New York News | WAMC

New York News

Stockbridge,MA – Over twenty-thousand Catholics are expected to converge on Stockbridge, Massachusetts for the Marian Fathers' annual Divine Mercy Sunday celebration. Some who won't be attending this year's event include about 500 Canadian worshipers who've been asked not to make the trip due to the fear of spreading SARS--Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana has this report.

Albany, NY – Four counties in upstate New York are working together on a program that trys to convince farmers to pull up stakes and move to their neck of the woods. WAMC's Brian Shields reports on the " Come Farm With Us" program.

Boston, MA – The Massachusetts House Ways and Means Committee released its recommendations for the fiscal year 2004 budget yesterday on Beacon Hill. The budget cuts school aid, eliminates prescription coverage for low-income elderly, and raises fees by almost four-hundred-million dollars. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana reports.

Plattsburgh, NY – The Clinton County Legislature's Airport Committee Wednesday revealed tentative plans for a new passenger terminal at the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base. The plans are part of moving the current Clinton County Airport to the former base and creation of the "Plattsburgh International Airport". Plans call for a 28-thousand square foot passenger terminal, despite diminished use of the current airport. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Cold Spring, NY – Farm worker advocates are on their way through the Hudson Valley today to call for better working conditions. But some of the region's farmers say they're too squeezed by a string of bad growing seasons to afford the changes. WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Lisa Phillips has more.

Albany, NY – As states face tight budgets and troubled economies, gambling becomes a more attractive revenue source. Once restricted to horse tracks and casinos in Las Vegas, Reno and Atlantic City, legalized gambling can now be found in almost every state. Representatives of the gambling industry gathered this week near Albany for the New York Gaming Summit. WAMC's Brian Shields has more.

Poughkeepsie, NY – General Electric is planning to continue its legal challenge to the federal Superfund law. WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Lisa Phillips reports.

Crown Point, NY – New York Governor George Pataki and Vermont Governor James Douglas met on Earth Day to reaffirm their states' commitment to protect Lake Champlain. The two governors renewed their cooperative management plan for the lake. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Boston, MA – Massachusetts is being sued by a group of pharmacies, most notably CVS and Brooks, who say the state's prescription assessment fee for all non-Medicaid drug purchases violates state and federal law. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana reports.

Pittsfield & North Adams, MA – Local aid cuts are being felt in every municipality across the Bay State. Mayors in Berkshire County's two cities, Pittsfield and North Adams, are preparing for the worst as the House of Representatives prepares to release its version of the budget tomorrow. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana files this report.

Plattsburgh, NY – X-Men and Batman originated in the pages of comic books before making their leaps to the big screen. But you may not know that recent films such as From Hell and Road to Perdition started out in comics as well. The industry that is the foundation of those works is celebrating its medium, by giving away free comics throughout the country on May 3rd. Free Comic Book day could boost the sales of some comics, and the careers of cartoonists, including an artist from our region. Pat Bradley reports.

Albany, NY – For the second time in just over one year there has been a massive tire fire in the Albany area. The fire last week at a tire recycling facility has renewed the focus on the problem of millions of old tires in New York landfills. WAMC's Brian Shields has more.

Rhinebeck, NY – Tomorrow, General Electric shareholders will decide whether to make the company say how much it spent to fight the Hudson River PCB clean up. More from WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Lisa Phillips.

Plattsburgh, NY – Senator Charles Schumer spent part of the holiday weekend in Plattsburgh. On Friday, local officials took him on a tour of economic development sites where federal funding will be a key to successful completion. North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley was with the group.

Beacon, NY – The long awaited decision is out: the future home of the Rivers and Estuaries Center on the Hudson will be Beacon. More from WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Lisa Phillips.

Albany, NY – NY Governor George Pataki has introduced a 40-page bill to toughen the penalties for drunken driving. One provision would create a new crime for drivers with a high blood alcohol level. Another would allow for consecutive prison terms for drivers who kill more than one person in alcohol- related crashes. WAMC's Brian Shields reports.

Gardiner, NY – Mid Hudson Valley sexual assault victims' advocates are planning two very different events to raise community awareness: a traditional "Take Back the Night" march and a skydiving event. WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Lisa Phillips has more.

North Adams, MA – Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's plans for reorganizing higher education have not been received favorably by many groups involved in the community or state colleges or university system. Maynard Seider, Professor of Sociology at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and President of the school's facutly association, says his union chapter's future is in doubt. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana files this report.

Plattsburgh, NY – The Plattsburgh/North Country Chamber of Commerce has won this year's Excellence in Rural Economic Development Award'. The award, from the US Commerce Department, is designed to highlight outstanding economic development practices. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Albany, NY – Assisted living centers are a fast-growing option for the elderly, but in some cases they remain unlicensed and unregulated by the state. That would change under legislation introduced in New York by Governor George Pataki. WAMC's Brian Shields reports.

Pittsfield, MA – A new county-wide program, Walk with me in the Berkshires, has enlisted over twelve-hundred residents in an effort to improve their physical fitness levels over the next eight weeks. Participants are motivated by having their daily steps measured by pedometer and their weekly step total published in The Berkshire Eagle. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana recently visited one of the many groups involved in the program.

Annandale-on-Hudson, NY – The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, designed by architect Frank Gehry, opens next week on the campus of Bard College. WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Lisa Phillips recently spoke with Bard president Leon Botstein about the new building.

Albany, NY – NY Senator Charles Schumer has introduced legislation to change the formula that is used to allocate federal money to Veterans Administration hospitals and programs across the country. Schumer says the current system shortchanges the northeast in favor of states in the south and west. WAMC's Brian Shields reports.

Elizabethtown, NY – The New York State Commission of Corrections has ordered the Essex County jail to close within 30 days. A report found numerous fire code and maintenance violations. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

North Adams, MA – The Massachusetts State College Association, the Massachusetts Teachers' Union and the President of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' Faculty Association are lining up in their opposition to Governor Mitt Romney's plan to re-organize higher education in the Commonwealth. They say the plan amounts to union busting at many of the state's smaller institutions. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana has more.

Burlington, VT – Vermont's largest hospital is providing documents to the state following an agency's request to justify why a 356-million dollar renovation and expansion project should continue. More from North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Middletown,NY – Hudson Valley activists are calling attention to what they call the "biased coverage" of local elections and the war by the Times Herald-Record newspaper in Middletown. WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Lisa Phillips reports.

Boston, MA – A report released today by the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group-MassPirg--says exhaust from automobiles will add twenty-seven percent more carbon dioxide to the environment by the year 2020. The group is recommending specific legislation to help curb what it sees as a serious threat to public health and a major contributor to global warming. Berkshire Bureau Chief Arlen Cellana files this report.

Albany, NY – Republicans in the NYS Assembly say there should be a new legislative committee established to concentrate on issues of terrorism and homeland security. WAMC's Brian Shields has more.

Albany, NY – A scientist who worked on the Soviet Union's biological weapons program for almost 20 years says he has no doubts that Saddam Hussein's Iraq had biological and chemical weapons. Doctor Matthew Alibek, who spoke to students and faculty at the Albany Medical College, says finding the weapons is not the most important concern now.