Teen skiers found in VT wilderness area. Renewable energy fight to unfold in Vermont State.
NY considers changes in new gun control law
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders are considering changes in New York's new gun control law involving the new limit of seven bullets in magazines.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says leaders are discussing returning to a 10-bullet limit, which is standard in the industry that doesn't make seven-bullet magazines.
Soon after, Cuomo said no such proposal was discussed in the closed-door meeting with Silver and other legislative leaders.
Instead, Cuomo says changes are being considered to allow the purchase of 10-bullet magazines. But the law would still prohibit more than seven bullets in magazines except at shooting ranges and in competitions.
The seven-bullet limit is the most stringent in the nation. New York's measure was rushed into law in January one month after the Newtown, Conn., shooting.
Lawmakers say budget to have middle class rebates
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Legislative leaders say they and Gov. Andrew Cuomo plan to provide $350 rebates to middle class families as part of the state budget.
The tax rebates would go to families with a household income of $40,000 to $300,000, with one or more children. Cuomo and legislative leaders continue to negotiate final elements of the budget.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Sens. Jeffrey Klein and Dean Skelos say the new element to the budget still being negotiated is widely supported in the closed-door discussions.
3rd NY town wins in court over fracking ban
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) A third upstate New York town has won a court challenge to its ban on natural gas drilling.
Gas drilling company Lenape Resources had sued the Livingston County town of Avon and the state Department of Environmental Conservation over the town's moratorium on drilling, saying the action threatened to put it out of business after it had operated in the town for decades. Lenape's owner, John Holko, also sought $50 million in damages.
On March 15, Acting Supreme Court Justice Robert Wiggins in Livingston County ruled against Lenape on all counts. He cited Court of Appeals precedents as well as decisions in favor of local bans in the upstate towns of Dryden and Middlefield.
Appeals of the Dryden and Middlefield decisions will be argued in a state appeals court on Thursday.
10 years later: Iraq War and the NY National Guard
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) A decade after the start of the second Gulf War, nearly 10,000 members of the New York Army and Air National Guard have been deployed in support of operations in Iraq.
National Guard officials say nearly 4,900 soldiers were deployed to Iraq and another 1,475 were sent to Kuwait. Some 3,500 airmen served in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Twenty-three Army National Guard members from New York units died during deployment overseas since the U.S. launched its war on Iraq 10 years ago this week.
Every major element of the New York Army National Guard deployed forces to Iraq, including infantry and aviation battalions and military police, transportation, supply and medical companies.
The peak of New York Army National Guard troop strength in Iraq was in 2005, with more than 3,500 soldiers in the theater of war.
NY man who killed 4 died after multiple gun shots
HERKIMER, N.Y. (AP) Autopsy results on a man who fatally shot four people before being killed in a police shootout show he suffered internal bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds.
State police would not reveal how many bullets hit 64-year-old Kurt Myers Thursday after police stormed the abandoned Mohawk Valley bar he fled to after the shootings. But police said Tuesday Myers suffered internal bleeding and gunshot wounds to his heart, aorta, liver, lungs and right kidney. He died at the scene.
Myers used a shotgun to kill two customers at a barber shop in Mohawk on Wednesday before killing two more at a car care shop in nearby Herkimer. Two other men wounded at the barber shop remained hospitalized Tuesday.
Investigators are asking anyone with information about Myers to call police at 315-866-7275.
NY hunters kill 1,337 bears in 2012 season
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) The state Department of Environmental Conservation says New York hunters killed 1,337 black bears in 2012, the third highest number on record.
Regionally, bear harvest increased in the Adirondacks, where hunters killed 606. That represents a return to a normal level after an exceptionally low harvest in 2011.
The harvest decreased in the Southeastern and Central-Western hunting areas.
A summer of low natural food availability had an impact on early season hunting. Towns along the western and southern edge of the Adirondacks saw some of the highest harvests as bears were feeding in corn fields during the early season.
In Southeastern New York, biologists anticipated the lower bear take because the animals denned early due to a lack of food such as apples, acorns and beechnuts.
Applications sought for NY environmental awards
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) The state Department of Environmental Conservation is accepting applications for the 2013 Environmental Excellence Awards program.
The agency says it's interested in projects such as green infrastructure, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, cutting-edge pollution prevention, renewable energy, recycling, education, urban forestry and habitat restoration.
Applicants may be businesses, non-profit groups, educators, government agencies, health or recreational facilities or individuals. The deadline for applications is May 10.
Award winners will be honored at a 10th anniversary celebration and awards ceremony in the fall or winter 2013.
Teen skiers found in Vt. wilderness area
BOLTON, Vt. (AP) Two 16-year-old skiers have been found after skiing off their trail into a large wilderness area between the Bolton Valley Ski Resort and Waterbury Reservoir in Vermont.
Cecil Freeman of Berlin and Matthew Smith of East Montpelier contacted 911 about 7:20 p.m. Tuesday. They said they were in good health and not injured. The pair were found through 911 GPS mapping and were told to remain at their current location.
Rescue crews using snowmobiles found the teens about 10 p.m. and brought them out of the woods. They were not hurt.
Renewable energy fight to unfold in Vermont Senate
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) The Vermont Senate is slated to debate a measure that one side says aims to strengthen reviews of ridge-top wind power projects and the other says would bring development of renewable energy in the state to a halt.
Senate bill 30 is being pushed by critics of wind projects that they say have been damaging Vermont's mountaintops without significantly reducing the state's greenhouse gas emissions. It would call for the Legislature's Joint Energy Committee to examine reports from an energy siting commission and the Department of Public Service and draft legislation for action next winter.
Meanwhile, for the next 15 months, the Public Service Board would shift the way it reviews renewable energy projects to give more weight to environmental criteria and less to the need for power.
(All stories copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)