Cuomo repeats pre-K funding vow
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is promising to fund statewide full-day pre-kindergarten programs as soon as they're ready, even as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's proposed income tax surcharge appears to have stalled in Albany as the revenue source.
Approval by Cuomo and the state Legislature is needed for the city to tax those earning $500,000 or more.
With state budget negotiations looming, some legislators who backed de Blasio's plan are now calling for "a sustainable revenue source" without specifying taxes.
De Blasio says Monday he's open to an alternative source, but wants a "verifiable" city funding stream for $530 million annually for five years and hasn't seen it yet.
Cuomo says the state will fund pre-K, and once established it will be practically impossible to close it.
Metro-North worker struck and killed by train
NEW YORK (AP) - New York's Metro-North Railroad says an employee was struck and killed by a train while working on tracks in Manhattan.
The nation's second-busiest railroad says the accident happened at 12:54 a.m. Monday at Park Avenue and East 106th Street.
The worker, 58-year-old James Romansoff, was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead
About 50 passengers were aboard the train, the 12:47 a.m. from Grand Central Terminal bound for Poughkeepsie (poh-KIHP'-see). The passengers were placed on another train and resumed their trip at 2:17 a.m.
The death is being investigated by Metro-North and MTA police.
Metro-North serves 281,000 riders a day in New York and Connecticut. It has experienced a spate of problems in the last year, including a derailment in the Bronx that killed four passengers.
Skorton named new head of Smithsonian
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Smithsonian Board of Regents has named Dr. David Skorton to lead the world's largest museum and research complex in Washington.
The governing board announced its selection Monday after a closely guarded six-month search.
Skorton, the president of Cornell University and a cardiologist, will replace Secretary Wayne Clough (cluff), who plans to retire in October after six years. The 64-year-old will be the first physician to lead the organization and its 13th secretary since 1846. For much of its history, the Smithsonian has been led by scientists
Clough announced his retirement plans in September. He was previously the president of the Georgia Institute of Technology for 14 years.
The Smithsonian includes 19 museums based primarily on the National Mall, the National Zoo and nine research facilities around the world.
INFANT SLAIN-FATHER CHARGED
NY man pleads not guilty to killing newborn in '10
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (AP) - A 38-year-year-old upstate New York man has pleaded not guilty to killing the newborn baby authorities say he fathered with a girl he started raping when she was 11.
Local media report that Herman Robinson entered his plea Monday in Schenectady County Court. Afterward he was sent back to the county jail. No bail has been set.
Prosecutors announced last week that they had charged Herman with murder and predatory sexual assault. They say he raped an underage girl from 2006 until late last year. The girl, now 19, told authorities that Robinson took the girl she gave birth to at his Schenectady residence in March 2010 and killed the infant.
Robinson's case was adjourned until May 22.
TAX REBATE ABUSE
NY going after STAR double dippers
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York is going after "double dippers" who file for the state's STAR property rebate program while living in rent-regulated apartments.
People who lease rent-regulated apartments cannot have another home as their primary residence, and people can only claim their primary residence for a STAR rebate.
Cuomo administration officials said Monday that 156 duplicate names were found after rent-regulation records were cross-checked against the STAR registration system. State housing and tax officials sent letters giving those people 60 days to correct their records or risk having the information provided to their landlords.
New York last year required homeowners to re-register for the local school tax breaks because of reports of widespread abuse and fraud.
Albany man sentenced for attempted abduction
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Authorities say a 54-year-old man has been sentenced to 12 years in state prison for trying to abduct a woman at knifepoint as she walked on an Albany street.
The Albany District Attorney's Office says Anthony Collins of Albany was also sentenced Monday to five years of post-release supervision.
Collins pleaded guilty in January to one felony count of attempted kidnapping.
Police say held a knife to a young woman's back last Oct. 4 and ordered her to walk in the direction of his residence. The woman wasn't harmed.
NY comptroller: Housing cost pinch worsening
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says housing costs are becoming unaffordable for millions of New Yorkers amid declining incomes and increasing costs for rent and home ownership.
DiNapoli says Monday that analysis of census data shows median statewide monthly housing costs increased by 18.6 percent for renters and 9.9 percent for homeowners from 2000 to 2012. During the same time, homeowners' median household income decreased 1.6 percent and renters' median household income dropped 7.1 percent.
Affordable housing is defined by the federal government as being below 30 percent of household income. DiNapoli says more than 3 million households statewide paid at least 30 percent of their 2012 income for a place to live.
Although incomes and housing costs are generally higher in the New York City area, DiNapoli says housing affordability is a statewide issue.
Cops release name of woman killed in Thruway crash
GLEN, N.Y. (AP) - Authorities have released the name of the woman who was killed in a one-car crash on the Thruway in the Mohawk Valley over the weekend.
The state police Thruway detail says troopers responded around 8:30 p.m. Saturday to a report of a vehicle off Interstate 90 in the Montgomery County town of Glen, 35 miles northwest of Albany.
Troopers say a Ford Expedition had gone off the highway, hit some trees and overturned.
Police say a front-seat passenger, 64-year-old Linda Brandow of Schenectady, was taken to St. Mary's Hospital in nearby Amsterdam, where she was pronounced deceased.
Troopers say the driver and another passenger, both 54 and from Schenectady, were treated at the same hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
The cause of the crash is being investigated.
NY-based Dinosaur BBQ chain eyes Chicago location
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - The Dinosaur Bar-B-Que restaurant chain plans to open its next location in Chicago in what will be the Syracuse-based company's first eatery outside the Northeast.
Company spokesman Robert Baker tells The Post-Standard of Syracuse that the company has signed a lease for a location on West Weed Street and should open the new restaurant in 2015. The site is a former nightclub northwest of the Loop.
Founder and CEO John Stage opened his first biker bar-barbeque restaurant in downtown Syracuse in 1988. He has since opened restaurants in Rochester, Troy, Harlem, Brooklyn, Stamford, Conn., and Newark, N.J. The newest Dinosaur opened last month in Buffalo.
A private investment company launched by billionaire financier George Soros acquired 70 percent of the business in 2008. Stage continues to run the operation.
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