Watergate reporter Bernstein: No easy fix on guns
RENSSELAERVILLE, N.Y. (AP) Investigative reporter Carl Bernstein who helped uncover the Watergate scandal says the current clash over gun control reflects a growing divide in public discourse and New York has unnecessarily limited public information in its gun law.
Speaking Sunday at the Carey Center for Global Good near Albany Bernstein decried the conflict as based on clashing views rather than debate and truth.
The journalist says gun control in a divided American has no easy political solution even as politicians rush to enact more laws following the tragedy in Newtown, Conn.
Bernstein criticized New York's new gun control law for allowing gun owners to make their permits exempt from laws that require most government records to be public. He says the public needs access to most records to effectively monitor its government.
NY top court putting documents online
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) The New York Court of Appeals is launching an online service to improve filing records and briefs that for the first time offers access to documents through a searchable database.
The system, called Court-PASS, will be kept as a permanent public archive for documents related to cases at the state's highest court that were pending or filed after Jan. 1.
Officials say anyone may search the database for free and view or download documents from every stage of a case. It will include papers for civil motions that have been granted and briefs and records in civil and criminal appeals.
It will incorporate videos and transcripts of oral arguments as well as court decisions, already available on the court's website. It launches next month.
About 10,000 Sandy-damaged NYC homes repaired
NEW YORK (AP) More than 10,000 homes damaged by Superstorm Sandy have been repaired as part of the city's Rapid Repairs program.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Sunday announced the initial result of the city's collaboration with FEMA to help New Yorkers speed their return home.
Under Rapid Repairs, the city deployed dozens of contractors and thousands of skilled construction workers to do emergency work -- free of charge to residents.
The focus was on restoring basic services like heat, power and hot water. Other work was relatively minor.
The mayor said the city will do the same for thousands of more homes in the coming weeks.
Officials say the idea behind the program was that the best way to fill housing needs after a disaster is for residents to return home.
NY man charged with having sex with child
GREENWICH, N.Y. (AP) A 33-year-old man faces rape charges after state police say he had sex in a hotel with a child he met online and drove 145 miles north to meet in person.
The Albany Times Union reports that Matthew S. Berry of White Plains was arrested Friday. Troopers say he arranged to meet the youth near the child's Washington County home and drove the youth to a Lake George hotel.
Police declined to disclose the age or gender of the youth. They said Berry provided alcohol and paid the youth for having sex.
Berry was charged with third-degree rape and unlawfully dealing with a child. He was sent to Warren County Jail on $10,000 bail. Police didn't know if he has a lawyer.
Whiteout closes Highway 417 between Ottawa And Quebec
Blowing snow that reduced visibility to near zero forced the OPP to shut down Highway 417 from Ottawa to Quebec yesterday afternoon. Highway 138 was also closed from Highway 417 to Monkland after a number of crashes. At one point, more that 100 cars headed for Cornwall were said to have been stranded on Highway 138. Both roadways have since reopened.