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State officials on the lookout for a new invasive insect

There’s a new invasive insect that state officials want to keep out of New York. It’s called the spotted lanternfly, and it has the potential to cause great damage to crops like grapes, hops and apples. Native to Asia, it has been found in parts of Pennsylvania, and a dead adult was found in New York last fall. Statewide grape and hop specialist with Cornell’s Integrated Pest Management Program, Tim Weigle, says the large insect, with its colorful wings, can also be a noxious pest to...

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Geneva High School and Middle School students stage a walkout in protest of gun violence and Congressional inaction
Kelly Walker / Finger Lakes Public Radio

 

High school students across the Finger Lakes joined students across the nation for a school walkout Wednesday morning to protest gun violence and Congressional inaction. Hundreds of students filed silently into the school auditorium, which was the designated destination on a snowy and windy morning. Morgan Wright is one of the students who organized the walkout.

Budget talks are stalled shortly before a self-imposed deadline of March 30 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature. Meanwhile, groups left out of the deal expressed their dismay.

Calling themselves the “coalition of the shafted,” the groups – including advocates for access to birth control, bail reform and better voter access – stood on the “Million Dollar Staircase” to criticize the direction of the budget talks.

Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva is looking into allegations that its president, Gregory Vincent, may have plagiarized portions of his doctoral dissertation.

Talks on the state budget were stalled just days before the March 30 deadline, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers continued negotiations. Groups pressing for additional issues that are in the governor’s budget plan still have not given up hope.

The del Lago Resort and Casino in Seneca County is looking for financial help from the state. Principal owner Tom Wilmot was in Albany Tuesday looking for assistance from state leaders after the casino reportedly ended its first year in operation with about 44 percent lower revenue than projected.

The del Lago Resort & Casino will need to look for a new manager.

A statement from that Seneca County resort says that Executive Vice President and general manager Jeff Babinski, who has led the operation since it began a couple of years ago, is moving back to the Midwest. He says that he and his family miss their friends, family and the Midwest, and his last day at del Lago will be March 31st.

Cynthia Nixon, Democratic candidate for governor, came to Albany to critique the school funding record of her potential primary opponent, Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The funding is now being discussed in the state budget. As in all of her comments since she’s announced her candidacy, Nixon didn’t pull any punches.

Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle, D-Irondequoit, made it official Monday morning at a news conference held at Local 13 of the Plumbers and Pipefitters in Rochester.

He is a candidate for Congress in the 25th District, the seat left vacant with the recent death of longtime area Rep. Louise Slaughter.

The potential field of candidates considering a run for Congress in the 25th district is becoming more clear.

One of the most prominent names to surface on Sunday is that of Assembly Majority Leader, Joe Morelle (D-Irondequoit).  The D&C is quoting sources as saying Morelle will run for the seat left vacant with the recent death of longtime Congresswoman Louise Slaughter.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders are negotiating a new anti-sexual harassment policy for state and local government officials as part of the state budget. But several victims of sexual abuse and harassment in the Legislature have come forward with a letter asking that the issue be taken out of the budget.

The letter is signed by sexual harassment victims of former Assembly members Vito Lopez and Micah Kellner, as well as a woman who accuses Senate Independent Democratic Conference leader Jeff Klein of forcibly kissing her, something Klein denies.

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