11:34am

Tue March 13, 2012
Morning trail mix

Emotional, physical toll challenges flood victims

Today in your Trail Mix:

NPR wants to know what the very heart of your city is, in images or sound. Here are details on how to capture the place that you think most epitomizes where you live.

Flood recovery is a slow and painful process for many.

Buffalo researchers are using light to heal wounds.

Plus: Is the EPA meddling, or doing its job?

Flooding

WSKG's Matt Richmond followed up on two of the lasting effects from last fall's flooding in the Southern Tier: the need to prevent flooding from happening again, and the blow to residents' sense of well-being.

A Tropical Storm Irene flood victim testified that dealing with her insurance company was a "brutal, bruising process" after the floods (Brian Nearing, Times Union).

Flood walls constructed after the 2006 flood, at Union-Endicott High School and Lourdes Hospital, prevented more damage in 2011 (Jennifer Micale, Press & Sun-Bulletin).

Health

Researchers in Buffalo are using different bands of light to try to heal wounds (Daniel Robison, WBFO/Innovation Trail).

An Albany-area insurer is moving away from "fee-for-service" in lieu of a health care model that pays doctors whether they see patients or not (Cathleen F. Crowley, Times Union).

Senate Republicans want to hold off on implementing federally-mandated health insurance exchanges, pushing instead to create a commission to study the idea (Cara Matthews, Vote Up!).

Transportation

Responding to the closure of a bus line for safety transgressions, Senator Schumer wants to post grades on busses (Tim O'Brien, Times Union).

Air travelers from Florida and South Carolina were stranded after their airline, Direct Air, canceled flights due to a fueling issue (Jay Tokasz, Buffalo News).

Activists want Niagara Falls' new train station to put an emphasis on creating jobs for women and minorities (Matt Glynn, Buffalo News).

Politics

The Senate and Assembly have agreed on a state budget - and it doesn't include the governor's pension reform proposal, so he's steeling for a fight (Karen DeWitt, New York State Public Radio).

Can a proposal to raise minimum wage clear the Republican-held senate in an election year? (Teri Weaver, Post-Standard).

Congresswoman Kathleen Hochul says she won't challenge fellow Democrat Brian Higgins if their districts are combined under new lines (Jerry Zremski, Buffalo News).

The Council of Governors is proposing to bring spy plans to Niagara Falls, to save a base that's at risk of closure (Jerry Zremski, Buffalo News).

Energy

The owner of the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant argues that his reactor's venting system is legal, despite claims by activists to the contrary (Charley Hannagan, Post-Standard).

Ditch your junky refrigerator. New York is using federal cash to offer rebates for new appliances (Larry Rulison, The Buzz).

Natural gas

Here's the topline summary for Michael Rubinkam's new piece for AP about the contentious relationship between environmental regulators and Pennsylvania: "The state says EPA is meddling. EPA says it is doing its job."

It'd make a pretty heavy piece of jewelry: Drillers in Pennsylvania use diamond tipped bits to reach natural gas in the Marcellus Shale (Susan Phillips, State Impact PA).

A New York City council member says he "has a few tricks up" his sleeve when it comes to preventing fracking (Dan Rosenblum, Capital).

Business

The demand for DNA evidence is slamming labs – and making it hard to try cases that don’t have it (Marie Cusick, WMHT/Innovation Trail).

Zack Seward's latest Company Town profile for WXXI is of two entrepreneurs who are trying to bring apartment hunters and landowners together - and foster a startup marketplace in Rochester.

Ontario's casinos are losing customers and cash, as Americans more and more gamble closer to home (Charlie Specht, Buffalo News).

The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation has named three new board members (James Fink, Buffalo Business First).

Traditional farms are now turning to the CSA model to forge closer connections with customers and help grow their businesses (Karen Miltner, Democrat and Chronicle).

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