State news in brief

Police arrest man in June slaying

ALBANY (AP) — Police in Albany have arrested a 26-year-old man in connection to the June shooting death of a 20-year-old man.

Albany police say Shaquille Moore was charged with murder following an investigation into the June 12 death of Equan Fallen outside his family’s apartment. Authorities say Moore shot at Fallen several times, hitting him in the torso.

Fallen was treated at the scene and later pronounced dead at Albany Medical Center Hospital.

Moore was arraigned on murder and criminal possession of a weapon felony charges in city court. He was then sent to the Albany County Jail without bail.

It couldn’t be learned from prosecutors Tuesday if he has an attorney who could comment on the charges.

Men stole business IDs for contracts

ALBANY (AP) — Authorities say two upstate New York contractors used the stolen identities of two minority-owned businesses to fraudulently obtain public construction contracts worth millions of dollars.

State officials say Tuesday that 47-year-old Michael Martin and 52-year-old D. Scott Henzel have been indicted on charges that include identity theft and scheme to defraud.

Authorities say the two Albany-area men ran a now-defunct contracting company that took over two minority-owned businesses and used those businesses to land millions of dollars in public works projects.

Officials say Martin spent $1 million of the funds on a lavish lifestyle that included Caribbean trips. He’s charged separately with stealing $350,000 from two businesses.

Martin is being held in jail on $100,000 cash bail. Henzel was released after posting bail.

Messages left with their attorney’s weren’t returned.

Blue states sue over GOP tax overhaul

ALBANY (AP) — New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland are suing the federal government over the Republican-led tax overhaul.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in the Southern District of New York.

The tax law passed by Congressional Republicans and signed into law last year by Republican President Donald Trump caps a deduction for state and local taxes at $10,000. The deduction was especially popular in high-tax, Democratic states, where many homeowners will see big increases in their federal tax bill.

Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the tax bill was crafted specifically to hurt blue states. He says it’s also unconstitutional because it interferes with state taxing authority.

Supporters of the tax overhaul dismiss the lawsuit as political and say that the changes actually reduce taxes for many residents.

25th anniversary of Turning Stone

VERONA (AP) — The 25th anniversary of the opening of the Oneida Indian Nation’s first casino in central New York was celebrated.

Local officials and employees of Turning Stone Resort Casino gathered Tuesday to commemorate the casino’s opening on July 21, 1993.

The casino was built on Oneida Indian land just off Exit 33 of the Thruway in Verona, 30 miles east of Syracuse. reports the initial $10 million facility was financed from the tribe’s bingo and cigarette profits.

Today, the business has grown to include more than 1,700 slot machines, five golf courses, four hotels, several restaurants and a concert venue. Employment has grown from about 1,000 in 1993 to nearly 4,000 today.

In recent years the tribe has opened smaller casinos in nearby Chittenango and Bridgeport.

Grand jury clears officer who shot man

TROY (AP) — A grand jury has cleared a police officer who shot and wounded a man during a traffic stop in upstate New York.

The Schenectady County District Attorney’s office announced Monday the jury found Officer Jarrod Iler was justified in the August 2017 shooting in Troy that injured Dahmeek McDonald.

Prosecutors say Iler fired four shots at McDonald after he drove his vehicle toward the officer. One bullet hit the man in the forearm and another grazed his temple.

Police say McDonald was wanted on a parole violation when officers stopped his vehicle.

The shooting sparked protests and marches in front of City Hall.

McDonald’s lawyer, Mark Mishler, says they are dismayed but not surprised with the outcome.

Adirondack loon count this weekend

SARANAC LAKE (AP) — An environmental group counting loons on Adirondack lakes and ponds is looking for volunteers to help.

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s 18th Annual Adirondack Loon Census will take place on Saturday morning. The census provides information on the breeding loon population in Adirondack Park that is used to help guide wildlife management decisions.

Volunteers report on the number of adult and immature loons and loon chicks that they observe on lakes and ponds. People interested in volunteering can visit, call (518) 891-8874 or email [email protected]

Loon counts will take place in other states at the same time on Saturday. Results will be collated to create a regional overview.

Facility opens for water rescue training

ALBANY (AP) — The state has opened a facility in central New York where first responders can receive training in rescuing people from dangerous flooding situations.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the Swift Water Flood Training Center has opened at the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services’ State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany in Oneida County.

The Democrat says the state-of-the-art facility is the first in New York dedicated to training fire, law enforcement and emergency services responders in techniques employed to conduct water rescues.

The training center features a 3-acre pond, a concrete swift water channel and an urban flood simulator that allows rescue crews to train in flooded street and buildings.

The $9 million facility is available for use by the 1,800 fire departments and 580 police departments in New York state.

Heastie to tour Olana State Historic Site

ALBANY (AP) — The speaker of the New York state Assembly plans to tour the Olana State Historic Site as part of his annual upstate tour.

Bronx Democrat Carl Heastie is scheduled to visit the historic property in Columbia County on Tuesday. The Hudson Valley estate was the home of Frederic Edwin Church, a major 19th century landscape portraitist.

Last week Heastie traveled to the North Country, where he attended a county fair and visited areas impacted by last year’s floods.

Heastie began his tradition of upstate trips shortly after becoming speaker in 2015. He says the chance to visit local communities helps him better understand the challenges and opportunities facing the state’s different regions.

More stops are planned this summer and fall.

Help sought in identifying body

BUFFALO (AP) — Authorities are asking the public for help in identifying a man’s body that was found in Lake Erie.

The body was discovered by jet skiers west of Buffalo on June 20, and even though investigators have dental impressions, fingerprints and a DNA blood sample, they still don’t know who it is.

Erie County Sheriff’s detectives said Monday the body is that of a 45- to 50-year-old white man who was 5-foot-7 and weighed 129 pounds. He was bald and had dark facial hair on his chin. He was wearing Wrangler blue jeans and a dark-colored jacket.

By Josh Bovee

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