Albany News Binghamton News Syracuse News Buffalo/Rochester News

Select a news source:
 News Channel 13

Albany Times-Union

Vermont Bennington Banner

FOX 23 Albany

News10 Albany>

Albany Traffic

Capital TWC News

CBS 6 Albany

Weather

NEWS10 ABC    
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: Thu, 29 Jun 2017 12:14:39 GMT

 DEC warns of dangerous, invasive weed Thu, 29 Jun 2017 02:07:10 +0000
Officials are warning those who spend a lot of time outdoors to keep an eye out for a dangerous plant potentially making its way to the Capi…

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Officials are warning those who spend a lot of time outdoors to keep an eye out for a dangerous plant potentially making its way to the Capital Region.

“They want to see the beauty, and I don’t think you always stop to think that some of it is pretty but could be dangerous, potentially,” Janice Floyd, of Brunswick, said.

Floyd loves to walk outdoors and take in the scenery, but she doesn’t always know what she’s looking at.

“You don’t know if they’re flowers or they’re weeds, but I think not knowing that, you just stay away from things,” she said.

One plant that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation urges you stay away from is the Giant Hogweed, a very dangerous, invasive weed. The sap from the Hogweed can cause serious burns to the skin and blindness if it gets into the eyes.

Andrew Krug lives in West Sand Lake. With a 3-year-old son who enjoys playing outside, he finds the Giant Hogweed concerning.

“It’s definitely something to be scared about,” he said. “It’s definitely not sounding like a simple rash that you would get.”

According to the DEC, the Giant Hogweed can grow to be 14 ft. tall, its stem is green with purple blotches and coarse white hairs, it has large leaves, and it’s topped off with a cluster of white flowers.

While the plant is more prevalent in the western part of the state, it has moved to the Capital Region over the years. It may be near streams, in fields, forests or on the sides of roads.

If you see what you believe to be a Giant Hogweed, you’re urged to contact the DEC.

 Uber and Lyft begin services in Upstate NY Thu, 29 Jun 2017 10:30:52 +0000
Uber and Lyft are finally here.

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Uber and Lyft are finally here.

New York State law allowing ride-sharing services to expand beyond the Big Apple (NYC) went into effect at 12:01 Thursday morning.

The apps went live just after midnight.

An important safety reminder, be sure to check the emblem on the window of the car to make sure it is an official ride sharing vehicle before you climb in the car.

The original legislation said it would start July 9th, but lawmakers worked out a deal to start earlier for the 4th of July.

If you’re at home and have already experienced your first Uber/Lyft ride here in the Capital Region, go ahead and Tweet or Facebook NEWS10 ABC’s Samantha DiMascio and share your experience and we can share those throughout the days as well.

 Capital Region gearing up for the start of ridesharing services Thu, 29 Jun 2017 01:05:30 +0000
Ridesharing services are about to debut in Upstate New York.

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Ridesharing services are about to debut in Upstate New York.

Ridesharing services officially begin on June 29 in Upstate New York and Long Island. Capital Region bar patrons said it couldn’t come soon enough.

“The number one complaint is always the taxi service in Albany,” bartender Joe Trisigni said.

Services like Uber and Lyft are beginning earlier than originally scheduled after officials pushed for a bill that would allow them on the streets before the July 4 holiday.

“The Capital Region has a long service of very poor taxi service,” Assemblyman Phil Steck said. “I get a lot of complaints from constituents.”

Safety is another concern with taxis, according to one University at Albany student.

“The taxi services treat us pretty badly,” Gabriella DiSanto said. “They would drop us off on different spots on campus. Me, personally, one time they dropped me off on the complete opposite side of campus. It was 3:30 in the morning, and I had to walk back to my dorm room by myself.”

DiSanto wasn’t the only one who will begin using Uber this week. UAlbany student Lea Stepakoff said the convenience of calling a ride with the touch of your finger can’t be beat.

“It’s definitely safe; it’s reliable,” she said. “I’m able to handle all my credit card payments that I plug in through the app.”

Another local will be behind the wheel when the apps launch.

“I signed up a few months ago when they first announced they were coming up here,” Ed VanWagner said. “I mean, a ride to Albany Med is probably $35. I’m sure with Uber it’ll be a lot cheaper.”

On Wednesday, the New York Department of Motor Vehicles announced that it approved more than 20,000 drivers for Uber and Lyft ridesharing services.

Anyone using the service should ensure the emblem on the window of the car is an official ridesharing vehicle.

The New York DMV compiled a list of FAQs for ride sharing passengers, applicants, drivers and local governments.

 

 Local county working to #breakthestigma to stop police suicides Wed, 28 Jun 2017 22:35:42 +0000
In the last month, New York has lost three police officers to suicide, including one from the Capital Region.

LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – In the last month, New York has lost three police officers to suicide, including one from the Capital Region.

Police officers see the worst of society every single day. They run into danger while everyone else runs away.

One local county is going the extra mile to help identify what the stress and trauma is doing to officers and then helping them through it.

“I was going to shoot myself that night,” Tom said. “He actually talked me out of it. I didn’t really want to die; I just wanted the pain to go away.”

Tom is a local police officer with more than 10 years on the job.

“You may see a car accident once a year; I may see three or four a day,” he said. “You name the horror, and we see it. You don’t just walk away with that. You don’t just say, ‘I’m all set.’ You take part of that with you.”

That pain piled on Tom as it has so many officers until it became so great he wanted to die. Warren County Officer Jimmy Banish is the man who saved Tom’s life.

“And every time we save a life, I call my mom and say, ‘Mom, we saved another one,’” Banish said.

Helping others has been Banish’s sole goal since one of his brothers, NYSP Trooper Joe Banish, took his own life nine years ago. He has basically worked two full time jobs: a deputy on patrol and a peer support counselor saving the officers he could.

“Everything travels at light speed, and why aren’t we when it comes to getting ourselves help,” Banish said.

“There were signs on my job that I was going downhill,” Tom said. “Everybody pretty much ignored it. Figured it would go away. You don’t talk about it. You’re a cop. Deal with it.”

Retired Police Capt. John Cooney presented a mental health first aid class to officers in Warren County.

“Things that your department provides you to protect your well-being every day include vest, Taser, pepper spray,” he told the class. “But what do we have beyond our ballistic vest? We have our heart. We have our soul. And that is one thing law enforcement does not do a good job with, and I’ll say it.”

The class is a first step to opening the door into the dark shadows of depression. But it is Warren County Sheriff Bud York who is really pulling back the curtain.

“It’s already making a difference, absolutely,” he said.

York asked the county for another deputy so he could make Banish a full-time peer support counselor.

“He’s a pioneer,” Banish said. “This doesn’t happen every day.”

Warren County is the first small agency in the state to have a full-time counselor.

“We have some great people who are working with me, and the momentum is shifting, and we are getting more people by the day,” Banish said.

To save more people like Tom.

“Just ask for help,” Tom said. “It’s okay. It’s okay to not be okay.”

The good news is the younger generation of officers is more open to getting help, according to Banish. In addition, the younger officers are more likely to use social media, including #breakthestigma

 Hundreds attend fundraiser in support of teen with rare genetic disease Thu, 29 Jun 2017 01:13:50 +0000
A huge show of support was on display for a local high school student suffering from a rare, genetic disease.

EAST GREENBUSH, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A huge show of support was on display for a local high school student suffering from a rare, genetic disease.

Hundreds of people attended a ziti fundraiser at the Phillips Road Firehouse in East Greenbush on Wednesday in support of Amanda Palma.

The 14 year old was diagnosed with Friedreich’s ataxia. The disease has no cure, and over time, it attacks mobility, eyesight, hearing and speech as well as other symptoms.

A group of her teenage friends took it upon themselves to raise money to help her family with added expenses, including a wheelchair accessible van and modifications to their home.

 Partial US travel restrictions going into effect Thursday Thu, 29 Jun 2017 11:28:27 +0000
The Trump administration has set new criteria for visa applicants from six mainly Muslim nations and all refugees that require a “close” fam…

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration has set new criteria for visa applicants from six mainly Muslim nations and all refugees that require a “close” family or business tie to the United States. The move came after the Supreme Court partially restored President Donald Trump’s executive order that was widely criticized as a ban on Muslims.

Visas that have already been approved will not be revoked, but instructions issued by the State Department Wednesday said that new applicants from Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran and Yemen must prove a relationship with a parent, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling already in the United States to be eligible. The same requirement, with some exceptions, holds for would-be refugees from all nations that are still awaiting approval for admission to the U.S.

Grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, fiancees or other extended family members are not considered to be close relationships, according to the guidelines that were issued in a cable sent to all U.S. embassies and consulates late on Wednesday. The new rules take effect at 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Thursday (0000GMT on Friday), according to the cable, which was obtained by The Associated Press.

As far as business or professional links are concerned, the State Department said a legitimate relationship must be “formal, documented and formed in the ordinary course rather than for the purpose of evading” the ban. Journalists, students, workers or lecturers who have valid invitations or employment contracts in the U.S. would be exempt from the ban. The exemption does not apply to those who seek a relationship with an American business or educational institution purely for the purpose of avoiding the rules, the cable said. A hotel reservation or car rental contract, even if it was pre-paid, would also not count, it said.

Consular officers may grant other exemptions to applicants from the six nations if they have “previously established significant contacts with the United States;” ″significant business or professional obligations” in the U.S.; if they are an infant, adopted child or in need of urgent medical care; if they are traveling for business with a recognized international organization or the U.S. government or if they are a legal resident of Canada who applies for a visa in Canada, according to the cable.

Meanwhile, the Middle East’s biggest airline says its flights to the United States are operating as normal. Dubai-based Emirates said in response to questions on the travel ban Thursday that it “remains guided by the US Customs and Border Protection on this matter.”

The carrier reminded passengers that they “must possess the appropriate travel documents, including a valid US entry visa, in order to travel.”

On Monday, the Supreme Court partially lifted lower court injunctions against Trump’s executive order that had temporarily banned visas for citizens of the six countries. The justices’ ruling exempted applicants from the ban if they could prove a “bona fide relationship” with a U.S. person or entity, but the court offered only broad guidelines — suggesting they would include a relative, job offer or invitation to lecture in the U.S. — as to how that should be defined.

Senior officials from the departments of State, Justice and Homeland Security had labored since the decision to clarify the ruling and Wednesday’s instructions were the result. The new guidance will remain in place until the Supreme Court issues a final ruling on the matter. Arguments before the justices will not be held until at least October, so the interim rules will remain in place at least until the fall.

Shortly after taking office, Trump ordered the refugee ban and a travel ban affecting the six countries, plus Iraq. He said it was needed to protect the U.S. from terrorists, but opponents said it was unfairly harsh and was intended to meet his campaign promise to keep Muslims out of the United States.

After a federal judge struck down the bans, Trump signed a revised order intended to overcome legal hurdles. That was also struck down by lower courts, but the Supreme Court’s action Monday partially reinstated it.

The initial travel ban led to chaos at airports around the world, but because the guidelines exempt previously issued visas, similar problems are not expected. After a judge blocked the original ban, Trump issued a scaled-down order and the court’s action Monday further reduced the number of people who would be covered by it. Also, while the initial order took effect immediately, adding to the confusion, this one was delayed 72 hours after the court’s ruling.

Under the new rules, would-be immigrants from the six countries who won a coveted visa in the government’s diversity lottery — a program that randomly awards 50,000 green cards annually to people from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States — will also have to prove they have a “bona fide relationship” with in the U.S. or are eligible for another waiver or face being banned for at least 90 days. That hurdle may be a difficult one for those immigrants to overcome, as many visa lottery winners don’t have relatives in the U.S. or jobs in advance of arriving in the country.

Generally, winners in the diversity lottery only need prove they were born in an eligible county and have completed high school or have at least two years of work experience in an occupation that requires at least two other years of training or experience.

 Cardinal takes leave from Vatican after sex assault charges Thu, 29 Jun 2017 11:18:59 +0000
Cardinal George Pell, one of Pope Francis’ top advisers, took a leave of absence as the Vatican’s financial czar on Thursday to fight multip…

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Cardinal George Pell, one of Pope Francis’ top advisers, took a leave of absence as the Vatican’s financial czar on Thursday to fight multiple criminal charges in his native Australia that allege he committed sexual assault years ago.

Pell appeared before reporters in the Vatican press office to forcefully deny the accusations, denounce what he called a “relentless character assassination” in the media and announce he would return to Australia to clear his name.

“I repeat that I am innocent of these charges. They are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me,” Pell said.

The Vatican said the leave takes effect immediately and that Pell will not participate in any public liturgical event while it is in place. Pell said he intends to eventually return to Rome to resume his work as prefect of the Vatican’s economy ministry.

Pell, 76, is the highest-ranking Vatican official ever to be charged in the church’s long-running sexual abuse scandal, and the developments pose a major and immediate new obstacle for Francis as he works to reform the Vatican.

Victoria state Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton announced the charges Thursday, saying police had summonsed Pell to appear in court to face multiple counts of “historical sexual assault offenses,” meaning offenses that generally occurred some time ago. Patton said there are multiple complainants against Pell, but gave no other details on the allegations against the cardinal.

Pell was ordered to appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 18.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said the Holy See had learned with “regret” of the charges and that the work of Pell’s office would continue in his absence, albeit only its “ordinary” affairs.

In a statement he read to reporters while sitting beside Pell, Burke said the Vatican respected Australia’s justice system but recalled that the cardinal had “openly and repeatedly condemned as immoral and intolerable” acts of sexual abuse against minors.

He noted that Pell had cooperated with Australia’s Royal Commission investigation into sex abuse and that as a bishop in Australia, he worked to protect children and compensate victims.

“The Holy Father, who has appreciated Cardinal Pell’s honesty during his three years of work in the Roman Curia, is grateful for his collaboration,” Burke added.

The charges were announced on a major Catholic feast day, when many of the world’s cardinals were already in Rome for a ceremony Wednesday to elevate five new cardinals. As Pell spoke to reporters, preparations were underway in St. Peter’s Square for a huge Mass that Pell had been expected to jointly celebrate, but he stood down after the charges were announced.

For years, Pell has faced allegations that he mishandled cases of clergy abuse when he was archbishop of Melbourne and, later, Sydney. But more recently, Pell himself became the focus of a clergy sex abuse investigation, with Victoria detectives flying to the Vatican last year to interview the cardinal. It is unclear what allegations the charges announced Thursday relate to, but two men, now in their 40s, have said previously that Pell touched them inappropriately at a swimming pool in the late 1970s, when Pell was a senior priest in Melbourne.

Patton told reporters in Melbourne that none of the allegations against Pell has been tested in any court, adding: “Cardinal Pell, like any other defendant, has a right to due process.”

The charges are a new and serious blow to Pope Francis, who has already suffered several credibility setbacks in his promised “zero tolerance” policy about sex abuse.

They will also further complicate Francis’ financial reform efforts at the Vatican, which were already strained by Pell’s repeated clashes with the Italian-dominated bureaucracy. Just last week, one of Pell’s top allies, the Vatican’s auditor general, resigned without explanation two years into a five-year term, immediately raising questions about whether the reform effort was doomed.

In his statement, Burke said Pell’s economy secretariat would continue working in his absence until other provisions are decided.

A prolonged absence, however, would require Francis to make other provisions, since it is unclear if the office could, for example, issue the Holy See’s annual financial statement without Pell’s imprimateur.

Pell’s actions as archbishop came under intense scrutiny in recent years by a government-authorized investigation into how the Catholic Church and other institutions have responded to the sexual abuse of children. Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse — the nation’s highest form of inquiry — has found shocking levels of abuse in Australia’s Catholic Church, revealing earlier this year that 7 percent of Catholic priests were accused of sexually abusing children over the past several decades.

Last year, Pell acknowledged during his testimony to the commission that the Catholic Church had made “enormous mistakes” in allowing thousands of children to be raped and molested by priests. He conceded that he, too, had erred by often believing the priests over victims who alleged abuse. And he vowed to help end a rash of suicides that has plagued church abuse victims in his Australian hometown of Ballarat.

But he nevertheless became something of a scapegoat in Australia for all that went wrong with the Catholic Church in its mishandling of the sex abuse scandal. His flight to Rome to head Francis’ reform effort had been viewed by many of his critics as an attempt to avoid justice.

The Australian public has been riveted by the investigation, and news of his charges sparked a media frenzy. Both the police announcement and Pell’s statement from the Vatican were carried live across the country.

Australia has no extradition treaty with the Vatican. But in a statement from the Sydney Archdiocese, Pell said he would return to Australia “as soon as possible,” following advice and approval by his doctors. Last year, Pell declined to return to Australia to testify for the third time before the Royal Commission, saying he was too ill to fly. He instead testified via video conference from Rome.

The Blue Knot Foundation, an Australian support group for adult survivors of childhood abuse, said the decision to charge Pell sent a powerful message to both abuse survivors and society as a whole.

“It upholds that no one is above the law, no matter how high their office, qualifications, or standing,” the group’s head of research, Pam Stavropoulos, said in a statement.

But actually proving the charges may be difficult. The prosecution must prove that the sex offenses occurred beyond a reasonable doubt, which can be difficult when so much time has passed, said Lisa Flynn, national manager of Shine Lawyers’ abuse law practice in Australia.

The charges put the pope in a thorny position. In 2014, Francis won cautious praise from victims’ advocacy groups when he created a commission of outside experts to advise him and the broader church about “best practices” to fight abuse and protect children.

But the commission has since lost much of its credibility after its two members who were survivors of abuse left. Francis also scrapped the commission’s signature proposal — a tribunal section to hear cases of bishops who covered up for abuse — after Vatican officials objected.

In addition, Francis drew heated criticism for his 2015 appointment of a Chilean bishop accused by victims of helping cover up for Chile’s most notorious pedophile. The pope was later caught on videotape labeling the parishioners who opposed the nomination “leftists” and “stupid.”

Asked last year about the accusations against Pell, Francis said he would wait for Australian justice to take its course before speaking or casting judgment himself.

It remained unclear if Pell would face a church trial stemming from the accusations. The Vatican has clear-cut guidelines about initiating a canonical investigation if there is a semblance of truth to sex abuse accusations against a cleric. In the case of a cardinal, it would fall to Francis himself to judge. Penalties for a guilty verdict in a church trial include defrocking.

 Australian police charge Vatican cardinal with sex offenses Thu, 29 Jun 2017 00:36:47 +0000
Australian police charged a top Vatican cardinal on Thursday with multiple counts of historical sexual assault offenses, a stunning decision…

SYDNEY (AP) — Australian police charged a top Vatican cardinal on Thursday with multiple counts of historical sexual assault offenses, a stunning decision certain to rock the highest levels of the Holy See.

Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis’ chief financial adviser and Australia’s most senior Catholic, is the highest-ranking Vatican official to ever be charged in the church’s long-running sexual abuse scandal.

Victoria state Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said police have summonsed Pell to appear in an Australian court to face multiple charges of “historic sexual offenses,” meaning offenses that generally occurred some time ago. Patton said there are multiple complainants against Pell, but gave no other details on the allegations against the cardinal. Pell was ordered to appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court on July 18.

Pell has repeatedly denied all abuse allegations made against him. The Catholic Church in Australia, which issues statements on Pell’s behalf, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the charges.

“It is important to note that none of the allegations that have been made against Cardinal Pell have, obviously, been tested in any court yet,” Patton told reporters in Melbourne. “Cardinal Pell, like any other defendant, has a right to due process.”

The charges are a new and serious blow to Pope Francis, who has already suffered several credibility setbacks in his promised “zero tolerance” policy about sex abuse.

For years, Pell has faced allegations that he mishandled cases of clergy abuse when he was archbishop of Melbourne and, later, Sydney. His actions as archbishop came under intense scrutiny in recent years by a government-authorized investigation into how the Catholic Church and other institutions have responded to the sexual abuse of children. Australia’s years-long Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse — the nation’s highest form of inquiry — has found shocking levels of abuse in Australia’s Catholic Church, revealing earlier this year that 7 percent of Catholic priests were accused of sexually abusing children over the past several decades.

Last year, Pell acknowledged during his testimony to the commission that the Catholic Church had made “enormous mistakes” in allowing thousands of children to be raped and molested by priests. He conceded that he, too, had erred by often believing the priests over victims who alleged abuse. And he vowed to help end a rash of suicides that has plagued church abuse victims in his Australian hometown of Ballarat.

But more recently, Pell himself became the focus of a clergy sex abuse investigation.

 

 6/28 Pet Connection: David Hasselhop Wed, 28 Jun 2017 22:05:25 +0000
Mohawk Hudson Humane Society 518-434-8128

David Hasselhop – 3 year old rabbit

David came to us because he was living with too many and not being well cared for. His friends at the Humane Society fixed up his ears because they were badly infected and now he’s ready for his new life to start.

Rabbits are very smart and can make great pets.

David wants you to know that he has many other small friends at the Humane Society, including birds and hamsters. Come on down and see everyone today!

Mohawk Hudson Humane Society 518-434-8128

 Carl Paladino school board hearings wrapping up Wed, 28 Jun 2017 21:02:18 +0000
Hearings to remove disgraced Buffalo School Board Member Carl Paladino are wrapping up in Albany on Wednesday.

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Hearings to remove disgraced Buffalo School Board Member Carl Paladino wrapped up in Albany on Wednesday.

He’s the former candidate for New York Governor who made what many perceived to be as racist remarks about Former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

Paladino is accused of sharing information about teacher contract negotiations discussed in closed-door sessions.

His lawyers say he described is displeasure with the teachers’ contracts but didn’t admit to any wrongdoing in discussing it after it was approved.

The school board’s attorney disagrees.

“I mean it’s just nonsense,” Frank Miller, Buffalo School Board Attorney, said. “If it means that at any time a person makes an argument that somehow the public interest is going to be served by betraying the confidence, then there’s never going to be anything confidential.”

Paladino says board members really want him out because of the comments he made about the former President and First Lady.

He publicly insulted them, even telling a newspaper he wanted to see the president dead of mad cow disease.

The state’s education commissioner is expected to make a decision on Paladino’s fate in the coming weeks.