State lawmakers & Governor Cuomo passed a package of bills to start combating the heroin epidemic across the state. Local assemblyman Cliff crouch said that he supported that package of bills and looks to add to it next year:
Heroin usage skyrocketed as an unintended consequence of the state’s “I-Stop” program to cut down on doctor shopping for prescription painkillers. Heroin issues are expected to be at the top of lawmakers’ agenda again next year.
More than $292 million in grant funding to support infrastructure protection, anti-terrorism programs, and core emergency preparedness and response functions in counties across the state, was approved by the federal Department of Homeland Security. The funding is administered through a variety of grant programs that include the State Homeland Security Program, the Urban Areas Security Initiative and the Port Security Grant Program.
The State Health Department revised its immunization requirements for school attendance. The new requirements have not added new vaccines. However, they have changed the number of doses required and the minimum intervals between those doses. These will apply to daycare, head start, nursery, pre-k, and grades K through 12. Students entering kindergarten or 6th grade in the 2014-2015 school year will now be required to have two doses of the chicken pox vaccine. In addition, they must have three to five doses of polio vaccine. The updated requirements will be phased in over the next 7 years.
An educational advocacy group, led by former CNN journalist Campbell Brown, is challenging New York State’s teacher tenure system, filing a lawsuit that alleges that job protections unfairly shield bad teachers. The lawsuit is the work of a group founded by Brown called the Partnership for Educational Justice. The group said the current rules protect ineffective teachers by making it harder for them to be fired or forced to improve. The state teachers’ union said the lawsuit amounts to a politically motivated attack on public school teachers.
State Police at Oneonta arrested 28-year-old Nicholas Andrews of Norwich for Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance and Unlawful Possession of Marihuana, and a passenger 24 year old Liam Gould of Norwich, for Unlawful Possession of Marihuana following traffic stop for speeding on State Route 23. A probable cause search of the vehicle and occupants was conducted. Gould was found to possess three bags of heroin and an amount of marihuana. Both were issued tickets for town of Morris Court August 11th.
Newly adopted state rules will expand bear hunting and help manage the population, which has been growing and raising concerns about proximity to humans. The bear-hunting season will be extended this fall under regulations adopted by the state Department of Conservation. The DEC will establish bear hunting seasons in all of upstate New York and create a special early firearms season, from Sept. 6th to Sept. 21, for bears in specific Wildlife Management Units in the Catskills. The state has a population of about 8,000 black bears. Read more at dec.ny.gov.
NBT Bancorp reported second-quarter net income of $27.6 million, up from $16.9 million from the same period last year. The company’s reported net income included an $11.2 million net gain, on the sale of its 20 percent ownership interest in Springstone Financial, LLC. Reported earnings per diluted share for the second quarter, which ended June 30th, were 62 cents per share, compared to 38 cents per share for the same period in 2013. NBT’s core net income for the second quarter was $19.1 million, up 7 percent from one year ago. NBT had total assets of $7.9 billion and about 155 banking locations with offices in New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.