P.M. NEWS TUESDAY 12-17-13

P.m. news Tuesday 12-17-13
State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico announced the death of Trooper David Cunniff. Who succumbed to injuries sustained during a motor vehicle accident on the State Thruway last night. Trooper Cunniff was conducting a traffic stop at around 8:00 PM last night when he was struck by a tractor-trailer, which had veered off of the road into the Patrol Vehicle & the stopped vehicle. Trooper Cunniff was airlifted to Albany Medical Center where he died this afternoon. Funeral arrangements will be announced shortly.
The Broome County Sheriff’s department responded to another gas station armed robbery last night, at about 9:45 p.m. to the Xtra Mart in Chenango Bridge. The Sheriff’s Office reported that a robber entered the store at 1757 Route 12 and flashed a knife, he then fled on foot. The suspect was described as a white male with blonde hair, blue eyes, 5 feet 11 inches tall. Similar armed robberies have been reported in recent weeks in Johnson City, Binghamton and Fenton, the investigation is continuing.
Area churches in Sidney are teaming up for a free Christmas dinner for those in need on Christmas day. Circle Drive Alliance Church Pastor Gene Schmidt told WCDO News that they could use a few more volunteers:

(Gene Schmidt 12-17-13)

The free Christmas Dinner will be held at the River Street Fire Station, from 1:00 to 4:00 PM on Christmas day., those who would like to volunteer can call 369-2387.
Operation Merry Christmas will have one more pick up event this weekend, for those who couldn’t make it last weekend due to the weather. Pickups will be this Saturday at the Sidney Civic Center between 1:00 & 2:00 PM.
Governor Cuomo today released a report on the State’s tourism initiatives showing that the number of visitors to New York increased by 8.8 million this year. The tourism industry is projected to generate $7.7 billion in state and local taxes with direct spending expected to reach $61.3 billion. The industry is also projected to add 24,800 jobs by the end of the year. Details of the report are available at governor.ny.gov.
The state Board of Regents recommended a 6 percent increase in state education funding next fiscal year, saying the $1.3 billion increase is needed for struggling districts and pre-kindergarten programs. Schools have received a 4 percent annual increase in state aid since 2012 and the proposal calls for aid to increase from nearly $21 billion to $22.3 billion for the 2014-15 fiscal year, which starts April 1. Gov Cuomo will release his budget proposal on Jan. 21
The NY State of Health, the State’s official health plan marketplace, said 363,258 New Yorkers had completed their applications and 134,622 people have enrolled for coverage starting on January 1st. The enrollments represent an increase of about 34 percent over the total from December 9th. more information is available at nystateofhealth.ny.gov.
Donald Trump said that he would decide soon on whether or not to run for Governor of New York next year, against an expected bid to re-election by Andrew Cuomo. Trump said that he hadn’t considered a run for governor, but several top state Republicans have courted him to consider it. A recent Marist College poll shows Cuomo leading Trump by a stunning 70-24 margin.

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