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Gov. Cuomo speaking on a farm in Middleburgh, NY in 2011. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/57782386@N06/6109423209/">Office of Gov. Cuomo</a>
Gov. Cuomo speaking on a farm in Middleburgh, NY in 2011. Photo: Office of Gov. Cuomo

NY forms task force to help farmers

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York officials have formed a new task force to help farmers.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the task force will include farmers and state officials and will be charged with improving how state agencies work with people in the agriculture industry. The group will be called the Strategic Interagency Task Force on Lessening Obstacles to Agriculture, or SILO for short.  Go to full article
Former NJ Gov. Christine Todd Whitman (third from left) leading a panel of Women's Leadership Program Fellows in 2010. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/26538663@N02/5547948948/">Eisenhower Fellowships</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Former NJ Gov. Christine Todd Whitman (third from left) leading a panel of Women's Leadership Program Fellows in 2010. Photo: Eisenhower Fellowships, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Pols: NY public campaign financing vital to women

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) More than 160 women who are elected officials or hold
other leadership posts have written to New York's top elected officials, all men,
urging them to enact public campaign financing.

Calling it "vital" to participation in politics by women in particular, they want Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders to enact Cuomo's budget proposal for a campaign system like New York City's, with small donations matched by public funds.  Go to full article
Amtrak's Acela Express is the only high-speed rail service currently operating in New York. Photo: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Acela_old_saybrook_ct_summer2011.jpg">Michael Kurras</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Amtrak's Acela Express is the only high-speed rail service currently operating in New York. Photo: Michael Kurras, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Hearings to start on NY high-speed rail proposals

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Public meetings begin this week on proposals for high-speed passenger rail service in New York.

The first of six hearings is Tuesday at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany. Meetings are also planned in Syracuse, Buffalo, Rochester, Utica and Poughkeepsie.  Go to full article
Wind Turbines in Searbury, Vermont Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/redjar/113885544/">Jared and Corin</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Wind Turbines in Searbury, Vermont Photo: Jared and Corin, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Vermont loves renewable energy, except when it arrives

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) Vermont touts itself as clean and green but renewable energy has had a bumpy ride in the state recently.

Strong opposition from citizens' groups to a wind-power project in Lowell, the recent vote by property owners to reject a proposed wind farm in northeastern Vermont, and a ruling by state regulators against a proposed wood-burning power plant have some questioning the state's willingness to turn talk into action on renewable energy.  Go to full article
Battle of Lake George 1755 Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/normanbleventhalmapcenter/2675520226/">Norman B. Leventhal</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Battle of Lake George 1755 Photo: Norman B. Leventhal, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

History reburied? NY's 1755 battle site covered up

LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (AP) A former member of the state commission that promoted the 250th anniversary of the French and Indian War says a businessman's project has damaged a section of a New York battleground where Colonial soldiers are believed to have been buried after an ambush.

Retired state police Randy Patten says the tons of soil dumped on private property since the late 1990s have spilled into part of the wooded ravine that saw the opening shots of the 1755 Battle of Lake George.  Go to full article
New York Maple Syrup Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/dougtone/5567146571/">Doug Kerr</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
New York Maple Syrup Photo: Doug Kerr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NY's maple season off to slow start due to cold

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Maple producers across New York are planning open houses the last two weekends in March, but so far the season is off to a slow start because of frigid weather.

The best weather for sap is daytime temperatures in the low 40s and nighttime lows in the 20s. This winter has been so cold that many producers say they haven't been able to get any sap yet.  Go to full article
Frozen Adirondaks Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/vtdarkstar/396067431/">Jim Something</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Frozen Adirondaks Photo: Jim Something, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Winter not gone yet; Central NY to get socked

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) There's just over three weeks before winter ends on the calendar, but upstate New York is still feeling the brunt of its frigid touch.  Go to full article
TSA PreCheck Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/grantwickes/7417151634/">Grant Wickes</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
TSA PreCheck Photo: Grant Wickes, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

TSA expanding pre-check program to western NY

LACKAWANNA, N.Y. (AP) Travelers from western New York will soon be able to qualify for expedited screening at airport security checkpoints.

The federal Transportation Security Administration is opening an application center on Friday for its pre-check program in Lackawanna.  Go to full article
Bee pollinating apple tree. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/natalief/467094723/">Natalie Ford</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Bee pollinating apple tree. Photo: Natalie Ford, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Gillibrand urges feds to look at bee losses in NY

WASHINGTON (AP) New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is telling federal officials that the Empire State needs its bees to pollinate crops.

Gillibrand wrote Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to ask him to expand the department's efforts to revive bee populations in New York and the Northeast. Vilsack has already directed $3 million to study bee losses in the Midwest.  Go to full article
Bird Feeder. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mcwetboy/2478383232/">Jonathan Crowe</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Bird Feeder. Photo: Jonathan Crowe, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

New Yorkers urged to clean dirty bird feeders

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) State conservation officials are calling for New Yorkers to clean their bird feeders, noting that about this time last year they confirmed bacterial infections in common redpolls that frequented feeders across 13 counties.

While no cases have been confirmed so far in 2014, the Department of Environmental Conservation says proper feeder maintenance helps prevent the Salmonella infections, particularly in late winter when songbirds are especially vulnerable.  Go to full article

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