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DWI Checkpoint Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/fairfaxcounty/4637601664/">Fairfax County</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
DWI Checkpoint Photo: Fairfax County, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NY DWI checkpoints for St. Patrick's Day weekend

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York State Police are cracking down on drinking and driving and underage drinking this St. Patrick's Day weekend.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says that from Friday through Monday, drivers can expect sobriety checkpoints, increased DWI patrols and increased inspections on underage drinking and sales to minors.  Go to full article
The Vermont State Capitol. Photo: <a href=" http://www.flickr.com/photos/51035749109@N01/8395548101/">Adam Fagen</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
The Vermont State Capitol. Photo: Adam Fagen, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Vermont bill pushes toward drug treatment, not jail

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) The Vermont Senate has passed and sent to the House a bill designed to keep low-risk drug offenders out of jail and get them treatment instead.

In one strategy, county prosecutors will be allowed to refer someone for drug treatment before charging the person with a crime, so long as the prosecutor has filed a protocol for doing so with the state Department of State's Attorneys and Sheriffs.  Go to full article
NY State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Photo: NYS
NY State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Photo: NYS

Schneiderman: New agreements on background checks

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says four of the nation's largest agencies providing background checks have agreed not to automatically disqualify applicants with criminal convictions.

Instead, they will defer hiring decisions to employers to individually consider candidates.

Schneiderman says that comports with New York state laws that prohibit automatic disqualification based on criminal history.  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/52046304@N00/269332764/">Sherene</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photo: Sherene, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Winter storm round-up: more snow, blowing and drifting, cold

Winter shows no signs of letting up as drifting and blowing snow makes travel hazardous across the region. The thermometer is heading down.

Many schools and businesses are closed or opening late, and many events are cancelled. Check to see if your destination is open before you travel.

The Associated Press provides a round-up from around the NCPR listening area.  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/28145073@N08/5952271604/in/photolist-a4YWYu-bBia4w-arqmVF-5bvfwh-5bqXE6-art1xA-arqm7R-art1uy-arsZSh-KEPTt-KEPTk-KELLg-KELL6-5Joujv-auBLw2-fxFjxv-fxFijT-fxVAQh-5CHRmE-2s9ezM-5mBEpb-8wNM8L-b55LYM-34tYf-62Sfhv-62Wv5W-7SxyFK-9rPQj9-6Vn2ta-kfUMx7-8yCQ9C-6oaUxf-KELL8-bdjHY6-78JREo-78F18n-78JRFQ-78F1mB-78F1gR-78F1uZ-78F1oB-78F19P-78F1kt-78JRQu-78JRUo-78F1c2-78F1q6-78JRWW-78JRGJ-78F1aV-9vQntK">Moyan Brenn</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photo: Moyan Brenn, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

New NYS casino board gets to work

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) The panel that will choose operators and locations for new casinos in New York is beginning its work.

The New York State Gaming Commission on Wednesday officially appointed former city comptroller William Thompson, Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz and veteran gubernatorial adviser Paul Francis to the Resort Gaming Facility Location Board.  Go to full article

Critics fault Cuomo's bank tax proposal

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to simplify New York bank taxes contains a provision critics say would let Manhattan's big investment banks pay tax on only 8 percent of their billions in annual net income from stocks, bonds and other securities.

According to the Cuomo administration, the changes will simplify New York's complex tax structure and help end lengthy, expensive disputes between banks and tax collectors on what constitutes taxable revenue.  Go to full article
Flooded bridge on the Mohawk in Schoharie County during Hurricane Irene. Photo: NYS
Flooded bridge on the Mohawk in Schoharie County during Hurricane Irene. Photo: NYS

Mohawk River flood protection projects get NYS funding

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York state is providing grants to help communities along the Mohawk River better handle the threat of future floods.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says more than $640,000 will be provided through the Environmental Protection Fund administered by the Department of Environmental Conservation. Cuomo says the money will help Mohawk River communities be better prepared for weather disasters.  Go to full article
Holstered police taser. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/doctorq/6004372352/">Doctor Q</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Holstered police taser. Photo: Doctor Q, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Vermont statewide policy on police stun guns on track

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) A Vermont House panel has voted 11-0 to support a bill calling for a statewide policy on police use of electronic stun guns.

The bill was prompted in part by concern over police use of the electronic weapons following the 2012 death of Macadam Mason of Thetford after a state trooper used a Taser on him.  Go to full article
Photo: Mark Kurtz
Photo: Mark Kurtz

Blizzard warning issued for upstate NY areas

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for an area stretching from New York's southwest corner to eastern Lake Ontario.

The warning is in effect until early Thursday morning. Forecasters say 10 to 24 inches of snow is expected in some areas from the eastern end of Lake Erie to the Lake Ontario shoreline in central New York. Forecasters say wind gusts as high as 50 mph are expected later Wednesday.  Go to full article
Sugarloaf Mountain near Blue Mountain Lake is one tract of  the former Finch, Pruyn land purchased by New York. Photo: Carl Heilman
Sugarloaf Mountain near Blue Mountain Lake is one tract of the former Finch, Pruyn land purchased by New York. Photo: Carl Heilman

NY buys 8,451 acres of former Finch, Pruyn land

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York State has purchased an additional 8,451 acres of former timber company lands on 14 parcels in Fulton, Warren, Essex, and Hamilton counties.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday the state will pay $5.7 million to acquire the former Finch, Pruyn tracts from The Nature Conservancy, using money from the Environmental Protection Fund.  Go to full article

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