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Ron DeSantis Hints His Political Future: ‘I Have Just Begun To Fight’

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American Conservative Union Holds Annual Conference In Florida

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) hinted Thursday that he has a lot more expected for his political future.

DeSantis addressed some 750 Republican activists and officials at the Republican Committee of Allegheny County’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner. DeSantis was the event’s main attraction, boasting of his success and concluding his speech with a suggestion about his future ambitions.

“I will assure you this: As governor of Florida, I have just started to fight,” DeSantis said to applause, according to CNN.

Earlier in the event, a local priest prayed over the dinner, remarking that DeSantis would be an excellent choice for the next President of the United States. The crowd loudly approved.

During his message, DeSantis emphasised his fights with businesses, as well as radical activists and legislators. The governor touted recent laws tackling big tech censorship, as well as his advocacy for law enforcement and curriculum devoid of vital race theory lessons. Reader’s Ticket

DeSantis also touted Florida’s contribution to the COVID-19 pandemic. Florida has one of the lightest pandemic reactions, focusing on protecting those most susceptible to the epidemic.

“All I would say to any state that hasn’t followed suit is, open your state, open your colleges, stop these mask mandates, and let people live and thrive,” DeSantis said, according to CNN. “When it comes down to it, we opted for independence over Fauci-ism.”

DeSantis defeated Democrat Andrew Gillum for governor of Florida by around 33,000 votes in 2018. Despite the narrow margin, DeSantis has received strong encouragement from Floridians for his pandemic response and other initiatives. According to a May poll conducted by the Florida Chamber of Commerce, DeSantis has a large base of support among registered voters, with 55% approving of his leadership and 40% disapproving.

DeSantis has been a vocal critic of the Biden administration, especially President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 decision-making and rhetoric. Earlier this month, DeSantis accused the Biden administration of being “anti-science” after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention proposed a moratorium on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine due to six cases of blood clots out of 7 million vaccines.

“The truth is, saying that we need all of these limits even for widespread vaccines is an anti-science stance. Since the number of vaccinations is greater than the number of clinical trials in terms of effectiveness,” DeSantis said. “According to the CDC, over 95 million individuals have now been vaccinated. The number of patients who have been re-infected or infected since receiving a vaccine has been much less than one-tenth of one percent. This figures are just as amazing as you might wish for. So my advice is to get vaccinated and then live your life as if you’re safe. You don’t have to chafe under indefinite constraints.”

Mahesh is leading digital marketing initiatives at RecentlyHeard, a NewsFeed platform that covers news from all sectors. He develops, manages, and executes digital strategies to increase online visibility, better reach target audiences, and create engaging experience across channels. With 7+ years of experience, He is skilled in search engine optimization, content marketing, social media marketing, and advertising, and analytics.

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Ithaca man arrested for reportedly stealing credit cards, going on shopping spree in Saratoga County

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Ithaca man arrested for reportedly stealing credit cards, going on shopping spree in Saratoga County

WILTON, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York State Police in Wilton arrested Robert J. Porter, 38, of Ithaca on September 21. Police say Porter allegedly stole credit cards from vehicles and went on a $7,000 shopping spree.

Police responded to a Gansevoort residence on September 16 after they reported someone had gone through their vehicles. Police say the person had taken multiple credit cards and over $300 in cash.

The suspect proceeded to make over $7,000 in unauthorized purchases with the stolen credit cards. Police conducted interviews and obtained surveillance video from where the illegal purchases were made and were able to get a description of the suspect.

Police located the suspect sitting on a picnic table at the Stewart’s Shops on Route 9 in Moreau while on patrol and identified him as Porter. Police say he was in possession of a glass smoking pipe containing cocaine residue at the time of his arrest.

Porter has been charged with:

  • Grand larceny in the third degree (D felony)
  • Identity theft in the first degree (D felony)
  • Three counts of grand larceny in the fourth degree (E felony)
  • Criminal impersonation in the second degree (A misdemeanor)
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree (A misdemeanor).

Porter was arraigned in Wilton Town Court and remanded to Saratoga County Jail on $5,000 cash or $10,000. He is due back in court on September 28.

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Massachusetts has over 30,000 breakthrough COVID cases

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Massachusetts has over 30,000 breakthrough COVID cases

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Come Monday, it’s either vaccination or termination for those who work in state run hospitals and nursing homes. Security officers are among those who work at state hospitals who are being forced to make that decision. The lawsuit claims that the vaccine mandate goes against their constitutional rights.

In a newly filled lawsuit against Governor Kathy Hochul, Heath Commissioner Howard Zucker, and the New York State Health Department, 10 individual state hospital security officers are fighting for the option to have regular COVID tests instead of being mandated to get the vaccine. They say it’s unfair that teachers would have the option for regular testing, but they won’t.

“Students who are 12 years or younger can’t be vaccinated,” said Dennis Vacco. “Inherently, the population in schools is less vaccinated than the population in hospitals or in health care facilities. To say nothing of the fact that health care facilities are constructed to prevent the spread of illness within the facility.”

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Booster doses of COVID vaccine could be rolling-out soon

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Booster doses of COVID vaccine could be rolling-out soon

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Come Monday, it’s either vaccination or termination for those who work in state run hospitals and nursing homes. Security officers are among those who work at state hospitals who are being forced to make that decision. The lawsuit claims that the vaccine mandate goes against their constitutional rights.

In a newly filled lawsuit against Governor Kathy Hochul, Heath Commissioner Howard Zucker, and the New York State Health Department, 10 individual state hospital security officers are fighting for the option to have regular COVID tests instead of being mandated to get the vaccine. They say it’s unfair that teachers would have the option for regular testing, but they won’t.

“Students who are 12 years or younger can’t be vaccinated,” said Dennis Vacco. “Inherently, the population in schools is less vaccinated than the population in hospitals or in health care facilities. To say nothing of the fact that health care facilities are constructed to prevent the spread of illness within the facility.”

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Former Chatham clerk-treasurer pleads guilty to defrauding village

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Former Chatham clerk-treasurer pleads guilty to defrauding village

CHATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Former Chatham clerk-treasurer, Barbara Henry, 59, of Chatham has pleaded guilty to attempted official misconduct. New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says Henry unlawfully waived her own health insurance premiums at the town’s expense.

“Ms. Henry took advantage of her public position to have the taxpayers fully fund her insurance costs,” said DiNapoli. “This kind of corruption drives up costs and erodes the public trust.”

An investigation found that from April 2017 to August 2018, Henry allegedly used her position to unlawfully waive her own health insurance premiums, causing the village to pay Henry’s portion of health insurance. Henry was responsible for paying 50% of her health insurance while the village was responsible for the other 50%. She was employed by the village from late 2012 until she resigned in August of 2018. 

DiNapoli says Henry paid $3,586 in restitution for defrauding the village health insurance premiums and stealing from her other employer Cadmus Lifesharing Association, a nonprofit organization based out of Massachusetts. 

Henry was also ordered to pay a $250 fine in addition to the restitution.

This is the second criminal conviction of a village official. Former Police Chief Peter Volkmann was sentenced on July 19, 2021 to pay nearly $93,000 in restitution after his felony guilty plea to grand larceny in the fourth degree.

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‘Death by Dealer’ bill would stiffen penalties for dealers in fatal overdoses

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‘Death by Dealer’ bill would stiffen penalties for dealers in fatal overdoses

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Come Monday, it’s either vaccination or termination for those who work in state run hospitals and nursing homes. Security officers are among those who work at state hospitals who are being forced to make that decision. The lawsuit claims that the vaccine mandate goes against their constitutional rights.

In a newly filled lawsuit against Governor Kathy Hochul, Heath Commissioner Howard Zucker, and the New York State Health Department, 10 individual state hospital security officers are fighting for the option to have regular COVID tests instead of being mandated to get the vaccine. They say it’s unfair that teachers would have the option for regular testing, but they won’t.

“Students who are 12 years or younger can’t be vaccinated,” said Dennis Vacco. “Inherently, the population in schools is less vaccinated than the population in hospitals or in health care facilities. To say nothing of the fact that health care facilities are constructed to prevent the spread of illness within the facility.”

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NYC teacher COVID vaccine mandate moves forward after judge’s ruling

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NYC teacher COVID vaccine mandate moves forward after judge's ruling

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Come Monday, it’s either vaccination or termination for those who work in state run hospitals and nursing homes. Security officers are among those who work at state hospitals who are being forced to make that decision. The lawsuit claims that the vaccine mandate goes against their constitutional rights.

In a newly filled lawsuit against Governor Kathy Hochul, Heath Commissioner Howard Zucker, and the New York State Health Department, 10 individual state hospital security officers are fighting for the option to have regular COVID tests instead of being mandated to get the vaccine. They say it’s unfair that teachers would have the option for regular testing, but they won’t.

“Students who are 12 years or younger can’t be vaccinated,” said Dennis Vacco. “Inherently, the population in schools is less vaccinated than the population in hospitals or in health care facilities. To say nothing of the fact that health care facilities are constructed to prevent the spread of illness within the facility.”

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New York hospitals, nursing homes dread ‘massive exodus’ after vaccine deadline

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New York hospitals, nursing homes dread ‘massive exodus’ after vaccine deadline

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Nursing homes and hospitals statewide are facing a lot of stress as the state vaccine mandate for healthcare workers goes into effect in just five days.

On September 27, most health care workers will have to have at least one shot of the COVID vaccine or they could lose their job. The mandate could affect a lot of hospitals and long-term care facilities that still have unvaccinated staff members.

“I’m really fearful that we could see 20% of the workforce leave hospitals or long-term care,” said Ann Marie Cook, the President and CEO of Lifespan, which provides services for again adults and their caregivers. “We could see a massive exodus of workers in the short term.”

Check out the state data about vaccination rates at local adult care and skilled nursing facilities:

% of unvaccinated staff at skilled nursing facilities % of staff unvaccinated staff at adult care facilities
Albany 11% 7%
Columbia 25% 10%
Dutchess 18% 24%
Fulton 20% 9%
Greene 15% 11%
Herkimer 19% 14%
Montgomery 17% 17%
Rensselaer 25% 14%
Saratoga 10% 14%
Schenectady 13% 7%
Schoharie 53%
Ulster 20% 19%
Warren 25% 17%
Washington 15% 16%

“I feel like we’re in a pending crisis and we have to think about this and figure out a way how we’re going to care for people,” Cook said. “I have been hearing rumors that a lot of those facilities have stopped taking admissions now to prepare for the fact that maybe 40% of their workforce—hopefully less—will leave the facility.” 

Cook said with places not taking new patients, she worries about those who need care down the road. “Many older adults once they go into hospital need a rehab stay before they can go home. If some of the long-term care facilities aren’t accepting new admissions, how will older adults go home safely without rehabilitation?” she said. “Long-term care just doesn’t have the staff to care for them. It’s one of those terrible problems where it’s nobody’s fault. But the solutions are not easy to figure out.”

Nursing homes won’t be the only entities impacted by staffing shortages. Hospitals are expected to as well. Some hospital workers say they’ve been having conversations with coworkers who may be hesitant to get the vaccine. “This is obviously a very sensitive topic,” said Chris Burleigh, a Nurse Manager in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Strong Memorial Hospital. “It’s very controversial, and we are not afraid of those conversations. We are willing to have those conversations and engage with those conversations, but we all need to be kind to each other.”

The potential for understaffing is difficult to accept for health care workers who have been working tirelessly for the last year-and-a-half during the pandemic. “We have been working continuously for 18 months,” said Dr. Paritosh Prasad, Director of Surgical Intensive Care and the Highly Infection Disease Unit, Strong Memorial Hospital. “We are working under incredible stress, strain, and we are used to stress and strain, that is part of our job description, but this is something well outside the norm.”

Dr. Prasad and Burleigh are calling on everyone to do their part to help slow the spread and help elevate some of the stress put on frontline healthcare workers. “We are in a battle for our lives and all of you have the ability to help win this battle,” Prasad said. “We have the power to change how this pandemic rolls out. This is not something that is going to resolve itself without each and every one of our involvement, this is a fight every one of us is in and every one of us has a critical role to play.”

Dr. Prasad also addressed groups that have been standing outside Strong Hospital the past few weeks to protest vaccine mandates. “I am not going to say that leaving the hospital and seeing people protesting and yelling things at you isn’t a punch in the gut,” Dr. Prasad said. “We leave it all on the table for the patients we are taking care of.”

Still, with a lot of uncertainty about what the next few weeks will bring, healthcare workers say they will work together and serve patients who need care. “At the end of the day, we are still going to stand shoulder to shoulder with them,” Burleigh said. “We are still going to take care of our patients, regardless or not if we agree.”

On Tuesday, a federal judge has ordered an extension on the temporary restraining order blocking New York from forcing certain medical workers to be vaccinated, but this specifically applies to those with a religious exemption. The order was extended until October 12.

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NYS preparing for thunderstorms, heavy rain through Friday

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NYS preparing for thunderstorms, heavy rain through Friday

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Governor Kathy Hochul has directed state agencies to prepare for the upcoming thunderstorms and heavy rain in New York. The thunderstorms are possible in the Capital Region, Southern Tier, Mid-Hudson, New York City and Long Island.

Heavy rainfall may cause flooding of roads and ponding of water in low-lying areas. Some storms may contain damaging winds, which could cause downed trees and power lines.

“I have directed state agencies to prepare emergency response assets and be ready to assist local governments if needed,” said Hochul. “New Yorkers should pay close attention to the weather and always be ready with a plan should an emergency arise.”

Preparations include:

The Department of Transportation

  • 1,329 large dump trucks
  • 294 large loaders
  • 80 tracked and wheeled excavators
  • 73 chippers
  • 19 graders
  • 16 vacuum trucks with sewer jets
  • 15 tree crew bucket trucks

Thruway Authority

  • 659 operators and supervisors prepared to respond to any wind or flood related issues
  • 205 Large Dump Trucks
  • 112 Small Dump Trucks
  • 62 Loaders
  • 28 Trailers
  • 6 Vac Trucks
  • 9 Tracked Excavators
  • 10 Wheeled Excavators
  • 10 Brush Chippers
  • 99 Chainsaws
  • 22 Aerial Trucks
  • 21 Skid Steers
  • 87 Portable Generators
  • 65 Portable Light Units

The Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Police and the Department of Public Service are some of the other agencies prepared to assist when needed.

Hochul also recommends New Yorkers be prepared for extreme weather. Safety tips include:

  • Know the county in which you live and the names of nearby cities. Severe weather warnings are issued on a county basis.
  • Learn the safest route from your home or business to high, safe ground should you have to leave in a hurry.
  • Develop and practice a ‘family escape’ plan and identify a meeting place if family members become separated.
  • Make an itemized list of all valuables including furnishings, clothing and other personal property. Keep the list in a safe place.
  • Stockpile emergency supplies of canned food, medicine and first aid supplies and drinking water. Store drinking water in clean, closed containers
  • Plan what to do with your pets.
  • Have a portable radio, flashlights, extra batteries and emergency cooking equipment available.
  • Keep your automobile fueled. If electric power is cut off, gasoline stations may not be able to pump fuel for several days. Have a small disaster supply kit in the trunk of your car.
  • Have disaster supplies on hand

For a complete listing of weather advisories, visit your area’s National Weather Service website.

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Governor’s Traffic Safety free child seat inspections

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Governor’s Traffic Safety free child seat inspections

GLENVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Monday, September 27, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., the Town of Glenville Police Department will host free car seat checks by certified child passenger safety technicians.

The Traffic Safety Committee reminds parents and caregivers in Schenectady County, this event is part of a yearlong safety initiative in which state and local law enforcement agencies, with various community safety partners, offer free child seat inspections.

Trained technicians use the “Learn, Practice, and Explain” model to educate parents and caregivers on how to choose and properly install appropriate child seats for their child’s age, size, and vehicle, so they can be used correctly every time.

Those who cannot attend this free car seat check event can make an appointment with a local fitting station. Find more information on upcoming car seat check events near you, or contact Mark Agostino at (518) 384-0123 or [email protected]

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Democrats see tax “framework” to pay for huge $3.5T package

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Democrats see tax “framework” to pay for huge $3.5T package

WASHINGTON — The White House and congressional Democrats have agreed to a framework of options to pay for their huge, emerging social and environment bill, top Democrats said Thursday. Now they face the daunting task of narrowing the menu to tax possibilities they can pass to fund President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion plan.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California announced the progress as Biden administration officials and Democratic congressional leaders negotiated behind the scenes. The package aims to rewrite tax and spending priorities to expand programs for Americans of all ages, while upping efforts to tackle income inequality and fight climate change.

Staring down a self-imposed Monday deadline, lawmakers said they would work nonstop to find agreement on specifics. Democrats’ views on those vary widely, though they largely agree with Biden’s idea of raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy to fund the package.

“We certainly think it’s progress,” Biden press secretary Jen Pskai said at the White House.

Biden has been putting his shoulder into the negotiations, inviting more than 20 of his party’s moderate and progressive lawmakers to the White House for lengthy meetings this week. He’s working to close the deal with Congress on his “Build Back Better” agenda at a time when his presidential campaign promises are running into the difficulty of actually governing.

But the party has been divided over many of the details.

Moderate Democrats, most prominently Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, are demanding that the massive dollar total be reduced. The revenue options to pay for it — that mostly means taxes — being considered can be dialed up or down, the leaders say. The ultimate price tag may certainly slip from the much-publicized $3.5 trillion.

Republicans are solidly opposed to the package, calling it a “reckless tax and spending spree.” So Democrats will have to push it it through Congress on their own, which is only possible if they limit their defections to a slim few in the House and none in the Senate.

“We’re proceeding,” Pelosi said. “We intend to stay the course and pass the bill as soon as possible.”

The congressional leaders huddled early Thursday with the chairmen of the tax writing committees to agree to the framework, pulling from work already being done on those panels. They are intent on sticking to Biden’s pledge not to raise taxes on people making less than $400,000 a year.

Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., the chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, has already drafted his version, which would raise about $2.3 trillion by hiking corporate tax rates to 26.5% for businesses earning more than $5 million a year and increasing the top individual tax from 37% to 39.6% for those earning more than $400,000, or $450,000 for married households.

The House panel’s bill also includes a 3% surtax on the adjusted incomes of very wealthy people making more than $5 million a year.

The Senate Finance Committee under Sen. Ron Wyden has not yet passed its bill, but has been eyeing proposals that further target the superrich including efforts to curtail practices used to avoid paying taxes.

“I’m not going to get into any specific stuff today, but I’ve made it very clear as chairman of the Finance Committee a billionaire’s tax will be on the menu,” Wyden said.

Those tax goals align with the Biden administration, which is marshaling arguments that the increases are fundamentally about fairness at a time of gaping income inequality.

According to a new analysis released Thursday by the White House, the wealthiest 400 families worth more than a billion dollars paid an average tax rate of just 8.2% between 2010 and 2018. Treasury Department tables show that is lower than the average tax rate of families with an income of roughly $142,000.

The analysis suggests two clear reasons why billionaires pay a lower rate than the upper middle class: They derive income from stocks, dividends and other assets that are taxed at lower rates and they can permanently avoid paying tax on certain investment gains that by law are excluded from taxable income.

Without divulging a framework, Wyden indicated he is in agreement with the House’s plans for certain retirement savings accounts used by the wealthy to shield liabilities.

Targeting “Mega IRAs,” Democrats hope to correct what they see as a flaw in the retirement savings system enabling billionaires to amass millions in independent retirement accounts without ever paying taxes. Under some proposals, individuals earning beyond $400,000 would be barred from contributing to their IRAs once their account balances top $10 million.

The Biden administration has also shown interest in one climate change tax — a so-called pollution importer fee, which would essentially impose a tariff on goods coming from countries without certain emissions controls — and seen as a way to pressure China.

Gaining less traction seems to be a carbon tax that could fall on households and stray from Biden’s pledge not to tax those earning less than $400,000.

Another big unknown: Whether Democrats can coalesce around a plan to rein in prescription drug costs, which could save the government hundreds of billions that could be used for Biden’s goals

Thursday’s sudden announcement of framework options caught key lawmakers off guard, including Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the chairman of the Budget Committee, and others playing leading roles in assembling one of the biggest bills Congress has ever attempted.

Schumer later acknowledged about the emerging framework — “it’s hardly conclusory, but it was a good step of progress.”

Yet the framework could help the congressional leaders show momentum as they head toward crucial deadlines and start to address concerns raised by Manchin and other moderates who want a more clear-cut view of what taxes are being considered before they move forward, aides said.

On Monday, the House plans to begin considering a separate $1 trillion package of road and other infrastructure projects as a first test of Biden’s agenda. That public works bill has already passed the Senate, and Pelosi has agreed to schedule it for a House vote to assuage party moderates who badly want that legislation passed but are leery of supporting the larger $3.5 trillion measure.

But progressives are threatening to defeat the public works bill as inadequate unless it is partnered with the broader package. To make sure both bills can pass, Democratic leaders are trying to reach agreement on the bigger bill.

Meanwhile, the House and Senate remain at a standstill over a separate package to keep the government funded past the Sept. 30 fiscal year-end and to suspend the federal debt limit to avert a shutdown and a devastating U.S. default on payments. Senate Republicans are refusing to back that House-passed bill, despite the risk of triggering a fiscal crisis.

___

Associated Press writers Marcy Gordon and Josh Boak contributed to this report.

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