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News 10 ABC, FOX 23, WTEN, WXXA, Albany, NY - Slideshows, Photos, News, Weather, and Sports from the Capital Region of New York, Western Massachusetts, and Southern Vermont
Last updated: Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:59:09 GMT

 Proposed solid waste removal plan could mean Conn. waste comes to Ravena Fri, 15 Dec 2017 02:54:43 +0000
If a proposal out of the state of Connecticut is chosen, then a cement plant in Ravena could be burning waste by the tons.

RAVENA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – If a proposal out of the state of Connecticut is chosen, then a cement plant in Ravena could be burning waste by the tons.

The state of Connecticut is trying to find a way to get rid of its waste after its incinerator is shut down. One possible solution involves the LafargeHolcim Cement Plant in Ravena.

“You drive by and all the dust and dirt and everything,” Ethan Brown, of Ravena, said. “All that icky stuff is all over the road and flying up in the air.”

For years, people living in Ravena have been concerned by specks of dust coming from the LafargeHolcim plant.

“I don’t like the idea of them putting, you know, dirt into my clean air,” Brown said. “I don’t want to breathe that stuff in.”

And now he’s worried once again. If the proposal is chosen, the Ravena plant could be burning 116,000 tons of solid waste every year in the near future.

The news comes after former Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Judith Enck mentioned it to Rep. John Faso during a phone conference.

“I find it really surprising and troubling,” she said. “I don’t think anyone in the community knows about this.”

The Connecticut Department of Energy is considering three proposals to solve its problem of getting rid of the waste after they shut down an incinerator in Hartford.

One proposal is by a company named Mustang Renewable Energy Ventures and it involves the Lafarge plant. Under the plan, waste from 70 Connecticut communities would be transported to Ravena to be shredded and burned.

Enck said it’s the last thing they should be doing.

“We should really be maximizing recycling and composting and committing to zero waste,” she said.

Instead, if the bid goes through, Enck said the plant would be emitting a range of air contaminants, which could be problematic for people with various health conditions.

“We’re going to see air pollution not only in Albany County but also in Rensselaer County and Columbia County; it depends which way the wind blows,” she said.

The state of Connecticut told NEWS10 ABC that under the proposal, Mustang said it could be one of multiple ways they would handle the waste.

Lafarge isn’t confirming its involvement, but the spokesperson said they talk with renewable energy companies on a regular basis and such talks are exploratory in nature.

NEWS10 reached out to the company proposing the solution with Lafarge but did not hear back.

Connecticut’s Department of Energy is expected to decide on a proposal by December 31.

 Rubio defection threatens GOP’s slim majority on tax bill Fri, 15 Dec 2017 02:16:03 +0000
The Republicans’ razor-thin margin for driving their sweeping tax package through the Senate was thrown into jeopardy Thursday when GOP Sen.…

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republicans’ razor-thin margin for driving their sweeping tax package through the Senate was thrown into jeopardy Thursday when GOP Sen. Marco Rubio declared he will vote against it unless negotiators expand the tax credit that low-income Americans can claim for their children.

Rubio’s potential defection complicates Republican leaders’ goal of muscling the $1.5 trillion bill through Congress next week, handing President Donald Trump his first major legislative victory by Christmas.

Senate Republicans could still pass the package without Rubio’s vote, but they would be cutting it extremely close. An original version was approved by only 51-49 — with Rubio’s support. The co-sponsor of Rubio’s proposed change, Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, is undecided on the overall bill and pushing to make the credit as generous as possible, said Lee spokesman Conn Carroll.

The Senate turmoil came on the same day that a key faction of House Republicans came out in favor of the bill, boosting its chances. Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus predicted that the vast majority of their members would support the package.

The developments came a day after House and Senate Republican leaders forged an agreement in principle on the most sweeping overhaul of the nation’s tax laws in more than 30 years. The package would give generous tax cuts to corporations and the wealthiest Americans, and more modest tax cuts to low- and middle-income families.

Confident Republican leaders predicted swift passage next week, sending the bill to Trump for his signature.

At the White House, Trump said he was confident that Rubio will get onboard.

“He’s really been a great guy and very supportive. I think that Senator Rubio will be there,” said Trump, who belittled Rubio during the Republican presidential primaries, calling him “little Marco.”

The tax package would increase the child tax credit from $1,000-per-child to $2,000. The bill makes a portion of the credit — $1,100 — available to families even if they owe no income tax. They would receive the money in the form of a tax refund, which is why it is called a “refundable” tax credit. Rubio wants to increase this amount but wouldn’t say by how much.

“Given all the other changes they made in the tax code leading into it, I can’t in good conscience support it unless we are able to increase the refundable portion of it. And there’s ways to do it, and we’ll be very reasonable about it,” Rubio said.

During debate on the Senate version of the bill, Rubio offered an amendment that would have made the entire $2,000 credit available to families, even if they owe no income tax, but it was soundly defeated. To pay for the expanded credit, Rubio proposed to slightly scale back a steep cut in the corporate income tax rate.

A few days after the earlier Senate vote, Rubio tweeted a link to a news story that said GOP leaders were indeed considering scaling back the corporate tax cut — but not to pay for an expanded child tax credit.

“They freaked out when I proposed small reduction in Corporate tax cut to pay for cut for working families. Now this?” Rubio tweeted.

The final package slashes the corporate rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. The initial Senate and House bills had set it at 20 percent.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said Senate negotiators got the best deal they could on the overall child tax credit. House GOP negotiators were proposing a $1,600 tax credit.

“We won everything in the child tax credit,” Portman said. When asked if it could be changed further to appease Rubio, Portman said, “We’ve already won. I mean, we should celebrate our victory.”

Rubio’s opposition comes at a bad time for Senate Republicans, with two of them missing votes this week because of illness.

John McCain of Arizona, who is 81, is at a Washington military hospital being treated for the side effects of brain cancer treatment, and 80-year-old Thad Cochran of Mississippi had a non-melanoma lesion removed from his nose earlier this week. GOP leaders are hopeful they will be available next week.

The tax legislation would cut the top tax rate for the wealthiest earners — Trump among them — from 39.6 percent to 37 percent.

The package would nearly double the standard deduction, to $24,000 for married couples. But it would scale back the deduction for state and local taxes, allowing families to deduct only up to a total of $10,000 in property and income taxes. The deduction is especially important to residents of high-tax states such as New York, New Jersey and California.

Business owners who report business income on their personal tax returns would be able to deduct 20 percent of that income.

The agreement also calls for repealing the mandate under the “Obamacare” health law that requires most Americans to get health insurance, a step toward the ultimate GOP goal of unraveling the law.

The business tax cuts would be permanent, but reductions for individuals would expire in 2026 — saving money to comply with Senate budget rules. In all, the bill would cut taxes by about $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years, adding billions to the nation’s mounting debt.

The tax package is polling badly among the public, but Republicans say that will turn around after Americans see the benefits.

“The results are going to be what sells this bill, not the confusion before it passes,” said Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

___

Associated Press writers Kevin Freking and Ken Thomas contributed to this report.

 More gun control coming? Proposal would remove firearms from domestic abusers Thu, 14 Dec 2017 20:56:50 +0000
Nearly three women are killed every single day by domestic violence and many of those cases involve a firearm.

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Nearly three women are killed every single day by domestic violence and many of those cases involve a firearm.

Now comes a new proposal that could help put an end to it.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that proposal this week. Now one local woman, who lost her daughter to domestic violence, is calling this a victory.

“My daughter Liza was murdered by her husband 13 years ago.”

It’s a day Martha Lasher Warner will ever forget when she learned her 29-year-old daughter was gunned down, by her ex-husband who then turned the gun on himself.

“It’s such a difficult, everlasting grief.”

She’s dedicated her life to fighting back against domestic violence. When news spread that Gov. Cuomo was proposing a new legislation that could make a big difference, she was proud.

“I think it’s a marvelous idea.”

Under the proposal, anyone who is convicted of domestic violence will have their guns taken away and kept away. A judge would also be required to suspend any firearm license until the case is resolved.

That’s being met with support at the New York Capitol. Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy supports the proposal.

“Women are more likely to die when they are guns and there is a domestic violence issue.”

Meg Myers is the director of domestic violence and says it’s something that can save lives.

Warner agrees.

For now, she keeps her daughter’s old cell phone, still with the same voicemail left on it from 13 years ago.

“I do that to keep her memory alive.”

For now, the proposal is still in the early stages. We are expected hear more on in the governor’s State of the State Address coming up on January 3rd.

 NY dealing with budget deficit Thu, 14 Dec 2017 21:28:35 +0000
It's the end of the year so departments have been starting to gather together how this year's budget is stacking up to plan for next year.
ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – It’s the end of the year so departments have been starting to gather together how this year’s budget is stacking up to plan for next year.
“My main focus right now is closing the gap and watching what happens in Washington,” Robert Mujica, Director of NY Division of the Budget, said.
This projected gap is a $4.4 billion budget deficit the state will most likely have to face this next year. Yet, even with this gap, Mujica is confident that New York is still well positioned to deal with it.
“The Governor has controlled spending over the last several years. So we’re in a relatively good position to deal with it although $4.4 billion is one of the largest budget deficits that he has to face, we’re confident we will be able to close it.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo has helped limit spending by placing a two percent cap on any increase in funding to departments, allowing for inflation adjustments every year.
Mujica also says his department is planning ahead on how the federal tax bill will impact New York’s budget.
“Lots of uncertainty from the federal tax plan that’s definitely going to negatively impact our state.”
Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan’s spokesman issued this statement:
“Our Senate Majority remains focused on controlling spending and taxes, taking steps to make it more affordable to live and work in New York.”
“We’ll continue to always stand up for what our priorities are. When the Governor was first elected there was a $10 billion budget deficit and we found our way through that and I’m sure we’ll find our way through this one too,” Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said.
 12/14 Pet Connection: Casanova and Gus Thu, 14 Dec 2017 23:00:18 +0000
Free to Be Me Rescue 518-956-1804

Well, if you’ve ever wanted an immediate little eight-legged family look no further.

Meet Casanova and Gus.

This bonded pair of 10-year-young chihuahuas could not be more perfect.

They are friendly, loving, peaceful, housebroken, crate trained, love to go for walks or a ride in the car, and they LOVE their human. Sadly, Gus and Cass came to us after their beloved human could no longer care for them.

For ten years they were adored and cared for and it shows. These guys are PERFECT: happy, healthy, playful, fun, and ready to bring all that and more to your life and home.

They love walks and car rides. They know their names well. They are quiet. Good with other dogs and cats…..Total LOVE Bugs….PERFECT for an older-active couple.

Their Foster Family said “They are the BEST!”

Free to Be Me Rescue 518-956-1804

 Closing arguments for double murder trial held Thu, 14 Dec 2017 21:17:27 +0000
Closing arguments were heard on Thursday in a case of a man accused of killing two women.

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Closing arguments were heard on Thursday in a case of a man accused of killing two women.

Jurors listen in to a total of four hours of closing arguments. They will need to decide on not one but, two cases.

The alleged murder of his roommate and a the killing of a woman he was paying for sex.

Ted Mero’s attorney began by tearing apart the case involving Megan Cunningham. Mero’s roommate whose body was found in the charred remains of their Albany apartment house in January of 2013.

Cheryl Coleman reminded jurors that even though they could not find a direct cause, fire investigators had determined it was accidental.

Coleman said it was only after the body of Shelby Countermine was discovered that the prosecution tried to lump both cases together. She added that as a drug-addicted prostitute, the pool of potential killers was endless.

The prosecution said there’s no way Mero could be so unlucky to be connected to two dead women who died in such violent ways.

Mero admitted to paying Shelby for sex a number of times and in December of 2014 when police say she disappeared.

They say it’s no coincidence that Shelby’s beaten remains were discovered on a little-known access road owned by the city of Albany’s Water Department. As a water employee, Mero knew the place well.

The prosecution also reminded jurors of the testimony from Mero’s former co-workers, who claim he made odd comments about fires including, how they could make problems go away.

“His words are a window into his mind. And that repeats in the evidence you see. The defendant, it’s almost like he can’t help himself. It’s like a form of Tourettes like he’s talking and he’s betraying his thoughts,” David Rossi, Albany County DA’s Office, said.

“Nobody calls it a murder nobody calls it intentionally set the fire. The reasonable doubts are palpable the reasonable doubts huge,” Coleman said.

That’s Mero’s attorney talking about the 2013 fire.

Jurors are in the process of deliberating.

 Some fear troops may not get their Christmas trees Thu, 14 Dec 2017 20:41:26 +0000
Some fear that soldiers who are stationed abroad may not get their Christmas trees this year.

WASHINGTON (NEWS10) – Some fear that soldiers who are stationed abroad may not get their Christmas trees this year.

That’s because red tape is stopping the U.S. Postal Service from delivering them.

Senator Charles Schumer is not going to let that happen. Right now, he is urging USPS officials to waive any procedural changes that prevent people in New York from sending Christmas trees overseas.

Sen. Schumer says that dozens of trees were returned this week to their senders because of last minute changes that limit the size of packages that can be shipped to the military abroad.

 NY National Guard dispatched to help California fight wildfires Thu, 14 Dec 2017 20:08:48 +0000
Nine members of the New York National Guard have been dispatched to fight California wildfires.

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Nine members of the New York National Guard have been dispatched to fight California wildfires.

The governor’s office says members of the 174th Attack Wing will use MQ9 aircraft to track and help battle wildfires that have already burned more than 230,000 acres and destroyed more than 1,000 buildings.

“New Yorkers always help their neighbors in their time of need and I thank the members of 174th Attack Wing for representing the very best of the Empire State spirit as they assist our friends in California,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “As California works day and night to stop these fires, New York is proud to provide reinforcements and the use of advanced technology to help identify where to dispatch firefighting efforts to end this tragic event.”

On December 13, the 174th Attack Wing deployed:

  • Three MQ-9 pilots;
  • Three sensor operators, which are the Airmen responsible for operating the state-of-the-art cameras and other sensor systems; and
  • Three MQ-9 imagery analysts, who will interpret information gathered by the aircraft to identify where firefighters should be dispatched.

The Airmen are due to return to New York on December 22.

 5 years since tragic Sandy Hook shooting Thu, 14 Dec 2017 19:57:31 +0000
Thursday marks the five year anniversary of the tragic Sandy Hook school shooting.

NEWTOWN, Conn. (NEWS10) – Thursday marks the five year anniversary of the tragic Sandy Hook school shooting.

Twenty-six people were killed at the hands of a gunman inside the Newtown, Connecticut elementary school. Twenty of those killed were young children.

The shooter Adam Lanza also killed six adults at the school and his mother before taking his own life.

The group released a powerful PSA with the message that mass shootings can be prevented. It features a reporter giving an update for “tomorrow’s news.”

 

 Level 3 sex offender arrested for failing to report going online, having Facebook account Thu, 14 Dec 2017 19:47:53 +0000
Police arrested a level 3 sex offender they say failed to report that he had internet access and had a Facebook account.

NORTH GREENBUSH, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Police arrested a level 3 sex offender they say failed to report that he had internet access and had a Facebook account.

Richard Hansen, 77, of Wynantskill, N.Y., was charged with violating a correctial law that requires a sex offender to report internet accounts and access to the internet within 10 days.

He was remanded to Rensselaer County Jail without bail.