational salmon fishers in Mississauga, Ontario. Photo: <a href="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3187/2854686754_99d4b50a96_o.jpg">Gene Wilburn</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Recreational salmon fishers in Mississauga, Ontario. Photo: Gene Wilburn, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NY investing $4M in fish hatcheries

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo is heralding the start of trout and salmon season by announcing new investments in recreational fishing.

Cuomo says the state will set aside $4 million to repair fish hatcheries and purchase 16 trucks specially designed to transport stocked fish.  Go to full article
Gun rights advocates at a January rally in Morristown, NY. Photo: Zach Hirsch
Gun rights advocates at a January rally in Morristown, NY. Photo: Zach Hirsch

Trump rallies against Cuomo, New York gun control

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Thousands of gun rights supporters have rallied at the state Capitol against gun control measures championed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Celebrity businessman Donald Trump and Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino both addressed Tuesday's event at Empire State Plaza. The rally was in support of repealing a 2013 law that prohibited the sale of some popular guns like the AR-15.  Go to full article
The State House in Montpelier. Photo: <a href="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7f/Vermont_State_House.jpg">GearedBull</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
The State House in Montpelier. Photo: GearedBull, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Vermont solons seek faster wage hikes than Shumlin

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- A fight could be brewing between Vermont lawmakers and the Shumlin administration over how fast to move to a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour.

Gov. Peter Shumlin has pushed for moving to that wage in three steps and getting there in 2017. A House Committee on Tuesday voted to support a bill that would bring about a $10.10 per hour wage next January, with inflationary increases thereafter.  Go to full article
Director Werner Herzog in Brussels. Photo: <a href="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/91/Werner_Herzog_Bruxelles_03.jpg">Erinc Salor</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Director Werner Herzog in Brussels. Photo: Erinc Salor, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Students show films inspired by Herzog's footage

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) -- University of Vermont film students who got a chance to collaborate with award-winning director Werner Herzog will be showing their films in Burlington.

The free event takes place Wednesday night at 6:30 at the Burlington City Arts Center.  Go to full article
Photo via Vermont Health Connect
Photo via Vermont Health Connect

Vermont urged health sign ups through deadline

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- More Vermonters were signing up for health insurance right down to the wire.

The Department of Vermont Health Access said that as of Monday morning about 46,800 Vermonters had enrolled in a plan directly through Vermont Health Connect, including about 2,600 over the weekend.

Officials say the figure does not include tens of thousands of Vermonters covered by an employer who enrolled in a Vermont Health Connect plan directly through an insurance carrier.  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/59707291@N03/13430127905/">Jennifer Kenny</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photo: Jennifer Kenny, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Temporary bus drivers authorized amid Vt. strike

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) -- The transportation agency in Vermont's largest county says it has authorized its staff to secure temporary bus drivers until negotiations with striking drivers are resolved.

The Chittenden County Transportation Authority says the move is "in the interest of restoring transit service as quickly as possible." The authority wants staff to prepare a plan including options for legal action to end the strike.

The measures are part of a resolution adopted Monday by the authority's Board of Commissioners.  Go to full article
Upstate Correctional Facility in Malone. Source: NYCLU
Upstate Correctional Facility in Malone. Source: NYCLU

NY college for inmates to remain privately funded

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) A senior official says Cuomo administration plans to expand college classes for New York's prison inmates will be privately funded and not financed by taxpayers.

The administration official, who declined to be identified publicly under the terms of a background briefing with reporters, says Monday it's not part of the proposed state budget, noting lawmakers' opposition to spending state money.

However, he says nonprofits and foundations are interested.  Go to full article

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