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Associated Press

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.

Oil train from ND
Nat Hamilton/WHYY stateimpact.npr.org

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP)  Freight trains passing through New York are under greater scrutiny following accidents elsewhere involving the shipment of volatile crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken region.

Pat LaFontaine
Sabres/Bill Wippert

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP)  First, Ryan Miller. Now, Pat LaFontaine.

A day after trading their star goalie to St. Louis, the Buffalo Sabres lost another face of their franchise after LaFontaine abruptly resigned as president of hockey operations on Saturday a little more than three months after being brought in to provide a new direction to the NHL's last-place team.

The Sabres announced the decision in a news release issued after speculation had been raised of a potential front-office shake-up involving LaFontaine.

Mute Swan
NYS DEC

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  After public protests, New York officials have backed off a plan to eradicate 2,200 wild swans that had been labeled pests.  

The Department of Environmental Conservation drafted plans last year to wipe out the state's mute swan population on the grounds that the beautiful but aggressive birds are not native to the U.S. and are harming the habitat of domestic waterfowl.  

That plan called for officials to destroy nests, puncture eggs, and shoot or gas swans living on public lands.  

Animal lovers responded with 16,000 protest letters.  

Beware of Carbon Monoxide poster
National Archives and Records Administration

HUNTINGTON STATION, N.Y. (AP) Officials investigating a carbon monoxide leak at a New York mall are concentrating on the heating system of a restaurant following the death of the eatery's 55-year-old manager and more than two dozen others being sent to hospitals.  

Suffolk County police have identified the man who died Saturday as Steven Nelson. He's the manager at the Legal Sea Foods restaurant at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station on Long Island. Officials say an autopsy will to determine the cause of death.  

en.wikipedia.org

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ New York is offering lifetime licenses to hunt, fish and visit state parks. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says Wednesday that he hopes a portion of the 2 million people who buy annual hunting licenses, fishing licenses and park permits in New York will make the switch. Lifetime hunting licenses cost $535, lifetime fishing licenses $460 and lifetime Empire Passport park permits cost $750. 

CASTILE, N.Y. (AP) _ State Park Police say a body has been found in Letchworth State Park.  Authorities say a hiker called 911 late Wednesday afternoon after falling into the Genesee River Gorge. Members of the State Park Police rope rescue team found the victims's body in the gorge.    Police are not releasing the name of the victim until family members are notified.    A state trooper was killed at Letchworth in November during a simulated rescue of a person who had fallen over the side of a cliff.  

www.giglig.com

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ Tax refund season has begun in New York. 

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance said Monday it sent out its first 87 refunds for the 2013 tax year. The average refund was $183 and the highest was $1,356.

The refunds went to early filers who used New York's so-called Income Tax Web File, which allows returns to be prepared and electronically filed earlier than before. 

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo's job approval rating has improved, and he has substantial leads over two potential Republican challengers in the November election, according to a poll released Monday. 

The Siena College poll found 54 percent of New York voters who responded rated Cuomo's job performance as good or excellent. That's up from 44 percent of respondents who felt that way last November. The first-term governor was also viewed favorably in the new poll by 66 percent of respondents, which also is up from November. 

Fracking - drilling tower
WSKG

As another year closes with a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in New York and no timetable for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to decide whether to lift it, drilling interests have all but given up on the state for the near future.  

Cuomo has said he wants his health and environmental commissioners to take all the time they need to decide whether fracking can be done safely. Dozens of towns have enacted their own moratoriums in case the state does approve fracking.  

Rescuers worked through the night and into Saturday morning to rescue an unknown number of people trapped inside a Scottish pub after a police helicopter crashed through its roof during a packed concert, causing numerous casualties.

Police said early Saturday 32 people were taken to hospitals across Glasgow after the incident at The Clutha pub in the city center. No fatalities had been reported.

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