News from the Associated Press - December 24, 2013

Associated Press
December 24, 2013

Thousands get 2014  insurance from NY exchange

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - With insurance through New York's health exchange starting next year, thousands of policyholders have to change coverage while even more uninsured are signing up for new policies.

Facing a late influx of applications, the exchange has pushed back enrollment deadlines twice, most recently to midnight Tuesday for policies effective Jan. 1.

Unlike the federal exchange operating in many states, New York established its own, which has had some but far fewer software problems.

About 100,000 New Yorkers lost policies deemed noncompliant with the federal Affordable Care Act driving the effort, including sole business proprietors insured through their professional associations or chambers of commerce.

By Monday, the state exchange says 421,949 New Yorkers completed applications for individual or family coverage while 188,546 of them have enrolled in a plan or Medicaid.

 

NY State Police target drunk driving at Christmas

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The New York State Police are joining a national crackdown on drunk driving during the holidays.

The goal of the initiative "Drunk Driving, Over the Limit, Under Arrest" is to maximize DWI enforcement efforts to prevent motorists from being injured or killed by an intoxicated or drug-impaired driver. Data show the holiday season is a particularly deadly time because of the increased number of drunk drivers on the roads.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 32,367 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes across the nation in 2011, and 31 percent (9,878) of those fatalities occurred in drunk-driving-related crashes.

To maximize enforcement, state police will be conducting DWI checkpoints, DWI saturation details, and underage drinker enforcement details.

 

NY road march honors deployed US military members

GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (AP) - Hundreds of marchers are expected to participate in a 3-mile Christmas Eve trek held in an upstate New York community to honor U.S. military personnel who can't be home for the holidays.

New York National Guard officials say soldiers from the Queensbury Readiness Center and other Albany-area units will lead the march starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Glens Falls Civic Center. The march ends back at the downtown arena.

National Guard members who were deployed to Iraq in 2004 will be honorary grand marshals for the march, which drew more than 900 participants last year. The marchers include Guard members, their families, veterans and anyone else who wants to make the morning hike.

Organizers will collect items at the Civic Center for care packages to send to deployed military personnel.

 

NY man's 10,607 video games secure Guinness title

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - A New York man is the newly crowned world record holder for having the largest collection of video games.

Michael Thomasson of suburban Buffalo says he began collecting soon after receiving his first game, Cosmic Avenger, as a Christmas present from his grandparents when he was 12.

Thomasson had to wait until the next Christmas to play it, though, until his parents could get their hands on the hot-selling Colecovision system to play it on.

Now, 31 years and roughly 11,000 games later, Thomasson is featured in the just-released "Guinness World Records 2014 Gamer's Edition."

The official number of 10,607 games bests the previous record holder, Richard Lecce of Florida, who had 8,616 games in 2010.

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