New York State scored five out of a possible ten in getting behind suggested policies and aggressively passing laws to reduce cancer deaths and suffering.  The Progress Report on State Legislative Activity to Reduce Cancer Incidence and Mortality was released yesterday from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.  Government Relations Director Julie Hart says while the State scores high to deter kids and adults from smoking… there’s still room for improvement.

Andrea Nguyen Flickr Page

The state’s education commissioner , Mary Ellen Elia says she’s fighting a proposal by her predecessor, now the federal education secretary, John King,  to punish schools with a high opt out rate from the standardized tests.

  Advocates for people living with H-I-V and AIDS are trying to find out what kinds of services and support could be improved.  Mohawk Valley Health Infectious Disease Clinic Director Regina Brown says treatment for those with the virus has improved to one-pill-a-day to keep them healthy.  But that doesn't solve the problem for many people.

Jason Chen / WAER News

Every six minutes, an underground utility line is damaged somewhere in the United States.  August 11 is National 811 Dig Safely Day (get it? 8/11?). National Grid Damage Prevention Supervisor Annette Wisniewski said it’s important to identify underground utilities before doing any digging in the yard to ensure safety and prevent damage.

  The announcement that the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant will continue to operate under new ownership was met with disappointment by critics who say the energy is increasingly unsafe and expensive.  Program director for the Alliance for a Green Economy Jessica Azulay says a $7.6 billion investment in nuclear power is a big mistake. 

 "I am floored that the state decided that a 12 year commitment to nuclear power was the way to go," Azulay said.

Governor Cuomo's Flickr Page

  Residents in Oswego County are breathing a sigh of relief following the news that Exelon will assume ownership and continue operation of the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant.  The Cuomo administration facilitated the transaction between Exelon and Entergy, the former owner of the power plant. Governor Cuomo calls it a victory for the region and the state. 

scott Willis / WAER News

  Syracuse-area peace activists and opponents of nuclear weapons held their annual silent procession through downtown Syracuse Tuesday to commemorate the 71st anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

" I think that nuclear weapons could be the scourge of the earth. If there is a nuclear war we could actually destroy life on this planet."

Richard Weiskopf is a retired doctor and member of physicians for social responsibility. 

Scott Willis / WAER News

 Synthetic drugs continue to plague the Syracuse area, and Senator Chuck Schumer is taking another stab at trying to help federal drug agents stay ahead of the changing composition of the substances in Syracuse.   Senator Schumer says Syracuse is seen as  the upstate epicenter of the problem.  He says synthetic compounds continue to appear on store shelves as a result of the market's ability to find loopholes in the law.

John Smith / WAER News

The City of Syracuse continues an active role in joining together with community partners in the Governor’s effort to ‘End the Epidemic by 2020’ …ultimately ending the spread of HIV / AIDS.  The target goal of End the Epidemic is to reduce the number of new infections from the current roughly 3,000 a year in the state to 750 or lower.  Mayor Stephanie Miner’s task force is bringing together 20 healthcare and social service providers for those residents at risk.