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Cuomo proposes new taxes, tax restructuring in budget

Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled a $168 billion budget plan that would close an over $4 billion gap by reducing some spending and imposing tax increases on health insurers, big businesses and prescription opioid users, among others. Cuomo said he also wants to look into legalizing marijuana in New York. “This is going to be challenging, my friends,” Cuomo told lawmakers gathered at the state museum for the budget presentation. He said he’s holding the line on state agency spending, and he’s eyeing...

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Rochester NY – 116 acres of land in Monroe and Livingston Counties have been purchased by the State of New York. The purchase includes 68 acres of Burger Park in the town of Greece. And 48 acres of land on Conesus Lake in the town of Conesus.Conservationists are happy with the State's decision because it will allow more land to be preserved not only for wildlife. But also for residents who enjoy the outdoors and recreational sports like fishing.It will cost the State $670,000 to purchase the 116 acres of property in both counties.

    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.

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        Coverage of harassment claims against faculty at the University of Rochester

        News from NPR

        The details of how North Korea will participate in the upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea are still being worked out — but the two countries say their athletes will march together at the opening ceremony, under a unification flag.

        The two countries will also form a unified women's hockey team to compete at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February, NPR's Elise Hu reports from Seoul. In addition, North Korea will send a cheering squad of 230 people to support athletes who make the trip.

        On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in a case with a surprise plot twist: The jurors were told that the accused was guilty of a triple murder — not by the prosecutor, but by the defense lawyer.

        "There is no way reasonably possible that you can listen to the evidence and not come" to that conclusion, he said.

        In an effort to avoid the death penalty, the defense lawyer refused to follow the instructions of his client, who contended he was innocent. The question before the justices is whether that violated the client's constitutional right to counsel.

        It's tricky to nail down exactly what makes someone feel like a "racial impostor." For one Code Switch follower, it's the feeling she gets from whipping out "broken but strangely colloquial Arabic" in front of other Middle Easterners.

        For another — a white-passing, Native American woman — it's being treated like "just another tourist" when she shows up at powwows. And one woman described watching her white, black and Korean-American toddler bump along to the new Kendrick and wondering, "Is this allowed?"

        More news from NPR

        From the Inclusion Desk

        Classically trained violinist and songwriter Gaelynn Lea has been immersed in music since her childhood. While she says her primary focus in life is on her career as a musician, it was her rise to fame after winning the 2016 NPR Tiny Desk contest when she also took on a new role - that of a disability advocate and public speaker.  During a recent concert in Rochester at Nazareth College, Lea told Need to Know that the underrepresentation of people with disabilities in the arts has given her a new stage to share a powerful message.

        We conclude our Dialogue on Disability Week with a conversation about "invisible" disabilities. Our guests share the challenges they face living with multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. In studio:

        freeimages.com/Jos van Galen

        Some 2,000 Rochester area residents with disabilities are in need of housing.

        And that number only reflects individuals who get services through one state agency, the New York State Office of People With Developmental Disabilities.  The overall need for affordable, accessible housing is even greater.

        This has always been an issue, but it's become a bigger problem in recent years, as more people are interested in living independently.

        Our Dialogue on Disability Week continues with a conversation about adaptive sports. According to the CDC, nearly half of adults with disabilities ages 18 to 64 do not get aerobic physical activity. Local organizations are helping to change that by offering opportunities in adaptive sports.

        We hear the stories of local athletes in those programs. Our guests:

        • Michael Cocquyt, supervisor of SportsNet
        • Jen Truscott, alpine skier
        • David Grace, sled hockey athlete, who participates in many winter sports

        More stories from the Inclusion Desk

        Rochester: Hub For Photonics

        What is photonics and why is it coming to Rochester?

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