Cuomo denies was headed to OK fracking
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Gov. Andrew Cuomo denies he was close to approving limited hydrofracking for natural gas last month before talking with environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Cuomo says an Associated Press report citing state officials and an interview with Kennedy was wrong. State officials close to Cuomo and Kennedy had said Cuomo was near a decision last month to order limited drilling.
The AP reported Cuomo had come closer than he ever had to deciding whether to approve limited test wells. But after talking with Kennedy, Cuomo decided to await a new comprehensive health study.
Cuomo confirms he was speaking to Kennedy, his former brother-in-law. Cuomo says he doesn't recall telling Kennedy that he won't greenlight fracking if it's a health threat, but that he's said that before.
Cuomo open only to "technical" fixes in gun law
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he's open only to "technical changes" to fix mistakes in his landmark gun control legislation, not substantive changes.
Cuomo says he's not open to changing the provision that requires no more the seven bullets in an ammunition magazine, down from 10 allowed before the law was enacted.
That's among the revisions Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos floated Monday. The Long Island Republican says his conference wants to pursue other changes, too.
The gun law has led to large protest rallies in Albany and pressured Senate Republicans who represent many of the upstate areas where gun owners are most upset.
NY paid $1M to settle gov't sex harassment cases
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Records obtained by The Associated Press show that state officials spent more than $1 million in public money over the past four years to settle sexual harassment claims against state workers.
Almost half of the cases were settled in court last year as Albany was embroiled in a scandal over a $103,000 settlement paid to women who accused Assemblyman Vito Lopez of sexual harassment. Lopez has denied harassing anyone and was easily re-elected to his Brooklyn seat in November.
The records obtained under the state Freedom of Information Law show 13 women and one man brought cases against several agencies.
The largest payout was for $650,000.
Records from the state comptroller show millions more in cash settlements, but don't identify which cases involved sexual harassment claims.
Man accused of killing housemate in western NY
CARLTON, N.Y. (AP) Authorities have made an arrest in the death of a woman whose body was spotted by a school bus driver alongside an upstate New York roadway.
Orleans County sheriff's department officials say 61-year-old Frederick Miller has been accused of killing 53-year-old Rachel Miller at their town of Carlton home. He's charged with second-degree murder.
Investigators say that although the victim and suspect have the same last name, they weren't married or siblings.
Rachel Miller's body was found near a guardrail about 7 a.m. Monday, not far from where the Millers lived.
Investigators say the two had fought inside the home and then moved outside.
Authorities didn't release a cause of death and say an autopsy is planned.
It wasn't initially known if Miller has a lawyer.
Pedestrian hit, killed by trailer in upstate NY
DEPOSIT, N.Y. (AP) State police say a motorist is facing a manslaughter charge after a woman walking on an upstate New York road was hit and killed by a trailer.
Troopers say 80-year-old Barbara Seymour was hit by the empty snowmobile trailer being towed by 56-year-old James Gruscavage in Deposit, their hometown, on Saturday.
She died at a hospital and Gruscavage was charged with second-degree vehicular manslaughter. State Police Lt. Carolyn Mullin said Monday investigators are waiting for the results of blood tests, but expect to file drunken driving charges against Gruscavage.
Deposit Town Justice Douglas Card refused to say if Gruscavage entered a plea at his arraignment Saturday. He said Gruscavage didn't have a lawyer at that appearance.
Deposit is in Delaware County, 25 miles east of Binghamton.
Ex-dance teacher admits abusing boy in upstate NY
QUEENSBURY, N.Y. (AP) A former dance instructor has admitted a molesting a boy at his upstate New York studio.
The Glens Falls Post-Star reports that 51-year-old Timothy McGuire pleaded guilty Monday in Warren County court to a felony count of course of sexual conduct against a child and misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child.
Under a plea bargain, McGuire isn't expected to serve any of an 18-month jail sentence since he'd already served 15 months before his previous conviction was reversed by an appeals court last year because of technical errors during jury selection.
McGuire apologized after admitting he sexually abused the boy repeatedly from 1998 until 2006 at his Glens Falls studio.
He was also sentenced to 10 years on probation and forbidden to teach dance to children.
Ex-central NY court clerk accused of $122K theft
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) The former clerk in a central New York town court has been accused of embezzling more than $122,000 that had been paid in cash for bail and fines.
The Syracuse Post-Standard reports that 45-year-old Kimberly Amidon was charged Monday with the felonies grand larceny, defrauding the government and falsifying business records.
An Onondaga County prosecutor tells the newspaper Amidon took the money from the town of Manlius court between January and December 2012. He says the cash was taken for personal use, but wouldn't say how she spent it or if any has been recovered.
A town official said her last day on the job was in mid-January.
Amidon is due in the town of Pompey court Tuesday evening. Officials weren't available to say if she has a lawyer.
NY city: Some red light camera tix may be dropped
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) A western New York city says it may nullify hundreds of tickets for running red lights because of a problem in a pair of the signals monitored by cameras.
Rochester officials tell local media outlets that differences in the amounts of time signals were yellow created a disparity in the numbers of the $50 tickets issued. There were 1,600 drivers ticketed traveling through the intersections in a direction where the yellow lasted three seconds compared to the other direction, when it lasted four seconds.
The problem was discovered by state officials after a ticket was protested.
The city has installed 31 red light cameras in the past two years.
Officials said Monday tickets from the two intersections will be reviewed and rescinded if the timing problem was involved.
NY school marching bands to lead rally in Albany
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Some high school marching bands will provide the soundtrack for a rally in Albany aimed at increasing state aid to schools.
Organizers of Tuesday's event say budget cuts threaten marching bands and other programs at schools throughout New York.
The Alliance for Quality Education says the bands will join parents, teachers and advocates in a parade from the Armory to a park on the west side of the state Capitol, where the rally will take place.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget proposal contains a 4.4 percent increase in spending for education, but advocates say that's not enough to offset prior cuts or the state's new tax cap, which limits what districts can raise in their communities.
Women's equality exhibit open at Capitol in Albany
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) An exhibit on the history of women's rights is on display at New York's Capitol.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the 2013 Women's Equality installation focuses on the drive for economic equality for women from the 1820s to the 1980s.
Among the featured events are the first garment workers strike in New York City, the licensing of the nation's first female doctor and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.
Women who played major roles in history are also highlighted, including union organizers, rights activists and pioneering professionals.
The exhibit announced Monday is in the War Room at the Capitol.
NY artists' retreat is National Historic Landmark
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) An artists' retreat in upstate New York has won recognition as a National Historic Landmark.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says Yaddo in Saratoga Springs made the list after more than a century as a place where artists can gather a work in a variety of media.
Artists at Yaddo have come from the fields of choreography, film, literature, musical composition, painting, performance art, photography, printmaking, sculpture and video. The facility that opened in 1900 near Saratoga's historic thoroughbred track is in the process of upgrading its facilities.
The artists who've spent time there have won a wide range of awards, including 66 Pulitzer Prizes, 61 National Book Awards, and 27 MacArthur Fellowships.
The designation by the U.S. Department of the Interior was announced Monday.
(All stories copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)