News from the Associated Press - January 24, 2014

Associated Press
January 24, 2014

NY unemployment rate at lowest since Jan. 2009

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The state Labor Department says New York's unemployment rate decreased from 7.4 percent to 7.1 percent in December, its lowest level since January 2009.

The Labor Department says in a report Thursday that the state's economy added 10,400 private sector jobs in December, raising the private sector job count to an all-time high of 7,503,700.

The number of unemployed New Yorkers decreased from 715,700 in November to 681,100 in December, its lowest level since December 2008.


Critic takes Redskins' name complaint to UN

VERONA, N.Y. (AP) - The Oneida Indian leader from upstate New York who has become a high-profile critic of the Washington Redskins' nickname is taking his case to the United Nations.

The Oneida Indian Nation says Ray Halbritter will meet Friday with the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights at U.N. headquarters in Manhattan. Halbritter argues that the Washington team's nickname is racially insensitive and should be changed.

The NFL team was already facing a fresh round of criticism when the Oneidas began airing radio advertisements during the NFL's regular season critical of the nickname.

Redskins owner Dan Snyder has called the name "a badge of honor" and said it won't be changed.

Halbritter says the campaign will continue.


Pa. universities get flexibility on tuition rates

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The board that oversees Pennsylvania's state-owned universities has given the green light to experiments that could give individual campuses more flexibility in setting tuition and fees.

The State System of Higher Education board Thursday approved two-year pilot projects at five of the 14 universities. Each project also requires approval from the individual universities.

Chancellor Frank Brogan says the proposals could produce "a sea change" for the system and that pilot projects will show whether the proposed changes are effective.

Edinboro University, near Erie, is proposing two projects. One would reduce tuition for out-of-state students to bolster recruitment, and the other would impose a new fee to offset the cost of its nursing program.

Projects also were approved for California, West Chester, East Stroudsburg and Clarion universities.


Upstate NY man caught with 1 million cigarettes

VAN BUREN, N.Y. (AP) - A 46-year-old upstate New York man is accused of storing nearly one million illegal cigarettes.

Miguel Espinosa of Fulton faces charges of criminal tax fraud, trying to evade the cigarette tax, and possession of 10,000 or more unstamped cigarettes.

Authorities uncovered the cigarette stash after raiding a storage facility in the town of Van Buren near Syracuse on Wednesday. Investigators searched through the storage unit and found 4,900 cartons valued at more than $210,000.

Troopers say Espinosa was distributing the untaxed cigarettes in Fulton and surrounding areas.

Espinosa is being held at Onondaga County Jail on $25,000 cash bail.

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