Purifying maple syrup in the Hudson Valley

This week on the Innovation Trail we'll introduce you to a one-of-a-kind maple syrup producer in Dutchess County. The condiment goes hand-in-hand with pancakes but at Madava Farms the people at Crown Maple are hoping to change the way we think about the all-natural sweetener.
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Matt Ryan/WMHT

The Keene barn: A photographer's best friend

On our way back from reporting on a story in the Adirondacks, we passed a familiar sight off of Route 73 in Essex County. If you've traveled that same stretch of highway on your way to Lake Placid, you've probably passed it too. The old Keene barn is a photographer's delight, no matter the season. If your still looking for that perfect shot, though, you better hurry. It's reaching the end of its life and there is nothing anybody can do about it. Watch our full story here. It starts at the 21...
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The leader of the State Senate says raising the minimum wage is now out of the state budget, setting up a potential  conflict with the state assembly as the budget deadline draws near.

Add the minimum wage to a growing list of items that have been dropped from the state budget.

Senate Republican Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who’s been against Governor Cuomo’s proposal to further increase the minimum wage to $11.50 downstate and $10.50 upstate, says, the proposal won’t be part of the final state spending plan. 

Photo: Matt Ryan / WMHT

Governor Cuomo and the legislature are considering a  commission to design a new teacher evaluation plan, in order to break an impasse over the state budget. But even some lawmakers admit that the compromise is just kicking the can down the road.

Cuomo has demanded that education policy changes be passed along with the state budget, or he’ll hold up school aid increases.

Governor Cuomo and the legislature are making progress on the budget. Cuomo, after a private meeting with Senate Republicans, says he’s closer to an agreement on ethics reform, but the governor is getting some criticism for dropping some items out of the budget, including the Dream Act.

The governor made a rare visit to the Senate Republican conference meeting room where he says he talked about how to come to agreement on ethics reform. Cuomo signaled that he’s willing to make some concessions on his demands that legislators who practice private law identify their clients.

A protest to raise the minimum wage drew hundreds to the state Capitol, and included a brief occupation of the building’s Dunkin Donuts. Governor Cuomo and state lawmakers are considering hiking the minimum wage in the new budget, but protesters say it is not enough.

Matt Ryan/WMHT

With just over a week until the state budget is due, there’s pressure to drop a number of unrelated items in Governor Cuomo’s state spending plan.

Cuomo has tied ethics reform and education policy changes to the budget, and threatened to hold up the spending plan if the legislature does not agree.  

Photo: Matt Ryan / WMHT

  A new poll finds voters disagree with most of Governor Andrew’s Cuomo’s tactics during the current budget negotiations. Cuomo has tied ethics reform and education policy changes to the budget, and threated to hold up the spending plan if the legislature does not agree.  

A Siena College poll finds that, while New Yorkers think ethics reform and school funding are important, they don’t want the issues linked to the budget, and they say an on time spending plan is important to them, says Siena’s Steve Greenberg.

Matt Ryan/WMHT

There’s still no final three way deal on an ethics reform proposal at the State Capitol.  And reform groups say a proposal offered by Governor Cuomo and the state Assembly does not go far enough.

The plan by Cuomo and Assembly Democrats requires that lawmakers disclose the source of all outside income they receive above $1000. Lawyers must reveal the names of their clients if they earn more than $5000. They would also have to prove they are actually in Albany, through an electronic monitoring system, before receiving their expense payments.

  Teachers from the Finger Lakes traveled to Albany Friday to deliver one thousand local apples to Governor Cuomo. The purpose was not to share in the bounty of the agricultural region, but to make a point about what they say is the governor’s lack of commitment to school spending.

Mike Prusinowski is a high school science teacher in Canandaigua . He says each apple represents a teaching job lost because of funding cuts, and an apple that would otherwise be delivered by a student to their teacher.   

Matt Ryan/WMHT

There’s just about a week and a half left before the budget deadline, and Governor Cuomo and lawmakers remain at odds over a number of issues, including whether ethics disclosure rules should apply to Governor Cuomo as well as the legislature. They also disagree on a number of education reform proposals .

With about ten days left to go until the deadline, the Senate and Assembly called a public budget conference meeting.

Governor Cuomo and the Speaker of the Assembly say they hope the State Senate will sign on to their joint proposal for ethics reform, as a new poll finds the governor with dropping job approval numbers.

Governor Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie took the unusual step of calling their ethics measure a “deal,” even though they need the State Senate to agree to the plan in order for it to become law.

“This is a day of progress and good news,” Cuomo said.

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