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Weekend in review

May 12, 2014 6:09 am
Some of the stories that made the news, May 9 to May 12:

The Associated Press reported New York officials have identified 51 bridges statewide most at risk from repeated flooding, saying they require upgrades and retrofits estimated to cost more than $257 million. The list includes two bridges located on Route 23 in Prattsville, which reportedly need nearly $23 million in repairs and upgrades. The bridges have been scoured and lost foundation materials like sand and rocks from around and beneath abutments, piers, foundations and embankments. An estimated $193 million will be paid by the Federal Emergency Management Agency if all 51 bridges identified are approved for grants. State officials say the bridges were built to the codes and standards of their time, remain safe and open for everyday traffic, but are now vulnerable to scour from more intense and frequent weather events.

Katie Kocijanski reported in the Chatham Courier the Austerlitz Volunteer Fire Company has kicked off a fundraising campaign for a new firehouse. The company has been housed for more than 60 years at West Hill Road and Route 22. Company President David Savage said the building no longer meets the department's needs. Flooding has been an ongoing problem and the modern trucks cannot fit into the bay. The new 3,700-square-foot building will be located on a site directly adjacent to the company's current location. It is expected to cost $800,000; more than half that amount has been raised so far. The company hopes to begin construction by spring 2015.

Brian Nearing reported in the Times Union the Greene County Industrial Development Agency is considering a proposal to construct a 73-unit, mixed senior and affordable housing project at the site of a former metal casting company. At issue is the 16-acre former American Valve Manufacturing Corp. site on Mansion Street in Coxsackie. The company closed some three decades ago and later was partially cleaned of toxic pollution. Rene VanSchaack, county IDA executive director, said the agency is working with Westchester County developer Kenneth Kearney. Some in the village have expressed concern over potential exposure to pollution that might be caused by disturbing the site. VanSchaack said there is no risk because the landfill and its buried contents would not be disturbed, and the property is safe to build on. He said a $12 million, DEC-funded cleanup brought the property into compliance with state standards for reuse for residential purposes.

Photonics Media reported Bard College won a three-year, $500,000 Scientific Equipment Program grant from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation for the creation of a new microscopy suite to enhance the college's undergraduate science programs. The funding will allow for four lasers, two optical microscopes and two scanning probe microscopes. The new suite will be located in the Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation. This new equipment will add to the college’s recent purchase of a scanning electron microscope.

Feature Story News is reporting Papua New Guinea, Swaziland and the United States are the only three countries in the world that do not provide paid parental leave after the birth of a child. Mark Scheerer reports on some efforts underway in Albany to provide paid family leave for New York parents: PLAY (1:50).
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