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Who uses the Great Lakes' water?

The Great Lakes/St. Lawrence River make up the world's biggest freshwater system -- and an enormously valuable resource. It supplies drinking water for millions of residents and powers the region's economy. Last year, 42 million gallons were withdrawn from the basin each day, according to a new report from the Great Lakes Commission . Here's where it went.

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Skimming devices have been discovered recently on some area gas pumps, and officials are trying to determine if the incidents are connected.

Most recently, Monroe County Sheriff’s Department spokesman John Helfer says the devices were found on pumps at a Kwik Fil gas station in Henrietta and the corner of West Henrietta and Jefferson Roads and another at a Sunoco Station on Plank Road in Penfield.

“The skimming device is used to collect data, specifically, the credit card number and that information so it can be used fraudulently,” Helfer told WXXI News.

National drunk driving crackdown underway

1 hour ago
NVO.COM

Governor Cuomo has announced that local law enforcement will be joining New York State Police in a national enforcement initiative to crack down on impaired driving this holiday season.

The campaign starts today and runs through the end of the month.

It also includes a special enforcement over the New Year's holiday.

Trooper Mark O'Donnell from the state police says there are many different ways people can get to and from holiday gatherings safely, starting with a designated driver.

A local nonprofit is helping the homeless find permanent housing. We talk to the founders of Person Centered Housing Options about why they think a housing-first model makes for better outcomes in health, education, and in keeping families together.

Our guests:

  • Nicholas Coulter, co-founder of Person Centered Housing Options
  • Charlie Albanese, co-founder of Person Centered Housing Options
  • Enrique Arcelay, veteran of Person Centered Housing Options

What is fair trade? What is direct trade? And what's the difference? We hear about companies that deal in these practices, but if you were asked to define them, could you?

We talk to business owners who help us understand what they mean, as well as their benefits and drawbacks. Our guests:

Matt Ryan New York Now

With a projected multibillion-dollar deficit and looming federal changes that could cost the state billions more, the biggest obstacle in the upcoming 2018 legislative session will be balancing the state budget.

The second-highest-ranking Republican in the Senate, John DeFrancisco, said the budget will be “horrible” and the worst in at least seven years.

“I think it’s going to be very, very difficult,” DeFrancisco said. “Probably the most difficult budget year the governor has had since he’s been governor.” 

iaal.org/

The Ibero American Action League says its recent clothing drive was such a success, they need volunteers to help sort and store all the clothes.

New York NOW

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says that state-funded debt is projected to grow to $63.7 billion within months.

That works out to more than $3,100 per person in New York, or three times the median for all states.

The comptroller used his latest report on state debt to renew his call for reforms that include voter approval of borrowing and better capital planning for infrastructure projects.

New York's annual debt service payments are projected to exceed $8.2 billion by 2022.

The Great Lakes/St. Lawrence River make up the world's biggest freshwater system -- and an enormously valuable resource. It supplies drinking water for millions of residents and powers the region's economy.

Last year, 42 million gallons were withdrawn from the basin each day, according to a new report from the Great Lakes Commission. Here's where it went.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York's attorney general says he'll lead a multi-state lawsuit to stop the rollback of "net neutrality" rules that guaranteed equal access to the internet.

Democrat Eric Schneiderman released a statement announcing the lawsuit after the Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to scrap the Obama-era regulations. He said the rollback will give internet service providers new ways to control what consumers can see, do and say online.

President Trump, minutes before heading to speak at the FBI's National Academy, lashed out at the bureau, saying, "It's a shame what's happened with the FBI" and claiming there are "a lot of very angry people that are seeing it."

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A potential stumbling block for the Republican tax bill was removed Friday afternoon when Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., announced he would support the measure. Rubio had threatened to vote "no" on the bill, to win a more generous child tax credit for working families.

Another holdout, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., also announced his support Friday, putting the bill on a path toward likely passage in time for President Trump to sign the measure by Christmas.

On December 1, we ran a story about "the best and worst charity of ads of 2017."

The day after the suicide of Kentucky state Rep. Dan Johnson, his widow announced that she plans to run for his seat.

"Dan is gone but the story of his life is far from over," Rebecca Johnson said in a statement Thursday to multiple news outlets. "These high-tech lynchings based on lies and half-truths can't be allowed to win the day. I've been fighting behind my husband for 30 years and his fight will go on."

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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From the Inclusion Desk

nysed.gov

The New York State Board of Regents this week voted to expand options for special education students who struggle with academic exams.  

The Regents adopted regulations to expand the criteria under which students with disabilities may be eligible to graduate high school with a local diploma. That’s a high school diploma that has different requirements from those needed to get a Regents Diploma.

State Education Department officials say that some students with disabilities are unable to demonstrate proficiency on standardized tests even with certain accommodations.

Local middle school students are teaming up with students at Rochester Institute of Technology to create a therapeutic device for children with autism and other sensory challenges.

Both the Kids Miracle Making Club and RIT’s Effective Access Technology program use technology to help people with physical or developmental challenges. In a pilot program launched just this fall, Access Tech students mentored students at Brighton’s Twelve Corners Middle School, showing how the club’s program can look in a school setting.

There are major gaps in special education spending in New York. A study by the New York State Association of School Business Officials found that spending in wealthier districts for special needs students was almost double the spending in more impoverished districts.

“Special education spending in the lowest need districts is $43,635 per special education pupil while spending in the highest need districts is $25,823 per special education pupil,” wrote researchers of the study.

Karen DeWitt

New York faces fiscal challenges in 2018, but that has not stopped groups from asking for more money in the new state budget, including agencies that provide care to people with disabilities. 

Chanting, “Be fair to direct care,” about 200 New Yorkers with developmental disabilities, along with their family members and caregivers, gathered in a reception area outside Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office Wednesday to ask for more help in paying the workers more money. 

More stories from the Inclusion Desk

Rochester: Hub For Photonics

What is photonics and why is it coming to Rochester?

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