Hearing on Cuomo's education budget set in Albany
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Education issues are on the agenda in Albany as state Assembly lawmakers hold another in a series of public hearings on Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget proposals.
Monday's hearing at the Legislative Office Building in downtown Albany is expected to include testimony from the chancellor of the City University of New York, Matthew Goldstein; state Education Commissioner John B. King Jr.; State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher, leaders of the teachers union and other officials.
Cuomo's education budget proposal includes a spending increase, but educators and advocates say it's not enough to meet the needs of New York's schools.
The governor's spending plan also includes $25 million in grants for full-day, pre-kindergarten programs and $20 million to lengthen the school day or year by 25 percent.
NY transit officials eye normal morning commute
PATCHOGUE, N.Y. (AP) New York transportation officials are telling commuters to expect nearly normal service following a massive snowstorm that dumped up to 30 inches of snow on the region.
The Long Island Rail Road says it will operate a normal weekday schedule Monday on nine of its 11 branches, with some cancellations.
Metro-North says the Hudson and Harlem lines, as well as the New Haven line between Grand Central Terminal and Stamford, will operate on a normal schedule. Service north of Stamford will be limited.
The situation was not so normal on Long Island's roads. At the height of the storm, hundreds of motorists were stranded in their cars overnight. A portion of the Long Island Expressway remained closed early Monday during cleanup.
New York City subways and buses are operating normally.
Hudson River flood more with higher seas levels
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Rising sea levels could threaten the towns far from the shore _ those along the Hudson River.
Since Superstorm Sandy sent a storm surge up the Hudson, local officials and advocates have focused more intently on identifying vulnerable places along the Hudson River.
The conservation group Scenic Hudson is working with river communities and will soon debut interactive maps allowing users to see where high tide could reach from Yonkers to Troy, based on projected sea-rise levels.
The 150 miles of Hudson River between New York Harbor and Troy is an estuary in sync with the ocean's tides. If severe weather events become more common and ocean levels rise, as many scientists project, land along that tidal stretch of river will be vulnerable too.
Gillibrand tours upstate to promote high-tech bill
LANCASTER, N.Y. (AP) U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is making a swing through upstate New York to promote legislation she says will boost high-tech manufacturing.
Gillibrand plans stops Monday in the Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse areas to talk about a bill that would create a federal funding competition to encourage public-private partnerships aimed at spurring growth in local manufacturing.
The Democrat says her bill could help develop clean-tech and high-tech manufacturing in New York.
NY man, 72, killed in house fire
ALEXANDRIA BAY, N.Y. (AP) Authorities are investigating a fire that killed a 72-year-old man in Jefferson County.
State police say the mobile home fire in Alexandria Bay was reported around 6:15 Saturday evening. The only person in the home, Robert Cheesman, was taken to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Troopers say the preliminary investigation indicates the fire was accidental.
Several fire companies had to truck water to the rural location and contend with equipment freeze-ups in the extreme cold.
NY agency taking pheasant-rearing applications
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) The state Department of Environmental Conservation is looking for people to raise pheasant chicks to be released for hunting.
The agency distributed 42,408 day-old pheasant chicks last year, and is now accepting 2013 applications through March 15. The chicks are free to qualified applicants. Participants must have a brooding facility, a covered outdoor rearing pen, and a suitable release site.
The baby pheasants are distributed from April through June and may be released when they're 8 weeks old. Daily care is necessary until release.
The program is funded through license fees paid by hunters, trappers and anglers.
Those interested should contact their nearest DEC regional office.
Vermont Senate to vote on assisted death
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) The Vermont Senate is gearing up for a vote on legislation that supporters call “end-of-life choices” and critics call “physician-assisted suicide.”
The Senate is set to vote Tuesday whether to follow a recommendation of the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject the measure.
The Judiciary Committee on Friday came out against the legislation a week after the Health and Welfare Committee voted unanimously to support it.
If the measure clears the Senate, it still would need action in the Vermont House. Both the House leadership and Gov. Peter Shumlin have expressed support for the bill.
Wynne to be sworn in as new Ontario Premier
INDEX: Ontario@ (Liberal-Leader) Kathleen Wynne will officially become premier today. The new Liberal leader will be sworn in this afternoon — along with her cabinet.
Wynne says she'll appoint herself agriculture minister immediately, and sources say former leadership rival and ex-banker Charles Sousa will be Ontario's new finance minister.
Former school board trustee Liz Sandals is expected to be named education minister. She will be tasked with trying to rebuild relations with teachers furious over having contracts imposed on them.
(The Canadian Press)
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