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New York News

Boston, MA – Defeated nationally during the Clinton Presidency, the idea of a single payer health care system has been discussed frequently in the Bay State ever since. Recent comments by Governor Mitt Romney, as reported by the Associated Press, have health care advocates cautiously optimistic. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana reports.

Plattsburgh, NY – Plattsburgh officials have released a consultant's analysis of the feasibility of building a hotel and conference center near the downtown. It's part of the city's extensive re-development plan, which hinges on removal of an old rail-yard on prime waterfront property. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Albany, NY – Albany will be the first city in the U.S. to take part in a media and information campaign to stop illegal gun sales. WAMC's Brian Shields reports on the program called " Don't Lie For The Other Guy".

Amherst, MA – With the United States entering yet another holiday period at a heightened security alert and a spate of highly organized bombings rocking the Middle East, Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana turned to University of Massachusetts at Amherst Assistant Professor David Mednicoff for a discussion of how the U.S. should respond to these terrorist acts and what we might expect in the future. Mednicoff says last week's bombings in Morocco and Saudi Arabia raise two important points.

Albany, NY – A new website is on-line that allows New Yorkers to check the background of doctors, but state officials and the Medical profession say that information is already available. WAMC's Brian Shields reports.

Pittsfield, MA – Nearly 600 people filled the Grand Ballroom at Pittsfield's Crowne Plaza Hotel yesterday for a lunchtime appearance by Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. The Governor used his first visit to the Berkshires to reinforce his position on taxes and to highlight some of the initiatives he has undertaken since entering office. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana reports.

Plattsburgh, NY – About ten thousand acres of prime land in the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks have been acquired by the Open Space Institute for preservation. The property, generally known as the Tahawus Tract, includes land near the headwaters of the Hudson River, an historic abandoned village, and the first iron ore mine in the region. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Albany, NY – The debate over medical malpractice insurance is being heard again this year in Albany as doctors renew their complaints about the cost and availability of the coverage. WAMC's Brian Shields has more.

Boston, MA – Since early 2001, Massachusetts has lost more than one-hundred-sixty-thousand (160,000) jobs, the biggest percentage drop among the 50 states. Despite the loss of jobs and a stagnant economy in the Bay State, the number of families seeking aid from the Department of Transitional Assistance remains well below the record levels of the early 1990's. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana looks at the numbers and what they really mean for the state's poorest families.

Plattsburgh, NY – The Vermont-based head of a multi-state effort to drive down prescription drug prices is praising a U-S Supreme Court ruling on a program to be implemented in Maine. Advocates of lower drug prices hope it will lead to more states enacting similar price-reducing laws. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Boston, MA – Ninety-six-million-dollars ($96 M) to save the state's discount drug plan is expected to be included tomorrow when the Massachusetts Senate releases its version of the budget for fiscal year 2004. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana reports.

Plattsburgh, NY – This weekend marked the implementation of New York State's strictest-in-the-nation acid rain laws. Although most acid rain emissions are from outside the state, environmentalists say New York's restrictions are a step in the right direction. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Albany, NY – The recent arrest of a Buffalo man, who allegedly sent hundreds of millions of unsolicited advertising e-mails using accounts set up with stolen credit cards, once again brought up concerns about computer security. As WAMC's Brian Shields reports the case also renewed the debate over the e-mail ads often called spam.

Boston, MA – A study released last week shows the New England region being especially hard hit with adult asthma. Of the top seven states with incidence of the disease five are located right here in the Northeast with Massachusetts leading the nation. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana reports.

Albany, NY – As more and more farmland is sold to developers, efforts are underway to protect and preserve farms. One such effort in Albany County will allow an orchard that has operated for four generations to continue. WAMC's Brian Shields reports.

Lenox, MA – About 25 people, many members of the Housatonic Valley Association and other local environmental groups, met with a top-ranking official from the Massachusetts Office of Commonwealth Development to discuss portions of the governor's massive re-organization plan for state government. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana was there and files this report.

Williamstown, MA – The longstanding agricultural heritage of Western Massachusetts has seen a steady decline in the number of working farms dotting the landscape. Now, technology and farming are merging on some Berkshire County farms to keep energy costs down and support the sustainability of local agriculture. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana visited one such operation and sends this report.

Burlington, VT – Vermont's largest hospital - Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington - is laying off 50 people, cutting the salaries of 400 doctors and executives, and eliminating 78 vacant positions. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Plattsburgh, NY – Frequent travelers between Quebec, Vermont, and northern New York will soon have a speed-pass type system that will allow them to use an express lane to cross the border. The system will be implemented this summer at the border crossings at Highgate Springs, Vermont and Champlain, New York. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Albany, NY – Elected officials and public housing residents in the Albany area are speaking out against proposed cutbacks in federal funding for public housing. WAMC's Brian Shields reports.

Stockbridge, MA – A play recounting the life and works of W.E.B. DuBois is being premiered at the Berkshire Theater Festival's Main Stage. Written by a local playwright and performed by students of the Berkshire Country Day School, the play is intended to raise awareness of the early civil rights leader who grew up in Great Barrington. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana takes a look.

Plattsburgh, NY – Dairy farmers around the country are banding together to try to boost milk prices. They want to increase the wholesale price by decreasing production, exporting more, or selling off cattle. The trial program was approved by the National Milk Producers Federation, which includes dairy cooperatives throughout New York and New England. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Boston, MA – The Massachusetts House of Representatives voted last week to launch a study into the idea of renaming the state's forests and parks after corporate sponsors. Some lawmakers see the move as way to raise revenue in the midst of a budget crisis. Environmentalists say the measure goes too far. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana has more.

Plattsburgh, NY – The US Bobsled and Skeleton Federation has a new virtual reality bobsled simulator. They took their renovated a bus with the state-of-the-art to Plattsburgh this weekend for a for a public test run. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

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.