In Vermont, the Fish and Wildlife Department has scheduled two hearings on the management of the state's deer population. The US Dept of Education says Vermont has the nations highest rate of High School Graduation.
Ontario's Liberals say they will repeal the controversial anti-strike Bill 115 tomorrow. A team of astronomers will use meteor tracking technology to try to identify the source of the mysterious "Windsor Hum" in southwestern Ontario.
Cuomo set to outline $132B NY state budget
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Gov. Andrew Cuomo is set to detail his budget proposals for the state's 2013-2014 fiscal year beginning April 1.
He's expected to propose about $132 billion in spending and attack a deficit of at least $1 billion as the state deals with the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy and tax collections lagging behind projections.
His afternoon address in Albany on Tuesday will include plans to pay for initiatives he outlined in his state of the state speech earlier this month, notably in education and economic development.
Other topics are likely to include the expanded casino gambling Cuomo has said he'd like voters to approve as a potential new source of state revenue and hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, another possible revenue source that hasn't yet been approved by state regulators.
Lake-effect snow warnings in western, northern NY
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Lake-effect snow is making traveling conditions poor in northern and southwestern New York, with up to two feet of snow forecast before the storm tapers off Tuesday afternoon.
The National Weather Service has posted lake-effect snow warnings through Tuesday in Oswego, northern Oneida, Jefferson and Lewis counties downwind of Lake Ontario. Frigid temperatures are also forecast, possibly falling below zero overnight and rising to a high of only 5 to 15 degrees Tuesday.
Lake-effect snow warnings are also posted in Wyoming, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and southern Erie counties south of Buffalo. Storm totals may reach two feet and wind chills fall as low as 15 below.
Report: NY grad, dropout rates continue to improve
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) A federal report shows public high school graduation rates continue to improve as dropout rates decline in New York.
The U.S. Department of Education says there were 183,826 graduates in 2009-2010, an estimated 76 percent of the freshmen enrolled four years earlier. The rates were 87 percent for white students, 62 for blacks, 61 for Hispanics, 92 for Asians and 60 for Native Americans.
The statistics released Tuesday show the overall rate has improved steadily from 61 percent in 2002-2003.
The graduation rate was 78 percent nationally.
New York's dropout rate was 3.6 percent, compared to 3.4 percent nationally. The rate among white students was 1.7 percent, 6.5 percent for blacks, 5.4 for Hispanics, 2.4 for Asians and 5.6 for Native Americans.
The overall rate was 5.5 percent in 2002-2003.
NY works on invasive species plan for Lake George
LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (AP) New York regulators are working on a long-term plan to protect Lake George from invasive species, possibly including mandatory boat inspections.
The Lake George Park Commission had been developing plans for inspections and washing, with a $40 fee. The commission now says that plan is on hold while the Department of Environmental Conservation drafts an environmental impact statement, seeks public input, and considers alternatives.
The 32-mile-long Adirondack lake already has some invasive species such as milfoil and Asian clams. The commission has programs to fight those species, including spreading plastic mats to smother them.
The state has agreed to provide $50,000 to expand a boat steward program, and $200,000 to fight Asian clams.
Environmentalists say mandatory boat inspection and washing is the best way to prevent spread of invasive species.
DREAM Act would provide aid to illegal immigrants
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Support is building in New York for a “DREAM Act” that would provide financial aid and other assistance to college-bound illegal immigrants in the state.
The proposal is being pushed by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
Now, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Republicans who share control of the state Senate are interested in discussing the bill.
The DREAM Act would provide a way to help poor immigrant families afford college and would create a commission to raise money for scholarships.
The estimated cost of the aid ranges from $17 million to more than $20 million a year.
Momentum is building after the idea withered under Republican pressure in Albany and Washington a year ago.
Vermont to hold meetings on deer herd
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) Two more public hearings are planned this month on the state's deer herd.
The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is holding the hearings to evaluate the impact that hunting rules and antler point regulation have had on hunters.
The evaluation will include surveys from hunters, three regional working groups and five public meetings to be held around the state this spring.
Two public hearings will be held at the Kehoe Conservation Camp in Castleton on January 30 and at Spaulding High School in Barre on January 31.
A deer biologist will talk about the department's new deer management planning process at each meeting. Hunters will be asked to fill out surveys and will have the opportunity to ask questions. Both meetings will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Study shows Vermont has highest high school graduation
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) The U.S. Department of Education says Vermont has the highest high school graduation rate in the country.
In a study released Tuesday, the department found that 91.4 percent of Vermont high school freshmen go on to graduate on time.
Wisconsin had the second highest rate at 91.1 percent while Nevada had the lowest rate at 57.8 percent with the District of Columbia next at 59.9 percent.
The nationwide calculated Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate was 78.2 percent for the 2009-2010 school year, the highest since 1976.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan says the increase in graduation is because of the recognition that people need a good education to get good jobs.
Duncan says the trends are hopeful but the high school dropout rate is still unsustainably high.
Liberals repealing controversial anti-strike law for teachers
The Liberals government says the controversial law allowed it to impose contracts on about 126,000 teachers and education workers will be repealed effective tomorrow. Bill 115 outraged public school teachers, and led to a withdrawal of extracurricular difficulties and province-wide protests.
Education Minister Laurel Broten promised to kill the legislation after imposing the contracts on January 3rd. Broten says repealing the law will remove what became a lightening rod in the province's labour battle with teachers.
Several unions have already put the wheels in motion to fight the legislation in court, saying it's unconstitutional and a violation of their right to strike.
(The Canadian Press)
Meteor trackers may ID mysterious "Windsor Hum"
The federal government has launched a new study aimed at identifying the cause of the so-called Windsor Hum using meteor tracking technology. The Windsor Hum is a recurring vibration and noise that has been disturbing people in the southwestern region for almost two years.
Western University astronomer Peter Brown and his team will try to locate the source of the hum using low-frequency microphones which detect sound below the normal hearing frequency range. The specialized microphones are usually employed by Western astronomers to track meteors.
(The Canadian Press)
(All stories copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)