Associated Press

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NYS Dept of Ag & Markets

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York state is making $2 million available to local governments and non-profit groups to help in the fight against invasive species.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration announced the funding on Thursday. The grants will support projects which seek to detect, monitor and stop the spread of non-native plants and animals.

Cuomo, a Democrat, says the funding is vital to helping the state control and remove invasive species and prevent them from doing damage to the local environment.

The grants range in size from $11,000 to $100,000.

(AP & WXXI News) The state's attorney general on Thursday issued guidance to local governments on how they can put laws and policies in place to limit their participation in federal immigration enforcement activities under Republican President-elect Donald Trump's administration. 

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to tweak one of his signature economic development programs.

Under a proposal contained in Cuomo's state budget plan Start-Up NY would be renamed the Excelsior Business Program. It would also get new rules intended to make it more successful.

Start-Up was created to jumpstart new and innovative companies but has had only modest success so far. A report issued last year showed the program generated 408 new jobs in its first two years.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York state is making available $4.2 million for training programs aimed at reducing energy use in buildings.

The funding will be used for building operations and to instruct maintenance workers on best practices. It's part of a broader statewide effort under the Clean Energy Fund to offer customized technical assistance to increase energy efficiency.

To be eligible for the funding, buildings, or groups of buildings, must have total annual energy expenditures of $1 million.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Tax season is looming in New York.

The state Department of Taxation and Finance says the income tax filing season officially begins Monday, Jan. 23.

The deadline to file 2016 tax returns will be a few days later this year — on April 18. That's because the traditional April 15 deadline falls on a Saturday and Emancipation Day will be observed in Washington D.C. that Monday, which pushes the federal and state deadline to Tuesday, April 18.

New York State Police Logo
NY State Police

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Gov. Andrew Cuomo will soon have a new chopper. The State Police plans to buy a $12.5 million Sikorsky S-76D to transport the Democratic governor and perform other public safety missions as needed.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said Friday that his office approved the purchase after initially rejecting it last year. The decision was reversed after Cuomo's office provided more information.

The vehicle will be used for a variety of missions, including search and rescue, helping police on the ground and for transporting Cuomo.

National Park Service

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The New York State Barge Canal has been designated as a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced the designation on Wednesday. The New York Democrat had sought the national recognition, saying it will spur economic growth across the upstate region and honor the canal system's place in the nation's heritage.

Gillibrand says the canal shaped the course of settlement from the Northeast to the Great Plains and established New York City as the nation's premiere seaport and commercial center.

New York State Police Logo
NY State Police

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  A helicopter carrying New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to New York City was forced to make an emergency landing after the cabin filled with fumes.

Cuomo spokesman Richard Azzopardi says the Democratic governor, two aides and security were flying back from Albany in a state police helicopter when the problem began. He says the fumes smelled like smoke and prompted the pilot to make an emergency landing at Stewart Airport, about 60 miles north of New York City.


ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP)  The Buffalo Bills reached an agreement on Wednesday to hire Sean McDermott to be their next head coach.

The deal was reached shortly after the Bills interviewed McDermott for a second time in eight days. The 42-year-old has no previous head-coaching experience and spent the past six seasons working as the Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator.


ATTICA, N.Y. (AP) — New York's correctional officer's union says Attica Correctional Facility was placed on lockdown after five fights involving illegal weapons broke out in the span of two days.

The western New York maximum security prison has been on lockdown since Sunday while officials search the facility for weapons and other contraband.

The union says the first incident was a fight between two inmates that occurred in the A Yard on Saturday. A brawl involving eight prisoners broke out in the same place the following day.