Dwindling Upstate Workforce

A Labor Day report from state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said the workforce is at its highest since before the Great Recession. However, the growth is only happening in New York City and Long Island. Furthermore, New York’s work force is older and growing at a slower rate than the rest of the nation. According to this report, 9.1 million people were employed in 2016, the highest number since 2008. The state’s unemployment rate last year was also slightly lower than the rest of the nation at 4.8 percent. The Mohawk Valley, Central New York and the North Country saw more than a 6 percent decrease in the workforce, with the Southern Tier experiencing the largest drop at 9 percent. There were bright spots in the Labor Day report, however – namely New York has slightly more women in the workforce than the national average, and that 40.6 of New York workers have bachelor’s degrees or higher, compared with 34.7 percent nationwide.


In New York State, A Glimmer Of Good News About The Opioid Crisis

Opioid deaths in most New York counties have fallen between 2015 and 2016, according to new numbers from the New York State Department of Health. Excluding New York City, there were 1,238 opioid deaths in New York State last year, compared to 1,520 deaths the year before. The apparent improvement comes amid growing use of the overdose reversal drug naloxone, which New York State plans to continue expanding. However, The New York City Health Department confirmed that unintentional overdose deaths in NYC rose from 937 in 2015 to 1,374 in 2016, and more than 80 percent of those deaths involved an opioid. This increase comes despite the city’s robust $38 million naloxone program. On a national level, in 2015, more than 50,000 Americans died of drug overdoses, with overdose deaths outpacing historical epidemics like HIV and firearm deaths during their deadliest years.


Netanyahu’s wife expected to be charged over fraud allegations

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife, Sara Netanyahu, faces indictment over allegations that she fraudulently pocketed the equivalent of $111,851 in Israeli shekels. She is expected to be charged within weeks by Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit, the newspaper Haaretz reported on its website. These allegations come after suspicion of ordering pricey chef’s meals at the prime minister’s official residence, which is against regulations. She and her husband have accused the former chief caretaker of the official residence, Meni Naftali, of inflating the expenses at the residence. The prime minister also accused Naftali of stealing food from the residence. However, a senior police official told the paper that “this phenomenon began before Naftali came to work at the residence and continued after he was fired.” Benjamin Netanyahu is also suspected of accepting illicit gifts from wealthy backers, and of creating a scheme with the daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth in which he’d get kid-glove treatment in exchange for sabotaging a competitor, the free daily, Israel Hayom.


Airmont Day on a Saturday rankles Orthodox Jewish Residents

The decision to hold this year’s Airmont Day event on a Saturday is being criticized by Sabbath-observant Jewish residents. The village scheduled the event for Sept. 16 after a survey showed that 65 percent of respondents preferred Saturday to Sunday. “It’s really meant to include everyone,” Airmont Mayor Phillip Gigante said to USA Today. “We try our best but this was in the hands of residents.” The survey was posted on the village’s Facebook page on May 15 and sent by email to about 600 residents. Copies were also placed at Village Hall and at senior club meetings. Despite three reminder posts, only 110 responses were received. Mort Becker, an Orthodox Jew who is a member of the village’s technology committee, said the email list is outdated and suggested only about three quarters of the 600 emails belong to current Airmont residents. Some felt that even considering holding the event on a Saturday meant discounting a large segment of the village’s population.


Craig Carton arrested by FBI over alleged $5.6M ticket scam

WFAN morning show co-host Craig Carton, known on Boomer & Carton, was arrested early Wednesday for duping investors out of $5.6 million to cover his gambling debts, authorities said. Carton ran up millions of dollars in losses with two casinos, plus a debt of $825,000 to an unidentified individual, court papers charged. Carton, as well as co-defendant Michael Wright, were both charged with securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy. The two could face a maximum of 45 years in prison and fines running into millions of dollars. “Behind all the talk, the Carton and Wright show was just a sham, designed to fleece investors out of millions ultimately to be spend on payments to casinos and … other personal debt,” said U.S. Attorney Joon Kim to the New York Post. Carton earns a reported $250,000 a year as the sports radio station’s morning drive-time co-host. Some of the money scammed from investors was used to repay other investors in what prosecutors described as “a Ponzi-like scheme.”


General North Korea Update

A United Nations resolution has been drafted in response to Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test. The draft calls for bans on supplying a range of oil products to North Korea and purchasing its textile exports. Kim Jong-un would also have his assets frozen, and be banned from travelling. North Korea claims to have produced a powerful hydrogen bomb small enough to fit in a long range missile. Additionally, the country recently launched a missile over populated regions of Japan. In August, a new round of sanctions banned exports including coal, costing North Korea an estimated $1 billion – about a third of its entire export economy. China has long been North Korea’s main ally, but like Russia, has supported recent sanctions in response to the countries ongoing missile tests.


NY joins 14 other states in suit over DACA

New York joined 14 other states and the District of Columbia in a federal lawsuit that will try to block President Trump’s plan to kill a program protecting young immigrants from deportation.

New York Attorney Eric Schneiderman argued in the suit, filed in Brooklyn federal court, that those protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program should be allowed to stay in the US. New York is home to nearly 42,000 people protected by DACA out of about 800,000 nationwide. The Attorney General said they pay $140 million annually in state and local taxes in New York, citing the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy. On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the DACA program will end in six months to give Congress time to find a legislative solution for the immigrants.


Update on Irma

Hurricane Irma, one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the Atlantic, hit the eastern Caribbean on Wednesday with winds up to 185 miles per hour. The storm has damaged 95 percent of Barbuda’s buildings, leaving the island barely habitable. It has reached Puerto Rico and is also threatening to hit the Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos islands. President Trump declared a state of emergency in Florida, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands. The storm is expected to reach Florida on Sunday, potentially causing catastrophic flooding. The National Hurricane Center said on Wednesday evening that Irma remains powerful and that Puerto Rico should expect hurricane conditions through Wednesday night and could see as much as 20 inches of rain in some places. The Florida Keys are particularly vulnerable as well. Monroe County, home to the Keys, began mandatory evacuations of tourists and visitors Wednesday morning. The county’s 80,000 residents were ordered to evacuate beginning Wednesday evening.

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