Associated Press

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he supports making attending a state college or university free for the children of service members who died while performing their official duties.

The Democrat’s comments Wednesday come after Republicans blamed state lawmakers from Cuomo’s party for blocking the proposal.

The proposal would also cover room and board without the need for additional scholarships.

Republicans objected this week after a Democrat-led legislative committee blocked the Assembly bill from proceeding to a vote.

stgermh / Flickr

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York state lawmakers who delivered a budget on time this past week are turning their attention to thorny debates over legalizing recreational marijuana and renewing New York City’s rent regulations.

Both issues are complicated and figuring out the details is likely to dominate the remainder of the legislative session, scheduled to end in late June.

Meanwhile, an odd exchange about a grocery store chain during the Senate’s recent budget debate is highlighting the perennial upstate-downstate divide.

Here’s a look at stories making news:

Keng Susumpow / Flickr

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A state lawmaker wants to expand New York's plastic bag ban to include the sacks used for restaurant take-out and leftovers.

Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, D-Albany, announced legislation Thursday that would eliminate an exemption for restaurants in the new law banning single-use shopping bags beginning next March.

She says restaurants provide too many plastic bags to be left out of the law.

Tom Sinon / Flickr

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The Democrat-controlled New York Senate passed legislation Monday putting the state a step closer to joining seven others where the legal age for buying cigarettes and electronic cigarettes has been raised from 18 to 21.

The state Assembly, also controlled by Democrats, passed its own legislation last month.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo also supports raising the age to 21 for purchasing cigarettes and is expected to sign the legislation. Once that happens, the new law will take effect in 120 days.

Keng Susumpow / Flickr

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo and fellow Democrats who control the Legislature have reached a deal to make New York the third state with a ban on single-use plastic grocery bags as they worked to finalize budget agreements, officials said Friday.

The ban would prohibit grocery stores from providing plastic bags for most purchases, something California has been doing since a statewide ban was approved in 2016. Hawaii has an effective statewide ban, with all its counties imposing their own restrictions.

Jason Smith / WRVO News File Photo

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — The Great Lakes region is warming faster than the rest of the U.S., a trend likely to bring more extreme storms while also degrading water quality, worsening erosion and posing tougher challenges for farming, scientists reported Thursday.

New York State Police

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — A jury has found a former Army sergeant guilty of murdering his wife and a state trooper answering a domestic violence call in northern New York.

Justin Walters showed no reaction when the verdict was read Wednesday morning in Jefferson County Court. WWNY-TV reports friends and relatives of victims Nichole Walters and Trooper Joel Davis clapped and hugged as Walters was led out in handcuffs.

woodstock.com

NEW YORK (AP) — Jay-Z, Dead & Company and the Killers will headline one of the 50th anniversary shows commemorating the groundbreaking Woodstock festival this summer.

NYS Senate / File Photo

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Supporters of a bill to require schools to offer education on sexual abuse awareness are returning to Albany to make another push.

The bill, known as Erin’s Law, would mandate age-appropriate lessons to help children understand the difference between inappropriate and appropriate touching, as well as how to report abuse to a trusted adult.

Syracuse University / cuse.com

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — When it was over and the last of the deafening cheers of the record Carrier Dome crowd had stopped, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim forgot about basketball for a poignant moment.

Three nights earlier, the 74-year-old Hall of Fame coach had been involved in an accident that took the life of 51-year-old Jorge Jimenez, and that was foremost on his mind. Talking about a tough 75-65 loss to top-ranked Duke on Saturday night would have to wait.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will travel to Washington, D.C., Tuesday for a meeting with President Donald Trump to discuss how recent federal tax changes are hurting the state’s bottom line.

The Democratic governor told reporters on Monday that he’ll urge the president to reconsider a provision in the recent tax overhaul that sharply limits a federal deduction for state and local taxes. Cuomo has blamed that change for a recent dip in state tax receipts, saying it has put New York at a disadvantage when it comes to attracting and retaining wealthy residents.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday he remains confident the Legislature can vote to legalize recreational marijuana as part of the state budget, which is due on April 1.

The optimistic comments came after Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, D-the Bronx, questioned whether lawmakers would have enough time to resolve thorny questions surrounding legalization while also working their way through a $175 billion budget.

Lewis County Sheriff's Office

Residents across parts of northern Oswego, Jefferson and Lewis counties are digging out after more than three feet of lake effect snow fell in less than 24 hours. The snow was so heavy at times Thursday, the city of Watertown had to pull its plows from city streets.

governorandrewcuomo / flickr

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed off on changes to New York’s election laws Thursday that are designed to make it easier to vote, including allowing people to cast ballots before Election Day and preregistering student drivers so they’ll be automatically eligible to vote when they turn 18.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo released his annual state budget proposal Tuesday to a New York Legislature that is controlled by his fellow Democrats for the first time in a decade.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

NEW YORK (AP) — The former head of the State University of New York’s Polytechnic Institute was sentenced Tuesday to 3½ years in prison for his role in corrupting the state’s Buffalo Billion project.

Alain Kaloyeros, 62, was sentenced in Manhattan federal court by Judge Valerie E. Caproni, who noted that the Beirut-born scientist was "living the American dream" until he wandered into corruption that stretched into the office of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

NYS Police

FULTONVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — A veteran state trooper arriving for work was killed Tuesday in a chain-reaction crash outside a trooper station in the Mohawk Valley, New York State Police officials.

State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said Trooper Jeremy VanNostrand’s private vehicle was stopped in traffic waiting to turn into the station just outside the Montgomery County village of Fultonville around 7:45 a.m. when his vehicle was rear-ended by a box truck and pushed into oncoming traffic on state Route 5S.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo again dismissed talk that he will run for president, saying Tuesday that he is focused on leading the nation’s fourth-largest state and not preparing a run for the White House in 2020.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News (file photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sixteen Democrats who’ve opposed Nancy Pelosi’s quest to become speaker released a letter Monday saying they will vote for "new leadership" when the House picks its leaders in January, underscoring a significant threat to her effort to lead her party’s House majority in the next Congress.

One of the Democrats who signed the letter is Anthony Brindisi, who holds a lead over Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford), but has not yet been declared the winner in the race for the 22nd Congressional District seat.

Matt Ryan / New York Now (file photo)

NEW YORK (AP) — The special prosecutor investigating former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Thursday that she couldn’t bring criminal charges over allegations he physically abused women he dated, in part, because current state law doesn’t explicitly outlaw such behavior.

In closing the six-month investigation, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas implored lawmakers to pass legislation to criminalize slapping, shoving and other violence committed for sexual gratification.

New York State Senate

NEW YORK (AP) — Universal health care, marijuana legalization and early voting. Stronger gun control laws, protections for abortion rights and higher taxes on millionaires.

Democrats say those are just a few of their priorities after seizing control of the state Senate from Republicans. With Democrats already in charge of the state Assembly and occupying all four statewide offices, Tuesday’s big wins in the Senate could clear the way for liberal proposals long blocked by the GOP.

Karen DeWitt

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo didn’t show, but his four challengers swapped ideas and joined together to criticize the incumbent in a largely amiable debate Thursday night in Albany.

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Four of the five candidates for governor in New York are set to participate in the last scheduled debate before election day — though Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo isn’t expected to show up.

Republican Marc Molinaro, Libertarian Larry Sharpe, independent Stephanie Miner and Green Party nominee Howie Hawkins all plan to participate in Thursday evening’s exchange at the College of St. Rose in Albany. The event is sponsored by the League of Women Voters.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

NEW YORK (AP) — Former New York state Senate leader Dean Skelos was sentenced to four years and three months in prison Wednesday after his conviction on public corruption charges.

U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood announced the penalty for the longtime Republican powerbroker, citing his health challenges at age 70 as reason to reduce his sentence from the five years she gave him previously.

She said she would have given him only four years in prison, except he lied and distorted truth on the witness stand.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — After weeks of balking at requests to debate his opponents, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo agreed Friday to face off against his Republican challenger Marc Molinaro.

New York State Police

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — The city of Syracuse is getting help from New York state in combatting a spate of gun violence that has killed two children and wounded several other youths and adults in recent weeks.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that state police will expand patrols and operations and boost intelligence sharing with local law enforcement agencies in Syracuse. The Democrat says the plan also includes meetings with community leaders and elected officials to come up with ways to stem violence in the city’s crime-plagued neighborhoods.

WRVO News (file photo)

CAZENOVIA, N.Y. (AP) — First-term Republican U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney was an early supporter of Donald Trump who has drawn comparisons to the president by brashly claiming some people who commit mass murders are Democrats and promoting a petition to lock up Hillary Clinton.

WRVO News File Photo

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York is putting up $40 million to support solar projects that include energy storage.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced that the NY-Sun program will make the money available in early November to jumpstart the development of at least 50 megawatts of energy storage paired with solar. NY-Sun is Cuomo’s $1 billion investment to build the state’s solar industry.

The Democratic governor has set a target of 1,500 megawatts of energy storage by 2025. That’s equivalent to the electric demand of one-fifth of all New York state homes.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

NEW YORK (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo questioned Sunday why state Republicans would have invited the founder of a far-right group to speak in Manhattan, and he blamed them and President Donald Trump for violent clashes that took place after the speech.

In a conference call with reporters, the Democratic governor called the invitation to Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes to speak at the Metropolitan Republican Club a "political tactic because what they’re trying to do is fire up their base" ahead of the midterm elections.

cogdogblog / Flickr

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — New York state health officials say 39 children have been found to have a virus that in rare cases, causes a polio-like condition.

Authorities say they have no confirmed cases of the nervous system condition called acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, in New York. But there is a suspected case in Buffalo involving a 3-year-old boy.

Doctors at Oishei Childen’s Hospital said Friday the boy suddenly lost strength in his legs in September and remains hospitalized.

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