News from the Associated Press - April 9, 2014

Associated Press
April 9, 2014

Beer, wine, cider industry focus of Albany summit

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York's alcoholic beverage industry is on display at an Albany forum focused ways to bolster the business.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says Tuesday the state is home to more than 600 wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries and ranks third in the nation in wine and grape production.

Cuomo held the first summit for brewers, wineries, farmers and spirit producers two years ago. The state has been helping the businesses since then with marketing efforts, streamlined licensing and regulations, and legislation. The number of microbreweries has more than doubled since then, from 40 to 93.

The National Beer Wholesalers Association and New York Wine and Grape Foundation say New York's alcoholic beverage industry employed 85,000 people.

Cuomo has also held summits to boost the state's tourism and Greek yogurt businesses.


NY expands youth employment program

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York state is expanding a program that offers businesses tax credits in exchange for hiring at-risk youth.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that annual funding for the program has grown from $6 million to $10 million.

Participating businesses can earn a tax credit of up to $3,000 for hiring workers age 16 to 24 who are from New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany or several other urban areas covered by the program.

More than 1,000 businesses participated in the initiative in 2012, hiring nearly 13,000 young employees.


Eldridge files 6,000 signatures for Congress run

KINGSTON, N.Y. (AP) — Democratic congressional candidate Sean Eldridge says he has collected enough signatures to make it on the ballot in the Hudson Valley.

Eldridge is challenging two-term Republican Rep. Chris Gibson in New York's 19th District. Eldridge says Monday he filed nearly 6,000 signatures for the Democratic ballot line, far more than required.

Eldridge is married to Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes. Eldridge and Hughes bought a house in the district in early 2013, and he has been active around the sprawling eastern New York district since then.


Buffalo business contest luring worldwide interest

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo's competition to attract business to Buffalo is drawing contenders from 48 states and 56 nations.

Cuomo said Tuesday that thousands of applicants have submitted business ideas hoping to win the contest's top prize of $1 million.

Competitors are asked to propose ideas in any industry except retail and hospitality. In addition to cash prizes, winners will receive business incubator space and professional help from industry experts in exchange for a promise to keep their business in Buffalo for at least a year.

The New York Power Authority contributed more than $5 million for the cash prizes.
Cuomo's office says applications have come in from China and South Africa.

Applicants can pitch ideas through May 31 on the website


NY hunters killed 1,358 bears in 2013 season

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — State officials say New York hunters killed 1,358 black bears during the 2013 hunting seasons, the second-highest number on record.

Figures released by the Department of Environmental Conservation on Monday show hunters killed a record 636 bears from the Southeastern hunting area and a near record 342 from the Central-Western area.

The agency says the high numbers reflect a growing bear population and an abundance of acorns and other nuts last fall.

DEC released a draft bear management plan for public comment in January. It proposed several changes, including expanding the area open to bear hunting to encompass all of upstate New York. It also establishes a supplemental firearms season in September in the Catskills and lower Hudson Valley.

DEC anticipates publishing a final version of the plan this spring.


Brush burning banned in some towns until May 14

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — State environmental regulators are reminding New Yorkers that residential brush burning is prohibited in towns with less than 20,000 residents until May 14 because of increased risk of fires during spring months.

The Department of Environmental Conservation said Tuesday wildfires can start and spread due to open burning of debris and dried out foliage. The agency said that open burning of debris is the largest cause of wildfire in the state.

New York adopted tougher restrictions on open burning in 2009 to help prevent wildfires and reduce pollution.

People who violate the regulation are subject to both criminal and civil law enforcement, with a minimum fine of $500 for the first offense.

To report environmental law violations call 1-800-TIPP DEC or report them online

Associated Press 2014. All Rights Reserved.