Saturday, October 29, 2011
Anchor: Erica Coghill
Friday, October 28, 2011
Anchor: Christina Hartman
Anchor: Christina Hartman
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Today's additions include: Public Assistance: Oneida County
The Public Assistance declaration makes federal funding available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by Tropical Storm Lee. Oneida County was previously declared for Individual Assistance.
The counties currently eligible for assistance from Tropical Storm Lee are as follows:
Individual Assistance (Assistance to individuals and households): Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Fulton, Herkimer, Oneida, Orange, Otsego, Schenectady, Schoharie, Tioga and Ulster.
Public Assistance (Assistance for debris removal, emergency protective actions and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities): Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Orange, Otsego, Schenectady, Schoharie, Tioga, Tompkins and Ulster.
Individual Assistance (Assistance to individuals and households): Albany, Bronx, Clinton, Columbia, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Herkimer, Kings, Montgomery, Nassau, Orange, Queens, Rensselaer, Richmond, Rockland, Otsego, Putnam, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster, Warren, Washington, and Westchester.
Public Assistance (Assistance for debris removal, emergency protective actions and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities): Albany, Bronx, Clinton, Columbia, Delaware, Dutchess, Essex, Franklin, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Kings, Montgomery, Nassau, New York, Orange, Otsego, Putnam, Queens, Rensselaer, Richmond, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Sullivan, Suffolk, Ulster, Warren, Washington, and Westchester.
All counties in the State of New York are eligible to apply for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (Assistance for actions taken to prevent or reduce long term risk to life and property from natural hazards).
Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin applying for assistance by registering online athttp://www.DisasterAssistance.
Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
Additional counties may be made eligible for federal assistance as ongoing damage assessments are completed.
Image courtesy of http://www.freeclipartnow.com
Photo source: The White House
WASHINGTON, DC – Katharine Abraham, Member of the Council of Economic Advisors, issued the following statement today.
Today’s report shows that the economy posted the ninth straight quarter of positive growth, as real GDP (the total amount of goods and services produced in the country) grew at a 2.5 percent annual rate in the third quarter of this year.
The level of real GDP now exceeds its level at the business cycle peak in the fourth quarter of 2007. While the continued expansion is encouraging, faster growth clearly is needed to replace the jobs lost in the recent downturn and to reduce long-term unemployment.
Notable strength in the third quarter included business investment, which grew 16.3 percent at an annual rate. Residential construction increased 2.4 percent at an annual rate, and was up 1.6 percent during the past four quarters, the first positive four-quarter percent change since 2006 except for a brief period when the home buyer tax credit was active.
Positive contributions to real GDP growth included consumer spending (1.7 percentage point), fixed investment (1.6 percentage point), and net exports (0.2 percentage point). Inventory investment subtracted 1.1 percentage point from real GDP growth.
We are, nonetheless, at a fragile moment in the world economy, and cannot afford to do anything to undermine our economic recovery. That’s why the President continues to urge Congress to pass the American Jobs Act without delay.
The American Jobs Act includes measures that would accelerate the recovery, including extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance, keeping teachers in the classroom and police and firefighters on the beat, and investing in our nation’s infrastructure to help put Americans back to work.
Independent economists say it could increase employment by up to 1.9 million, increase growth and lower the unemployment rate. This report also underscores the need to put in place a balanced approach to deficit reduction that phases in budget cuts, instills confidence, and allows us to live within our means without shortchanging future growth.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Photo source: U.S. House of Representatives
Author: U.S. House of Representatives
Permission: Public Domain
This enforcement push was the latest effort in a crackdown on bus safety that Governor Cuomo launched last March.
The recent two-week inspection initiative was conducted in conjunction with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and police agencies across the state from September 23 to October 7.
"Since March, we have conducted more than 5,000 inspections to make sure that bus drivers and their vehicles are fit to operate in New York State," Governor Cuomo said.
"The bus industry is a critical element of our transportation system and the many New Yorkers who rely upon it need to know they will reach their destinations safely."
"We all benefit when strong enforcement gets unsafe drivers or vehicles off the road, allowing good drivers and their passengers to travel our highways with confidence," said State Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald.
Superintendent of State Police Joseph A. D'Amico commented, "People should feel safe when they ride on a bus, and we will be doing whatever we can to ensure that those buses are safe. The bus initiative is just part of our comprehensive Commercial Vehicle Safety Plan targeting unsafe vehicles and drivers on New York's highways."
In response to Governor Cuomo's bus safety directive last spring, state Department of Transportation inspectors, New York State troopers, and other law enforcement officials have conducted 5,166 roadside bus inspections, removing 530 drivers and 460 vehicles from the road.
In addition, New York State Police have issued more than 550 moving violations to bus drivers.
Roadside checks conducted in the New York City area continue to produce the greatest number of drivers and vehicles with serious violations. Of the 2,437 roadside bus inspections conducted there since March, 379 drivers and 387 vehicles have been taken out of service.
Since New York's inspection initiative began earlier this year, the National Transportation Safety Board announced that it will be conducting a review of the safety system governing the discount tour bus industry.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also announced that it moved up its national bus inspection operations to assist states in conducting roadside checks of motor coaches and their drivers.
As part of the state's effort to enhance commercial bus safety, the Cuomo Administration in July announced that the Department of Transportation suspended the operating licenses of eight poor-performing charter tour bus operators.
The companies had failed three or more roadside inspections of buses or drivers in the previous six months, failed their scheduled semi-annual bus inspections, or received a federal out-of-service order.
Two of these companies closed operations, one gave up its license to operate within New York State, and five were required to take immediate corrective actions regarding their drivers and vehicle maintenance in order to regain their New York licenses.
In addition to the bus safety crackdown, investigators with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles continue to look for bus drivers who may fraudulently obtain multiple driver licenses using aliases.
Facial recognition technology is used to identify individuals who have a valid Commercial Driver License in one name and additional driver license documents in another.
The state Department of Transportation conducts more than 160,000 routine bus safety inspections annually and works with the State Police to conduct more than 120,000 roadside inspections of buses and trucks each year.
These regular roadside bus inspections are conducted throughout the year, but have been intensified in the wake of recent bus crashes to ensure that buses and drivers are in compliance with regulations.
Roadside safety inspections are over and above regularly-scheduled inspections, which are conducted on each vehicle at least every six months -- twice the number required by federal law. Regularly-scheduled inspections are performed on school, charter, line-run commercial, ambulette, and airport buses.
On Saturday, March 12, 2011, a bus traveling from Connecticut carrying 32 passengers crashed on the Westchester County/Bronx border, killing 15 passengers.
New York State Police and the National Transportation Safety Board continue with the investigation into the crash.
Only days later, on Monday, March 14, 2011, another bus traveling from New York City to Philadelphia crashed in New Jersey, killing the driver and a passenger.
The New York State Police and Department of Transportation strongly encourage travelers considering bus transportation to visit the website of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website to review carriers' safety records, at http://www.ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also encourages the public to report unsafe carriers and incidents to its safety hotline at 1-888-DOT-SAFT or online at http://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov.
Anchor: Zach Toombs
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Anchor: Ana Compain-Romero