News from the Associated Press - November 25, 2013

Associated Press
November 25, 2013

NY only state still on board with school data plan

NEW YORK (AP) — New York is the only state still fully on board with a technology company's plan to create statewide databases for every public school student's grades, tests scores and attendance records.

Concerns from parents about who will have access to the information, how long it will be held and whether it will be used for marketing purposes have stalled the momentum of a startup that promised to bring efficiency and cost savings to school record-keeping.

Atlanta data-storage company inBloom drew early interest from several states, but nearly all have pulled back.

New York's Education Department is going forward with plans to send student information to inBloom sometime after Jan. 1. A group of New York City parents sued this month to block the release of that data.

 

NY troopers in big SUVs peer in on texting drivers

MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. (AP) — New York state troopers are using a new fleet of 32 tall, unmarked SUVs as part of a crackdown on drivers sending text messages.

The high vantage point in the Chevy Tahoes helps troopers see drivers' hands, even if they're down on their laps, pushing smartphone buttons.

It's part of one of the nation's most aggressive attacks on texting while driving that also includes steeper penalties and dozens of highway "Texting Zones," where motorists can pull over to use their devices.

A study has found that a texting driver is 23 times more likely to be in a collision than those not texting.

New York this year increased the penalties for motorists caught using hand-held devices to talk or text.

 

NY officials warn of telephone and email tax scam

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York state officials are warning people about telephone and email scammers pretending to be tax collectors.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the scammers claim they are from the Internal Revenue Service or the state tax department and threaten people with fines, deportation or arrest if they fail to pay up.

Scam callers tell recipients to immediately pay with a wire transfer or a pre-loaded debit card. Sometimes the calls are accompanied by fake IRS emails. The scammers threaten recipients who don't comply.

Some of the bogus calls come from the 530 area code but others appear legitimate on the caller ID screen.

State officials say tax agencies always make first contact by letter with a phone number you can contact to verify the sender.

Associated Press 2013. All Rights Reserved.