News from the Associated Press - March 13, 2014

Associated Press
March 13, 2014

Blizzard over, deep freeze returns to upstate NY

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Bitter cold has returned to upstate New York on the heels of the blizzard that dumped nearly 1½ feet of snow on western areas.

The National Weather Service says high winds and temperatures in the teens and single digits will drive the wind chill well below zero Thursday, a day after a blizzard closed schools and highways in most of the western half of the upstate region.

The weather service says the storm dumped up to 17 inches of snow on parts of western New York.

Blowing snow caused numerous accidents on the Thruway, with sections of the highway between Syracuse and Buffalo closed for several hours. The ban on tandem trucks between the Albany area and the Pennsylvania border in western New York has been lifted.


Critics fault Cuomo's bank tax proposal

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to simplify New York bank taxes contains a provision critics say would let Manhattan's big investment banks pay tax on only 8 percent of their billions in annual net income from stocks, bonds and other securities.

According to the Cuomo administration, the changes will simplify New York's complex tax structure and help end lengthy, expensive disputes between banks and tax collectors on what constitutes taxable revenue.

It assumes that about 8 percent of revenue comes from New York business, the rest from elsewhere.

James Parrott, Fiscal Policy Institute chief economist, says New York's share of investment banking is closer to 39 percent.

New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness calls the proposal "a big gift to Wall Street."

Administration officials did not immediately reply to requests for comment.


Albany bars crude processing expansion at port

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Albany County has issued a moratorium on expansion of crude oil processing at the Port of Albany on the Hudson River, pending a public health investigation.

The order issued Wednesday says a shipper's plan to heat rail tankers of dense crude to liquefy the contents has raised questions about potential public health hazards.

Waltham, Mass.-based Global Partners has applied for a state permit for the heating facility. The state Department of Environmental Conservation has ordered Global to do an environmental justice study of the impact on nearby neighborhoods.

Global received a permit from DEC in 2012 that allowed it to ramp up rail and barge transport of highly volatile crude from North Dakota to coastal refineries.

Global didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.


Eastman Kodak names Clarke as new CEO

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — Eastman Kodak has tapped Orbitz chairman Jeffrey Clarke as its new CEO, taking over from Antonio Perez.

The photography and film pioneer, which emerged from bankruptcy in September, said Wednesday that Perez will remain as a special adviser to its board. He had served as CEO since 2005.

The 52-year old Clarke will continue as chairman of online travel company Orbitz Worldwide Inc. He is the co-founder of private investment firm Augusta Columbia Capital and served as a managing partner there.

Clarke will also become a member of the board of directors at Eastman Kodak Co.

Shares of Kodak, based in Rochester, N.Y., fell 84 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $26.39 in morning trading. Its shares had fallen more than 24 percent through Tuesday since the start of the year.

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