News from the Associated Press - June 12, 2014

Associated Press
June 12, 2014

NY Speaker pushes for minimum wage hike, Dream Act

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is renewing his push to increase the minimum wage and pass the Dream Act as lawmakers work toward adjournment.

Silver told reporters on Wednesday that those two measures are top priorities before the Legislature adjourns next week.

The minimum wage proposal would raise the wage to $10.10 per hour and allow cities like New York City to impose a local minimum wage that's up to 30 percent higher.

The Dream Act would extend financial aid to students who are in the country illegally.

Both measures have broad support in the Assembly but face challenges in the Senate, where the Dream Act has already failed once. Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos has said he doesn't expect the Senate to consider any controversial legislation before adjourning.


Assembly harassment findings

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A New York assemblyman faces the loss of his staff and offices after an ethics committee found he continued to violate that house's sexual harassment policy.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says Assemblyman Micah Kellner, a Manhattan Democrat, will lose his Albany and district offices and staff allocation by the end of the month.

The Assembly Ethics and Guidance Committee has recommended sanctions after finding Kellner violated Silver's order not to have interns in his office, attempted to obstruct a survey about his workplace climate, and engaged in additional sexual harassment. Kellner was previously admonished in December.

The committee found last year that Kellner violated the Assembly's sexual harassment policy by making inappropriate comments to staff members in 2009 and 2011.

Kellner calls the allegations unsubstantiated and says he'll immediately appeal.


Albany airport unveils 6 electric car chargers

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Albany International Airport has six charging stations for electric cars ready to use.

Officials from the New York Power Authority, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and elected officials were on hand Wednesday morning for the unveiling.

Electric vehicle drivers will be able to charge their cars without cost for a two-year trial period; then there will be a nominal fee. Charge times will vary depending on the size and type of car, but each station is capable of supplying up to 6 kilowatts of power to an electric vehicle.

It brings the total number of charging stations in the state to approximately 900. The goal is around 3,000.

The stations are part of an initiative by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to support expansion of clean transportation technologies.


Baseball Hall of Fame celebrates 75th anniversary

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is celebrating its diamond anniversary.

A ceremony marking the 75th anniversary will be held Thursday morning on the front steps of the museum, with Hall of Famers Cal Ripken Jr. and Joe Morgan taking part.

Babe Ruth was the star of the first class elected to the Hall of Fame in 1936, and he attended the Hall of Fame's official opening on June 12, 1939. Ruth was the last person to speak before Commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis officially opened the museum.

To honor his contributions to the game, the Hall of Fame is opening a new Babe Ruth exhibit on Friday.

Thursday's festivities include a discussion by three local residents who were present when the Hall of Fame opened in 1939.


34-year-old Fort Drum soldier dies in Afghanistan

FORT DRUM, N.Y. (AP) — Military officials say a soldier with the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division based in northern New York has died while serving in Afghanistan.

Officials at Fort Drum say Wednesday that 34-year-old Spc. Terry Hurne of Merced, California died Monday from a non-combat-related incident in Logar province. No other details were provided.

Hurne was a utilities equipment repairer serving in the 710th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

He joined the Army in July 2009. After completing training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and Fort Lee, Virginia he arrived at Fort Drum in February 2010. Herne was deployed to Afghanistan from March 2011 to March 2012. He deployed again to Afghanistan last November.

Hurne is survived by his wife, mother and father.

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