NY state plans for $1.7 billion in Sandy funds
NEW YORK (AP) Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed a plan for the use of $1.7 billion in federal storm-damage funds.
Most of the money is going to homeowners and businesses hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy. But some will be used for damage from the storms Irene and Lee.
The money will be used around the state, including on Long Island. The exception is New York City, which has a separate allocation.
Nearly $260 million will be used to reduce the risk of future damage. Over $170 million will cover voluntary buyouts to residents in flood areas.
The proposals also include low-interest loans, and improvements at hospitals and nursing homes evacuated during Sandy.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development still has to approve the projects.
Challenge to tougher NY gun law set for hearing
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) A state judge is scheduled to hear arguments challenging New York's tough new gun law by more than 1,000 plaintiffs who claim it violates the state constitution because it was passed too quickly and restricts the guns of its citizen militia.
Robert Schulz, who's helping lead the effort, wants a preliminary injunction from Justice Thomas McNamara to stop further implementation of the law.
Schulz claims Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders improperly suspended the three-day review usually required before voting.
The law enacted Jan. 15 sets a seven-bullet limit on magazines, tightens the definition of illegal ``assault weapons'' and requires owners of formerly legal semi-automatic guns to register them.
State attorneys say similar gun restrictions have been judged constitutional, lawmakers chose not to wait to vote and the law advances public safety.
Bus carrying Vt. lacrosse team crashes in NY
CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. (AP) A lacrosse team from Saint Michael's College is considering whether to play this afternoon as scheduled or whether to cancel a road trip after the team bus was hit by a sports car that spun out of control on a west highway in Saratoga County yesterday.
The crash killed a woman riding in the car while the man who had been driving remains hospitalized in critical condition. Four players on the bus were treated at the scene for minor injuries.
The accident happened on I-87. Police are investigating why the car's driver lost control and haven't said whether speed might have been a factor.
Bob Urban, who was driving in front of the bus, tells WNYT-TV he saw the Porsche sluing across the three-lane road.
NY man wore Army uniform while cashing bad checks
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) A 22-year-old western New York man has pleaded guilty to fraud for cashing bad checks.
Erie County prosecutors say Steven Burns of Sanborn would wear his U.S. Army Reserves uniform into banks, tell the tellers he was caring for a sick relative and needed to cash the checks from his personal bank account in order to be deployed.
Instead, prosecutors say, Burns used the money to gamble.
Authorities say he walked away with about $4,000 from three banks during a five-month period last year, despite having insufficient funds in his account.
After pleading guilty yesterday to scheming to defraud, he faces up to four years in prison. Sentencing is set for May 29.
NY moves Osprey nest from atop disused crane
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) A pair of ospreys that nested last spring on top of a crane in central New York is going to be getting a new home so the state can go ahead with plans to sell the machinery for scrap.
Environmental officials say the nest at the state Canal Corp.'s Syracuse maintenance yard has been moved to an inoperable radio tower nearby before the birds come back from their migration south.
They say that ospreys usually return to the same nests and can be found along the Oswego River and area wetlands.
(All stories copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)