News from the Associated Press - February 14, 2014

Associated Press
February 14, 2014

NY officials: Agreement for $8B Medicaid waiver

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo says that New York has reached an agreement with federal officials for a waiver allowing the state to reinvest $8 billion in Medicaid savings to support hospitals and improve health care.

Cuomo said earlier Thursday that without the federal money, the state would have a health care crisis and hospitals would close, especially in Brooklyn.

Sen. Chuck Schumer says the agreement isn't for everything New York asked for, but called it a generous amount. He says the money will help the state with budgetary challenges and hospital needs.

Cuomo says that the savings generated by the Medicaid Redesign Team would allow the state to increase access and improve the quality of care for New Yorkers.


NY approves $35M in loans to develop nanotech site

UTICA, N.Y. (AP) - New York state approved $35 million in loans to help develop a nanotechnology hub in the Mohawk Valley.

The New York State Environmental Facilities Corp. on Thursday announced a $17.5 million interest-free loan and a $17.5 million low-interest loan for the development of the Marcy NanoCenter near Utica.

Six high-tech companies last fall said they would invest $1.5 billion help grow a second nanotechnology hub upstate in addition to Albany.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the three- to five-year loans to Oneida County will go toward improving the county's sewer system.


Pennsylvanians face another snowy day

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Many parts of eastern and central Pennsylvania are going to have a second day looking like snow-covered ghost towns, as schools and businesses make the call to remain closed or open late.

After Thursday's cleanup, a second band of precipitation crossing the same areas into Friday morning means the promise of another round of scraping and shoveling. It also means continued difficulty getting around, whether by car, bus, train or on foot.

Though the latest winter storm caused its share of headaches, it also left some residents elated as snowfall up to a foot or more kept many kids and adults at home again.

Power outages were relatively few, especially when compared to the hundreds of thousands affected by last week's ice storm.


UNDATED (AP) - Researchers say the Great Lakes are nearly completely covered with ice. The federal Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory says ice cover extends across 87 percent of the lakes, the highest ice level since 1994 when 94 percent of the lakes' surface froze.


NY lawmakers fault boycott of Israeli universities

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Nearly 50 New York legislators are sponsoring revised legislation to prohibit universities from using state aid to fund or join the American Studies Association because of the group's decision to boycott Israeli universities.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, sponsor of the legislation, said in a memo that "academic boycotts, particularly those that are discriminatory, violate the principles of academic freedom."

The legislation doesn't name the 5,000-member association, whose members endorsed an academic boycott of Israeli universities, saying they are complicit in Israel's discrimination against Palestinian students and scholars who are denied academic freedom.

A previous bill would have cut off state aid to schools participating in the association.

Critics including the American Association of University Professors say the legislation threatens academic free speech.

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