State news in brief

Spitzer alleged to have threatened man

NEW YORK (AP) — Detectives are looking into a man’s claim that disgraced former Gov. Eliot Spitzer threatened to stab him during an irate interaction in a restaurant, police said Sunday.

Jamie Antolini filed a complaint on Friday regarding an argument earlier in the month, authorities said.

Antolini said he was having dinner Jan. 2 when Spitzer went into the Manhattan restaurant and became angry at hearing Antolini loudly praise someone Spitzer had publicly fought with during his years in the public sector.

Police said Antolini accused Spitzer of threatening him with bodily harm, including stabbing him with a knife, and making statements that he would kill him.

Spitzer spokeswoman Lisa Linden said that there was an argument started by a restaurant patron and that Spitzer initially ignored his remarks. She said at no time did Spitzer make any threats.

Spitzer, a Democrat, resigned in 2008 amid revelations that he had sex with prostitutes. Before being governor, he had been the state attorney general.

State gives funds to support recycling

ALBANY (AP) — New York state gave $3.5 million last year to support municipal recycling projects across the state and the donation of wholesome food as officials strive to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.

State officials continue to encourage food donations and the recycling of food waste.

It’s estimated the state’s supermarkets, restaurants, colleges, hospitals and other large food scrap producers generate more than 210,000 tons of wasted food and food scraps each year.

Much of that is edible and could be donated to food banks instead.

There’s also a financial benefit. A state report finds that, collectively, those food scrap producers could reduce costs by up to $12 million per year by recovering and recycling their food waste.

Man, teenage girl killed in NYC fire

NEW YORK (AP) — A man and a teenage girl have been killed in an apartment building fire in New York City.

It happened around noon on Sunday at a seven-story apartment building in the Bronx.

Police say 62-year-old Nelson Rojas and 13-year-old Yolanda Rojas were found unconscious and unresponsive. They were taken to a hospital, where they were pronounced dead.

It took firefighters about an hour to get the blaze under control.

The cause remains under investigation.

Lawmakers to local government plan

ALBANY (AP) — New York lawmakers want to know if a new state initiative aimed at reducing property taxes is working as intended.

A provision in the state budget directs local officials around the state to convene panels to study ways their counties, towns, cities and villages could save money by sharing services and consolidating programs.

The idea of the program, supported by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is to reduce the local tax burden by eliminating layers of bureaucracy and encouraging more efficiency.

Thirty-four counties have completed the process so far.

On Tuesday a committee of the state Assembly will look at the results.

Earlier this month Cuomo announced $10 million in extra funding for 19 local governments that took steps to consolidate.

N.Y. National Guard headed to Iraq

FORT DRUM (AP) — Ninety-one New York Army National Guard soldiers assigned to the 10th Mountain Division will be deployed to Iraq.

The Army announced this week that members of the Fort Drum-based 10th Mountain Division Headquarters will be deployed this spring to help support Iraqi Security Forces in the fight against the Islamic State group.

National Guard officials in New York say members of their Main Command Post Operational Detachment will be part of that deployment.

Army officials would not say how large the overall deployment will be.


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