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Photo via Vermont Health Connect
Photo via Vermont Health Connect

Vermont urged health sign ups through deadline

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- More Vermonters were signing up for health insurance right down to the wire.

The Department of Vermont Health Access said that as of Monday morning about 46,800 Vermonters had enrolled in a plan directly through Vermont Health Connect, including about 2,600 over the weekend.

Officials say the figure does not include tens of thousands of Vermonters covered by an employer who enrolled in a Vermont Health Connect plan directly through an insurance carrier.  Go to full article

Advocates criticizing NY public finance proposal

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Good-government advocates are criticizing Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York's legislative leaders for a budget agreement to test public campaign financing with the state comptroller race this year.

Six good-government groups released a statement Sunday that called the proposal flawed and urged Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and any potential opponent to refuse to participate.  Go to full article

Green groups cheer NY budget environment spending

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Conservation groups are glad to see the state's Environmental Protection Fund increased under the $140 billion budget agreement reached by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders.

But Peter Iwanowicz of Environmental Advocates says lawmakers missed opportunities by again delaying the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2006 and not fixing the state's brownfields cleanup program.  Go to full article
Whiteface Mountain Ski Center in Wilmington. Photo: ORDA
Whiteface Mountain Ski Center in Wilmington. Photo: ORDA

NY's snowy winter lets Whiteface extend season

WILMINGTON, N.Y. (AP) The cold, snowy winter has been good to upstate New York ski areas. Whiteface may even be open until May.

Whiteface manager Aaron Kellet tells the Adirondack Daily Enterprise that the official closing date of the ski center near Lake Placid is April 13. But he says it'll probably be open on weekends after that.  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/thomma/4906491235/">Thomas Marthinsen</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photo: Thomas Marthinsen, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Cops meet in Ft. Edward to discuss heroin problem

FORT EDWARD, N.Y. (AP) Scores of law enforcement officers from New York, Vermont and Massachusetts have met in an upstate county that has become a crossroad in the trafficking of heroin to northern New England.

The Post-Star of Glens Falls reports that about 90 local, state and federal officers met Thursday at the Washington County Sheriff's Office to discuss how to combat the growing heroin problem in the Northeast.  Go to full article
A train of oil tankers. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/11072040@N08/6184231577/">Russ Allison Loar</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
A train of oil tankers. Photo: Russ Allison Loar, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NY, fed agencies do second oil train inspection blitz

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) State and federal inspectors have completed a second round of safety checks of train tracks and oil tanker cars in an effort to prevent disastrous derailments and spills of volatile crude from North Dakota's Bakken region.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says Thursday the inspection "blitz" is part of a proactive safety effort launched in January after several severe accidents across the U.S. and Canada.  Go to full article
NY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Photo: NYer42, released to public domain
NY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Photo: NYer42, released to public domain

Top NY lawmaker expects to do "well" for education

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) The New York Legislature's top Democrat says he expects to do "well" funding education and pre-kindergarten and cutting property taxes across the state in the new budget.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, following late afternoon meetings with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Senate leaders, says he may be able to attach numbers to his predictions Friday.  Go to full article

NYC jail boss details heating problems after death

NEW YORK (AP) The head of New York City's jail system says that a malfunctioning damper diverted heat to the upper-level cell where a mentally ill veteran was found dead last month.

Acting Department of Correction Commissioner Mark Cranston told a City Council committee Thursday that a gauge on the lower-level tier didn't register the high temperature on the upper level.  Go to full article

Bathtub plant closure will cost Cornwall 42 jobs

The acting mayor of Cornwall is calling the pending closure of a local bathtub manufacturer a huge loss for the city.

Forty-two jobs will be lost when the American Standard tub plant is closed by the end of the year.  Go to full article
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Photo: Mark Kurtz
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Photo: Mark Kurtz

Sen. Gillibrand asks for update of oil spill plans

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is urging the Environmental Protection Agency and the Coast Guard to upgrade contingency plans for oil spills in New York and New Jersey.

Gillibrand says safety guidelines need to be updated because the amount of oil transported by railroad through densely populated areas has more than doubled in the two years since the plan was last updated.  Go to full article

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