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California Struggles To Gain On Fires As New Ones Appear Daily

The largest of Southern California's fast-moving fires has engulfed more than 115,000 acres northwest of Los Angeles, while more burned southeast of the city. Authorities say efforts to contain the wildfires have been thwarted by high winds fanning the flames. At least 439 homes and other buildings have been destroyed by the largest, Thomas Fire, which is only 5 percent contained, officials said Thursday. Four people, including one firefighter, have been hospitalized with smoke inhalation,...

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Rochester NY – Testifying before the U S Senate Commerce Committee, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter said Congress must send a clear message to the Bush Administration to stop proposed mergers between major airlines. Slaughter said the mergers would limit competition and result in higher air fares. Currently Rochester has some of the highest airfares in the nation.

    Rochester NY – A Rochester-area medical practice has agreed to pay the federal government $2 million in fines for sending false bills to Medicare.

    The U.S. Department of Justice says the seven cardiac surgeons falsely billed Medicare for assistant surgeons' fees. Blue Cross/ Blue Shield of the Rochester Area has also filed a $1.2 million dollar lawsuit against the same doctors. Blue Cross claims they submitted fraudulent billing over a five year period involving over 1,800 cases.

    Rochester, NY – The unlicensed driver who struck and severely injured a Rochester police officer when he suffered a seizure behind the wheel will serve 18 years in prison.

    Ed Jones of Rochester was driving a car that clipped Officer Scott McLaughlin at the corner of Main Street and Clinton Avenue. McLaughlin was tossed through the air and suffered severe injuries that left him in a coma. The officer is recovering, but still suffers health problems and hasn't been able to return to work.

    Rochester NY – Starting February 5th, Planned Parenthood of the Rochester/Syracuse Region will offer the option of medical abortion by the use of the pill known as RU-486.Planned Parenthood President and CEO Carol Love said medical abortion will give women an alternative to surgical abortion.

      Rochester NY – State Assemblyman David Koon said school districts in the 135th Assembly district would lose $ 8.3 million dollars under Governor Pataki's proposed budget. The Penfield School District would take the biggest hit, losing over $2.5 million. Other school districts losing state funding according to Assemblyman Koon includes : Fairport $1.7 million. Webster $1.6 million. Pittsford $1.3 million. East Rochester would lose over $660,000 and Victor would lose $350,000 in state funding.

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        News from NPR

        One of the world's most famous — and flashy — billionaires is being detained by the Saudi government in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was swept up in early November, along with more than 200 other Saudi businessmen and princes, in a massive anti-corruption campaign spearheaded by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Many analysts saw it as a power grab by the young prince.

        The U.S. economy added 228,000 jobs in November, according to the monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate remained steady at 4.1 percent, unchanged from October.

        "Employment growth has averaged 174,000 per month thus far this year, compared with an average monthly gain of 187,000 in 2016," the agency's acting Commissioner William J. Wiatrowski said of the report.

        Can Your Ceramic Cookware Give You Lead Poisoning?

        3 hours ago

        Crockpots — ceramic slow cookers that coax chili into tender perfection — can make home cooks wax poetic. A Google search of "I love my crockpot" turns up well over a million matches, including testimonials about their flexibility, ease and affordability. But there's another search that also gets a lot of results: "crock pots and lead poisoning."

        Wealthy Americans may get a new conduit for political money in the tax overhaul bill now being reconciled on Capitol Hill.

        A small provision in the House version of the bill would let big donors secretly donate unlimited amounts to independent political groups — and write off the contributions as charitable gifts.

        More news from NPR

        From the Inclusion Desk

        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. 

        dutchessny.gov

        ThinkDifferently is an initiative started by Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro to change the way individuals, businesses and organizations relate to people of all abilities in their community.

        Molinaro was in Rochester Wednesday, meeting with Senator Rich Funke, as well as a number of community organizers to talk about ways to be more inclusive to people with disabilities.

        Funke said we have great awareness here, but can always do more.

        When you're facing a major life change, it helps to talk to someone who has already been through it. All Things Considered is connecting people on either side of a shared experience, and they're letting us eavesdrop on their conversations in our series Been There.

        James Carmody never had any doubt that he would go to college. He loved learning, he worked hard and he was excited to make a positive impact on the world.

        More stories from the Inclusion Desk

        Rochester: Hub For Photonics

        What is photonics and why is it coming to Rochester?

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