State news in brief

Lethal oak tree fungus found in Glenville

ALBANY (AP) — A devastating fungus disease that kills oak trees has been found again in Schenectady County, where it first appeared nine years ago.

The Department of Environmental Conservation says oak wilt has been found in a suburban neighborhood and the Sanders nature preserve in the town of Glenville. The disease made its first appearance in New York in 2008 in another Glenville neighborhood, prompting removal of about 100 trees to prevent its spread.

State officials have quarantined the diseased areas, prohibiting removal of oak wood or firewood of any species.

The fungus spreads through tree roots or by beetles. It can kill red oaks in a few weeks. There is no treatment.

Education issues to be discussed in Dec.

ALBANY (AP) — Members of the New York state Assembly are planning two big hearings in coming weeks that focus on critical components of the state’s educational system.

The first, on Dec. 5, will focus on how private primary and secondary schools measure student success.

The second hearing, scheduled for Dec. 12, will delve into new higher education scholarship programs. Those include Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Excelsior Scholarship program, which aims to make tuition at a state university or college free for middle-class students.

Both hearings will be held in Albany. They come as lawmakers prepare for the start of the 2018 legislative session in January.

Tainted raw milk products warning

ALBANY (AP) — Health officials have issued a warning about potentially tainted raw milk that was sold in New York and other states.

The Journal News reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising anyone who consumed Udder Milk products to seek medical attention. According to the CDC, people who drank raw milk from the company may have been infected with a rare germ called Brucella abortus RB51.

Officials say a New Jersey woman became sick with the bacteria after consuming Udder Milk earlier this year.

Authorities say Udder Milk operates in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Officials describe the company as a “co-op on wheels” that makes deliveries.

Authorities are investigating Udder Milk’s supplier because the company hasn’t reported its dairy source.

Convoy For Tots garnered 22K toys

SARATOGA SPRINGS (AP) — An annual Toys For Tots event held last weekend in upstate New York turned out to be much more successful than organizers initially thought.

Sunday morning’s event by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Capital Region Toys For Tots was dubbed Convoy for Tots because it involved about 200 law enforcement, fire department, emergency services and private vehicles.

The procession hauled toys several miles from Ballston Spa to the parking lot of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, where the toys were off-loaded and packed in large cardboard boxes for distribution in the Albany area.

Officials said they expected more than 13,000 toys to be donated for the fourth annual event. Organizers announced Monday that the final tally of toys topped 22,000.

The first Convoy for Tots involved about 20 vehicles and brought in 2,000 toys.

Man admits killing, dismembering man

SYRACUSE (AP) — A central New York man has admitted killing and dismembering a man, setting the body on fire and disposing of it in several garbage bins.

The Post-Standard of Syracuse reports 29-year-old Corey Slattery pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree murder in exchange for a 20-year prison sentence. He could have faced up to 25 years.

Prosecutors say Slattery lured Aikeem Hudgins, of Syracuse, to his Cicero apartment last December, then strangled and stabbed him. Officials say Slattery used a chain saw to dismember the body and burned some of the remains.

Slattery initially claimed he killed Hudgins in self-defense.

A witness, 48-year-old Connie Ingoldby, pleaded guilty in May to felony hindering prosecution. She admitted helping Slattery clean up the apartment and dispose of the body.


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