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GE dredging operation on the Upper Hudson. Photo: <a href=" https://www.flickr.com/photos/gereports/4987213203/">GEreports</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
GE dredging operation on the Upper Hudson. Photo: GEreports, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

GE reaches $7.95M settlement with river towns

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) General Electric Co. has agreed to pay $7.95 million to partially settle a federal lawsuit filed by Hudson River communities that had to find alternate water supplies when the company began dredging for PCBs.

The Times-Union of Albany reports that the Fairfield, Connecticut-based company settled litigation with the towns and villages of Stillwater and Waterford, and with Waterford's water commissioners. The newspaper obtained the agreement through a Freedom of Information request.  Go to full article
Photo: <a href=" https://www.flickr.com/photos/dougbrown47/9478231418/"> Doug Brown</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photo: Doug Brown, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Events across Vermont to mark Independence Day

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) Vermont will be buzzing with extra events to celebrate the Independence Day holiday this week.

Vermont officials say there will be at least 17 fireworks shows, a dozen parades and 95 special events planned for Fourth of July weekend celebrations.  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/mytudut/5183267783/"> Wirawat Lian-udom</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photo: Wirawat Lian-udom, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Lawsuit challenges New York teacher tenure laws

NEW YORK (AP) An education advocacy group has filed a lawsuit arguing that New York's teacher tenure laws are unconstitutional because they violate the state Constitution's guarantee of a "sound basic education" by making it difficult to fire bad teachers.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in State Supreme Court on Staten Island against city and state education officials. The plaintiffs are 11 students whose parents belong to the New York City Parents Union.  Go to full article
At the annual hot dog eating contest in 2011. Photo: <a href=" https://www.flickr.com/photos/undercrimson/5903999348/"> Patrick Shyu<br /></a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved<br />
At the annual hot dog eating contest in 2011. Photo: Patrick Shyu
, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Hot dog eaters weigh in on eve of famed NY contest

NEW YORK (AP) The competitors in the annual Fourth of July hot dog eating contest at New York's Coney Island prove that size doesn't matter.

The top four contestants weighed in Thursday at City Hall with host Mayor Bill de Blasio.  Go to full article
Photo: <a href=" https://www.flickr.com/photos/reallyboring/14525283356//"> Eric Allix Rogers <br /></a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved<br />
Photo: Eric Allix Rogers
, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Severe thunderstorms hit eastern NY for second day

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Strong thunderstorms are hitting eastern New York for a second day, with damaging winds triggering a tornado warning west of Albany and the threat of flash floods through the evening.

The National Weather Service says a tornado was possible in a line of storms that moved through parts of Herkimer, Montgomery and Fulton counties late Thursday afternoon.  Go to full article

Divers resume search on Lake George for fisherman

HAGUE, N.Y. (AP) Divers are set to resume the search for a 59-year-old upstate New York man who disappeared on the northern end of Lake George when the boat he was in capsized in stiff winds.

William Scott, of Westerlo, was fishing with two friends Tuesday morning when the boat's downriggers line snagged something and the boat capsized.  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/99329675@N02/11064883376/">jpalinsad360</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photo: jpalinsad360, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NY police step up traffic enforcement for holiday

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York State Police are stepping up their patrols to catch drunk and distracted drivers over the July 4 weekend.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says Wednesday that the effort will run Thursday through Sunday. He says 500 electronic message boards will be placed alongside state roadways warning motorists against driving while intoxicated.  Go to full article

NY Firemen's Association warns against fireworks

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) The Firemen's Association of the State of New York is reminding residents that fireworks are illegal in the state and are urging Fourth of July celebrants to leave the pyrotechnics to the professionals.

The organization, which represents volunteer firefighters, says that more fires are reported on July 4 than on any other day of the year.  Go to full article
Essex Chain of lakes. Photo: Carl Heilman, courtesy Adirondack Nature Conservancy
Essex Chain of lakes. Photo: Carl Heilman, courtesy Adirondack Nature Conservancy

New Adirondack lands opened for camping, hiking

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) A lake-studded region in the central Adirondacks is now open for backcountry tent camping.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that 22 tent sites are now available in the Essex Chain Lakes region near Newcomb. Thirteen of the sites are along lakefronts and must be reserved through a permit system administered by the Adirondack Interpretive Center in Newcomb.  Go to full article
F-35A fighters. Photo: U.S. Air Force
F-35A fighters. Photo: U.S. Air Force

Vermont F-35 foes file suit to block deployment

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) Opponents of a plan by the Air Force to base 18 F-35 fighter planes at Vermont's Burlington International Airport are asking a federal judge to overturn the decision.

A lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Burlington challenges a decision by the secretary of the Air Force to choose the Vermont Air National Guard to be the first such unit to be ready to use the aircraft in a war.  Go to full article

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