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Environmental Groups Slow To Seek Out Minorities

Part 1 of a series GREAT LAKES TODAY - The environmental movement started more than a century ago. Theodore Roosevelt was known as the conservation president, and there’s a famous 1903 photo of him with the Sierra Club’s founder. " That photo represented the environmental movement of Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir and this is the two of them in Yosemite National Park,” says Aaron Mair , past president of the Sierra Club – and its first black president . He sees Roosevelt and Muir as...

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The tumult in the sports world continued Monday after President Trump's incendiary remarks criticizing NFL players who have protested racial inequality during the playing of the national anthem. While the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals showed solidarity with the protesters before their Monday night football game, NASCAR figures and Olympic athletes also weighed in.

Outside of his little business on the side of the road in a small town in Loiza, Puerto Rico, Santiago Quiñones adjusts a small solar panel.

It's charging a floodlight, to illuminate the cramped space at night. He takes it down and demonstrates how it works. "You can't see right now because it's daylight, but it's already charged," he says in Spanish.

Like everyone else in Puerto Rico, 73-year-old Quiñones has lost access to the power grid. His house was also badly damaged by floodwaters when Hurricane Maria swept over the island.

Residents, tourists and climbers are being told to stay far away from Mount Agung, a large volcano in Bali where hundreds of shallow volcanic earthquakes have been recorded in recent days. The volcano's last eruption, in 1963, killed more than 1,000 people.

The Indonesian Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation raised the alarm on Friday.

When Hurricane Maria raked Puerto Rico last week as a Category 4 storm, it cut off electricity and communications island-wide, including at the Arecibo Observatory, one of the world's largest radio telescopes.

The latest Republican push to repeal key parts of the Affordable Care Act appears to have met the fate of all previous Senate repeal efforts this year — it doesn't have the votes needed to pass the chamber.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins announced Monday that she will oppose the bill, authored by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy. Collins' decision means three Republicans have now publicly said they are against the bill — and that is one more than the GOP could afford to lose.

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A push to ban the fitness supplement DMAA brought a sports hero to the capitol and parents who say they lost their son to the substance.

Senate Co Leader Jeff Klein is pressing to ban the performance enhancing supplement DMAA, also know n as Jack 3 D in New York ,saying it causes dangerous conditions like rapid heart beat, a spike in blood pressure, and in some cases, death from stroke or heart attack.

“This won’t be tolerated,” Senator Klein said.

Senate Republicans are pushing for middle class tax breaks in the new state budget, including a return to the STAR property tax rebate checks curtailed in 2009.

Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos wants to increase the tax break for dependents and the child tax credit , and return to the rebate checks for home owners part of the  STAR  property tax program. He says the average family of four could end up with $1000 more dollars each year.

“It always seems that middle income family is the family that is getting choked in this state ,” Skelos said.

Hydrofracking for natural gas is on hold in New York while the Department of Health reviews its potential health impacts. If New York permits the controversial drilling technique, one of the obstacles is how to handle the huge amounts of wastewater produced by each fracked well. In neighboring Pennsylvania, the use of privately owned treatment operations is spreading.

Governor Cuomo faces a tough choice as he continues to ponder the decision on whether to allow fracking in New York.  As Karen DeWitt reports, there’s no easy way to win for the governor.

It seems wherever Governor Cuomo goes these days, he’s followed by protesters who implore him not to allow hydro fracking in New York.  Hundreds gathered in the ornate Million Dollar staircase in the Capitol, where they listen to celebrities and actors like Mark Ruffalo, aka the Hulk.

“We’ll cream you if you open New York State to hydro fracking,” Ruffalo bellowed, to cheers.

A rally against New York’s newly enacted gun control laws drew one of the largest crowds to the State Capitol in recent decades.

With just three weeks and one day to go before a state budget deadline, Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders met to assess how far they have to go to reach a deal.

In order to meet their self imposed deadline of March 21st to complete a spending plan, Governor Cuomo and lawmakers will have to work through some thorny issues like disagreements over the state’s minimum wage and how to expand casino gambling.

“We have a number of issues on the table that are challenging,” Cuomo said. “It’s going well, but am I concerned? Yes”.

The Broome County Legislature approved a new Office of Energy Development during its meeting on Thursday, though the purpose of the office is not clear.

A leading budget watchdog group is urging rejection of a key component of Governor Cuomo’s budget plan. It would allow cities and schools to put off some payments to their pension funds.

The Governor’s proposal, known as the pension stabilization plan, would allow schools and municipalities to “smooth” out their pension payments over a 25 year period, by paying less now, but more later.

Governor Cuomo made several changes to his budget plan in 30 day amendments . As Karen DeWitt reports, the amendments range from imposing a teacher evaluation plan on New York City, to cutting the cost of hunting licenses.

Cuomo amended his budget to impose a teacher evaluation system on New York City. The Bloomberg Administration and the teacher’s union failed to reach agreement by a January deadline set by Cuomo, and the City stood to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in school aid.

The state’s largest teachers union has filed a lawsuit against the state’s property tax cap, arguing it’s unconstitutional.

New York State United Teachers President Dick Iannuzzi says the cap, passed by Cuomo and the legislature in 2011, arbitrarily limits property tax increase to 2%, regardless of whether a school district is rich or poor. The lawsuit also charges that the tax cap violates the principle of one person one vote, because a supermajority of 60% of voters is required to override the cap.

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