9:33am

Wed February 29, 2012
Morning trail mix

Albany is number 4 in Forbes "Cities for Jobs" list

Today in your Trail Mix:

Albany is a top job creating city.

A state agency gets dinged for "flagrant" abuse of tax dollars.

A health insurance CEO is retiring.

Plus, the reported economic impact of gambling.

Cities

The Capital Region is the fourth best metro area for jobs, according to Forbes (Eric Anderson, Times Union).

Binghamton, meanwhile, is fat.  An index released yesterday puts the city's obesity rate at 37.6, coming in second only to a city in Texas (Steve Reilly, Press & Sun-Bulletin).

New York City is looking for proposals to site wind turbines at a Staten Island landfill (Mireya Navarro, New York Times).

A Rochester group is continuing its fight to prevent an old building on the campus of the Genesee Brewery from being demolished to make way for a parking lot (Carlet Cleare, WXXI).

New York and Ontario power officials are rolling the dice and removing an ice boom on Lake Erie after a warm winter (WNED).

Politics

New York's Office for Technology got slammed in an audit by the comptroller yesterday, for "flagrant" and "not well-hidden" abuse of taxpayer dollars (Marie Cusick, WMHT/Innovation Trail).

Speaking to a group of business boosters in New York City Tuesday night, Governor Cuomo said it's a sign of progress that it's "been 14 months since the governor of the state was indicted or admitted committing a major felony" (Dana Rubinstein, Capital).

Last year the governor made $179,000 - and more than a thousand state workers made more than him (Erik Kriss, New York Post).

Senator Charles Schumer is putting pressure on the state's economic development agency to fund a University of Rochester business incubator (Diana Louise Carter, Democrat and Chronicle).

Business

The CEO of health insurer Excellus BlueCross BlueShield is retiring at the end of the year (LeShea Agnew, WXXI).

Xerox is beginning to hire the first of 500 or more workers at a call center outside Rochester (Jeffrey Blackwell, Democrat and Chronicle).

Kodak retirees who may lose their healthcare coverage (if a bankruptcy judge approves the measure) could use COBRA to keep their coverage (Democrat and Chronicle).

Gambling

A racetrack owner in the Southern Tier says he's planning to expand with a hotel regardless of whether or not the state legalizes gambling at non-Indian casinos (My-Ly Nguyen, Press & Sun-Bulletin).

A report from the New York Gaming Association [PDF] predicts that legalizing gambling could create $3.3 billion in "economic output."  Capital Tonight has video fo the president of NYGA discussing the pending legislative battle over legalizing gambling [VIDEO] (Maureen McManus, State of Politics).

Meanwhile the Senecas say gambling at their casinos has netted New York $640 million (Nick Reisman, State of Politics).

Higher ed

A boot-camp to help veterans build their own businesses, that got its start at Syracuse University, has a growing waiting list (Lucy Nalpathanchil, NPR).

A neuroscience researcher at Upstate Medical University has been caught fixing numbers in published studies (James T. Mulder, Post-Standard).

Cornell has narrowed down the architect candidates for its New York City tech campus, to six, with a final name expected in April (Theresa Agovino, The Red Wrap).

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