Local News Headlines

The Obama administration says about 1.4 million undergraduate students are enrolled in colleges across New York and those who borrowed money for tuition will graduate with more than $26,000 in debt.  President Obama outlined his agenda to combat rising college costs Thursday at appearances in Buffalo and Syracuse. He will conclude his upstate New York bus tour today with an appearance at Binghamton University. A release from the White House Thursday says Obama's plan will measure college performance through a new rating system and tie financial aid to college performance. His plan would also allow borrowers to cap their loan payments at 10 percent of their monthly income. Obama also spoke at Henninger High School in Syracuse on Thursday.


Supporters and opponents of natural gas drilling using high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, plan to put on a show for President Obama when his tour bus rolls into Binghamton. The city is in a likely area for drilling to begin if Gov. Andrew Cuomo lifts a 5-year-old moratorium and allows fracking in New York's part of the Marcellus Shale, which stretches through Pennsylvania into West Virginia and Ohio. Obama has spoken in favor of shale gas development. Cuomo acknowledges the economic advantages but says he's still looking at environmental and health implications. Opposition groups are urging members to make a big showing on the Binghamton University campus where Obama will speak Friday morning. The pro-gas Joint Landowners Coalition of New York is holding a rally in a nearby park.


With a second offer to purchase the Chautauqua County Home now officially out of the picture, a candidate for County Executive says it's time to move on from what he calls a "political fight."  Democrat Ron Johnson criticizes the current administration by saying they did not fully investigate the offer made by Richard Platschek of Nassau County.  Johnson says it's time to move on. Current County Executive Greg Edwards announced yesterday that prospective buyer failed to make the required $1.65 million deposit, so the agreement was terminated. Johnson, who is challenging Republican Vince Horrigan for the county's top political office, says it's time to implement what is needed to turn around the County Home's finances.


Consistant.  That is how Chautauqua Institution President Tom Becker describes this 2013 Chautauqua Season.  Becker was interviewed by WJTN's Jim Roselle this morning and said that the high level of delivery week after week made the past 9 weeks memorable. Some highligts and high attendance weeks of the 2013 Season included Week 4's More Limits of Markets, Morals, and Social Contract and Week 5's The Pursuit of Happiness.  But Becker says there was one week in particular that provided different perspecitves and learning moments for the Chautauqua community. Chautuaqua is in it's 9th and final week.  The season closes Sunday with the historic 3 taps of the gavel ceremony.


The New York Health Benefit Exchange has listed health and dental plans for individuals and small business owners that will be available for enrollment starting October 1st... and, coverage beginning next year.  The exchange, established under a federal mandate, is expected to help enroll 1.1 million uninsured New Yorkers and includes subsidies for those who meet certain income thresholds.  It has also changed its name to ``NY State of Health.''  The 16 health and 10 dental plans that will be offered in the state are listed on an interactive map showing counties where they're available.  The department has also posted an online calculator for estimating eligibility for tax credits.