News from the Associated Press - April 23, 2014

Associated Press
April 23, 2014

Texas Gov. Perry challenges Cuomo on business

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry is countering Gov. Andrew Cuomo's latest initiative to lure businesses from out of state with a renewed bid to snag jobs from New York, a tactic he's tried from coast to coast.

Perry, a Republican, is slated to be in New York City on Wednesday to meet business owners to convince them to move their operations to Texas, where he says the business climate is friendlier.

Perry would not detail how many business meetings he has or with whom.

Cuomo's Start-Up NY program, which allows businesses that locate near college campuses to operate tax-free for 10 years, has had commercials playing in Texas.
Perry made a similar trip to New York last June.


Casino contenders pay $1M fee as deadline nears

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Another group hoping to build a casino in upstate New York has submitted its $1 million application fee to the state.

The owners of Broome County's Traditions Resort and Conference Center in the Southern Tier say they made the required payment on Monday.

Wednesday is the final day for groups interested in one of four upstate casino licenses to pay the application fee. Selections will be made in the fall.

A state constitutional amendment passed last year authorizes casinos in the Albany-Saratoga area, the Catskills and the Southern Tier.

With its proximity to New York City the Catskills may be the most competitive region. At least seven groups have expressed interest in building a casino there.

Empire Resorts says it paid the application fee for its Catskills proposal on Monday.


NY official: Retailer won't bar ex-con job seekers

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York authorities have reached an agreement with a national home goods retailer to end its policy of disqualifying job seekers who have a felony record.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says Tuesday that Bed Bath & Beyond has promised to comply with laws prohibiting employers from automatically rejecting applicants with criminal convictions.

As part of a settlement, the company agreed to pay $125,000. Most of the money will go to people denied employment and to organizations that help former offenders find jobs.

Scheiderman's office investigated the company following a complaint from a job fair.

State law requires employers to weigh each applicant's background individually.
Bed Bath & Beyond operates 62 stores in the state. In a statement the Union,

N.J.-based retailer says it is committed to complying with employment law.


Fire companies in NY seek volunteers

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Fire departments from around New York state are opening their doors this weekend as they look for new volunteer members.

The open houses on Saturday and Sunday are part of the fourth annual Recruit-New York campaign. The Firemen's Association of the State of New York says fire companies need more volunteers since membership has fallen off in recent years.

Association president James A. Burns says the open houses have helped in the past. Last year, nearly 600 departments in 59 counties across the state participated.

Participating departments gives tours of their firehouses, allow visitors to try on turnout gear and talk about volunteering.

Firefighter groups plan a kickoff news conference Wednesday at the Halfmoon Fire Department near Albany.


Cuomo announces parks that receive $90 million

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo says $90 million is going to repair and improve several parks and historic sites.

On Tuesday Cuomo announced that he is advancing 69 projects to improve 53 state parks and historic centers as part of a $90 million commitment in the state budget enacted earlier this month.

Jones Beach State Park on Long Island will be given $10 million as part of a multi-year $65 million revitalization program. Robert Moses State Park also in Long Island will be getting a cumulative $8.33 million for two projects.

Niagara Falls will receive $9 million to continue a $50 million revitalization initiative.

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