- New York State

Casino support evenly split

Albany A new Siena Research Institute poll released Monday finds that while voters are evenly divided on the general subject of building casinos across the state, the wording of the ballot question that will decide the issue boosts their enthusiasm considerably. The poll found respondents split at 46 percent apiece on casino expansion when asked…

What wasn’t on the table for BOE

Albany Monday’s meeting of the state Board of Elections was most remarkable for an item that wasn’t taken up: Kathleen O’Keefe’s nomination as its new enforcement counsel. O’Keefe, who would replace the recently retired Liz Hogan, served for a decade in the counsel’s office of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. The Greene County attorney has worked…

Touched by fiscal crisis

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Albany If the federal government shuts down Tuesday, don’t bother going to the Saratoga National Historic Park. The only thing you’ll see are workers putting up “closed” signs and setting up traffic barricades. And you might want to wait a day or two if you’re applying for Social Security benefits. Those already in the system…

Thruway Authority cuts more workers

Albany The state Thruway Authority last week quietly laid off about a half-dozen non-union employees. Saying it was a personnel matter, Thruway spokesman Dan Weiller declined comment on the precise nature of the job cuts or the reason, but the move came as the federal government has told New York that they’ll only lend the…

Audit questions motive of sales

Albany Albany’s economic development arm has spent more than $1 million to buy or control city-owned property with “no intended purpose,” according to a new review by state watchdogs that raises the question of whether the sales were made simply to bolster city coffers. The Authorities Budget Office, which was formed to more closely scrutinize…

NY governor urges more study of Plum Island sale

MINEOLA — New York state is demanding a review of environmental conditions on Plum Island before the federal government can sell the island and move an infectious animal disease laboratory to a new facility in Kansas, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday. “Before the sale of Plum Island can continue, Washington must step up and sign…

NYC police look for possible parachutists

NEW YORK — Police were searching Monday for two people dressed in black who may have parachuted off a lower Manhattan high-rise before disappearing into the night. Private security guards reported seeing parachutists land in front of the Goldman Sachs headquarters at about 3 a.m. Monday, said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. Security videotape showed the…

Police look for parachutists who may have landed on city street

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City police are looking for two unidentified people who may have parachuted onto a lower Manhattan street. NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly said private security guards reported seeing parachutists land in front of the Goldman Sachs headquarters at about 3 a.m. Monday. The building is near the World Trade Center…

Voters to determine expansion of mine

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Willsboro Miners have been drilling, blasting and digging up wollastonite at NYCO Mineral Inc.’s mine here for more than 50 years. But the enormous open pits that yield the white, marble-textured mineral are now butting up against the boundary line between privately owned NYCO lands and the Adirondack Forest Preserve, which is protected from development.…

Between rock, wild place

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Willsboro Miners have been drilling, blasting and digging up wollastonite at NYCO Mineral Inc.’s mine here for more than 50 years. But the enormous open pits that yield the white, marble-textured mineral are now butting up against the boundary line between privately owned NYCO lands and the Adirondack Forest Preserve, which is protected from development.…

Survey shows 91 percent in N.Y. buckle up

ALBANY — New York officials say a new survey shows 91 percent of New Yorkers fasten their seat belts showing record compliance with the traffic safety requirement the state first imposed 30 years ago. The survey, conducted by the University at Albany’s Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research, shows this year’s seat belt usage…

N.Y. deacon removed following abuse allegations

CROTON-ON-HUDSON — The Archbishop of New York has permanently removed from ministry the deacon of a suburban New York parish following sexual abuse allegations. Cardinal Timothy Dolan said in a letter read Sunday in the Holy Name of Mary Parish in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., that Deacon Albert Mazza was removed after law enforcement referred allegations he’d…

Bishops question casino impacts

Albany Five weeks before state voters decide the issue at the polls, New York’s Roman Catholic bishops on Sunday released a statement expressing strong concern over the potential social costs of the development of seven new resort casinos. Calling the Nov. 5 constitutional referendum “an important matter affecting our communities,” the bishops say that the…

Gillibrand plans a new push for tax

Washington, D.C. New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand plans to revive a push for a 0.2 percent tax on employees and employers that would allow expanded family leave options for workers to take time off and still collect part of their salaries. “The face of the American workforce has changed significantly,” Gillibrand, a Democrat, said on…

Cuomo scuttles pay raise panel bill

Albany Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed legislation Friday that would have created a commission to set regular salary increases for non-union state workers. Regular raises for the state’s approximately 9,200 “management/confidential” employees ended after the 2008 financial crisis, although some received longevity increases or bonuses. Cuomo’s veto statement said that any structural changes to pay raises…

Bruno resting after cancer surgery

Albany Former Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno had a cancerous tumor removed from a kidney on Thursday, said John McArdle, who was a top aide to the Brunswick Republican for several years. The operation was performed at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, McArdle said. “He is resting and looking forward to…

‘New York Now’ looks at casino gambling

Don’t miss this week’s episode of “New York Now,” a state Emmy-winning coproduction of WMHT and the Times Union. This week’s highlights: Times Union state editor Casey Seiler looks at what might be the calm before the storm on a constitutional referendum to expand casino gambling, and the accompanying controversy over the language of the…

Charting a course to development

Albany In Buffalo, city officials have created an industrial history path and kayaking pier in the shadow of the grain elevators that made it the Queen City along Lake Erie. In Syracuse, a boardwalk-like lounge area is being built on the south shore of Onondaga Lake, once tagged as the nation’s most polluted lake. And…

Elections officials narrow scope of collection effort

Albany In its effort to recover more dollars from scofflaw politicians, the state Board of Elections’ “test group” for a new collection strategy turns out to be not much of a group at all. The Times Union reported Sept. 19 that the board was prepared to send letters to campaign treasurers with judgments against them…

Probe nets commercial driver’s license cheats

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Albany A state probe found dozens of people cheated on written Department of Motor Vehicle tests to gain commercial driver’s licenses — a scheme aided by security guards hired by the DMV. “Our investigation uncovered numerous people who paid others thousands of dollars for answers to a test they could not answer without cheating, a…