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ALBANY – U.S. Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand on Monday joined New York State’s effort to obtain a waiver from the U.S. Department of Justice allowing the state to import medicinal marijuana to treat children who suffer from rare and deadly seizure disorders.The letter by the two Democratic senators from New York to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. co…

ALBANY – Less than a year after he opposed the use of medical marijuana, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is now asking the U.S. Justice Department for a waiver to permit the state to import limited amounts of marijuana for the treatment of seriously ill children and young adults who suffer from rare seizure disorders.A mid-August letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., followe…

Niagara County

The cooler weather and ripples of color created by changing leaves will prompt hikers to join naturalists from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to enjoy a slate of special events in upcoming weeks.It starts with Fall Fitness Sundays – a full month of Sunday hikes designed for those who would like to stay fit, but leave the confines o…

New York’s powerful teachers union – New York State United Teachers – spent more money trying to influence the outcome of two State Senate races in Buffalo than it spent on any other state races so far this year.NYSUT spent almost $2 million statewide – a quarter of that in Buffalo – so far this political season, according to a Buffalo News analysis. And the approximately …

Incumbent State Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-Buffalo, chairman of the Senate’s Environmental Conservation Committee, will receive the endorsement of the New York League of Conservation Voters on Monday.Grisanti, who is running to keep his seat as an independent despite his recent defeat in the Republican primary, said he will address his “green record” and agenda for the next Sta…

Business

Canisius and D’Youville colleges are the latest schools – and the first private institutions in the area – to join a state program that establishes tax-free zones to draw new jobs and companies to colleges and universities across New York.Members of the Start-Up NY approval board accepted the colleges’ proposals at their meeting Thursday in Albany.School officials now must…

ALBANY – Just in time for election season, the state has started mailing $350 rebate checks to more than 1 million eligible New York families.The first round of checks will be followed by a second round in October, giving homeowners roughly a 2 percent rebate on their school property taxes from last year.State politicians who approved the rebate programs say the cash is a …

Crime

From now on, when a complaint of child abuse is reported, child protective workers across the state will know if a previous report has been filed against the alleged abuser or whether past concerns have been raised about a child’s well-being.Workers at the state’s child abuse hotline in Albany will forward not only the latest complaint, but prior complaints in order to pro…

Local News

For almost four years as governor, Andrew M. Cuomo has consistently said he encounters “pessimism,” “cynicism” and “negativity” whenever he ventures to Buffalo.He found an attachment to the past devoid of hope for the future, he has said, in a city and region where politicians promised but failed to deliver.“Everything was bad. There was no hope, there was no optimism,” he…

Politics

ALBANY – State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, sitting atop millions of dollars in his re-election campaign account, today is beginning his first television advertising efforts to tout his bid for a second term against Republican challenger John P. Cahill.Schneiderman, who had $7 million in the bank in the latest required filing in July, compared with $1 million for…

Local News

ALBANY – They were never worried about their Democratic Party primary challengers earlier this month, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and his running mate, Erie County’s Kathy Hochul, insisted over and over again.Worries aside, Cuomo and Hochul spent about $5.9 million in the final couple of weeks and days immediately following their recent closer-than-expected Democratic primary con…

Breweries in the United States2013 2,822 2003 1,4851993 4461978 891973 1221873 4,131Craft Breweries in New York2013 1652012 922011 75Source: Brewers Association

Six health insurance companies will sell individual plans through the NY State of Health exchange to area consumers for 2015, the state Health Department announced Monday.That’s the same number of insurers that sold individual coverage for 2014, the first year for New York’s insurance marketplace, in at least one of the eight counties of Western New York.Five companies are…

Politics

ALBANY – Despite his vow to help Democrats take control of the State Senate, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Friday said he faces a “personally difficult” decision on whether to endorse Republican Sen. Mark Grisanti as the incumbent seeks to keep his seat in the November general election on a minor party line.Cuomo noted that Grisanti is the last of the four Senate Republicans w…

Nearly two million miles of streams nationwide could go unprotected by federal law despite the Clean Water Act.That’s why state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman say that he will lead an eight-state coalition to make sure the streams and an additional 20 million acres of wetlands are covered under federal law.Some congressional leaders, however, call the move an overre…