P.M. NEWS FRIDAY 3-14-14

State Police remind drivers to not drink and drive this saint Patrick’s holiday weekend. The Police Patrol effort runs today through Monday, with sobriety checkpoints, additional DWI patrols and underage drinking & sales to minors details.  State Police will also be ticketing distracted drivers using handheld electronic devices. Last year, troopers made 204 DWI arrests & issued 9,763 tickets.


New York Farm Bureau’s “Harvest for All” program had its best year yet, with New York farmers donating 9.3 million pounds of food to regional food banks.  New York farmers have contributed more than 40 million pounds of food over the past 10 years. The 2013 amount placed New York as the 3rd largest contributor in the country behind Florida and California farmers, who have longer growing seasons.


The gaming siting board, which will evaluate casino applications and select who is eligible to apply for licenses in New York, will issue a request for applications by the end of March.   After the request for applications is issued, casino bids will be due in June. Between June and August, the siting board will review and evaluate submissions. In early fall, the Gaming Commission will begin a licensing review of applicants, and casino operators will be formally announced shortly after.


Congressman Chris Gibson co-sponsored the “Veterans Higher Education Opportunity Act,” to allow veterans who have served at least a 6-month deployment to participate in the Federal Perkins Loan Forgiveness Program.  Veterans were not able to use the program previously unless they served a 12-month deployment, but the average deployment is 200 days.  The “Veterans Higher Education Opportunity Act” would reduce the required deployment to 6 months, Ensure that service members who are wounded as a result of their service and are unable to meet the six-month requirement will qualify for the forgiveness & the program would have no cost and is budget neutral.


Despite challenges to the Common Core and the state Board of Regents, everything remained as the Board of Regents incumbents were re-elected & the Common Core agenda was altered slightly, but not suspended.  Area Assemblyman Pete Lopez was not happy with that outcome:


(Lopez 3-14-14)


Next, Lopez said that the legislature’s one house budget resolutions were completed this week, conference committees will work out the differences in all aspects of the budget, and they are expected to pass the budget by the April 1st deadline.


The Binghamton Senators will wear special St. Patrick’s Day themed jerseys during their games tonight & tomorrow at the Broome County Arena.   Fans who attend Saturday night’s game will have the opportunity to purchase 1 of the special jerseys during a post-game auction.  Also the annual “Pucks 4 Paws” Night is Saturday, Fans are encouraged to visit the displays from local shelters and available dogs and cats can be visited on the concourse.  Tickets are available by calling the B-Sens office at 722-7367, at the Arena Box Office and through Ticketmaster at ticketmaster.com or at 1-800-745-3000.


New York overcharged the federal government $320 million for residential Medicaid services in 2010. The report, by the Health and Human Services Department inspector general, focuses on rehabilitation services, which help low-income and disabled Medicaid recipients with functional limitations remain socially engaged in their communities. Residences operated by the state, billed the federal government at twice the rate as privately operated residences, offering the same services under Medicaid. State officials said the audit involved practices that began before Governor Cuomo’s administration, and reforms he’s undertaken to streamline the program.




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