Cuomo holds off on endorsing Hillary Clinton for president

ALBANY – While other Democrats are already pressing outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to run for president in 2016, put Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in the undecided column.

The governor told Albany radio station WGDJ on Monday that Clinton “is incredibly popular” and has “great experience.’’ Cuomo also said the race is “a long way off.’’

Cuomo, who worked in then-President Bill Clinton’s Cabinet as housing secretary, is eyeing his own possible run in 2016, though many Democrats believe he would not challenge Hillary Clinton in a Democratic primary if she ran.

One New York State official did not hesitate to sing Clinton’s praises later Monday. “A lot of folks in a lot of positions are all waiting for Hillary’s decision,’’ State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a meeting with The Buffalo News Editorial Board. He noted he backed her 2008 presidential primary bid. “Her tenure as secretary of state has only made her stronger and better prepared. I can’t think of anyone better prepared,’’ DiNapoli said of a possible Clinton White House run.

Forest Lawn

People Inc. groups to honor graves of the forgotten

For the first time since they died, 296 forgotten souls in Section DD of Forest Lawn will be remembered this holiday season.

At 12:30 p.m. today, participants in People Inc.’s day programs will place wreaths on the graves of former residents of the Church Charity Foundation, which provided homes for the poor and the elderly; Buffalo Orphan Asylum; and the Home of the Friendless, a shelter for young girls and women. Most of them died between 1870 and 1970.

Day program participants began doing restoration work in the cemetery’s Section DD last fall, cleaning and edging the grave markers and raking the leaves.

Niagara Falls

Tickets on sale for gala benefitting Medical Center

NIAGARA FALLS – Tickets are on sale for the 2013 Premier, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center’s annual black-tie dinner and entertainment gala, set for Jan. 19 in the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel. Tickets are $225.

Singer Jon Secada will headline the entertainment. Also on tap that night are a silent auction of high-priced items, including trips for two to the Kentucky Derby and the U.S. Open golf tournament; his and hers Movado watches; pearls; artwork; and Waterford crystal.

The event will honor nurses from Memorial and the Schoellkopf Health Center and Dr. Michael Cropp, president and CEO of Independent Health. Proceeds will benefit Memorial’s cardiac and stroke care services.

For more information and sponsorship opportunities, visit

lewiston-queenston bridge

Limited use of NEXUS set for U.S.-bound travelers

U.S.-bound travelers with NEXUS passes will be able to use them from 7 to 9 a.m. weekday mornings when they cross from Canada at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, beginning Monday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced. NEXUS service for Canadian-bound travelers runs from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.