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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The New York State Canal System is now being run by the New York Power Authority.

NYPA  officially took over ownership of the state Canal Corp. on New Year's Day, eight months after the agency assumed fiscal responsibility for the canals. The Canal Corp. had been a subsidiary of the state Thruway Authority since 1992.

www.gpb.org

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing to offer free tuition at New York public colleges to eligible residents. 

The Democrat unveiled his plan Tuesday morning at LaGuardia Community College in Queens alongside U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. During the senator's unsuccessful run for the Democratic presidential nomination last year, Sanders pushed for free tuition at all U.S. public colleges. 

npr.org

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has vetoed a proposal to have the state pay for public defenders. His decision means that at least for now, individual counties will largely keep footing the bill for defending poor people accused of crimes.

The Democratic governor nixed the measure Saturday night.

He said he supports having the state pay to improve criminal defense for the indigent. But he said the legislation went too far and included hundreds of millions of dollars for legal services in family court and other settings.

governor.ny.gov

NEW YORK (AP) — About 200 state investigators and staffers are being assigned to spread the word about New York's recent minimum wage increase — and to make sure businesses comply.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the task force Monday in New York City.

The minimum wage was previously $9 an hour statewide until Saturday. Now, it varies by location and size of business, from $9.70 an hour in much of the state to $11 an hour in New York City businesses with 11 or more workers.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  New York lawmakers will return to Albany on Wednesday to begin their work for 2017, a session expected to include debates over voting laws, corruption, Uber's proposal to expand upstate and the state's response to the administration of President-elect Donald Trump. 

www.nysparks.com

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The state office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is sponsoring 50 hikes across the state on New Year's Day.

The guided outings are part of the sixth annual First Day Hikes program taking place across the country.

This year's programs in New York include a seal walk, winter woodlands, a history tour, a snowshoe waterfall hike, gorge walks and pet-friendly treks. Many will offer refreshments.

The New York State Parks website has a list of parks.

The City of Rochester is offering a helping hand to the Town of Irondequoit, which lost several snow plows when fire broke out Christmas Eve at the town's Department of Public Works building.

City Department of Environmental Services Commissioner Norman Jones says Rochester is offering the use of four vehicles if the town needs it, and the use of the city's Mount Read Blvd. Operations Center.

"We've provided them with two mechanic's bays with lifts so they can do their actual work indoors in an environment that's built for mechanics to repair equipment."

Monroe County

Update as of 3:55 p.m.

This statement from Monroe County officials:

All roadways at the Greater Rochester International Airport have been reopened. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office has concluded their investigation of a suspicious condition.

New marquee at the Blue Cross Arena

Dec 28, 2016
Alex Crichton

City officials today unveiled a brand new marquee at the Blue Cross Arena downtown.

The electronic billboard will let people know what attractions are happening at the venue on Exchange Street.

Mayor Lovely Warren says this is just the beginning, as Governor Cuomo has made a $10.5 million dollar commitment to improve the fan experience at the arena.

Some area state lawmakers say they would prefer Governor Andrew Cuomo keep the traditional method of delivering the annual State of the State address.

Cuomo's office announced on Monday that this year, instead of a general address to the state legislature and other officials in Albany, Cuomo would deliver a series of six regional addresses during the week of January 9th.

Assembly Minority leader Brian Kolb, a Republican from Canandaigua, feels the traditional method works better and sets a more respectful tone.

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