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A decision by State Education Commissioner John King to cancel a community meeting focused on new state curriculum standards has angered parents and teachers who hoped to air their concerns at the Williamsville event next week.The town hall-style meeting was one of four across the state that King canceled after he was met with criticism and shouting during the question-and…

ALBANY – Days after a federal judge said an unpaid intern did not have the same protections as paid employees against workplace sexual harassment, a state lawmaker has introduced legislation to end what has been described as a dangerous loophole in the state’s human rights laws.Sen. Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat, wants to end sexual harassment episodes in which employe…

When Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Lt. Gov. Robert J. Duffy declined last week to address the second-in-command’s future on the 2014 statewide ticket, it was almost like shouting, “Let the speculation games begin.”So amid reports that the popular former Rochester mayor might return home to head the Rochester Business Alliance, political observers are already floating names like…

The state Republican Party’s chairman is not biting on a report today that some Republicans are hoping to convince Donald Trump to run against Gov. Andrew Cuomo next year. The New York Post said Rochester area Assemblyman Bill Nojay is circulating a memo among fellow Republicans outlining why Trump, who could self-finance a statewide campaign, is the best hope of the GOP b…

State Education Commissioner John King on Saturday canceled appearances at four upcoming PTA-sponsored community meetings, following a barrage of criticism from raucous parents and teachers Thursday in Poughkeepsie.The state tour was intended to promote the newly implemented Common Core standards, and had included a stop at Williamsville North High School on Oct. 24.King, …

Smokers who enjoy a cigarette in the great outdoors can hack a sigh of relief.A state judge in Albany on Friday ordered state parks officials to stop enforcing their recent ban on outdoor smoking in state parks, agreeing with a smokers’ rights group that the state exceeded its authority in imposing the ban.State Supreme Court Justice George Ceresia Jr. ruled that the regul…

ALBANY – In two straight State of the State addresses, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo made expansion of casino gambling one of his major themes.Last spring, in pushing lawmakers to go along with his plan to permit up to seven new casinos, Cuomo spoke regularly and forcefully about the economic-development potential that new casinos would have on upstate.But now, in the thick of the …

Buffalo

A dramatic shakeup Wednesday at Erie County’s Child Protective Services is an attempt to ensure that two tragedies of the past 19 months are not repeated and to hold accountable people charged with protecting the welfare of children.Following the beating deaths of two boys under the eye of the county agency that is supposed to protect abused and neglected children, Erie Co…

Interest remains exceptionally high among those wanting to explore the insurance offerings on New York’s online health care marketplace, according to state officials.After a first-day crush of more than 10 million hits on the website, the capacity of nystateofhealth.ny.gov was doubled, according to the program’s executive director, Donna Frescatore.In a statement late Wedn…

ALBANY – A state judge next week will hear arguments in a lawsuit that contends the state has illegally expended funds promoting a casino expansion plan that the Cuomo administration is asking voters to approve next month in a statewide referendum.The new litigation, filed in State Supreme Court in Albany, contends the state Board of Elections spent money on state workers’…

Featured

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is turning to former Gov. George E. Pataki, who in 1994 drove Cuomo’s father out of the governor’s mansion using the state’s high taxes as a chief campaign weapon, to help him devise ideas for cutting property and other taxes across the state.The governor, who is especially fond of appointing task forces and commissions to study various ideas,…

Business

“Today’s the Day” was spread across the top of the newspaper ad in yellow letters 1½ inches high.“You don’t have to wonder if you can afford a quality health plan,” it said.In reality, many New York State residents had to wonder a little longer before they could check out their health insurance options on the New York State of Health website. The site received more than 2 …

Local News

ALBANY – New York’s new health insurance exchange has gotten off to a bumpy start with crashes throughout the morning on the main state website, which residents are to use to sign up for health and dental coverage.Repeated attempts by The Buffalo News to use key features on the site were greeted with intermittent error messages on the web page that went live at 8 a.m. toda…

Politics

A new Siena College Research Institute poll has found that the governor’s job approval level has slipped under the 50 percent mark, with 49 percent giving him a positive performance rating and 50 percent saying his job in office is only fair or poor. His 49 percent job performance approval rating in September compares to a high of 64 percent last year.

Erie County

ALBANY – A decision earlier this summer by state officials to shine a positive light on plans to dramatically expand casino gambling in New York State is apparently working with voters, according to a poll released Monday.The Siena College Research Institute found that the proposal to amend the State Constitution had a split reaction among voters – 49 percent for and 49 pe…