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Both sides announce New York transit union deal

NEW YORK (AP) - Both sides have announced a tentative contract settlement with the union that represents about 38,000 subway and bus workers.

The deal announced Thursday was reached by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Transit Workers Local 100.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was on hand for the announcement. TWU President John Samuelsen had asked the governor to intervene.

The workers have been without a contract for about two years.


NY awards grants for eco-friendly transportation

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York state is awarding more than $4 million in grants to projects designed to make the state's transportation systems more energy efficient.

The projects include an effort to use a natural mushroom byproduct as vehicle insulation, and a proposal to make New York subway tunnel lights more efficient.

Seventeen businesses are set to receive a portion of the $4.3 million in funds announced Thursday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo says the money is an investment in innovative technologies that will make the state more energy efficient.

Other projects receiving funding include proposals to develop wireless charging stations for electric vehicles in New York City and research into hybrid buses.


More NY first responders carrying opioid antidote

NEW YORK (AP) - New York City officials say more first responders on Staten Island are carrying an overdose antidote in response to the borough's heroin and pain pill addiction problem.

Police and fire officials said Thursday that naloxone (nuh-LAHKS'-ohn) has already been successfully used by Staten Island officers on three people overdosing this year.

They say federal funding has allowed the expansion of the drug's use to all borough precincts.

Paramedics already carry the drug and administered it more than 2,800 times citywide last year. An FDNY division on Staten Island has used it more than 80 times this year.

Preliminary data show there were 37 drug-related overdose deaths on Staten Island in 2013.

State officials say all officers should carry kits with two syringes and inhalers.


NY-based co. closing Syracuse-area lab in July

CICERO, N.Y. (AP) - An Albany-based pharmaceutical company that's part of a $250 million economic development project in Buffalo is shutting down its Syracuse-area research center, eliminating 45 jobs.

Albany Molecular Research Inc. announced Wednesday that it will close its 12-year-old facility in Cicero on July 15. Some employees will be transferred to Albany, Cedarburg, Wis., England and India.

News of the cost-cutting move comes nearly three weeks after the state-run Empire State Development Corp. voted to approve $50 million in funding for the Buffalo Medical Innovation and Commercialization Hub.

Albany Molecular Research is a partner in the planned $250 million pharmaceutical research and development facility along with Fort Schuyler Management Co., the state College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

Plans call for the Buffalo research center to create 250 jobs by 2020.


Openings begin in US trial of Egyptian preacher

NEW YORK (AP) - A defense lawyer has told a jury in New York that an Egyptian Islamic preacher on trial on charges that he supported terrorism around the world has never harmed Americans.

Attorney Joshua Dratel (DRAY'-tehl) told jurors during an opening statement Thursday that Mustafa Kamel Mustafa (muh-STAH'-fuh kah-MEHL' muh-STAH'-fuh) will testify on his own behalf.

Dratel spoke after a prosecutor claimed Mustafa was part of a global campaign to spread terror.

The government says Mustafa tried to create an al-Qaida training camp in Bly, Ore., in late 1999 and early 2000. He's also charged with helping kidnappers in Yemen in a 1998 attack that killed four people, and arranged for fighters to attend an Afghanistan al-Qaida training camp.

The 55-year-old cleric was extradited from England in 2012.


Aetna Life to pay $500,000 to settle consumer case

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York financial regulators report an agreement with Aetna Life Insurance Co. to pay $500,000 for using group life insurance policy forms that didn't include required information notifying policyholders of certain rights and benefits.

According to the Department of Financial Services, its investigation found Aetna used policy forms between 2002 and 2011 for six group life insurance policies that didn't comply with state consumer protection law.

One undisclosed benefit is the right for a longer period than was disclosed for someone to continue their coverage under an individual policy if the group policy is canceled.

Under the agreement announced Wednesday, the company says it will take steps to prevent recurrences.

Aetna says it has added the technical language forms and has no evidence anyone was harmed by the delay.


NY expanding computerized court records

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - In the transition from paper to computer records, the state court system has expanded electronic filing of civil cases to New York City, Long Island and 10 upstate counties with a statewide database offering free access to most information.

The Office of Court Administration says more than 620,000 cases and 4 million documents are filed so far. It expects to bring three or four more counties online this year and eventually the rest of the state, while also adding criminal cases.

The project to convert New York from paper began with 1999 legislation for a pilot project. There are more than 41,000 New York attorneys registered as users, as well as about 2,000 filing agents and about 4,900 others.

Attorneys now are registered automatically when renewing law licenses as required every two years.


3 with gunshot wounds taken by car to NY hospital

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Police say three people are being treated at a Buffalo hospital after they showed up at another hospital suffering from gunshot wounds.

Officials tell local media that two men and a woman were taken in a private car to Sisters Hospital late Wednesday night. Police say the vehicle also had been struck by gunfire.

All three were later taken by ambulance to Erie County Medical Center. Police say at least one of the victims appears to have suffered a serious injury.

Investigators are still looking into where the shooting took place.


Ex-Google CEO to advise on NY school tech spending

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt has been appointed to advise New York on how to spend a proposed $2 billion for technology upgrades in schools.

Schmidt will serve join the state's Smart Schools Commission along with Auburn school superintendent Constance Evelyn and Geoffrey Canada, president and CEO of Children's Zone, a non-profit organization that provides education and support to children and their families.

If approved by voters in November, the funds from the "Smart School Bond Act" will be used to improve high-speed broadband Internet and other technology in schools statewide.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the members of the commission Thursday. The Smart School Bond Act was included in the recently approved state budget.


Hotel magnate, Democratic fundraiser pleads guilty

NEW YORK (AP) - A hotel executive and Democratic fundraiser has pleaded guilty in New York to witness tampering and conspiracy to evade campaign finance laws.

Sant Singh Chatwal appeared Thursday in federal court in Brooklyn. The candidates were not identified.

Chatwal had raised at least $100,000 for Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign against Barack Obama.

In November 2009, he was among the celebrities, major Democratic fundraisers and businessmen invited to Obama's first state dinner.

He also was a guest at then-President Bill Clinton's state dinner for India in 2000 and helped arrange an earthquake-relief visit by the former president to India in 2001.

Chatwal is the founder of Hampshire Hotels Management LLC. The company owns and manages hotels in New York, Miami, the United Kingdom, Thailand and India.


Man found fatally shot inside parked car in Utica

UTICA, N.Y. (AP) - Authorities are investigating the slaying of a young man who was found fatally shot in a car parked behind a central New York apartment house.

Police in Utica tell local media that officers responding to reports of gunfire early Wednesday afternoon found the man's body in the driver's seat of a car.

Officials haven't released the victim's name pending positive identification by the Onondaga Medical Examiner's Office.

No arrests have been reported.


NY-based Texas soldier dies from combat wounds

FORT DRUM, N.Y. (AP) - Military officials say a soldier from Texas based at Fort Drum in northern New York has died from injuries suffered in an attack in Afghanistan last weekend.

The 10th Mountain Division says 27-year-old Spc. Kerry Danyluk of Cuero, Texas died Tuesday at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. Officials say he was wounded Saturday when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire in Afghanistan's Logar province.

Danyluk was an infantryman assigned to the division's 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team. Danyluk joined the Army in October 2010. He trained at Fort Benning in Georgia and was based at the Army post until arriving at Fort Drum in March 2013. He started his second Afghanistan deployment last November.

Danyluk is survived by his mother and father.


New York political leader Basil Paterson dies

NEW YORK (AP) - Longtime New York political powerhouse Basil (BAZ'-uhl) Paterson has died.

His family says Paterson died at Mount Sinai Hospital on Wednesday night, 11 days short of his 88th birthday.

Paterson served as a state senator, deputy New York City mayor and New York's first black secretary of state.

Survivors include his son, former Gov. David Paterson.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (KWOH'-moh) says Paterson's public leadership made New York a better place.

He was among the influential "Gang of Four" that included former Mayor David Dinkins, former Manhattan Borough President Percy Sutton and Congressman Charles Rangel.

His family says Paterson was known throughout the community as a "man of action" who accomplished his goals.


PepsiCo 1Q jumps on snack sales, cost cuts

NEW YORK (AP) - PepsiCo reported a stronger-than-expected first-quarter profit as the company slashed costs and sold more snacks around the world.

The company, which makes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Mountain Dew and Tropicana, said global snack volume rose 2 percent while beverages were even from a year ago.

In its closely watched North American beverage unit, PepsiCo Inc. said volume was even. Growth in other drinks offset a 1 percent decline in sodas.

For the quarter, the company earned $1.22 billion, or 79 cents per share. Not including one-time items, it earned 83 cents per share, above the 75 cents per share Wall Street expected.

A year ago, it earned $1.08 billion, or 69 cents per share.

Revenue edged up to $12.62 billion, higher than the $12.39 billion analysts expected.


Parade honors Union College's hockey championship

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (AP) - Union College's championship hockey team is being honored with a parade in their home city.

The parade from Union's Schenectady campus to city hall several blocks away will be held Thursday afternoon. It will honor Union's win over Minnesota on Saturday for its first NCAA title.

Union is a small liberal arts school of 2,200 that defeated college hockey powerhouses to become champions.

A ceremony at city hall after the parade will features speeches from Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy and Union College President Stephen Ainlay.


Easter butter lamb gets 'pardon' at Buffalo market

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - There's at least one butter lamb in Buffalo that won't be going under the knife this Easter.

Butter sculptures in the shape of a lamb are a traditional part of Easter meals among Buffalo's large Polish-American population. Butter lambs are sold this time of year at western New York delis, Polish markets and supermarkets.

On Wednesday, an elected official went to Buffalo's Broadway Market to "pardon" a butter lamb, much in the way U.S. presidents issue pardons for a turkey before Thanksgiving.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz pardoned a butter lamb from its traditional duties on tables throughout the Buffalo area for the duration of Easter.

Polish immigrants brought the butter lamb tradition with them when they came to America and settled in large numbers in upstate New York cities such as Buffalo and Schenectady (skeh-NEHK'-ta-dee).

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