News from the Associated Press - January 28, 2014

Associated Press
January 28, 2014

NY begins sending out 2013 tax refunds

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Tax refund season has begun in New York.

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance said Monday it sent out its first 87 refunds for the 2013 tax year. The average refund was $183 and the highest was $1,356.

The refunds went to early filers who used New York's so-called Income Tax Web File, which allows returns to be prepared and electronically filed earlier than before.

 

Pa. gov asks court to reverse decision on voter ID

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Lawyers for Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett say a judge made a host of mistakes in deciding to throw out the state's requirement that voters display photo identification.

The team of private lawyers and the attorney general's office on Monday filed 39 pages of post-trial arguments that ask for the law to be reinstated, the decision revised or a new trial ordered.

The filing says Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley wrongly decided the law was unconstitutional because of how it was implemented.

Corbett signed the bill in March 2012 despite the opposition of every Democrat in the legislature. It hasn't been in effect because of the legal challenges.

If Corbett wins, he plans to ask that the law not be in place for this year's election, to avoid "even the chance" that voters may be confused.

 

NY now requires newborn screening

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York hospitals are now required to screen newborns for heart defects under a new law.

The measure, which took effect Monday, requires all birthing facilities to administer the test called pulse oximetry (ox-IHM'-uh-tree) screening.

The one-minute procedure provides early detection of heart defects that could be addressed quickly by surgery, potentially saving babies.

The process involves taping a small sensor to a newborn's foot as light is beamed at the foot to measure the amount of oxygen in the blood. The screening is more effective than more common tests and some hospitals already use it.

The American Heart Association, which pushed for the law, says nearly one in every 100 babies born annually have a congenital heart defect.

 

Historians: Albany port plan threatens Dutch site

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Two experts in Colonial history say a plan to build a crude oil facility at the Port of Albany would destroy the buried remnants of the first Dutch settlement built in what would become New York state.

Albany-area historians Don Rittner and John Wolcott say the port was the site of Fort Nassau, built on an island in 1614 by Dutch explorers as a trading post. Spring floods along the Hudson River later forced them to relocate to a nearby site and build Fort Orange, which later became Albany.

Wolcott says the remains of Fort Nassau are located in a section of the Albany port where a company wants to build a facility to heat crude oil hauled in by trains before it's transferred to ships for transport.

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