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Weekend in review

Dec 03, 2012 7:41 am
Stories that made the news Nov. 30 through Dec. 3, 2012.

Jon Campbell reported at pressconnects.com beginning Dec. 12, the public will have a new chance to comment on the state of New York's proposals for shale-gas drilling. On Thurs., Nov. 29, the state Department of Environmental Conservation posted its revised, proposed regulations for the process. The regulations are subject to 30 days of public comment, beginning Dec. 12 and ending Jan. 11. The DEC originally faced a Thursday deadline to finalize its proposed hydrofracking rules, but on Wednesday the agency filed for the extension of time to finalize its regulatory blueprint. The state first launched an environmental review of large-scale hydrofracking in 2008, and the technique has been on hold statewide ever since. Read the full story at pressconnects.com.

The Ulster Board of Cooperative Education Services will receive nearly $2 million from the New York State Education Department to develop online and blended Advanced Placement and pre-AP classes. State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. announced Fri., Nov. 30, the Ulster BOCES (BOE-seez), along with 16 other school districts and local consortia of districts statewide have been awarded grants under New York state’s virtual learning initiative, the Virtual Advanced Placement Program. The program is supported by funding received through the federal Race to the Top initiative. King said in a statement released Friday, this program will provided much needed access to online and blended AP courses for low-income students, courses crucial for admission to and success in college. The funds can also be used for the purchase of needed technology resources to register and track student enrollment and performance on AP courses; computers for students to access the courses; and support for the cost of AP exams taken at the end of the course.

Ariel Zanga reported in the Daily Freeman the final results in the George Amedore-Cecilia Tkaczyk 46th Senate District race are more than a week away. Lawyers for the two candidates will be in court in Montgomery County today to present briefs and argue their positions about challenged ballots. After the court proceedings are concluded, the counting of the ballots deemed valid is expected to take at least one week. With all machine, absentee and affidavit ballots counted Republican Amedore leads Democrat Tkaczyk by 110 votes. There are 877 challenged ballots. Ninety percent of those ballots were cast by Democrats, 10 percent by Republicans. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.
UPDATE (4:19 p.m.) from the Amedore campaign: Acting Montgomery County Supreme Court Judge Guy Tomlinson heard legal arguments from both sides, Mon., Dec. 3. Tomlinson reserved ruling on the motions until the legal debate over absentee and affidavit challenges begin to be heard Tuesday, beginning at 9:30 a.m. in Fonda. The review will begin with Schenectady ballots and then move on to Montgomery County.

Jim Planck reported in The Daily Mail the November 6 ballot proposition to increase Town of Hunter annual funding to the Haines Falls Free Library has passed. That proposition called for an additional $28,000 in the town's annual contribution to the library. Greene County Board of Elections officials reported Fri., Nov. 30, the canvass of the absentee ballots was complete, however the official numbers are not yet available. The final count remains subject to the outcome of the ongoing ballot objections in the George Amedore-Cecilia Tkaczyk (KAT-chik) 46th Senate District race. Read the full story in The Daily Mail.

Ariel Zangla reported in the Daily Freeman Greene County will not give pay raises in 2013 to five of its appointed and elected officials, as previously planned. The Legislature was considering raises for the county administrator, treasurer, clerk, sheriff and social services commissioner. Speakers at a public hearing last month urged lawmakers to reject the proposed raises, noting the current economic climate and that some county employees have gone without recent salary increases. The Legislature is now left to address the issue of some employees making more, or nearly as much as their supervisors. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.

Nathan Mayberg reported in the Register Star the Columbia County Board of Supervisors is in the process of discussing requests by various county department heads for raises, the potential restructuring of departments and ways to standardize pay. The board's Salary Committee held closed doors talks on the requests, Thurs., Nov. 29. Board Chairman Patrick Grattan said no decisions have been made yet. The committee is also seeking to standardize how pay is determined for department heads. Read the full story story in the Register Star.
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