News from the Associated Press - August 15, 2014

Associated Press
August 15, 2014

NY teacher union: No endorsement in gov race

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York's powerful teachers' union will sit out of this year's governor's race.

The union says Thursday it won't endorse Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, his liberal primary challenger Zephyr Teachout, Green Party hopeful Howie Hawkins or Republican Rob Astorino.

The union has sparred with Cuomo over teacher evaluations, the Common Core standards and his support for charter schools.

Teachout and Hawkins both hold positions more in line with the union, but they're far behind Cuomo in name recognition and fundraising.

Union executive vice president Andrew Pallotta says members fiercely debated the endorsement but decided in the end to stay out of the race. The union also sat out of the 2010 gubernatorial race.

The union did endorse the re-election of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.


Cuomo foe Teachout picks up public union support

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York state's second-largest public-sector union has endorsed Zephyr Teachout's long-shot bid to oust Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The Public Employees Federation represents 54,000 state workers who mainly work in white-collar positions. Union President Susan Kent said Thursday that her group took what she called a "bold step" by backing Cuomo's liberal primary challenger Teachout and her running mate in next month's Democratic primary.

Meanwhile, the state's powerful teachers' union said Thursday that it won't endorse any candidate in the race.

Union executive vice president Andrew Pallotta says members fiercely debated the endorsement but ultimately decided to stay out of the race. The union also sat out of the 2010 gubernatorial race.

This year's other candidates for governor include Republican Rob Astorino and Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins.


Pa. gas tax funded transportation work outlined

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A new 12-year plan for transportation-related projects in Pennsylvania outlines how the state will spend more than $21 billion generated by higher gasoline taxes and motorist fees.

The State Transportation Commission released the updated plan Thursday that describes how more than $62 billion will be allocated. Just two years ago the 12-year plan involved more than $41 billion in spending.

The highway funding law enacted in December is ramping up to bring in about $2.3 billion annually in new revenue.

The updated plan now goes to federal officials for their review and possible approval.


NY attorney charged with overbilling state

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (AP) — A New York attorney who provided legal help to children and the poor is accused of overbilling state and local governments by thousands of dollars and claiming that he worked more than 24 hours in a day.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says Thursday that authorities have charged John Cadore (kah-DOOR') of Binghamton with larceny and scheming to defraud. Prosecutors say an audit found Cadore overbilled government programs that provide legal representation to children and the poor by nearly $11,000.

According to authorities, Cadore billed for more than 24 hours of work in a given day some 36 days between 2009 and 2011. Investigators also say Cadore double-billed his travel expenses 187 times.

Cadore was arraigned Thursday in Broome County. A message left with his office was not immediately returned.


DA: Amish girls safe after apparent abduction

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Authorities say two missing Amish girls have turned up safe about 24 hours after they were apparently abducted from their family's roadside farm stand in northern New York.

St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary Rain says the girls turned up cold and wet but unharmed Thursday evening at a home in Richville, about 13 miles from where they disappeared in the rural town of Oswegatchie.

Word of 12-year-old Fannie and 7-year-old Delila Miller's return came shortly after about 200 people attended a prayer vigil at Cornerstone Wesleyan Church.

The sisters vanished at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday after a white car pulled up to the farm stand.

No other details about what happened to the girls were immediately available.

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