Assembly speaker pushes to up minimum wage

ALBANY (AP) – New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver renewed his push to increase the minimum wage and pass the Dream Act on Wednesday as state legislators worked to finish their work for the year.

The two measures are among hundreds of pieces of legislation that remain in play in the final weeks of the session. They enjoy broad support in the Assembly but face big hurdles in the Senate. The Senate’s Republican leader, Dean Skelos, has said he doesn’t expect the Senate to consider any contentious, high-profile bills before adjourning, but Silver said he remains hopeful.

“There’s always a chance,” the Manhattan Democrat told reporters.


Seven injured as car crashes into Denny’s

GENEVA (AP) – Authorities said seven people have been taken to hospitals after a car crashed into a Denny’s restaurant in a Finger Lakes town.

Police and fire officials told local media that no one suffered life-threatening injuries when the car slammed through the front of the restaurant in the Ontario County town of Geneva around 8:15 p.m. Tuesday.

Officials said seven people were taken to local hospitals, including one person who was airlifted to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.

Deputies said a woman, 64, was driving the car when it crashed into the restaurant.


Cuomo mocks GOP in ‘Munchkin’ video

ALBANY (AP) – A satirical video from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo mocks state Republicans as the “Lollipop Guild” Munchkins from “The Wizard of Oz.” The 8-minute video titled “The Empire State Governor Strikes Back” was Cuomo’s contribution to Tuesday night’s Legislative Correspondents Association show.

The video included a “behind-the-scenes” look at last month’s Republican state convention, where Rob Astorino was nominated for governor. In the clip, the faces of Astorino and 2010 GOP candidate Carl Paladino were superimposed over the dancing Munchkins. Cuomo also imagined a “Cuomo News Network” that he says is better than the real CNN. Astorino contributed his own video in which he mocks his squeaky clean image with a skit that had him pretending to smoke marijuana and argue with his wife.


Astorino scraps plans to revamp Playland park

WHITE PLAINS (AP) – Westchester County is scrapping a broad plan to revitalize its money-losing Playland amusement park. County Executive Rob Astorino, the GOP gubernatorial nominee, announced Wednesday that a 2012 agreement with Sustainable Playland Inc. to reimagine and operate the park in the New York suburbs will be allowed to lapse.

Astorino had projected that a revamped park would make money after years of losses. SPI planned to make the Art Deco landmark more of a year-round attraction, adding athletic fields and a field house.

However, some politicians and some residents of Rye, where the park is located, bristled at SPI’s plan. Some lawsuits were filed and more were threatened. Astorino said he’s hiring a consultant to analyze park operations and make recommendations.