News from the Associated Press - December 2, 2013

Associated Press
December 2, 2013

NY Sen. Schumer pushes tax cut for small breweries

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (AP) — Sen. Charles Schumer says cutting the excise tax on small breweries will help them grow their businesses, hire new employees and revitalize communities.

Schumer is slated to be in Watkins Glen Monday afternoon to visit Rooster Fish Brewing and talk about the Small BREW Act of 2013. The legislation would cut the excise tax on small breweries in half, from $7 to $3.50 per barrel for the first 60,000 barrels they brew per year.

Rooster Fish is one of New York's first "Farm Breweries" which means they use 20 percent local products in their blends. Rooster Fish expects to produce 1,500 barrels of beer in 2013. It employs about 50 people.

Schumer says the proposed tax cut would save the brewery more than $5,250 per year based on this year's production.


Glass exit portals: Security to leave the airport

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Futuristic unmanned portals have replaced officers at the security exits of two small Northeast airports and added a few seconds in a bulletproof glass pod to the tail end of every passenger's trip.

The exits at the Syracuse, N.Y., and Atlantic City, N.J., airports are designed to prevent passengers from backtracking into secure areas once they leave and to keep outsiders from entering through the exits.

Travelers step into a cylinder and wait as a door slides closed behind them. Another door then opens in front, allowing them to leave.

The doors could be the wave of things to come as the Transportation Security Administration prepares to shift exit-monitoring duties to local airports next year. Airports with the doors say it save them the cost of staffing exits with guards.


Owners: W. Pa. solar mirror plant won't reopen

IMPERIAL, Pa. (AP) — The owners of a bankrupt western Pennsylvania plant that manufactured solar power components have abandoned plans to reopen.

Flabeg Solar U.S. Corp. shut down its plant near Pittsburgh last March, but the owners had hoped to reorganize.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ( ) reports that the plan to reopen collapsed earlier this month when a Chinese mirror manufacturer failed to complete a court-approved purchase of a piece of equipment for $900,000 and to fund a reorganization plan.

An auction is now scheduled for mid-December.

The plant shutdown unexpectedly when the parent company cut off funding amid its own financial problems. At its height in 2011, the plant employed 240 and had sales of about $30 million. The facility used a robotic production line to create large mirrors for solar energy plants.


NY conservation magazine offered at half price

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The state Department of Environmental Conservation has a Christmas gift idea for nature lovers: the Conservationist magazine, on sale for half price through Monday.

The Conservationist usually sells online for $12 for seven issues, but DEC is offering the subscription for $6 right now.

The magazine features photography, artwork and feature articles about New York's fish, wildlife and outdoor recreation opportunities. Regular features also highlight the work of forest rangers and environmental conservation officers.

Recent articles have focused on wild boars, bobcats, hawk migration, the Woodsmen's Field Days in Boonville, tracking dogs and wildlife health.

Upcoming issues will have articles on river otters, access to state lands, historic plane crashes, European hares and Niagara Falls.

To order online, visit


100-year anniversary of first service station

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The country's first specially designed gas station opened 100 years ago in Pittsburgh, selling fuel for 27 cents a gallon.

Gulf Refining Co. opened the Baum Boulevard station on Dec. 1, 1913, but no trace of it remains today. The small building featured a pagoda-style roof, and it was a major improvement over the usual alternative at the time — roadside shacks that sold fuel from barrels. The Pittsburgh station was specifically designed to sell fuel and oil, and it gave out free road maps, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores.

And while 27 cents per gallon may seem like a bargain, factoring inflation in tells a different story. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics that was the equivalent of $6.39 per gallon in today's dollars.

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