No drama in NY budget slated for early approval
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York's Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo are on track to pass the earliest state budget in decades.
The Legislature is to publicly present counterproposals to Cuomo on Monday or Tuesday, although closed-door negotiations have been going on for weeks.
Cuomo's $143 billion budget proposal would increase state spending about 2 percent. It includes no new taxes, although he would extend some business taxes that were due to expire.
The independent Citizens Budget Commission says Cuomo's budget proposal is reasonable.
The Legislature traditionally adds less than 1 percent to the budget, but it is usually in the areas that hit New Yorkers most such as school aid, taxes, fees and health care.
After two decades of late budgets, this would be the third straight that was passed on time.
Gun business soars after NY gun laws enacted
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Gun shops, shooting ranges and county clerks' offices have seen an upsurge in business since the state Legislature rushed through Gov. Andrew Cuomo's sweeping set of gun laws in December.
Dennis Deasy, owner of Niagara Gun Range in North Tonawanda, tells The Buffalo News that pistol permit classes are booked through May. He says his store can hardly keep up with demand for guns that hold 10-round magazines ahead of the April 15 ban on them.
The FBI reports there were 76,001 firearm purchase background checks for New Yorkers in January and February of 2013. That compares to about 51,000 for the same months last year.
Some county clerks say they're overwhelmed with new paperwork resulting from a new provision allowing permit holders to keep their permit status private.
Boy falls from chairlift in western NY, is OK
ELLICOTTVILLE, N.Y. (AP) An 8-year-old boy is expected to be all right after falling more than 20 feet from a chairlift at a western New York ski center.
Mercy Flight was called to Holiday Valley Sunday afternoon in Ellicottville, about 44 miles southeast of Buffalo.
Holiday Valley's Marketing Manager Jane Eschbaugh tells WIVB-TV that the boy suffers from a back injury due to the fall but appears to be OK. He was taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure.
NY man charged with driving drunk on stolen mower
BATH, N.Y. (AP) A Steuben County man is in the county jail after state police charged him with drunken driving on a stolen lawnmower.
Troopers say police agencies were told to be on the lookout for a stolen Craftsman lawnmower on Wednesday in the village of Bath, 60 miles southeast of Rochester. Patrols found 28-year-old George Barkley of Bath driving it on a village street.
Police say Barkley was charged with driving while intoxicated and driving without a license. He was arraigned in village court and sent to Steuben County Jail on $1,000 bail or $2,000 bond. He was still there on Sunday.
NY couple weds at Hudson Valley air museum
RHINEBECK, N.Y. (AP) The bride arrived in her helicopter and the groom swooped down with a parachute.
Heather Howley and Marius Ivascu held their wedding reception Saturday at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, where they also had their first date. Howley owns Independent Helicopters based at Stewart International Airport and Ivascu is a skydiving instructor and a member of the U.S. Parachute Team.
Ivascu told the Poughkeepsie Journal that their wedding day stunt was a good way to promote the aviation business, which has been hurt by the recession and soaring fuel prices.
The aerodrome, in the Hudson Valley village of Rhinebeck 50 miles south of Albany, is a museum of aviation history. Ivascu and Howley volunteer for the non-profit group that holds flying events there starting in June.
(All stories copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)