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This Hour: Latest New York news, sports, business and entertainment

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NYC mayor proposes tax relief for Sandy victims

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says he's proposing tax legislation to help homeowners whose property was damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

De Blasio's legislation would provide property tax relief to New York City residents who rebuilt or repaired their homes as a result of the hurricane.

The Democrat says Wednesday that homeowners who put money into their homes because of storm damage could face increases on their property tax bills because of higher assessed valuations.

The measure would lower property tax liability for the 2015 year to the amount it was before the storm.

De Blasio's proposed bill is subject to approval by the state Legislature in Albany.


Chobani secures $750M investment from TPG

NEW BERLIN, N.Y. (AP) - Greek yogurt maker Chobani has secured a $750 million investment from investment firm TPG Capital to help fund its growth.

The privately-held food company said Wednesday that as part of the deal, TPG will have representation on the company's board. Additionally, Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya will serve as its chairman.

Chobani was founded in 2005 and is based in New Berlin, N.Y. It has grown quickly in recent years on the surge of popularity in Greek yogurt. The company says the investment gives it resources to build on its momentum and reach more customers.

TPG says it plans to bring the same skills to developing Chobani that it has to other companies it has invested in, such as J. Crew and Neiman Marcus.


Police say man with knife shot in station lobby

BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) - Vermont State Police say a 42-year-old man is hospitalized in stable condition after being shot by a police officer when he refused to drop a knife while in the lobby of the Bennington police department.

The man shot by police on Tuesday evening has been identified as Gregory Filo of Bennington.

State police say Filo was acting erratically when he and another man went into the lobby of the police department at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. A dispatcher saw Filo had a knife and was making stabbing motions at the friend.

Police say Filo threatened officers who went into the lobby. He was shot after ignoring verbal commands to drop the knife.

The officer fired once, hitting Filo. The name of the officer has not been released.

The investigation continues.


21-year-old Hudson Valley man arrested in homicide

NEW PALTZ, N.Y. (AP) - A 21-year-old Hudson Valley man has been charged with a deadly shooting in a college bar over the weekend that law-enforcement officials say was retaliation for another killing.

Basheem Bennett of Poughkeepsie was arrested Tuesday and charged with second-degree murder and first-degree assault. He's pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail in Ulster County Jail.

Authorities say 29-year-old Ryan Gray of Poughkeepsie was killed and a 26-year-old woman was wounded by gunfire early Easter morning as the bar was crowded with dozens of patrons. No one else was injured.

New Paltz Police Chief Joseph Snyder says all three knew each other and that investigators believe Gray's killing was in retaliation for the fatal shooting of Alvin Hayles in Poughkeepsie in November.

Attempts to contact Bennett's attorney were unsuccessful.


NY man pleads guilty to killing son, 1, in '12

GOSHEN, N.Y. (AP) - A 23-year-old upstate New York man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter for suffocating his 1-year-old son in 2012.

The Times Herald-Record if Middletown reports that Brett Kanoff pleaded guilty Wednesday in an Orange County court to killing Cameron Louis Kanoff by suffocating him with a blanket.

Police say on the morning of Sept. 24, 2012, officers responded to a 911 call reporting a child wasn't breathing at a home in Port Jervis, 65 miles northwest of New York City.

Officials say Cameron Louis Kanoff was taken to Bon Secours Community Hospital, where he was declared dead by medical staff.

Kanoff was originally charged with second-degree murder. In exchange for the manslaughter plea, he faces four to 12 years in prison when he's sentenced.


Hudson Valley woman arrested in Macy's theft

WALLKILL, N.Y. (AP) - A 27-year-old Hudson Valley woman has been charged with stealing nearly $20,000 from a Macy's store over the past year.

State police investigators arrested Caryn Kiel of Middletown on Tuesday and charged her with one count of grand larceny. Kiel was arraigned Town of Wallkill Court and released after posting a $5,000 bond.

Kiel is accused of stealing $19,039.42 between April 2013 and April 2014 while working as an associate at the department store chain's location in the Galleria at Crystal Run in Wallkill.

An internal investigation by the store's loss prevention department led to the arrest.


NY lawmakers to hold forum on heroin, opioid abuse

CARMEL, N.Y. (AP) - A panel of state lawmakers looking for ways to combat the rise in heroin and opioid abuse is holding the first of two forums in the Hudson River Valley.

The bipartisan Senate task force was created to study the problem of opiate abuse and recommend better treatment and prevention programs.

The group is meeting Thursday in Carmel. Another forum is scheduled for May 15 in Newburgh. The task force plans to hold a total of 12 forums around the state.

The task force is chaired by Republican Sen. Phil Boyle, who leads the Senate Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.


$1.4M in grants to land trusts in NY

ALTAMONT, N.Y. (AP) - Officials are announcing $1.4 million in grants to land trusts around New York state.

State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens will be among the speakers Thursday a news conference at Indian Ladder Farms near Albany. Speakers representing government and advocacy groups will announce money going to the land trusts that help preserve farms and sensitive lands.

Owners of the 320-acre Indian Ladder farm have previously sold the farm's development rights under a "conservation easement."


Flags at half-staff in honor of Fort Drum soldier

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Flags on New York government buildings will be flying at half-staff to honor of a Fort Drum soldier fatally injured during combat in Afghanistan earlier this month.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday says the flags will be lowered Thursday.

The Defense Department said Specialist Kerry Danyluk of Cuerco, Texas, was injured on April 12 and died in Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany on April 15.

Danyluk was wounded when enemy forces attacked his unit in Logar Province.

He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment of the 10th Mountain Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team.


NY Army Guard helicopter unit gets new commander

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A 22-year veteran of the U.S. military has been named commander of an upstate New York-based Army National Guard aviation unit with elements currently serving in the Persian Gulf.

National Guard officials say Lt. Col. Jack James will be taking over command of the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade, based in the Albany suburb of Latham. The brigade's headquarters, along with other New York aviation units, deployed to Kuwait in December and is expected to return home in late summer.

James is currently commander of the 642nd Aviation Support Battalion, which has elements located in Rochester, Dunkirk, Olean, Long Island and Brooklyn.

The New York City native is a 1992 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He served Korea, Haiti and the Balkans during his 10 years in the Army before joining the National Guard.


Buffalo's WWII-era battle cruiser getting new deck

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - A World War II-era U.S. Navy cruiser serving as a floating museum on Buffalo's Lake Erie waterfront is getting a topside makeover.

The Buffalo News reports that workers recently began replacing the USS Little Rock's wooden deck. The crews are tearing up the pressure-treated lumber covering the 70-year-old warship's deck and replacing it with a long-lasting vinyl-type covering.

The Little Rock is part of the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park, which also includes two other World War II Navy vessels: the USS The Sullivans, a destroyer, and the USS Croaker, a submarine.

The decommissioned Little Rock's wood-planked deck has been exposed to Buffalo harsh winter weather since it arrived in the late 1970s.

So far, $275,000 in donations and grants are secured for the half-million-dollar project.


NY teachers union raises $1.2M for cancer research

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - New York's largest teachers union says its members once again raised more than $1 million for breast cancer research last year.

New York State United Teachers says 2013 was the seventh consecutive year that the statewide union topped the million-dollar mark - raising $1.2 million.

The union began partnering with the American Cancer Society in its Making Strides Against Breast Cancer campaign in 2002.

NYSUT has more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care.

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