Disputed ‘I Love NY’ highway signs cost state $8.1M

ALBANY (AP) — New York has spent $8.1 million to install hundreds of “I Love NY” highway signs that are the subject of a dispute with the federal government.

Federal and state officials are working to resolve a dispute over the legality of the signs.

Federal highway officials say the signs don’t comply with federal regulations.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration argues they give an important boost to the state’s tourism industry by highlighting local products and sites.

Republican Assemblyman Steve Hawley says the signs are an example of wasteful spending and that the money should have been spent on more important items.

Top state transportation leaders gave the total cost during a recent hearing on state transportation spending.

Albany, Rochester get $300K to reach disconnected youth

ALBANY (AP) — School districts in Albany and Rochester are getting financial help to reach young people who are neither working nor in school.

The state Education Department this week announced a total of $300,000 in state and federal grants to implement the Connecting Youth in Transition Program in the two upstate New York cities.

The program targets young people between the ages of 14 and 24 who have dropped out or could drop out of school, are unemployed, involved in the juvenile justice system, homeless, in foster care or from low-income families.

The school districts will hire transition coordinators to help them improve their situations.

The $300,000 in grants includes $150,000 for each community over two years.

2 killed in upstate NY snowmobile collision

WEST TURIN (AP) — Authorities say two people have been killed in a head-on snowmobile crash in upstate New York.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said Sunday that 48-year-old Jay Isabelle, of Oneida, and 21-year-old Jesse Rosebush, of Jordan, were killed in the accident on the Glenfield and Western railroad bed in West Turin.

Deputies told the Utica Observer-Dispatch that Rosebush was traveling east when he failed to keep right and struck Isabelle head on. The two were thrown from their vehicles and pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities are still investigating the crash.

Body found near Buffalo Harbor State Park

BUFFALO (AP) — Police are investigating a body that was found in upstate New York.

Officials say a fisherman discovered the body floating near Buffalo Harbor State Park on Sunday morning. Authorities say Buffalo first responders arrived at the scene after an emergency call around 11 a.m. The deceased man was then recovered by the Buffalo Police Underwater Recovery Team.

Police say they believe the body had been in the water for an extended period of time.

Officials are working to identify the body. The cause of death has not yet been determined.

Defective cable causes manholes to smoke in Queens

NEW YORK (AP) — Officials say a defective cable caused a power outage in Queens.

Fire officials responded to emergency calls around 11 p.m. on Sunday to what city officials initially described as a manhole fire.

Con Edison says a defective cable made three manholes smoke. Crews are cutting the defective cable.

Officials say there are no reported injuries.

New York State Fair offers deal on ride wristbands

SYRACUSE (AP) — The New York State Fair is offering a big discount on ride-all-day weekday wristbands.

The sale starts at 6 a.m. Thursday, with only 5,000 wristbands available at the special price of $15. That’s $10 off the full price during the fair and $5 off the advance price.

Tickets can be purchased at etix.com .

Buyers will be emailed a barcoded voucher allowing them to exchange it for a wristband at the Wade Shows Midway customer service booth.

A wristband allows one person to take unlimited rides on the Wade Shows Midway during a single day.

The fair runs Aug. 23-Sept. 4.

Cuomo warns residents of new tax scams

ALBANY (AP) — Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo says New Yorkers need to beware of new scams this tax season.

State officials say many of the new schemes target company payroll and human resources workers, with con artists sending emails posing as company executives seeking employee Social Security numbers.

Some 37 companies with New York employees already have been victimized. Officials say more than 5,000 Social Security numbers may have been illegally obtained.

Another scam involves criminals posing as software technicians who contact tax preparers about fake problems with their computer systems.

State officials encourage taxpayers, tax preparers or anyone else who believes they’ve been contacted by scam artists to report the incident to the IRS or state tax fraud authorities.