Karen DeWitt

Albany Reporter

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Focus on Education
4:41 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Hundreds of teachers rally in Albany

Teachers voiced their thoughts on Governor Cuomo's education reforms on Monday.
Credit Photo from Karen Dewitt

Hundreds of teachers are rallied at the State Capitol late Monday, saying they are calling out Cuomo for what they say is his anti-public school agenda.

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Focus on Education
4:53 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Teachers to rally against Cuomo's proposals

Governor Cuomo will be the target of an education rally in Albany today.
Credit WBFO File Photo

Teachers have been holding rallies all around the state protesting Governor Cuomo’s education proposals, and hundreds are expected to converge on the Capitol Monday to protest over reliance on standardized tests, and other issues.

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Local
4:39 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Heastie focused on passage of Dream Act

Carl Heastie is setting his agenda as the new Speaker of the Assembly.
Credit WBFO File Photo

Newly elected Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie made clear one of his top priorities in his first news conference, where he called for passage of the Dream Act, which would offer college aid to children of undocumented immigrants.

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Local
4:48 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Leaders under scrutiny as budget process begins

Budget talks began Wednesday, as Governor Cuomo met behind closed doors with legislative leaders to discuss school aid, economic development proposals and ethics reform. Cuomo’s push to reform practices in the legislature comes at a time when his nearly $1 million book deal is coming under closer scrutiny.

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Local
4:57 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Poll examines voters' priorities on ethics issue

Governor Cuomo has repeatedly threatened to hold up the state budget over ethics reform and other issues, like education policy. Now, a poll finds that voters would rather that the budget be on time.

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Local
4:45 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Reformers say Cuomo's ethics proposals don't go far enough

Credit WBFO File Photo

Governor Cuomo has outlined his plan for greater transparency of state lawmakers’ outside income, and has made it part of his budget proposal. Good government groups say they wish he had gone farther.

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Local
8:39 am
Mon February 16, 2015

Critics look to end Albany's "three men in a room"

Sheldon Silver's legal troubles may change the way legislative business is conducted in Albany.
Credit WBFO File Photo

The traditional style of budget making in New York, known as "three men in a room," is coming under criticism, by among others, the US Attorney currently investigating corruption at the Capitol.  Some are wondering whether it’s time to end the secretive practice.

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Local
4:53 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Albany debates education tax credit

Governor Cuomo's proposed education tax credit is creating debate in Albany.
Credit WBFO File Photo

Supporters of Governor Cuomo’s education tax credit were at the Capitol to persuade lawmakers that the credit, which would benefit donors to private and charter schools, should be approved as part of the state budget.

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Local
4:40 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Outside income debate continues in Albany

Senator Jeff Klein announces that he's giving up his law practice as the debate continues over outside income for state legislators.
Credit Photo from Karen Dewitt

One day after Democrats in the Senate proposed sharply curtailing outside income earned by state lawmakers, the leader of another Senate faction says he’s quitting his private law practice.

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Focus on Education
4:52 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Teachers ready to fight Cuomo on reform issues

With less than two months before the state budget is due, Governor Cuomo and education groups remain at odds, with the state teacher’s union calling the fight a “war,” and Cuomo calling the teachers and their allies a bloated bureaucracy.

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Local
4:54 am
Fri February 6, 2015

Two Albany corruption cases come to a conclusion

Two sexual harassment victims of former Assemblyman Vito Lopez have settled their case and will receive  $580,000 in restitution. It was one of two lingering corruption cases which came to resolution in Albany Thursday.

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Local
4:30 am
Tue February 3, 2015

Carl Heastie expected to take over as Assembly Speaker

Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie will be New York's next Assembly Speaker.
Credit courtesy of Heastie website

The State Assembly is poised to elect Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie as the next Speaker, as Sheldon Silver resigns in disgrace over serious corruption charges.

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Politics
5:05 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Morelle out, Heastie gains in Speaker's race

Carl Heastie appears to be in line to be the next Assembly Speaker.
Credit assembly.state.ny.us/

The race to replace the disgraced Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver seems all but over, with the Assembly’s Majority Leader Joe Morelle ending his bid for the job and throwing his support to Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie. A vote could be held as early as next week.

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Local
4:52 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Assembly Speaker Silver will step down

Assemblyman Joe Morrelle announced Sheldon Silver's intention to step down as Assembly Speaker.
Credit Karen Dewitt

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver will end his long reign as the head of the Assembly on Monday, say the Democratic members of the Assembly who announced they’ll hold a new election for Speaker on February 10th.

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Politics
4:50 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Federal prosecutor details charges against Silver, as Assembly Democrats close ranks

Credit File photo

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is under arrest and $3.8 million in eight different bank accounts held by Silver have been seized as federal prosecutors accuse the Speaker of running two fraudulent and corrupt schemes.

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Breaking
11:28 am
Fri January 2, 2015

Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo dead At 82

Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo died on New Year’s Day, just hours after his son , Governor Andrew Cuomo, gave his inaugural address for his second term in office.

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Local
9:14 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Albany correspondent offers insight on fracking decision

Credit WBFO News File Photo

Environmentalists are celebrating while gas companies are fuming over Governor Cuomo's decision to ban hydro fracking in New York State for the near future. Albany Correspondent Karen DeWitt provides some insight into the decision in an interview with WBFO's Morning Edition host Jay Moran.

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Local
3:41 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Cuomo administration moves to ban fracking in New York

Credit File photo

Environmentalists are celebrating after Gov.Cuomo said there will be no hydrofracking in New York for now, citing inconclusive scientific evidence on the health effects of the gas drilling process.

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Local
4:59 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Senate Dems call for permanent special prosecutor in police death cases

State Senator Andrea Stewart Cousins is among those calling for a special prosecutor in police death cases.

There are growing calls in Albany for a special prosecutor to investigate police encounters with unarmed citizens that end in the death of the person.  Senate Democrats are the latest to ask for immediate action in the wake of the death of Eric Garner and other recent incidents.

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Politics
10:09 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Reporter debrief: Reviewing the debate

WBFO Albany correspondent Karen DeWitt was a panelist in last night's debate
Credit File photo

Four candidates for New York governor squared off in a debate last night from the WNED|WBFO studios. Afterward, the debate's moderator, WBFO News Director Brian Meyer, and one of its panelists, New York Public Radio Albany correspondent Karen DeWitt, talked about what they saw and heard during the hour-long forum.

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Governor's Race
5:45 am
Wed October 22, 2014

WNED-WBFO airs gubernatorial debate Wednesday night

WNED/WBFO will host tonight's gubernatorial debate.
Credit WBFO File Photo

Four of the candidates running for Governor of New York will be participating in a debate originating from Buffalo at the studios of WNED|WBFO. It will be shown on public television and heard on public radio tonight. It’s the only debate agreed to by Andrew Cuomo and his challengers.

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Focus on Education
3:41 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Cuomo announces new anti-sexual assault measures on SUNY campuses

Students at UB's North campus in Amherst.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Governor Andrew Cuomo made a rare appearance before the State University of New York Board of Trustees and convinced officials to pass a system-wide set of policies on how to respond to sexual assault and rape on campus.

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Invited on trip by Defense Secretary Hagel
10:30 am
Sun September 28, 2014

Cuomo makes surprise visit to Afghanistan

Governor Cuomo meets with a member of the New York Army National Guard in Afghanistan.
Credit U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Kap Kim, Combined Joint Task Force-10 Public Affairs / WBFO News

Governor Andrew Cuomo is in Afghanistan for a surprise visit.

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Local
8:27 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Fracking politics will influence gubernatorial election

Credit WBFO News file photo

The issue of hydrofracking played a role in the recent Democratic primary for governor in New York, and those who oppose the gas drilling process hope it will influence the general election, as well.

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Local
6:00 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Cuomo won't commit to debate

Governor Cuomo is non-committal about whether he’ll debate his Democratic and Republican opponents in the fall elections.

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Local
8:24 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Business group ranks legislative voting records

An upstate pro business group is out with ratings for the Senate and Assembly, and finds, not surprisingly, that more liberal Democrats are at odds with the group’s agenda than conservative leaning Republicans.

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Local
6:46 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Reform groups split on ballot amendment

Government reform groups are split over whether an amendment on the November ballot to change the way legislative district lines are drawn is an improvement, or will only make gerrymandering worse.

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Focus on Education
9:20 am
Fri August 8, 2014

State surplus could provide billions to education

Billy Easton, with Alliance for Quality Education, explains report showing schools are underfunded by billions of dollars.
Credit Photo by Karen DeWitt

Education funding advocates say they have a use for the recently announced $4.2 billion state surplus. They say schools in New York, particularly the state’s poorest schools, could really use  the money.

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Local
8:03 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Comptroller candidate using public finance program

Republican comptroller candidate Bob Antonacci.
Credit Photo from bobantonacci.com

The only statewide candidate who is participating in a pilot public campaign finance program says it’s been slow going, but Republican candidate for Comptroller Bob Antonacci expects to collect enough individual donors to qualify for the state matching funds.

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Local
7:28 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Governor uses campaign funds for defense attorney

Governor Cuomo is using money from his $35 million campaign war chest to pay for a criminal defense lawyer in a federal probe of his office. Critics say while it’s legal to do so, it’s not an appropriate use of campaign money.

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