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State news in brief

Wednesday, August 06, 2014 - Updated: 10:21 AM

State seeks trees for Capitol display

ALBANY (AP) -- Christmas is still more than four months away, but a New York agency is already looking for two spruce trees to display outside the state Capitol during the holidays.

The state Office of General Services is seeking two New York spruces to display: one for East Capitol Park and the other for the south side of the Capitol on the Empire State Plaza, near the Plaza skating rink in downtown Albany.

OGS says the trees will be removed at no cost to the property owner in mid-November and lit as part of the state's tree-lighting and fireworks on Dec. 7 at the Empire State Plaza.

The agency says the trees should be a spruce between 35 and 55 tall, easily accessible on the owner's property and clear of power lines.

NY to invest $14M in stem cell research

ALBANY (AP) -- New York state is setting aside $14 million to promote stem cell research and education.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the program on Wednesday. It will fund short-term stem cell research opportunities for middle- and high-school biology teachers.

Cuomo says giving teachers the opportunity to conduct stem-cell research is a good way of spurring student interest in the cutting-edge research. He says the initiative is intended to encourage more students to consider careers in the biomedical research field.

The money will also support direct research as well as efforts to encourage science museums to host lectures and exhibits detailing the importance and the challenges of stem cell research.

Man charged with threatening Obama

ROCHESTER (AP) -- A 30-year-old western New York man is charged with tweeting threats against President Barack Obama and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Brandon Correa of Rochester pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in federal court Tuesday after a federal grand jury indicted him on charges that include threatening the president.

The indictment says Correa posted a Twitter message June 11 telling the president to "get ready to die." Federal prosecutors say he tweeted similar sentiments directed at Cuomo and Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy the same day.

At his arraignment, Correa indicated he wants to represent himself. He's due back in court Friday for an attorney appointment hearing.

State troopers targeting speeders

ALBANY (AP) -- As NASCAR drivers head to Watkins Glen for the upcoming Sprint Cup Series weekend, New York's state troopers will be conducting a week-long enforcement effort targeting speeders and aggressive drivers across the state.

The state police "Speed Week" campaign runs from Aug. 6 through Aug. 12.

Drivers can expect to see more troopers and unmarked patrol vehicles on major highways. In addition to speeders and aggressive drivers, troopers will be looking for distracted or impaired drivers and people violating the "Move Over" law.

During the August 2013 Speed Week campaign, state police issued nearly 25,000 traffic tickets. More than 9,000 were for speeding and more than 2,300 were for distracted driving.

     

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