A Vermont lawmaker opposes a new fighter jet in Burlington. Amtrak Vermonter service cancelled because of storm. Ontario braces for the big snowstorm and police are warn of poor driving conditions.
Schools in upstate NY close ahead of major storm
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Most schools across upstate New York are closed or plan to send students home early and airports are cancelling flights ahead of a major storm that's expected to dump a foot or more of snow in some parts of the state.
The National Weather Service has issued winter storm warnings from the eastern end of Lake Erie to the Hudson Valley, where forecasters say snowfall totals could top 16 inches by Saturday.
The snow began falling early Friday morning in some upstate areas and is expected to increase throughout the day, with the heaviest accumulations expected in eastern New York later Friday night. Many schools began announcing Thursday that Friday's classes are cancelled, while other districts have announced early dismissals.
The state is activating its Emergency Operations Center in Albany to coordinate storm response.
Still recovering from Sandy, NY braces for storm
NEW YORK (AP) Parts of the New York region still cleaning up from Superstorm Sandy are bracing for a winter storm that could blanket the Northeast with heavy snow.
The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for New York City, Long Island and southern Westchester County for Friday into Saturday.
The weather service says the city should get 10 to 12 inches of snow.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg noted that if bad weather has to happen, it's better to have it on a weekend.
On Long Island, Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst says officials are concerned about the impact of the storm in areas that were hit hard by Sandy.
Parts of upstate New York are expecting more than a foot of snow. Civil service examinations scheduled for Saturday have been canceled.
NY convenience stores criticize minimum wage hike
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) The head of the New York Association of Convenience Stores says a minimum wage increase would place some stores in “a precarious position.”
The state Legislature is considering a proposal from Gov. Andrew Cuomo to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8.75. Proponents say that many adults currently making the minimum wage can barely afford to pay their bills.
James Calvin, president of the New York Association of Convenience Stores, said Thursday there are mom-and-pop convenience stores that will not be able to afford the 21 percent spike in payroll in the current economic climate.
Lobby for Cuomo keeps donors secret
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) The lobbying group created to support Gov. Andrew Cuomo, which had refused to identify its donors for two years, now reports no contributors over the last six months in a legally required report.
The Committee to Save New York and other lobbyists were required for the first time to disclose their donors in reports due last month. But a Freedom of Information Law request by The Associated Press shows the committee reported no donations since July.
The group had funded multi-million dollar TV ad campaigns over the last two years to promote Cuomo's accomplishments, but had refused to disclose donors until law required it.
In July, the state's Joint Commission on Public Ethics decided against making the disclosure retroactive to the 2011 ethics law.
300-plus firefighters set for NY Winter Games
CORTLAND, N.Y. (AP) Hundreds of volunteer firefighters from Long Island to the Adirondacks will be in central New York this weekend for the annual Firefighter Winter Games.
Organizers tell the Post-Standard of Syracuse that more than 300 firefighters from 31 departments are registered so far for the two-day event being held in Cortland starting Saturday.
The Fireman's Association of the State of New York is co-sponsoring the games with the Cortland County Fireman's Association.
The events being held Greek Peak Adventure Park and Tubing Center include a sled pull, tube racing, tug of war and hose relay.
Most of the fire departments participating are from central New York, but volunteer organizations from Long Island and Lake George are also taking part.
Lawmaker opposes fighter jet in Burlington, Vt.
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) A Vermont lawmaker whose district would be affected by the possible basing of a new fighter jet in the Burlington area is proposing a legislative resolution against it.
Rep. George Cross is a Democrat representing Winooski, a small city in the flight path into and out of the Burlington International Airport where the F-35 fighter jet would be based.
Cross says his resolution has 30 cosponsors and he hopes to garner more support from lawmakers around Vermont.
Supporters of the F-35 being housed with the Vermont Air National Guard say it would be an economic growth engine for northwestern Vermont.
Amtrak Vermonter service canceled during storm
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) With the major snow storm hitting the Northeast, Amtrak has canceled or adjusted some of its train service.
The Amtrak Vermonter is canceled between Springfield, Mass., and St. Albans starting on Friday.
The storm is expected to dump 1 to 2 feet of snow in Massachusetts by Saturday. Some areas of Vermont could get eight to 14 inches.
Ontario braces for big snowstorm; police warn of poor driving conditions
TORONTO - Ontario is bracing for what forecasters say could be the worst snowstorm in more than four years, and police are warning of treacherous driving conditions. Environment Canada says the storm, which began bearing down on the province Thursday, will leave a large swath painted white by tonight.
The storm is also expected to hit parts of Quebec today before moving on to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia over the rest of the weekend, dumping up to 30 centimetres of snow as it goes. Toronto residents can expect up to 15 centimetres, while regions as far west as London and as far east as Kingston may see upwards of 30 centimetres.
Toronto's Pearson International Airport has posted a travel advisory on its website, urging passengers to check flight information before heading for the airport. Many flights have been cancelled. School buses in many areas were cancelled, while police are asking motorists to drive for the conditions and be prepared for the unexpected.
(The Canadian Press) (from Broadcast News Ltd.)
(All stories copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)