White House estimates impact of budget cuts on NY
NEW YORK (AP) Department of Defense workers in New York could be the state's biggest losers in automatic cuts to the federal budget set to take hold this week.
That's according to a report issued by the White House Sunday as it seeks to avoid the impending economic fallout.
The White House says about 12,000 civilians who work for the defense department in New York would be furloughed and funding for the operation of Army bases in the state would be cut by $108 million.
The state's schools and teachers are also at serious risk, as are efforts to protect clean air and water.
The White House compiled the numbers from federal agencies and its own budget office. The numbers are based on the $85 billion in cuts that are set to take effect Friday.
Biologists survey fishers across upstate NY
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Biologists from Cornell University and the state Department of Environmental Conservation are doing a large-scale survey of fisher populations across the southern tier of central and western New York.
The results will help in the development of a comprehensive fisher management plan.
Fishers are large, dark members of the weasel family, about the size of a house cat. Their numbers declined severely in the early 1900s because of over-trapping and clearing of forests. Now they can be found in the forests of northern, eastern and southeastern New York, and in recent years have begun to return to the southern tier.
Biologists set up digital trail cameras and bait at survey locations this winter. Preliminary results documented fishers at 54 percent of 100 survey locations during the first month.
NY proposes environmental audits for businesses
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) The state Department of Environmental Conservation is taking public comment on a new policy that would encourage businesses to audit themselves to prevent pollution.
The proposed Environmental Incentive Policy would reward companies for making a long-term commitment to better protect the environment. It would waive penalties for violations that are discovered and disclosed voluntarily.
Companies with a history of failing to comply with environmental regulations aren't eligible. Certain violations are excluded from the policy, including recurring violations, criminal activity or actual harm to people or the environment.
Comments will be taken through April 22.
NY offers exams for special wildlife licenses
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Licensing exams are coming up for falconry, wildlife rehabilitation and tracking deer or bear with dogs.
The Department of Environmental Conservation has set a date of April 18 for all three exams. Applications are due by April 5 and exams will be held at DEC's regional offices statewide.
Volunteer wildlife rehabilitators care for injured, sick and orphaned animals with the goal of returning them to the wild. Falconers hunt wild quarry with a trained bird of prey.
Licensed handlers of leashed tracking dogs can track a wounded deer or bear for a hunter or after a vehicle accident.
$50K corp. grant boosts NY historic site's project
NEWBURGH, N.Y. (AP) The effort to restore a unique Revolutionary War monument at a Hudson Valley state historic site is getting a boost from the private sector.
New York and New Jersey's Palisades Parks Conservancy announced in November that it was launching a campaign to raise $1.5 million to restore the weather-battered Tower of Victory at the Washington's Headquarters State Historic Site in Newburgh.
The Conservancy announced last week that the project is getting a $50,000 grant from the American Express Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the financial services company.
The Tower of Victory is the nation's only monument commemorating the peace that came at the end of the Revolutionary War. It was commissioned in 1883 by U.S. Secretary of War Robert Todd Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln's son, and was completed by 1888.
NY screenwriter brings film home to Saratoga
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) An independent film based on a book written in three days has a showing this week in Saratoga Springs--home of the author and screenwriter.
Chris Millis wrote his novel "Small Apartments" for an international competition that imposed a three-day deadline. He won the prize and later wrote the screenplay for a movie by the same name.
Actors Billy Crystal, James Caan and Johnny Knoxville are among the quirky cast of characters in "Small Apartments." Millis describes the film as a dark comedy about a guy who kills his landlord and tries to get away with it.
"Small Apartments" is showing at Saratoga Music Hall on Friday to a sold-out audience. Millis has added a second showing Saturday night at Skidmore College. It's also out on DVD.
Ag officials ask NYers to suggest state fair theme
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Agriculture officials are asking New Yorkers to come up with a theme for this year's state fair.
Agriculture Commissioner Darrel Aubertine says this will be a first for the Great New York State Fair.
The suggestions should touch on the state's economic, cultural and institutional strengths. Past themes have included "Discover America in the Heart of NY" and "It Just Keeps Growing and Growing."
The deadline for emailing entries is March 15. Aubertine and fair director Thomas Ryan will pick 10 finalists that will be listed starting March 19 on the fair's Facebook page, where people can vote for their favorite. The winner will be announced April 1.
Contestants should include names, a phone number and where they live in the state when submitting a theme
NY man, 35, dies in Lewis County snowmobile crash
OSCEOLA, N.Y. (AP) Lewis County Sheriff's deputies say a snowmobiler has died after he was thrown against the handlebars when his Ski Doo's skis suddenly turned sharply to the left.
The accident happened around 1:30 p.m. Saturday in the town of Osceola, about 35 miles northeast of Syracuse.
Deputies did not release the man's name, but Danielle Baye of the Oswego County town of Constantia tells the Syracuse Post-Standard it was her husband, 35-year-old Ryan Baye.
Mrs. Baye tells the newspaper her husband was riding with more than a dozen family members on a groomed trail near the family's Lewis County camp. She says he stood up to look at the sled carrying his father and 4-year-old son behind him, and apparently hit a bump.
(All stories copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)