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Minimum Wage Increase the Focus in Albany — and the Rest of Your State and Local News and Sports

McDonald's April 2011 National Hiring Day
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

Don Perkins
Don Perkins

Democrats, Republicans at Odds Over Minimum Wage Increase

The minimum wage was the focus of a number of events at the state capitol in Albany yesterday.

Democratic senators held a forum on the subject, saying a hike from $7.25 an hour to $8.50 was needed to maintain a low-income worker’s capability to maintain a standard of living. Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver has made raising the minimum wage a priority in the last days of this legislative session. He would like to tie it to the rate of inflation.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos spoke to small business owners yesterday at the capitol. He and his fellow GOP senators are not in favor of raising minimum wage. He says it will cost jobs and an alternative would be to offer tax incentives to small businesses so that more people could be hired. While a bill may pass in the assembly this session, it’s probably not going to be considered in the senate.

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Five Hudson Valley Counties to Receive Flood Recovery Funds

Another region of New York State will receive help from the state to recover from last fall’s flooding.

Five Hudson Valley counties will receive $14 million from Albany to cover local costs of damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Westchester, and Rockland County will join 25 counties in upstate New York. While FEMA covers 75 percent of repair costs to local governments, 25 percent must come from the state and locality itself. This grant will cover the 12.5 percent of the local government share.

The governor’s office reports about $112 million dollars in damage to the five counties.

Senate Wants Stealing Pets a Felony

The New York State senate has passed a bill making it a felony to steal someone’s cat or dog.

The issue is over those who steal animals to be used as bait for fighting dog competitions. Those who collect animals for research, or as part of a dispute or domestic violence.

Sponsors of the bill say raising the crime to felony status will encourage police officers to take the time to investigate. At the moment, stealing a pet is a minor misdemeanor.

The bill now heads to the assembly. If passed, New York will join a handful of other states with similar proposals.

Norwich Merchants Association Craft Fair Set for May 12

The Norwich Merchants Association will be holding a craft fair Saturday May 12th. This year’s event will be staged on the sidewalks of the downtown business district, hoping to create more traffic in the downtown area. There will be crafts of all types from jewelry to leather crafts all located downtown outside businesses.

Senate Approves MMA for Third Year

The state senate has passed a bill approving professional mixed martial arts bouts in New York State. This makes the third year in a row that the senate has passed the bill this time by a margin of 43-14. In the past, assembly speaker Sheldon Silver has been cool to the idea, but sources say he is now more likely to bring it to the assembly floor.

The sport of mixed martial arts has been approved and is regulated in 47 other states. Legalizing the sport in New York is expected to be a boost to the tourist industry and the economy as well as create jobs.

Keeney Charged with Tax Fraud

Glenn M. Keeney, 51, of McDonough, owner of the “Just a Smoking” tobacco shop in Oxford, was charged Monday with 3rd degree criminal tax fraud and attempting to avoid taxes on tobacco products, both Class E felonies.

Following a 10-month investigation by the New York State Department of Taxation and Criminal Investigation division and Oxford Police Department, Keeney was also charged with importing tobacco on which taxes had not been paid and in possession of over 10 pounds of untaxed that was not taxed.

Keeney was arraigned in Village of Oxford Court. He will appear in Oxford Town Court at a later date.

Crouch to Tour Delhi Businesses

Assemblyman Cliff Crouch will tour two Delhi businesses in Delaware County Friday. Crouch was invited to tour Ultra Dairy Fraser and Sportsfield Speciaties INC. Crouch said these companies are just a few of the success stories in Delaware County, and he is looking forward to touring the facilities and showcasing the line of products they offer.

Sports

High School Baseball

Oneonta winded Windsor 15-4

South Kortright doubled up Gilboa 18-9

Roxbury got by Stamford 14-10

Walton ran by Downsville 12-7

Cooperstown shut down Maine Endwell 17-0

High School Softball

Windsor defeated Oneonta 8-1

Walton dropped Downsville 11-6

Deposit pounded on Unadilla Valley 24-3

Cooperstown blanked Maine Endwell 10-0

Gilboa grabbed a win from South Kortright 17-7

High School Track

In a meet at Walton, the Walton boys took first place with Sidney in 2nd and Green in 3rd.

And for the Girls, it was Walton in first, followed by Greene, then Sidney.

In Cooperstown, Remsen Girls topped Cooperstown, Waterville and Oriskany while for the boys it was Cooperstown on top, followed by Waterville, Oriskany and Remsen.

In a meet at Bainbridge/Guilford, the BG/Afton boys ran to victory over Delhi, Deposit and Oxford. The BG/Afton girls were also winners.

High School Tennis

Hunter Tannersville topped Davenport 6-1

Men’s College Tennis

Freshman David Goldberg won a super tiebreak set 10-8 at first singles to clinch a 5-4 win for the Oneonta State men’s tennis team yesterday against Rensselaer. The two teams went to the edge of darkness before the Red Dragons finally pulled out the match as they are now 11-5 on the year.

Men’s College Lacrosse

The Oneonta State men’s lacrosse team made a late run, but fell short yesterday to visiting SUNY Geneseo 13-9 in SUNYAC men’s action. Sophomore Daniel Stern scored two goals and added two assists to lead the offense.

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