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New York News

Boston, MA – Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has proposed an expansion of the state's bottle redemption bill as part of his budget package. The provision would impose a five-cent deposit on all non-carbonated beverages sold in the Bay State. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Celland looks at what an expanded bottle bill would mean and what the chances are of its being enacted.

Plattsburgh, NY – Food service workers at Plattsburgh State rallied for a union Thursday afternoon. Workers say they're tired of low wages, unaffordable health care and understaffing. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Albany, NY – New York State's highest court, the Court of Appeals, heard arguments Thursday in a long-running legal battle over education. The case could have a major effect on what level of education students are entitled to, and how it will be financed. In advance of the court hearing, plaintiffs in the case marched from New York City to Albany. WAMC's Brian Shields has more.

Plattsburgh, NY – Canada's Parliament is working a measure that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The Bush administration doesn't like the idea and is hinting that the two country's trade relationship could be compromised if Canada moves forward with the measure. Critics of the administration are pointing out that any trade repercussions would also be felt in the US, especially in New York, where two of the busiest border crossings are located. More from Pat Bradley.

Boston, MA – A smoking ban went into effect on Tuesday in Boston's restaurants and taverns. Now, the movement is growing to adopt the same guidelines on a state-wide basis. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana reports.

Albany, NY – A mail-sorting center in the Albany area will be one of 14 postal facilities in the U.S. that will be a test site for a new system that checks mail for Anthrax. WAMC's Brian Shields reports.

Lake Placid, NY – The Vermont-based Foundation for Excellent Schools (FES) is holding one of their largest undertakings this week. Early College Awareness Week is bringing together college officials and elementary students to help the kids think about their college future. North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley was in Lake Placid for one of the workshops.

Pittsfield, MA – The playwright mentoring program of Berkshire County's Barrington Stage Company is presenting a series of performances designed to bring young people together to promote discussion of common problems associated with growing up. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana attended a recent production and sends this report.

Albany, NY – A new poll is out on how New Yorkers rate their U.S. Senators, Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Both get the same approval rating, but as WAMC's Brian Shields reports, voters sometimes don't judge a U.S. Senator quite the same as they do. the President, Governor or Mayor..

Plattsburgh, NY – At the Adirondack Park Agency's upcoming monthly meeting, officials will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the park's land use development plan. Sustainable tourism will also be the focus of a panel discussion. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Great Barrington, MA – Raun Kaufman, director of Global Outreach at the Autism Treatment Center of America in Sheffield, Massachusetts will be speaking to the Kiwanis Club in Great Barrington this evening. Diagnosed as profoundly autistic at 18 months Kaufman, who is fully recovered from autism, will explain what the treatment center is and how its program works. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana spoke with Kaufman and others about autism and how it can be dealt with.

Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Legislature is starting to wrap up its 2003 session in hopes of adjourning before the end of May. House and Senate negotiators will be taking up differences over state spending. Legislators will also debate changes to the state's education funding and environmental permitting laws. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Northampton, MA – Residents of Northampton and Easthampton, Massachusetts were surprised to find anti-semitic and racist literature spread throughout certain neighborhoods over the weekend. The sign of a Northampton synagogue was also vandalized sometime late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana reports.

Albany, NY – One of the more influential organizations in Washington and in state capitols across the U.S. is AARP, which has more than 35-million members, all over the age of 50. The Executive Director and C.E.O. of AARP recently came to Albany for a lobby day. WAMC's Brian Shields has more.

Goshen, NY – WAMC has learned that a third county executive is refusing to hand in required safety planning documents to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The papers are required for the agency to approve emergency plans at the Indian Point nuclear power plant. WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Lisa Phillips has more.

Albany, NY – Downtown Albany will be the site of a major demonstration on Saturday. In fact, it could be among the larger demonstrations ever held in New York's Capitol. WAMC's Brian Shields reports the issue is education.

Montpelier, VT – The Vermont House has given preliminary approval to a major rewrite of the way the state pays for public schools. The replacement for the Act 60 school funding law won endorsement by a vote of 107 to 32. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Pittsfield, MA – A proposal to create new fines for convicted sex offenders and restraining order violators and to raise fees for parolees was passed on a voice vote yesterday in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. The new package will bring in over three and half million dollars per year and the money would be used to continue funding for the state's rape crisis centers and women's shelters. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana reports.

Albany, NY – New York State's Office of Court Administration is looking at ways to make court records available on the internet, but putting those documents on-line opens up a number of privacy concerns. A state panel has scheduled a series of public hearings to consider those privacy issues. WAMC's Brian Shields reports.

Boston, MA – The Massachusetts House yesterday voted against proposals to raise the state income tax and to allow the state to borrow three-hundred-million dollars in short-term loans. The vote means the state will have to rely heavily on spending cuts to fight its way out of a three-billion-dollar budget gap. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana files this report.

Kingston, NY – It may be country air, but it's still not clean air. That's according to the latest air quality report from the American Lung Association. WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Lisa Phillips reports.

Plattsburgh, NY – A hazing incident in March resulted in the death of a Plattsburgh State student. Plattsburgh city police Wednesday arrested 11 Plattsburgh State students in injunction with the incident. Police also revealed an unusual cause of death: water intoxication. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Albany, NY – Egypt's Ambassador to the United States says the U.S. and Great Britain should turn over the rebuilding of Iraq to the U.N. or an international force as soon as possible. Ambassador Nabil Fahmy spoke at an Albany area college Tuesday evening about the Arab world after Saddam Hussein, and peace in the Middle East. WAMC's Brian Shields reports.

Buzzards Bay, MA – Nearly fifteen-thousand gallons of oil have spilled into the seas off Buzzards Bay since Sunday when a fuel-oil filled barge ruptured late Sunday. The single-hulled vessel, known as B120, was towed under Coast Guard escort this morning to port in Sandwich. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana has more on this story.

Plattsburgh, NY – Quebec has a new premier. Liberal Jean Charest was sworn in yesterday. Charest's staunchly federalist government follows nine years of Parti-Quebecois rule, which was highlighted by a 1995 referendum that almost removed the province from Canada. Despite the dramatic political change, most expect trade opportunities with the province to remain dynamic. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Goshen, NY – Hudson Valley farmers are facing this year's growing season with a mixture of hope and worry. They've had several years of big weather-related crop losses - and they're wishing for a change of luck in 2003. WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Lisa Phillips has more.

Boston, MA – A broad coalition of social service groups will hold a rally tomorrow on Boston Common to urge lawmakers to increase state revenues and stop massive budget cuts. A movement to raise taxes seems to be growing across the Bay State as concerned citizens see essential services being cut. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana reports.

Albany, NY – New York State lawmakers have a tentative agreement to raise public college tuition by as much as 950-dollars a year. If approved by the full Legislature and Governor Pataki, it would be the first tuition increase for the State University of New York and the City University of New York since 1995. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Poughkeepsie, NY – Hudson Valley residents who commute to New York City face a fare hike on the train starting Thursday...and a toll increase on several bridges and tunnels a couple of weeks later. The increases come in the wake of allegations that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority may be hiding money. WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Lisa Phillips reports.

Kingston, NY – Tomorrow is Sexual Assault Legislative Awareness Day in New York state. WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Lisa Phillips reports that victim advocates have a number of proposals on the table in the legislature.

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