Tourism is growing in central New York, up 17 percent in the last five years, according to industry officials. And at a tourism roundtable in Syracuse Wednesday they agreed there are still more ways to boost tourism dollars.  

Travel spending in the five counties of central New York amounts to nearly $1.2 billion, employing 25,000 people. So it’s a huge industry already, according to David Holder of the Syracuse Convention and Visitors Bureau.

In the final weeks of the legislative session, groups are lobbying for some of the major remaining issues still on the table, including the mayor of New York City, and groups who want a property tax break for homeowners struggling to hold on to their houses. And both accuse Gov. Andrew Cuomo of not taking an active enough role.

THIRD EYE DESIGN INC.

It’s amazing how many drivers out there can tell stories of instances where they were completely blindsided by a nearby motorbike. And the statistics back up the anecdotes.

According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, motorcyclists accounted for 14 per cent of the total highway fatalities in the country, despite motorcycle registrations representing only three per cent of all vehicles in the United States in 2013.

As more and more New Yorkers join the more than half-a-million licensed motorcyclists in the state, one Rochester man says he has a solution to help keep riders more safe on the roads.

(Video after the jump.)

npr.org

 

“I started out in Southern France and ended up in Belgium," is how Palmer Gaetano describes his army service in World War II. The 92-year old lives in a hospice facility in Spencerport, near his daughter and her family.

 

Gaetano is one of more than 9 million American military veterans over the age of 65, according to 2013 census bureau figures.  With an aging population that includes vets from Vietnam, Korea, and World War II, there are 1,800 veteran deaths each day. One program strived to meet their increased need for end-of-life care.

Andrew Miller had finished his second tour in Afghanistan for the U.S. Army, but he didn’t have a lot of time to think about it before being thrown back into the world, now labeled a veteran.

"Nobody gave us the time or the room to figure out what it meant to us," he said. "We caught planes, hipped and hopped and skipped and jumped. And the next thing we do, we were having a parade shoved down our throat."

The Cuomo Administration is making a final push as it calls on the state legislature to approve the Enough is Enough bill before the end of the session on June 17th.  This bill calls to combat sexual assault on all college campuses in New York.  It would implement measures already adopted by SUNY schools last year.  WBFO'S Focus on Education Reporter Eileen Buckley met with Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul for an in-depth discussion on the legislation.

SASHA-ANN SIMONS/WXXI NEWS

Many families with children with autism describe leaving high school as a ‘falling off a cliff’ - because of the lack of services when they become adults. Add to that, a complicated and intimidating job hunt. Despite the obstacles that people with autism face trying to find work, a new, dedicated job fair in Rochester, New York may be the first step to help that community find employment.

(Video after the jump.)

Internet service may soon flow faster in New York state

May 22, 2015
Bret Jaspers WSKG

 

Despite the importance of the internet to our daily lives, service can be unreliable, slow, or expensive, especially in rural areas. Local governments and businesses are waiting on details of how they can apply for $500 million of state money - money that will be used, with private sector dollars, for broadband infrastructure projects.

kaiser health news

 

The New York Department of Financial Services will post the new coverage rates proposed by insurance companies and allow for public review starting next month.

Last year, the state allowed insurers an average increase of 5-point-7 percent. They had requested rates higher than 12 percent above the previous year.

While the federal government and some state governments are looking to punish companies that sell pure powdered caffeine, local emergency personnel are getting a primer on how to deal with an overdose.

Upstate New York Poison Center toxicologist William Eggleston says it’s only a matter of time before someone dies using powdered caffeine in New York state.

"I think if the product continues to be readily available, it’s inevitable that someone is going to unintentionally misuse the product,” Eggleston said.

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