News from the Associated Press - March 7, 2014

Associated Press
March 7, 2014

Astorino makes first campaign stop in western NY

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino has introduced himself in Buffalo, a day after formally entering the race for governor.

The Republican from New York City's northern suburbs says he's not intimidated by his lack of name recognition elsewhere in the state, noting the election is still nine months off.

And he says he's confident he'll collect the support of the county Republican leaders and be able to raise enough money to run a successful campaign.

Several New York Republican leaders have been trying to convince New York City real estate developer Donald Trump to challenge Democratic incumbent Andrew Cuomo.

But Astorino says just one day into his campaign, strangers are already starting to recognize him and wish him luck.

He has events scheduled in Rochester, Syracuse and Albany on Friday.


NY lawmakers want money for pedestrians, cyclists

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A group of New York senators is seeking $20 million in funding for bicycles and pedestrian safety as well as infrastructure to be included in the coming fiscal year.

A letter circulated by Sen. Martin Malave Dilan asks the Senate leadership to include the money in the Senate's budget bill due next week.

Parks and Trails New York, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign and the New York Bicycling Coalition have been urging lawmakers to add funding for bicyclist and pedestrian infrastructure to the budget.

According to the letter signed by 20 senators, a federal transportation law cut the state's money for bicycle and pedestrian projects by $12 million a year.

A statement released Thursday says that a similar letter is being circulated in the Assembly.


Manufacturer moving jobs from NY to Mexico

DEWITT, N.Y. (AP) - An electric motor manufacturer is moving nearly 60 percent of the jobs at its suburban Syracuse plant to Mexico.

The Syracuse Post-Standard reports that Advanced Motors and Drives released a statement saying 72 jobs will be moved to a plant in Mexico in the next three to six months.

The company is a subsidiary of Japanese-owned Nidec-Kinetek Corp.

Although central New York is gaining jobs overall, it lost 300 manufacturing jobs between January 2013 and January 2014.


Army Corps to dredge Oswego Harbor on Lake Ontario

OSWEGO, N.Y. (AP) - The Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to dredge Oswego Harbor.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer says the long-overdue project is expected to get underway in June and take about one month to complete.

Army officials say more than 72,000 cubic yards of sediment must be dredged from the harbor every three to four years, but the Lake Ontario port hasn't had its sediment dredged since 2008.

The project will be paid for with $786,000 approved by Congress for the recovery from Hurricane Sandy, which caused storm damage at the port.

The dredging and improvements already underway to improve rail access to the port are expected to increase capacity by almost 50 percent.

Oswego is the only deep water port on the U.S. shores of Lake Ontario.


Senate blocks Gillibrand’s sexual assault bill

The US Senate has blocked New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s bill to keep military commanders from prosecuting sexual assault.

Other bills that would reform the procedure made it through the Senate and are headed to the House of Representatives.

Gillibrand says she'll try to force another vote when lawmakers work on a defense policy bill.