Government news

Veronica Volk / WXXI

New York Assembly Members from across the state were in Rochester today, along with representatives from civic groups and the Rochester Monroe County Anti-Poverty Task Force.

The round table discussion was closed to press, but a statement says the meeting was an opportunity for leaders to discuss the impacts of poverty on the community.

Assemblyman Marco Crespo came up from his district in the Bronx to join the discussion. He says although different communities across the state have unique issues, it's helpful to come together to brainstorm solutions.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  The chairman of the New York Gaming Commission has resigned. 

Mark Gearan announced his decision at Monday's commission meeting. It will be up to Gov. Andrew Cuomo to pick his replacement, who must be confirmed by the state Senate. 

Gearan is the president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva. He is a former director of the Peace Corps and was a deputy chief of staff under President Bill Clinton. Gearan cited increasing obligations and workload as his reason for stepping down.

Gearan led the commission since March of last year. 

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York's Office of Mental Health says it's expanding a program intended to provide services and treatment to young adults, a group among whom symptoms often first emerge.

The state two years ago began OnTrackNY targeting youth struggling with mental illness, which has $6.75 million in current annual state and federal funding.

Begun with sites in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Yonkers, serving about 160 youths, OMH says it has added locations in Buffalo, Farmingville, Syracuse and two more in Manhattan, intended to reach another 175 young adults.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A proposal in New York state to gradually raise the minimum wage for fast-food workers could be formally approved any day.

The increase was endorsed by a state Wage Board last month and will be phased in over six years beginning with an initial increase at the end of this year.

Following a mandatory public comment period the proposal now awaits approval by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's labor commissioner, who has until Sept. 14 to act.

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NY State Police

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  State police in New York are stepping up their enforcement of drunken driving laws with a 20-day end-of-summer crack down. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the effort begins Friday and will last through Sept. 7, Labor Day. 

It's part of a national push by police to reduce drunken driving accidents and deaths at a time when many motorists are on vacation or celebrating the last few weeks of summer. 

Cuomo's office says 364 people were killed in crashes involving a drunken driver in the state in 2013 _ roughly a third of all auto fatalities. 

A Chance To See Pope Francis

Aug 19, 2015

Senator Chuck Schumer has tickets to see the Pope when he visits the US and he's offering you a chance to win them.

"There'll be one lucky winner who'll sit in the gallery and we are auctioning off 100-pairs of tickets to sit in the mall."

Senator Chuck Schumer gets one seat in the gallery for the Pope's speech to Congress. He is auctioning that off, along with offering 200 tickets that get you in with the big crowd expected on the National Mall for an audience with the Pope.

The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Counsel is getting ready to submit their application for the Upstate Revitalization Initiative. The Initiative promises to award half a billion dollars to three upstate regions.

The group says they're focused on prioritizing projects that are both innovative and sustainable. The FLREDC application focuses on three specific industries: photonics and optics, food production, and next generation technology manufacturing.

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

"Well, for some of us it's been an interesting week."

Danny Wegman's opening remarks at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Counsel were met by laughter from those in attendance.

There has been a very public debate playing out over the last couple days, through statements and press releases by business owners, local leaders, and elected officials. Everyone is weighing in on where the photonics institute should be headquartered.

In Greece, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced a bill she hopes will help small businesses expand without moving overseas. The Scale-Up Manufacturing Investment Company Act of 2015 would set up a federal loan program through the Small Business Administration.

That money would be used by pre-approved venture capitalists to invest in small and growing US businesses. Gillibrand says the bill could help advanced manufacturing in Rochester, especially following the federal grant to set up a Photonics Institute here.

Rt 104 Bridge Project Begins In Webster

Aug 18, 2015

Work is underway on a six-million dollar renovation project for 17 bridges on Route 104 in Webster.

The maintenance includes structural repairs and deck repaving for bridges from Dewitt Road east to Salt Road.

Construction begins in the westbound direction on the east end of the project, and continues through October before resuming in the spring.

Crane Hogan of Spencerport is doing the work, and should be finished in about a year.