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Former NY Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno. Photo: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Joe_Bruno.JPG">UpstateNYer</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Former NY Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno. Photo: UpstateNYer, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

2nd corruption trial begins for ex-Senate leader

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) The second trial of the former Republican leader of New York's Senate on federal fraud charges has started in Albany.

A jury was seated Monday before the prosecution and defense attorneys made opening statements in the trial of Joseph Bruno, the former Senate majority leader charged with two counts of mail fraud.

Bruno's first prosecution ended with the 85-year-old Rensselaer County resident acquitted of five charges and convicted of two that were overturned on appeal.  Go to full article

Democrats introduce ethics legislation package

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Democrats in the state senate are introducing legislation to curb the government corruption that has tarnished New York politics.

The minority conference is slated to announce the package of nine bills Tuesday.  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/people/wwworks/">woodleywonderworks</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photo: woodleywonderworks, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Vermont House endorses child care union

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) The Vermont House has voted narrowly to advance a bill to allow home-based child care operators to unionize and negotiate with the state over subsidies for families sending their children to the homes.

The House voted 70-64, with 16 members absent, to give preliminary approval to a bill already passed by the Senate. It would allow home-based child care providers with 12 or fewer children in their care to unionize.  Go to full article

Ban on hand-held devices while driving hits snag

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) A proposal to ban hand-held cell phones and other electronic devices while driving in Vermont has hit a snag.

Senate action on the bill had been held up by opposition from Sen. Richard Sears, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. But then backers came up with a new plan: attach the measure to a separate motor vehicles bill that would go to the Transportation Committee, where it was getting a warmer welcome.  Go to full article
Clarkson University President Tony Collins. Source: Clarkson University
Clarkson University President Tony Collins. Source: Clarkson University

Clarkson U. president nominated for seaway panel

POTSDAM, N.Y. (AP) President Barack Obama is set to nominate the president of Clarkson University for the advisory board of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp.

The government-owned corporation operates and maintains the St. Lawrence Seaway between the Port of Montreal and Lake Erie.  Go to full article
The Pine Bush area. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/andyarthur/11309604054/">Andy Arthur</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
The Pine Bush area. Photo: Andy Arthur, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Albany pine barrens get Audubon bird distinction

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Audubon New York has designated the rare inland pine barrens habitat of western Albany as an Important Bird Area. The designation is an international bird conservation initiative that identifies the most important places for birds and recommends protection.

The Pine Bush was named an Important Bird Area because the globally rare ecosystem contains several at-risk birds, including American woodcock, red-shouldered hawk, blue-winged warbler and prairie warbler.  Go to full article
Juneberries. Photo: <a href=" https://www.flickr.com/photos/43200296@N08/12506955824/">Jim Ochterski</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Juneberries. Photo: Jim Ochterski, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Juneberries gain popularity with Northeast farmers

WILLSBORO, N.Y. (AP) A native North American fruit that looks like a blueberry but is more closely related to apples is gaining popularity as an alternative crop for Northeastern farmers.

Juneberries have become established as a commercial crop on the western Canadian prairie and now are gaining interest in the northern United States.  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/smelton/223359418/">Seth Melton</a>, creative Commons, sone rights reserved
Photo: Seth Melton, creative Commons, sone rights reserved

NY state police to clamp down in road work zones

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) State police are stepping up patrols again in highway construction zones.

"Operation Work Brake'' begins Monday for five days along the New York State Thruway. Troopers will crack down on speeding motorists and aggressive driving in and around construction zones.  Go to full article
Battle of the Wilderness. Print: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Battle_of_the_Wilderness.png">Library of Congress</a>, public domain
Battle of the Wilderness. Print: Library of Congress, public domain

Vermont to mark Civil War battle with church bells

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) Church bells across Vermont will be ringing to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War Battle of the Wilderness.

The Vermont House passed a resolution urging bells to be rung for 10 minutes beginning at 4 p.m. on Monday to mark the moment on May 5, 1864 when Vermont soldiers were ordered into battle at a critical crossroads at what is now the Wilderness battlefield in Virginia.  Go to full article
Police Officers Memorial, Albany. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/75001512@N00/2580716878/">Joel Kramer</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Police Officers Memorial, Albany. Photo: Joel Kramer, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NY police memorial planned in Albany

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Police agencies from across the state will head to Albany this week to pay tribute to those who have died in the line of duty.

A ceremony will be held Tuesday at the New York State Law Enforcement Officers Memorial at the Empire State Plaza.  Go to full article

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