News from the Associated Press - July 17, 2014

Associated Press
July 17, 2014

NY board approves $256M Tappan Zee Bridge loan

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A state board has approved half of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plan to use clean water funds to help finance construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge.

The Public Authorities Control Board has authorized the $256 million, five-year, no-interest loan from the Environmental Facilities Corp. after two members noted federal authorities haven't signed off and the full project cost and future bridge and highway toll hikes are still unknown.

The Thruway Authority's request for a second $256 million loan at 4 percent interest, originally on Wednesday's agenda, has been postponed.

Officials say it will be resubmitted, possibly next year.

Environmentalists argue it's an inappropriate use of money meant for drinking water and sewage treatment projects.

Thruway and EFC officials say this novel approach is authorized under the law.


Data show New York 7th in highway fatalities

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Federal data show New York ranked seventh among states with 1,168 highway deaths in 2012.

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration reports 33,561 road deaths that year nationally, up 3 percent from 2011.

New York showed no percentage increase.

The report lists Texas leading all other states with 3,398 highway deaths, up 3 percent.

Also ahead of New York were California, Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia.

Neighboring Vermont, with 77 road fatalities, had third fewest, followed by Rhode Island and Alaska.


Louisiana governor headlines Corbett fundraiser

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is in Pennsylvania to headline a fundraiser for his fellow Republican governor, Tom Corbett.

Corbett campaign officials said they expected the Wednesday evening event in suburban Allentown to raise more than $250,000.

Spokesman Chris Pack says that would be Corbett's biggest fundraising haul ever in the Lehigh Valley.

The fundraiser is at the home of David Jaindl, the third-generation owner of his family's turkey breeding and processing business.

Corbett's re-election bid is being challenged by Democrat Tom Wolf, who chairs a building-products distributor begun by his family in 1843 and served briefly as revenue secretary under former Gov. Ed Rendell.

The two candidates have reported spending $26 million on the race since last year began, and could spend another $20 million before the Nov. 4 election.