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Stories filed by The Associated Press

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Button for a national campaign launched by NY businessman Tom Golisano to use the popular vote count to determine the presidential winner.
Button for a national campaign launched by NY businessman Tom Golisano to use the popular vote count to determine the presidential winner.

NY lawmakers approve "National Popular Vote" bill

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York lawmakers have approved a bill that would enter the state in an interstate agreement to award its electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the majority of the popular vote.

The National Popular Vote agreement is triggered when 270 electoral votes are reached, enough to give the states who signed the compact a majority of the electoral votes.  Go to full article
A CCTA bus in Vermont. <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/afagen/8611378361/sizes/z/in/photolist-e7XyLH-e7XyAg-e7XyX8-8qeXo8-8wwzTL-8wwyyJ-aePwrN-98VAEn-98VAxn-8qi6XW-akb1J4-akb1Qv-98YJrQ-9tLwdH/">Adam Fagen</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
A CCTA bus in Vermont. Adam Fagen, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Striking Vt. bus drivers say walkout to continue

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) Vermont bus drivers say the strike will continue following their meeting with the Chittenden County Transportation Authority over the weekend.

Speaking at a Monday news conference, leaders of the bus drivers union say CCTA did not accept parts of a union offer during a Saturday negotiating session.  Go to full article

NY loans for businesses of women, minorities

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York is launching a program to expand access to short-term bridge loans to minority and women-owned business enterprises.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says Monday that participating lenders are committing at least $20 million to the launch of the "Bridge to Success" program.  Go to full article
North Dakota crude oil spilled into wetlands near Aliceville Alabama from a train derailment. Photo: <a href=" http://www.flickr.com/photos/29184238@N06/11168835315/ ">John Walthen, Public Herald</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
North Dakota crude oil spilled into wetlands near Aliceville Alabama from a train derailment. Photo: John Walthen, Public Herald, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NY asks feds to update oil spill response plans

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York officials are asking the Environmental Protection Agency to update a contingency plan for dealing with oil spills, in light of the rapid expansion of rail shipments of crude oil from North Dakota.

State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens sent a letter Monday to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. He said under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, EPA is responsible for creating Inland Area Contingency Plans to improve preparedness for oil spills.  Go to full article
Interior, New York state Capitol. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/-jvl-/5194928546/">JvL</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Interior, New York state Capitol. Photo: JvL, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NY budget talks continue at Capitol, deadline near

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York's legislative leaders are negotiating over property tax relief and pre-kindergarten funding a week before a new budget is due.

Leaders emerging from closed-door talks Monday at the Capitol say they continue to make progress to get a deal by April 1.  Go to full article

Second buried body found on Stockholm property

STOCKHOLM, N.Y. (AP) State police say they've uncovered a second set of human remains buried on the property of a missing northern New York couple.

Investigators say they found the second set of remains Monday evening in the St. Lawrence County town of Stockholm, about 10 miles south of the Canadian border.  Go to full article

Fix only slows insurance hike for 60,000 New Yorkers

NEW YORK (AP) Thousands of New Yorkers are likely to see flood insurance premiums rise as the government phases out subsidized insurance nationally in some of the most at-risk areas.

President Barack Obama signed a law Friday that put a halt to a 2012 overhaul of the National Flood Insurance Program. It was supposed to end the subsidies for homes and businesses that were built in flood zones years ago.  Go to full article
World War 2 C-47 Transport Plane Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidiver/8325999623/">Masm</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
World War 2 C-47 Transport Plane Photo: Masm, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

WWII troop transport plane will return to Normandy

GENESEO, N.Y. (AP) Seventy years after taking part in D-Day, an American transport plane now housed in western New York is being prepared to recreate its role in the mission.

At the invitation of the French government, the National Warplane Museum in Geneseo will fly its Douglas C-47 to France for 70th-anniversary festivities in June. It'll release paratroopers over Sainte-Mere-Eglise, just as it did in 1944 in advance of the amphibious invasion of the Normandy beaches.  Go to full article
Be on the lookout for the Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/warriorwoman531/8129491756/">Heather Paul</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Be on the lookout for the Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) Photo: Heather Paul, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Cornell seeks volunteer bird's nest watchers

ITHACA, N.Y. (AP) As birds wing their way north from their wintering grounds, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is recruiting volunteers for its annual NestWatch citizen science project.

Participants map any nest or birdhouse location on the NestWatch website (www.NestWatch.org). Then they report the species of nesting bird, when eggs are laid, how many hatch, and how many fledglings leave the nest.  Go to full article
Raffle Tickets Photo: <a href=http://www.flickr.com/photos/alykat/5848722/">Alyson Hurt</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Raffle Tickets Photo: Alyson Hurt, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NY pastor raffles rifle during Sunday service

TROY, N.Y. (AP) After a sermon connecting the "Christian values" of America's founding fathers with the right to bear arms, an upstate New York Baptist minister has raffled off a new Smith & Wesson M&P semi-automatic rifle.

Other local ministers have criticized Sunday's giveaway of a gun similar to the rifle used in the December 2012 shooting at Newtown, Conn.'s Sandy Hook Elementary School.  Go to full article

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