Shenendehowa kids killed in car crash

CLIFTON PARK (AP) -- State police say the other driver in a crash that killed two high school seniors tested positive for alcohol and had been speeding and changing lanes before the crash on Interstate 87 in Saratoga County.

Officials at Shenendehowa High School in Clifton Park say football player Chris Stewart and softball player Deanna Rivers were killed in the crash at 10:20 p.m. Saturday. Two other students in the car, a boy from Shenendehowa and a girl from Shaker High School in Colonie, were seriously injured.

State police say 22-year-old Dennis Drue of Clifton Park hit the back of Stewart's car, causing both to crash. Drue remained hospitalized Sunday with injuries described as non-life-threatening.

The teens were heading home from a college basketball game in Albany.

No school, work for 16 percent of youth

ALBANY (AP) -- Sixteen percent of teens and young adults in New York are neither in school nor the workforce, part of a national problem that could lead to "dire consequences" for the younger generation's financial stability, according to a new report.

The latest Kids Count report released Monday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation said high school dropouts are having a harder time landing traditional entry-level jobs in retail and fast-food restaurants due to competition from older candidates with more experience. Front-line service providers add that the recent recession has added to the problem.

"You're competing with people that are in the workforce now that have diplomas," said Jeff Nixon, youth services manager for the Buffalo Employment and Training Center. "You've got people with college degrees that are competing for some of these lower-wage jobs. And obviously for an employer, if they have a choice between somebody with a college degree and a kid that's a dropout, that's a no-brainer."

Nationally, there are 6.5 million youth 16 to 24 years old who are neither in the workforce nor in school -- about 17 percent of that age group, according to the report. New York accounts for 406,000 of those young people, according to the foundation.

The Baltimore-based group said the young people getting shut out of the market now can face problems as they grow older. "A generation will grow up with little early work experience," missing the chance to build knowledge and skills, the report said.

The Casey Foundation called for more sustained, coordinated efforts to boost youth employment. It praised the work of FEGS Bronx Youth Center, where young people get integrated help with academics and career services along with support services.

"When we tell young people, 'We're here to help you; we want to help you,' that means we stay with you through the good times and the bad times," said Courtney Hawkins, the organization's vice president for education and youth services.

Hawkins noted that every youth's needs are different -- some have grade-school reading levels or trouble at home -- and the process can take years.

Man becomes human torch after cooking

NEW YORK (AP) -- Authorities say a man was engulfed in flames as he fled his New York home after an apparent kitchen accident.

Fire officials say the victim is being treated for serious injuries at a Staten Island hospital after the mishap Saturday afternoon.

The New York Post reports that 60-year-old Louis Gloria was cooking when he was caught in a grease blaze. The newspaper says he tried to extinguish the flames using water but that only fanned the fire.

A neighbor, Edward Leavy Jr., told the Post that Gloria was screaming and seemed to be burning alive when he ran from his house.

The neighbor's brother tried to smother the flames that burned on for several minutes before help arrived.

Fire officials do not consider the blaze suspicious. They're investigating.

n Park say football player Chris Stewart and softball player Deanna Rivers were killed in the crash at 10:20 p.m. Saturday. Two other students in the car, a boy from Shenendehowa and a girl from Shaker High School in Colonie, were seriously injured.

State police say 22-year-old Dennis Drue of Clifton Park hit the back of Stewart's car, causing both to crash. Drue remained hospitalized Sunday with injuries described as non-life-threatening.

The teens were heading home from a college basketball game in Albany.