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NCPR News Staff: The Associated Press

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Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/36495803@N05/5591761716/">epSos.de</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photo: epSos.de, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Cuomo proposes tougher driving laws

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed two tough new measures intended to keep dangerous drivers off the road by taking their licenses.

In his State of the State address, the Cuomo said he wants a one-year license suspension for anyone under 21 caught texting while driving.  Go to full article
Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Karen DeWitt.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Karen DeWitt.

Cuomo wants tougher NY bribery law

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he wants to make it easier to convict public officials of bribery, as well as those who seek to buy their influence.

Under current law, prosecutors must prove the person paying the bribe and the official receiving it have an illicit agreement.  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/52046304@N00/269332764/">Sherene</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photo: Sherene, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Schools reopen in upstate NY after 2-day closure

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (AP) Schools from Buffalo to the North Country are reopening after being closed for two days because of a blizzard that dumped up to nearly three feet of snow on some areas.

Roads, highways and schools in a region stretching from New York's southwestern corner to the St. Lawrence River were shut down Tuesday and Wednesday because of the arctic conditions that included blowing snow and wind chills of minus-30.  Go to full article

Gov. Shumlin. outlines efforts to fix Vermont health care site

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) Gov. Peter Shumlin says he asking for an independent review of the flawed rollout of Vermont Health Connect, the website where people and businesses are to go to sign up for health insurance coverage.

In addition to the review, Shumlin is having the Agency of Commerce and Community Development Secretary Lawrence Miller work on the website to ensure it is fully functional by March 31.  Go to full article
Governor Peter Shumlin in June 2012. Photo: <a href="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/89/Peter_Shumlin_2012.jpg">Community College of Vermont</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Governor Peter Shumlin in June 2012. Photo: Community College of Vermont, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Vermont Gov. Shumlin to outline priorities in speech

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin is going to outline his priorities for the 2014 legislative session.

Shumlin is scheduled to address a joint session of the House and Senate in the House chamber on Wednesday afternoon.  Go to full article
Advocates for New York State's hungry rally at the Capitol for an increase in the state's minimum wage. Photo: Karen DeWitt
Advocates for New York State's hungry rally at the Capitol for an increase in the state's minimum wage. Photo: Karen DeWitt

Advocates for NY poor urge $10 minimum wage

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Advocates for New York's poor are calling for a minimum wage of at least $10 to address what they call a state crisis of inequality.

Rallying at the Capitol Tuesday in advance of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's state-of-the-state address, they say the state's richest 1 percent now account for 35 percent of all income in a disparity they say hasn't been seen since America's Great Depression.  Go to full article
Carolyn Yerdon deep in the white stuff, shared with NCPR via Facebook
Carolyn Yerdon deep in the white stuff, shared with NCPR via Facebook

Winter Storm: Schools, I-81 remain closed, Thruway reopens

Update 3:00 pm: The last portions of Rt. 81 between Watertown and North Syracuse are reopening as crews clear entrances and exits his afternoon.

A blizzard warning for western New York has expired, but many schools from Buffalo to the North Country remain closed because of arctic conditions.

A 50-mile section of Interstate 81 north of Syracuse has been closed again as lake-effect storms continue to cause treacherous driving conditions. I-81 from Watertown to the Canadian border is open again after being shut down when the weather worsened on Tuesday.

The Thruway in western New York has reopened after being closed since Monday by a blizzard that's winding down after dumping nearly 20 inches of snow on the region.  Go to full article
Whiteout on the highway. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/iandavid/4337619454/">Ian Westcott</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Whiteout on the highway. Photo: Ian Westcott, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

I-81 north of Syracuse remains closed due to storm

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) A 50-mile stretch of Interstate 81 north of Syracuse remains closed as heavy snow and winds gusting to 40 mph make driving hazardous.

The highway was ordered shut down last night when Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for more than a dozen upstate counties.  Go to full article
The Vermont State Capitol. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/51035749109@N01/8395548101/">Adam Fagen</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
The Vermont State Capitol. Photo: Adam Fagen, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Vermont legislature to kick off 2014 session

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) The Vermont Legislature is getting ready to kick off its 2014 session.

The Senate is due to convene at 10 a.m. Tuesday.  Go to full article
On the steps of the NY Capitol during the 2013 "People's State of the State" rally. Photo: Marie Cusick
On the steps of the NY Capitol during the 2013 "People's State of the State" rally. Photo: Marie Cusick

24th "People's State of the State" rally to be held in Albany

ALBANY Activists and religious officials criticize income disparities and related concerns during a 24th annual "People's State of the State" rally planned each year on the eve of the governor's "State of the State" address, scheduled to take place Wednesday, Jan. 8, and sponsored by organizations including the Faith and Hunger Network, Focus Churches of Albany, the Hunger Action Network of New York State, the Labor-Religion Coalition of New York State and New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness.  Go to full article

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