News from the Associated Press - December 12, 2013

Associated Press
December 12, 2013

Corning bridge project progressing on schedule

CORNING, N.Y. (AP) - New York state transportation officials say contractors have started the next phase of a project that will replace a bridge that's a vital link to one of the Southern Tier's largest private employers.

Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald says construction crews have started setting steel beams for the new Patterson Bridge over the Chemung River in Corning. The latest work comes less than three months after the old bridge was closed and demolished.

DOT says the nearly $20 million project is on schedule to be completed before Memorial Day 2014.

The new bridge that will carry Route 352 over the Chemung River will link up with Interstate 86 and will be a connector to Corning Inc.'s world headquarters and research and development facilities.


Rochester stadium to host 10-day hockey festival

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — Rochester's downtown minor league baseball stadium is set to host the first outdoor game ever played by the city's professional hockey team.

Crews have been working for weeks to transform Frontier Field into the Frozen Frontier, home of the 10-day outdoor hockey festival that starts on Friday night with the Rochester Americans hosting the Lake Erie Monsters in an American Hockey League matchup.

The weekend schedule includes games featuring men's and women's college teams from Rochester and elsewhere in upstate New York and a Buffalo Sabres-Rochester Amerks alumni game.

A 3-on-3 pond hockey tournament, open skate sessions and a full slate of local high school games are scheduled for the weekend of Dec. 20-22.


Schumer: Ambulance funding threatened

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Sen. Charles Schumer warns that ambulance crews are threatened with the loss of critical funding.

At stake is $40 million in Medicaid payments statewide used to pay for ambulance services. He says that critical funding will expire Jan. 1 if Congress doesn't act first.

The Democrat says that without action, urban ambulances will lose 2 percent of their federal funding and rural services will lose 3 percent.

Schumer says ambulance crews say the funding is vital. He is proposing a five-year extension of the funding.

An officer with the American Ambulance Association says the funding is needed for financial stability and to replace old equipment and update technology.


Pa. lawmakers send 5 child-abuse bills to Corbett

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The first bills in the Pennsylvania's Legislature wide-ranging response to the Jerry Sandusky and Roman Catholic clergy scandals are headed to Gov. Tom Corbett.

The state Senate unanimously approved five bills Wednesday.

Sen. LeAnna Washington of Philadelphia, a survivor of child abuse, says passing the bills will ensure that every case of suspected child abuse is properly investigated, abusers are brought to justice and families and victims are helped.

Roughly 20 bills are part of the legislative package. One bill that passed would expand the definition of who investigators can consider a potential perpetrator of child abuse.

One key bill that's pending in the House would address a longstanding complaint of child welfare advocates by lowering the threshold for the kind of injury or pain that is considered child abuse.

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