A.m. news Friday 12-19-14
Governor Cuomo announced the release of proposed regulations for the State
A.m. news Friday 12-19-14
Reactions from local lawmakers are coming in regarding yesterdays’ announcement that the State will ban Hydraulic Fracturing for natural gas. state senator Jim Seward comments:
Local Assemblyman Cliff Crouch released a statement calling the whole process
The State Department of Health has completed its public health review of high-volume hydraulic fracturing and Acting Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker recommended that high-volume hydraulic fracturing should not move forward in New York State. Dr. Zucker announced his findings and recommendations today at a Cabinet Meeting in Albany. DEC Commissioner Joe Martens will issue a findings statement that will prohibit Hydrofracking in New York State, the DEC will incorporate the findings of the public health review into the Final Environmental impact statement, which will be released with a response to public comments early next year.
Chobani will be donating one million cups of Greek yogurt to New Yorkers in need this holiday season as part of its commitment to give to the communities where they operate. The first one million cups will be distributed to City Harvest, to help feed more than 1.4 million New Yorkers facing hunger. The company will begin loading product on today from their plant in New Berlin. Chobani will also be making another large product donation to a local food organization near their Twin Falls plant in Idaho.
The Chenango county united way program is behind in their fund raising efforts this year, with less than 2 weeks to go in the campaign. Executive director Elizabeth Monaco explains:
(Elizabeth Monaco 12-18-14
Monaco said that people could make a pledge at 334-8815 or online at Chenango uw.org, through 12:00 noon on December 31st.
A free dinner is being offered on Christmas day again this year in Sidney, through the efforts of area churches & markets. Gene Schmidt is coordinating the event again this year:
(Gene Schmidt 12-18-14)
Those who would like to volunteer, or donate food can call Schmidt at 610-4030.
New York State remains free of any Ebola cases and the State Department of Health continues to monitor and screen health care workers and others traveling from Ebola-affected countries. Individuals may be monitored or quarantined for 21 days, depending on their contact history with Ebola. Anyone that has symptoms consistent with Ebola virus will be immediately transported to a specially designated hospital and tested. New York has had only one patient with Ebola, a health care worker who recovered from the disease at Bellevue Hospital in New York City
G-MU graduate Corin Todd of Otego has been selected to compete in the 2015 ESPN X-Games in Aspen, Colorado from January 22-25. Todd is a professional snocross rider for Leighton Motorsports, competing in the U.S. and Canada. The Winter X Games are a competition including winter sports like skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling.
Governor Cuomo announced today that New York will not move forward with hydrofracking. The announcement follows a study on a possible health effects on Hydraulic Fratcuring for Natural gas. State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker doesn’t recommend moving forward with hydrofracking until more studies are done, the state has hadf a moratorium in place for 6 years, ther process was used extensively in Western New York since 1979.
The state Gaming Facility Location Commission announced today, that the Southern Tier Casino License was awarded today to Lago in Tyre New York, in Seneca County. Plans call for a casino & hotel complex which has the backing of Wilmorite of Rochester, which has experience in casino operations. The casino site will be located off of exit 41 on the New York State thruway
The Chenango County Sheriff’s department arrested 25-year-old Anastatia Hallenbeck of Norwich Tuesday, following an investigation into the sales of heroin in the Norwich area. Hallenbeck was charged with 2 counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance, she was arraigned in the City of Norwich Court and remanded to the Chenango County Correctional Facility on $5,000 cash bail.
The Chenango county sheriffs department arrested 27-year-old Benjamin Intres of Plymouth for Criminal Obstruction of Breathing and 2nd degree Harassment. Intres is accused of subjecting a female victim to unwanted physical contact, knocking the victim to the ground & choking her, during a domestic dispute. Intres was arraigned in the Town of Plymouth Court & was remanded to the Chenango County Correctional facility on $2,500 cash bail; he faces court action in the Town of Plymouth Court at a later date.
Governor Cuomo today announced new regulations to include transgender health care services under New York State’s Medicaid program. The proposed regulations provide treatment for hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery. Under the proposed regulations, hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery would be covered for persons who have referrals from medical professionals. Surgery would be covered for individuals who are a minimum age of 18 or 21 years old, depending on specific circumstances. The public will have 45 days to comment on the proposed regulation.
Former Governor George Pataki is considering a run for the White House. Pataki said he plans to decide next year whether to seek the GOP nomination. Pataki was governor from 1995 to 2006; he then launched a consulting firm and joined a New York City law firm.
Governor Cuomo today announced that $26.8 million in State Funding is being awarded to 38 rail and aviation safety, security and Economic development projects across the State. $17.8 million in funding will go for rail upgrades, locally, the Syracuse, Binghamton and New York Railroad Corporation of Cooperstown received $262,600, New York, Susquehanna and Western Railroad of Cooperstown received $2.3 million for improving rails, ties and surfacing & the Central New York Railroad of Cooperstown received $3.1 million to rehabilitate railroad track in Delaware and Broome Counties.
The state Education Department released teacher evaluation scores. 95.6 percent of teachers were rated “effective” or “highly effective” during the 2013-14 academic year despite less than 40 percent of grade 3-8 students being graded “proficient” on their state-mandated tests the same year. 3.7 percent of New York teachers were deemed “developing” and just 0.7 percent were rated “ineffective.” The teacher and principal evaluations are based 60 percent on classroom observations and measures agreed to by schools and local teachers unions. The remaining 40 percent is based on student test scores, including 20 percent based on state-mandated test scores
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a new scam app that allows homeowners to identify and avoid mortgage rescue scams. AG ScamHelp.com is a web based-app that allows users to search the name of any real organization offering mortgage assistance. The app will show that an organization is “Trusted” if it is part of the Attorney General’s Homeowner Protection Program, or has been approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. It will also warn consumers of some of the hallmarks of mortgage rescue scams
The New York gaming facility location commission will hold their final meeting today, they are expected to announce the 4 winning proposals to operate casinos in 3 upstate regions, one of those is The Souther Tier.
Governor Cuomo announced New York State has received $6.2 million in federal funds that will allow 90 community organizations, hospitals, police departments and district attorneys’ offices to enhance services and protections for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. The grants will also support the work of health care professionals who are specially trained in examining sexual assault victims and collecting evidence that can be used by law enforcement, as well as allowing the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault to develop protocols and training that better address sexual assaults on college campuses.
AN OTSEGO COUNTY AGRICULTURE AND FARMLAND PROTECTION PLAN UPDATE PUBLIC FORUM, WILL BE HELD IN THE TOWN OF OTEGO TOWN BUILDING, TONIGHT AT 6:30 PM. THE FORUM IS FOR FARMERS TO SPEAK TO THE OTSEGO COUNTY FARMLAND PROTECTION PLAN COMMITTEE, REGARDING THE 2014 UPDATE, TO CREATE A FRAMEWORK FOR PROTECTING, PRESERVING AND ENHANCING AGRICULTURE IN OTSEGO COUNTY. FOR MORE INFO, CALL 547-8337.
The Student Councils at Unatego Jr/Sr High School will be sponsoring their annual Senior Citizen Day on December 17th. The day will begin at 8:30am, and will include breakfast, games, music, a raffle, and a concert. Reservations are encouraged, at 988-5098.
The Cancer Services Program of Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie counties will offer free health screenings to women 40 and older who are uninsured today. The Bassett Cancer Institute’s mobile screening coach will be open today from 9:00 am-3:00 pm at the Southside Mall parking lot in Oneonta, appointments are requested at 1-888-345-0225.
Over $468 million in federal funding including in last week’s Omnibus Spending bill will go for 2 Presidential Helicopter construction projects. Lockheed Martin in Owego will participate in the construction along with Sikorsky Aircraft.
Governor Cuomo signed a bill to increase protections for pets across New York State. The bill prohibits the piercing or tattooing of all pets, including cats and dogs, to protect the animals from unnecessary harm, yet still allows the use of piercing and tattooing for identification purposes only, or where the piercing provides a medical benefit to the animal & is performed by a licensed veterinarian. The law will take effect in 120 days; Senator Tom Libous of Binghamton sponsored it in the State senate.
Broome County Special Investigations Unit Task Force arrested 33-year-old Tyrone Middleton & 38-year-old Angela Cooley of Binghamton, on drug charges. The 2 are accused of possessing crack cocaine packaged for sale, they were charged with 2 counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance & 1 one count of Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia. Both were arraigned in City of Binghamton Court this morning.
Governor Cuomo said he expects a decision on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas to be made before the end of the year, pending the outcome of the Department of Health’s review on possible health related issues. The state instituted a moratorium on the practice under then-Governor David Patterson in 2008; hydraulic fracturing had been used in Western New York Counties since 1979.
The state Board of Regents requested a $2 billion increase in state education funding for the next fiscal year. In total, the Regents are asking the state to spend $24.4 billion on its education system next year, a 9 percent increase. The Regents’ proposal includes a request, for $678 million of the roughly $5 billion the state has received from legal settlements with various banks and insurers. The Regents’ request is in line with the $1.9 billion boost sought by the state Educational Conference Board, a wide array of groups, including school boards, superintendents and teachers. But it will ultimately be up to Cuomo and the Legislature to decide how much the state spends
Governor Cuomo today announced New York State has received $6.2 million in federal funds that will allow 90 community organizations, hospitals, police departments and district attorneys’ offices to enhance services and protections for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. The grants will also support the work of health care professionals who are specially trained in examining sexual assault victims and collecting evidence that can be used by law enforcement, as well as allowing the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault to develop protocols and training that better address sexual assaults on college campuses.
The Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery announced that 24 projects identified through the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program would receive more than $11.6 million in funding, as part of Round Four of the State’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative. More details were released about the 5 Grants that the Village of Sidney will be receiving, Sidney Mayor Andy Matviak comments:
(Andy Matviak 12-16-14)
Village of Sidney will get $30,000 for Wastewater issues, over 1 million dollars for the resilient Green Streetscape, $25, 000 for a Waterfront Entertainment Study, $25,000 for the Sidney Free trade Zone – $50,000 for a Hotel Study – $50,000.
State Senator Jim Seward will be hosting a free senior scam prevention forum today at the Sidney Memorial Public Library. Senator Seward is partnering with the New York State Department of State for a free presentation, helping senior citizens to protect their identities and avoid becoming the victims of a scam. The senior scam prevention forum will take place from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Sidney Memorial Public Library, it is free and open to the public.
Governor Cuomo announced that the State Police would deploy additional troopers on the roads in an effort to crack down on drunk driving during the holiday season. State Police will again participate in the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign through January 1st. Troopers will be watching for distracted or impaired drivers, vehicle occupants who are not properly buckled up and drivers violating the “Move Over Law,”
The Unadilla Chamber of Commerce will have a regular meeting on Today, at 8:15 am at Green’s Long River Inn, Rte 357, and Unadilla.
Officials at the Utica School of commerce announced that the vast majority of classes at the Oneonta Branch and Sidney Site would be suspended for the Spring Semester. All current students and re-entering students will be able to continue their programs at the Utica Campus with transportation provided by the college through Oneonta Bus Lines. The college will continue to maintain the Elm Street Oneonta facilities for student support functions, with the Learning Center -Library relocating there, and computers will be available for student use, 3 days per week. The USC Board of trustees sited a decline in enrollment and recent parking changes in Oneonta for the changes.
Delaware County Fair officials announced their line up for their annual concert for August 22nd 2015. Headliners will be Parmalee with singer-actress Jana Kramer opening. The dates for the 2015 Delaware County Fair are August 17th to the 22nd.
Governor Cuomo announced steps taken in New York State’s “Reforming the Energy Vision” strategy to spur clean energy innovation and investment, improve customer choice and protect the environment. 5 new reforms will enable further growth of the clean energy industry and modernize how utilities operate, The 5 steps taken by the Public Service Commission follow through on the State’s efforts to transform the energy system, details are available at governor.ny.gov
Congressman Chris Gibson announced the federal spending bill approved by the House last week includes $344 million to ensure the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs are developing electronic health records to transfer veteran’s medical information. The legislation also includes language to require the VA to create a system to prevent unnecessary mistakes or delays in veterans’ medical care. If goals are not met, a portion of the funding will not be released. The VA reform bill signed into law earlier this year requires the VA to permit veterans to be seen by non-VA healthcare providers if they reside more than 40 miles from the nearest VA medical facility or are unable to secure an appointment at a VA facility within 30 days.
The Delaware County Sheriff’s office announced the availability of text message notification as an enhancement to the New York Sheriffs’ Victim Hotline known as “VINE”. The hotline allows crime victims to learn the custody status of an offender 24-7 by 1-888-VINE-4-NY, the VINEMobile app, the Sheriffs Mobile Patrol App or at VineLink.com.
The Delaware County Broadband Initiative was awarded $2.9 million in matching New York State grant funding by the Southern Tier Economic Development Council following Governor Cuomo’s annual Regional Council Awards Ceremony on Thursday. The DCBI project will extend broadband services to the un-served residents and businesses, with over 210 miles of fiber optic facilities passing 1800 un-served and underserved households, businesses, and institutions in several towns in Delaware County. Additional information willl be posted at mtctelcom.com, delhitel.com, & dce.coop.
Manufacturing activity in New York State contracted for the first time in nearly 2 years. The New York Feds Empire state general business conditions index fell to –3.58 in December, falling to negative territory for the first time since January 2013. The new orders index tumbled –1.97 to 9.14 in November, the pace of growth in employment fell slightly with the index of the number of employees falling t 8.33 from 8.51. The survey of manufacturing plants in the state is 1 of the earliest monthly guideposts to U.S. factory conditions.
There has been a dramatic decline in the number of deaths in New York caused by AIDS. The state Health department recorded the number of AIDS related deaths were down by ¾’s from 1997 to 2012, when the number had dropped to 749. The decline is attributed to greater awareness on how the disease is spread and also powerful drug treatments for those diagnosed with the illness.
Fire Destroyed a South Otselic building Sunday afternoon that housed a store, police sub-station and apartments. Firefighters responded to 1597 State Highway 26, from South Otselic, Smyrna, Norwich, Plymouth and 5 other area departments. No injuries were reported, 5 families were displaced, & Chenango County fire investigators have ruled the blaze as accidental, & they believe it started on the first floor.
The New York State Department of Health announced an extension of the December 15 deadline for enrolling or renewing health insurance coverage through the NY State of Health Marketplace. The deadline to apply for, or renew coverage that takes effect January 1 has been extended through December 20, due to November’s winter weather.
The Mohawk Valley Economic Development District and the Greater Oneonta Economic Development Council will present information to the Town of Oneonta Board and the City of Oneonta Common Council regarding 3 initiatives to improve economic vitality. The joint meeting of both Governments will be held tonight at 7:00 pm in the Oneonta Middle School cafeteria, more information is available at 435-2174 or goedc.org.
The Village of Sidney received $1,176,500 in Consolidated Funding Application grant assistance through the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council for 5 projects from 3 State agencies, to advance implementation of the Village’s Long Term Flood Recovery Plan and New York Rising Reconstruction Program. Sidney Village Mayor Andy Matviak comments:
(Andy Matviak 12-12-14)
Matviak said that the details will be released in the coming weeks, one of the grants issued for the Sidney Village recovery plans, was the largest one awarded in the state.
The Chenango arts council will hold a number of free holiday related events at the martin W. Kappel Theater in downtown Norwich tomorrow. Council director Diane Batson Smith explains:
(Diane Batson-Smith 12-12-14)
The gift shop at the Arts Council Facility at 27 west Main Street will also be open tomorrow during the line up of Christmas performances.
Acting New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker today declared influenza prevalent in New York State. Health care workers who are not vaccinated against influenza must now wear masks in areas where patients are typically present. The regulation was first in effect during the 2013-2014 influenza season & was amended last month in response to feedback from affected health care entities. More information about influenza is available at health.ny.gov.
State Education Commissioner John King will step down as the state’s top-ranking education official for a job in President Obama’s administration. King will leave the state Department of Education to become senior advisor to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. King’s resignation will take effect at the end of the year. King has served as state commissioner since he was appointed by the Board of Regents in May 2011
The State Health Department won the America’s Health Rankings Champion Award, from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, and the United Health Foundation. The award recognizes state health departments that successfully improve health outcomes in their jurisdictions. New York was recognized for consistently improving health outcomes. A highlight of New York’s success is the state’s cancer mortality ranking, which improved 24 positions, from 35th in the nation in 1990 to 11th in 2013
A recent change to the state’s cap on carbon-dioxide emissions has driven up the price for pollution allowances. New York agreed last year to lower their individual caps with the hope of upping the price of allowances that are auctioned off to power plants that produce emissions. An auction earlier this month pushed New York’s total share to $108 million for the fiscal year, $19 million more it had budgeted for. For New York, the question now becomes what to do with the extra money. It is required to be spent on programs that promote energy efficiency and cut down on greenhouse-gas pollution, but there’s no plan in place yet for what types of programs to fund with the $19 million and growing surplus.