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Cuomo signs plastic bag ban

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Monday that will ban single-use plastic bags in New York state starting next year. WXXIs Karen DeWitt reports. As Earth Day was celebrated Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that bans single-use plastic bags in grocery stores and other retail shops in New York state. Cuomo, crumpling a plastic bag in his hand for effect, said the bags “look harmless enough” but are actually dangerous to the environment -- and New Yorkers use 23 billion of...

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Local drug cooperative agrees to $20 million settlement

19 hours ago

NEW YORK (AP)  The former head of a drug distributor has been indicted on what federal prosecutors say are the first criminal charges against a drug company executive to stem from the opioid crisis. 

The indictment unsealed Tuesday alleges former Rochester Drug Co-Operative CEO Laurence Doud III ordered subordinates to ignore red flags about certain pharmacy customers to maximize company revenues and his own pay, which more than doubled between 2012 and 2016 as the company's sales of drugs like oxycodone and fentanyl skyrocketed. 

Standing outside the abruptly closed Friendly’s in Gates on Monday, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer said laws that govern large-scale layoffs need to change.

“The way Friendly’s left their workers upstate high and dry without even a moment’s notice, is something we should lament and something that we should make sure does not happen again,” said Schumer.

A handful of former employees met with the Democrat on the restaurant’s patio.

As Earth Day was celebrated Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that bans single-use plastic bags in grocery stores and other retail shops in New York state.

Cuomo, crumpling a plastic bag in his hand for effect, said the bags “look harmless enough” but are actually dangerous to the environment -- and New Yorkers use 23 billion of them a year. They end up in landfills and on the street. Cuomo, an avid deep-sea fisherman, said they also clog up the waterways.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday signed the legislation that will ban single-use plastic bags starting in March of next year, but Wegmans has also announced that it will eliminate the use of the plastic grocery bags in its New York stores by the end of this year.

Jason Wadsworth, Wegmans' packaging and sustainability manager, said the supermarket chain wants to get ahead of the curve because of the transition that will be needed to get customers accustomed to using the reusable shopping bags.

The global demand for milk and other dairy products is expected to increase more than 50 percent in the next 30 years, but climate change is threatening the dairy industry.

Dairy cows produce less milk and are susceptible to infertility and disease when the weather is warm.

New York State and Charter Communications have reached an agreement that will allow the cable, internet and phone provider to stay in New York as long as certain requirements are met.

Last year the State Public Service Commission revoked approval of the merger between Charter (parent company of Spectrum) and Time Warner Cable. The commission contended that Charter failed to deliver on benefits to state residents that were part of the merger deal, something that Charter disputed.

New York state's population continues to decline

19 hours ago

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP & WXXI News)  New numbers from the U.S. Census show New York state's population continued to decline last year.

According to figures released Thursday, the state's total population dropped by more than 48,000 between July 1, 2017 and July 1, 2018, to a total of 19.5 million.

In the Rochester area, Monroe and Ontario counties saw slight gains; Monroe County's population, at 742,474 was up by 38 people, and Ontario, at 109,864  gained 255. Most other area counties saw small declines in population.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials without a judicial warrant may no longer enter New York courthouses in order to observe or arrest immigrants, according to new rules from the Chief Administrative Judge of the New York Unified Court System.

Immigration advocates have pushed for the change for two years, after ICE began aggressively pursuing immigrants for arrest in and around state courts.

A new effort aimed at reducing minors' use of flavored tobacco products downstate could also be expanding to the Rochester area and across New York.

The Flavors Hook Kids campaign is part of an effort to inform young people that flavored tobacco products are addictive and can hurt their health.

The effort to ban those products in New York City officially launched Wednesday, but the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network has also begun a push in Albany to ban those products statewide.

The south shore of Lake Ontario might become a national marine sanctuary.

Ellen Brody is the Great Lakes regional coordinator for NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.

"In many ways," she said via phone, "sanctuaries are like national parks in that our mission is to protect a resource."

She said this effort was spearheaded by the counties along the shore of Lake Ontario, which pushed for recognition and protection of the lake’s shipwrecks.

There are 13 other marine sanctuaries in the U.S. – but only one in the Great Lakes.

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