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Monday headlines

Mar 28, 2011 6:35 am
Cuomo, leaders announce $132.5 billion budget deal
Rick Karlin of the Times Union reports that Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state's legislative leaders — plus a handful of rank-and-file lawmakers — appeared in the state capitol's Red Room Sunday afternoon, March 27, to announce an agreement on the 2011-12 budget that lays out a roughly $132.5 billion spending plan for the state. The adjusted plan, after miscellaneous other cuts and additions, offers a net increase from the budget proposal of about $250 million and represents a 2 percent cut in spending over the current fiscal year. The major changes from the governor’s budget proposal include $272 million in restorations for education. Karlin adds that, "there’s a long list of things left out of the budget that certain groups would like to see put in: no millionaires tax; and no New York City rent-control extensions or expansions. Expect further heated discussions in each house as ratification proceeds...

Catskill Creek Watershed organization mulls microbe study
Colin DeVries reports that a study on precisely how many dangerous microbes may exist in the Catskill Creek, which provides water for the village, is being considered. "The grassroots Catskill Creek Watershed Awareness Project committee met last week to discuss sampling areas of Greene County’s primary watershed for enterococcus organisms," DeVries reports on New York Riverkeeper's presentation of preliminary logistical and financial information on the study that showed difficult results. "In March 2008, the state Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Conservation performed a dye and video camera inspection of the storm drainage systems after reports of contamination in the Catskill Creek near Leeds. The inspection revealed that harmful contaminants from the septic leachate in the area had been infiltrating the creek, prompting review of a public sewer system through the hamlet."

Valatie man jumps from Route 203 bridge
The Register-Star reports that a 45-year-old man jumped from the Route 203 bridge in Valatie on Sunday morning, March 27 at around 11 a.m. He was transported by Life-Net helicopter to Albany Medical Center shortly after noon for evaluation. According to a press release from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, the man was found standing on the shore with no visible injuries.

Schools in region to make up for extra snow days
The Daily Freeman has a rundown of what seems to be left in terms of upcoming April school vacations in the area. In Greene County, some school officials were still deciding how to make up snow days. April 18-22 was the originally scheduled break period. Catskill students will have a spring vacation from April 20-22 but lost April 18 and 19 as days off. The Coxsackie-Athens school district’s spring break remains intact from April 18 to 22. Hunter-Tannersville students are on vacation from April 18 to 22 but lost April 25. Cairo-Durham’s spring break is from April 18 to 22, though this is subject to change. In Germantown, April 18 and 19 will be made up for snow days. In Hudson and at Taconic Hills School Districts, schools will be open and classes will be in session on Wednesday, April 20, and Thursday, April 21, as snow day make-up dates. In Chatham, a make-up day will occur on April 21 during a week otherwise taken up with vacation days. In Northern Dutchess, the Red Hook school district used seven snow days when eight were budgeted, and the makeup day will be May 27, which also seems to be the case at Ichabod Crane Central Schools in Kinderhook. The Pine Plains school district used nine snow days when six were budgeted, resulting in a scheduled half day on April 15 now being a full day.

UAlbany turns three majors into minors
The Albany Business Journal has a piece about how graduate studies in several languages, plus classics, are being dropped because of budget considerations. Goodbye French and Russian, plus theater.

ICC board raises no objection to closing two schools
Emilia Teasdale reports in The Columbia Paper that the administration at Ichabod Crane schools in Kinderhook have made an official recommendation to close both the Martin Van Buren and Martin H. Glynn elementary schools, moving all students to the main campus on Route 9. It seems that busing for those who live within a two-mile radius from the schools will be continued, along with full day kindergarten. A full budget will be presented on Tuesday, March 29, when a final decision to close the elementary schools will also be made.
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