News from the Associated Press - September 4, 2014

Associated Press
September 4, 2014

Cuomo's 2 main rivals to debate in NY gov race

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The two main rivals to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in this year's governor's race are holding an unusual debate designed to focus attention on their campaigns - and play up Cuomo's refusal to participate.

Republican Rob Astorino and Cuomo's Democratic Primary challenger Zephyr Teachout are set to square off in a radio debate Thursday morning on WNYC radio.

Campaign debates typically wait until after the party primaries, but Astorino extended the offer to Teachout after her debate invitations to Cuomo went unanswered.

The exposure could help both candidates as they struggle to get traction. Polls show both Astorino, the Westchester County executive, and Teachout, a Columbia University law professor, trail Cuomo in name recognition.

Teachout faces Cuomo in next week's Democratic primary.


12 staffers hurt in melee at New York psych center

MARCY, N.Y. (AP) - Authorities say 12 staff members have been injured in a melee at a New York psychiatric center.

Correction officials say in a news release issued late Wednesday night that a group of inmates attacked staffers and other inmates inside the Central New York Psychiatric Center in the town of Marcy earlier in the day.

Two staff members suffered head injuries and were taken to a hospital.

Officials say it all began when five or six inmates started attacking staff members in a kitchen area, using kitchen items as weapons.

As that fight was taking place, officials say a similar situation was unfolding on the floor above.

Outside law enforcement responded to the scene and was able to restore order.

No arrests have been made. The investigation is ongoing.


Judge bars natural gas well in residential area

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A judge in northern Pennsylvania is throwing out a municipality's decision to allow a natural gas well to be drilled in a residentially zoned area.

The environmental group PennFuture said Wednesday the ruling was a test of a state Supreme Court decision that struck down a 2012 law restricting municipalities' ability to control where companies may drill.

PennFuture had sued on behalf of a nearby landowner.

The Marcellus Shale well pad was to be as large as 300 feet by 350 feet, and located within 3,000 feet of a large residential development.

But Lycoming County Judge Marc Lovecchio's ruling Friday says neither the drilling company nor Fairfield Township showed how the operation is compatible with permitted land use in the residential district.

Fairfield Township approved the permit the day before the Supreme Court ruled.


Hochul gets de Blasio endorsement, defends record

NEW YORK (AP) - Kathy Hochul's bid to become New York's next lieutenant governor has been endorsed by New York City's mayor as she pushes back against a Democratic Primary challenger who has questioned her liberal credentials.

Mayor Bill de Blasio called Hochul a progressive who was unafraid to stand up for her believes as a Buffalo congresswoman.

De Blasio announced his endorsement Wednesday at a City Hall appearance where Hochul vowed to support liberal priorities like a higher minimum wage and the Dream Act for young immigrants.

Hochul is Gov. Andrew Cuomo's pick to replace Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, who isn't seeking another term. She faces Columbia University law professor Tim Wu in Tuesday's primary.

Wu has questioned Hochul's congressional record, saying her past views on guns and the environment don't mesh with Democratic voters.