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Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield, a major health insurer in Rochester and other parts of Upstate NY, says it posted net profits of .4 percent or $24 million last year on revenues of $5.9 billion.

The company says stronger than expected investment income produced positive net income despite an operating loss of $55 million.  The local Blues blame most of the losses due to its safety net lines of business such as Medicaid. Last year, Excellus dropped some of its Medicaid business in areas where it said it was losing too much money. 

Higher education is becoming a major economic driver in many areas, including here in Rochester, where the University of Rochester is now the largest employer (remember when Kodak was?). So what does this mean for economic growth across the country? What roles do higher education institutions play in communities. We discuss this with our guest, Laura Anglin, president of the Independent Commission on Colleges and Universities. 

It's called "Spread the Word to End the R-Word, " and it's a campaign to try and get people to stop using the word 'retarded'.  That campaign locally, organized by the Golisano Foundation is now in its fifth year and there are a number of activities over the next week to bring awareness to the issue and how the use of the word retarded is disparaging to people with intellectual disabilities.

Foundation director Ann Costello says this campaign really focuses on young people, so that the next generations will move away from using that word.

Matt Ryan New York Now

Teachers have been holding rallies all around the state protesting Governor Cuomo’s education proposals, and hundreds are expected to converge on the Capitol late Monday to protest over reliance on standardized tests,   and other issues.

A state audit just released by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is critical of the compensation programs used for top executives at the Rochester Regional Transportation Authority.

Balloon Manor Officially Launched at Sibley Building

6 hours ago

It took a crew of about 75 people working for four days to complete the sixth "Ballon Manor: The

Amazing Air-Filled Undersea Adventure," at the Sibley Building downtown.

Ballon Manor is the creation of Larry Moss and Kelly Cheatle of Rochester's Arigami, or "the fine art of folding air."

The five-story high sculpture is on display at the Sibley Building until March 8th.

On March 6th, an "Enchantment Under the Sea Dance" will be held at the Sibley Atrium, then a

"Popping Party" will close out the exhibition on Sunday March 8th from 3 to 6 pm.

Rochester is on pace to break the record for the coldest month since record keeping began in 1871. 

Climatologist Jessica Spaccio of the Northeast Regional Climate Center says the current record was an average reading of 12.6 degrees, set back in February, 1934.                         

"If we're able to beat that, we'll take not just the record for February, but all-time coldest month," Spaccio said.

casino.org

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  The state's casino location board has moved forward with new bidding from developers for a license in New York's Southern Tier. 

The Gaming Facility Location Board has accepted bid documents drafted by staff, though members note that a winning bid will have to be better than two previously rejected proposals in the region. 

It has also accepted the 800-page report with detailed findings on all 16 applicants in earlier bidding. That resulted in recommendations for new casinos in the Catskills, Schenectady and the Finger Lakes. 

npr.org

Shopping mall operators around the country should consider increasing security in light of  a threatening video released by a terrorist group. That advice from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder who spoke with CNN about the recent video released by an extremist group in Somalia that specifically mentioned the country's largest mall, the Mall of America near Minneapolis.

Holder made the comments to CNN, following a recent video released by a Somali-based terrorist organization which mentioned the Minnesota mall and appeared to be designed to inspire terrorist attacks.

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  The awarding of a casino license in New York's Southern Tier could take another step as the state's casino location board votes on requesting bids from developers who want to build and operate the facility. 

The Gaming Facility Location Board on Friday will be reviewing the bid documents put together by staff.

It's also expected to approve the report with detailed findings on all 16 applicants in earlier bidding, which resulted in recommendations for new casinos in the Catskills, Schenectady and the Finger Lakes.

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