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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.

nyserda.ny.gov

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York State will soon launch a rebate designed to make electric vehicles more price competitive with traditional cars.

Officials said Friday they'll launch the initiative by April 1. The rebate of up to $2,000 will be available for zero-emission and plug-in electric hybrid vehicles.

The incentive is part of efforts to reduce automotive carbon emissions, the state's largest climate change contributor.

Environmentalists supported the rebate when it was approved last year.

npr.org

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Attorneys general from 18 states have signed onto a brief in support of a transgender teenager who wants to use the boys' bathroom at his Virginia high school.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says Friday the friend-of-the-court brief was filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday night. It argues that allowing transgender people to use bathrooms matching their gender identity creates no public safety or financial burdens.

The brief supports Gavin Grimm in a lawsuit against the school board in Virginia's Gloucester County.

Seth Wenig/AP / WNYC Radio

NEW YORK (AP)  A Missouri police official says the man accused of threatening eight Jewish institutions and the Anti-Defamation League will also be questioned about the desecration of a Jewish cemetery. 

Authorities say 31-year-old Juan Thompson made the threats in an effort to harass and vilify his former girlfriend. They say some of the threats against the institutions were made in the woman's name. 

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York state is launching a $1.5 million pilot program that will allow residents to have their drinking water tested for lead for free.

The state Department of Health says the service will be for residents served by private well and public water systems. Participants will collect samples and send them to a lab.

www.ny.gov

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The state of New York is celebrating the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage with the launch of a website and events throughout the state.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday introduced the website to kick off Women's History Month.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Public defenders are calling Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's state funding proposal a Band-Aid solution to funding gaps for their offices.

A coalition of county leaders, clergy and national criminal defense groups Tuesday urged Cuomo to increase state money for public defenders in his budget.

Cuomo has proposed a total of $240 million to fund public defense in the state, but defenders say it will cost approximately $400 million for the basic costs of local public defense.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — Local Democratic U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter says her guest for President Donald Trump's address to Congress will be a Rochester man who benefited from health care reform.

Republicans in control of Congress face pressure to scrap the Affordable Care Act, though finding a way to do it has proved difficult. Trump said Monday that "nobody knew that health care could be so complicated."

www.agriculture.ny.gov

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York State is expanding its testing of food and beverages in an effort to prevent foodborne illness.

The state announced Friday that some 67,000 samples in 2016, up 10 percent from the year before.

The laboratory is responsible for analyzing food and beverage samples for impurities and health hazards. State testing resulted in more than 300 recalls last year.

Ginna Nuclear Power Plant

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A conservative free market group has joined liberal environmental advocates criticizing New York's plan to charge ratepayers up to $7.6 billion to keep three aging upstate nuclear plants operating.

Citizens Against Corporate Bailouts director Gregg Keller says state lawmakers should reject the deal, which he says amounts to "corporate cronyism."

A spokesman for Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the group is just doing the bidding of the fossil fuel industry.

www.brightlinewatch.org

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A survey of U.S. political science faculty a month into Donald Trump's presidency shows that fraud-free elections tops a list of 19 principles most essential to democracy, as do free speech and a free press.

Professors at Dartmouth College, the University of Rochester and Yale University collaborated on the Bright Line Watch survey to get an expert reading on the status of democratic practices and potential threats to American democracy.

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