ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  Gov. Andrew Cuomo says reduced government fees and regulatory reforms are helping to encourage New York's growing craft distillery industry by saving liquor makers more than $450,000 over the past three years. 

The Democratic governor released figures Monday showing that New York distillers avoided some $424,000 in fees thanks to a 2013 change in the law that exempted small batches of spirits from a state fee on brand labels. Another change in 2012 abolished a licensing fee on farm distilleries, saving businesses another $30,000.

The head of the New York Health Insurance Exchange says a new low-income plan will bring in New Yorkers who still haven’t enrolled in health coverage. Officials expect to reach 3 year goals.

Donna Frescatore, Executive Director of the New York State of Health Insurance Marketplace, says she’s pleased that more than 2 million state residents have signed up for insurance through the exchange. "We’ll reach our 3 year goal of reducing the number uninsured in New York by about a million people," says Frescatore.

Coming up on Connections: Tuesday, August 4th

9 hours ago

First hour: Lessons from the killing of Cecil the lion

Second hour: Understanding COMIDA

NEW YORK (AP)  Retailers including Wal-Mart, Sears and Amazon have agreed to halt the sales of realistic-looking toy guns in New York and pay over $300,000 in penalties, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Monday. 

Schneiderman's office found that five retailers and their third-party sellers sold over 6,400 toy guns from 2012 to 2014 that violated New York laws. Most of the toys were sold online. 

Kate O'Connell WXXI

President Obama’s plan for national standards to curb power plant emissions is based, in part, on a cap and trade type program already existence in New York.  

Conor Bambrick, with the group Environmental Advocates, says he thinks the Presidents’ plan , billed by the White House as the “first-ever national standards” to curb carbon pollution from power plants has some of its roots in New York.


The Wilmot Cancer Institute at the University of Rochester is collaborating with Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo. The partnership between the two largest cancer care and research institutions outside New York City is focused on a new kind of diagnostics: genomic testing.

Take lung cancer, for example. Historically, doctors identified cells under a microscope and diagnosed the disease based on what they could see. As a result they tended to treat all lung cancer patients the same.


NEW YORK (AP)  Comedian Amy Schumer spoke tearfully of two women who were shot to death during a screening of her movie, ``Trainwreck,'' and asked lawmakers Monday to support a gun control bill sponsored by her second cousin, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer. 

``I've thought about these victims each day since the tragedy,'' she said at a news conference at the senator's office in New York. 

``People say, `Well, you're never going to be able to stop crazy people from doing crazy things,' but they're wrong. There is a way to stop them,'' she said. 

The monthly science roundtable returns, and this month we have a timely subject: the science and application of photonics. The roundtable:

  • Rob Clark, Senior vice president research, dean of Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and chairman of the AIM Photonics board of directors
  • Duncan Moore, professor of optics; director of entrepreneurship at University of Rochester
  • Mike Mandina, president of Optimax
  • Ryne Raffaelle, vice president of research at RIT

YUP. You're probably a closet preservationist. You care about the look of your city, your town, your neighborhood. You don't want just any big box store with a sea of parking spaces. You want a thoughtful approach to urban planning and you occasionally travel on foot, or bike, or something not called "car." Maybe it's time for you to meet the YUPs -- the Young Urban Preservationists:

  • Caitlin Meives, YUP co-founder and Preservation Planner at The Landmark Society of WNY
  • Laura Smith, co-founder of YUP 
  • Bradley Huber, member of YUP
  • Anna Lisa Keller, member of YUP

The Executive Director of the New York State of Health Marketplace says the state has managed to get more of the Latino community enrolled. 

A recent report by the state health insurance exchange shows a four percent increase in the number of Latinos who’ve signed up for coverage since 2014.

Since the end of the 2015 open enrollment, 25 percent of those insured self-identified as Latino.

Donna Frescatore, executive director of the state exchange,  says it’s related to a concerted effort in the states Latino communities.

"We introduced a new Spanish online application that we’re getting great feedback on. And it’s getting a good deal of use; we want to continue to expand that. And also, we’re present at many cultural events throughout the state in Latino communities," says Frescatore.

The actual demographic breakdown of those insured through the health insurance marketplace is still unclear. Nearly a third of enrollees chose not to respond to the optional confidential questions about race and ethnicity.

Frescatore says people have a choice, "but we would certainly encourage people to self-report, because it helps us in our planning process and it helps us better understand the New Yorkers that we’re reaching and those that we have a little bit more work to do."

2.1 million New Yorkers have enrolled in health insurance on the New York State of Health Marketplace over the first two years of the Affordable Care Act.