Mar 25, 2014 — ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York officials are asking the Environmental Protection Agency to update a contingency plan for dealing with oil spills, in light of the rapid expansion of rail shipments of crude oil from North Dakota.
State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens sent a letter Monday to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. He said under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, EPA is responsible for creating Inland Area Contingency Plans to improve preparedness for oil spills. Go to full article
Mar 24, 2014 — ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Gov. Andrew Cuomo is warning employers that they can face fines, charges and civil or even criminal punishment for failing to comply with the state's minimum wage laws.
The $8 minimum went into effect Dec. 31 and will increase to $8.75 at the end of the year and $9 at the end of 2015. Go to full article
Be on the lookout for the Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) Photo: Heather Paul, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Mar 24, 2014 — ITHACA, N.Y. (AP) As birds wing their way north from their wintering grounds, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is recruiting volunteers for its annual NestWatch citizen science project.
Participants map any nest or birdhouse location on the NestWatch website (www.NestWatch.org). Then they report the species of nesting bird, when eggs are laid, how many hatch, and how many fledglings leave the nest. Go to full article
High Speed Rail Train Photo: jiadoldol, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Mar 24, 2014 — ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) The state Department of Transportation has extended the public comment period on plans for high-speed rail service between New York City and upstate New York.
The comment period was originally supposed to end Monday. Officials have received about 250 comments and held six public hearings across the state that attracted more than 500 people. Go to full article
Raffle Tickets Photo: Alyson Hurt, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Mar 24, 2014 — TROY, N.Y. (AP) After a sermon connecting the "Christian values" of America's founding fathers with the right to bear arms, an upstate New York Baptist minister has raffled off a new Smith & Wesson M&P semi-automatic rifle.
Other local ministers have criticized Sunday's giveaway of a gun similar to the rifle used in the December 2012 shooting at Newtown, Conn.'s Sandy Hook Elementary School. Go to full article