News from the Associated Press - January 14, 2014

Associated Press
January 14, 2014

NY senators say state has too many regulations

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A group of New York state senators say they've identified more than 2,000 rules and regulations that put the state at a competitive disadvantage.

The Republican-dominated state Senate majority coalition issued a report Monday calling for a reduction in state regulations they consider to be job killers. They say they have identified 2,219 rules, regulations and practices after meeting with more than 100 business owners, advocacy organizations and individuals at forums around the state.

Sen. Patrick Gallivan of Elma said he hopes the report is a first step toward regulatory reform.

 

NY court to consider acceptable police lies

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Police lie to suspects.

Now New York's top court is considering whether they go too far by claiming a dead victim is still alive.

The question is whether that's so deceptive that it amounts to coercion and therefore disqualifies any incriminating statements from a suspect that follow.

The two cases being argued Tuesday involve a Troy man whose infant son died with a head injury in 2008 and a New Rochelle man whose girlfriend died from a drug overdose in 2009.

Each suspect was told by police that doctors needed to know what happened in order to treat the victim.

Adrian Thomas was convicted of murder.

Paul Aveni was convicted of criminally negligent homicide.

Midlevel courts upheld Thomas' conviction and threw out Aveni's.

Soon the Court of Appeals will decide.

 

Lab study cuts fracking waste's radioactivity

HOUSTON (AP) - Researchers believe they have found an unlikely way to decrease radioactivity found in some wastewater from hydraulic fracturing: Mix it with the hazardous drainage from mining operations.

Duke University professor Avner Vengosh says the discovery would allow oil and gas drillers to combine wastewater from the fracking process with acid drainage from mining - or any other salty water - and remove the solids that form. The water left behind then could be used to drill a new well.

Dealing safely with contaminated drilling fluids and having access to enough useable water for drilling is crucial to industry. Oil and gas drilling is booming due to hydraulic fracturing, which uses millions of gallons of chemical-laced water to crack thick layers of underground rock so fossil fuels can flow out.

 

Legislators cite flaws in NY health exchange

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - State legislators say some problems plague the rollout of the Affordable Care Act in New York, with constituents complaining about lost insurance coverage, higher premiums and confusion and limitations of medical networks.

Donna Frescatore, executive director of the state's new health exchange, says at a Senate oversight hearing Monday they've enrolled 294,000 New Yorkers in private insurance or Medicaid since October and the effort so far has been an overwhelming success.

The exchange was established under federal health care reform in an effort to extend coverage to 2.7 million uninsured New Yorkers.

Senate Health Committee Chairman Kemp Hannon, a Nassau County Republican, says state data show the exchange enrolled only about 76,000 uninsured with commercial or nonprofit carriers, that others signed up for Medicaid or had insurance before.

 

More than 81k sign up in Pa. for insurance

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The latest government figures show that more than 81,000 Pennsylvanians have enrolled under the federal health care law, a sharp increase from the 11,800 who were signed up at the end of November.

The Obama administration on Monday released statistical details about the more than 2 million Americans who enrolled for insurance under the Affordable Care Act by the end of December.

In Pennsylvania 56 percent of the people who enrolled were women and 44 percent men. The breakdown by age showed that 39 percent of the people were between 55 and 64 years old, and 24 percent were between 18 and 34.

The government said 76 percent of the people who signed up in Pennsylvania received financial assistance and 24 percent didn't.

 

32 guns stolen from upstate NY store recovered

NORWICH, N.Y. (AP) — Authorities say they've recovered more than 30 firearms stolen from a central New York gun dealer by a woman who's in jail and a second suspect who was later found dead.

State police say they've located all 26 handguns and six long guns that were stolen last week from Mayhood's Sporting Goods in Norwich in Chenango County.

Troopers arrested 25-year-old Brandy Bousson of Norwich last Wednesday and charged her with burglary. Police later said that 29-year-old Christopher Gonzalez had been found dead in the woods in Norwich on Friday. Troopers say he had also been sought for questioning in the gun thefts.

Police announced on Monday that an autopsy determined Gonzalez died of hypothermia, with drug toxicity contributing to his accidental death.

Bousson is being held in the county jail on $250,000 bail.

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