Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

New York State has recorded more than 1 million positive COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO Public Media

The Empire State Trail is now complete in New York state. It includes 750 miles of hiking and biking trails from New York City to Canada, and Albany to Buffalo. That includes linking one of the biggest gaps in the trail in central New York.

There was always a problem weaving the Empire Trail through Syraucuse; a 14-mile gap between Camillus and Dewitt. That gap, which runs through the city of Syracuse, baffled Empire State Trail Director Andy Beers.

“This was the most vexing challenge to create this continuous route,” Beers said.

Office of the Governor

As the new year begins, New York state leaders face two major challenges. One is the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as infection rates spike again and a vaccine rollout begins. The second is the state’s related multibillion-dollar budget deficit, which needs to be closed by spring.

Jessie Wardarski / Associated Press

A federal appeals court this week quashed New York’s capacity restrictions on faith services in areas with high rates of COVID-19, much to the praises of houses of worship.

Office of the Governor

While many New Yorkers will be happy to put 2020 behind them, there’s no denying it was a year like no other. At the Capitol, the Legislature took a back seat as Gov. Andrew Cuomo gained power and popularity among residents who eagerly tuned in for his coronavirus briefings.

wbfo news file

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is holding his regular COVID-19 briefing in Albany. Watch it here live at 3:00 p.m.

Matt Ryan / New York Now

New York state lawmakers held a special December session Monday to enact new protections for tenants unable to meet rent payments, due to pandemic-related job losses and other financial challenges.

Rogelio V. Solis / Associated Press

New York state’s positivity rate for the coronavirus jumped to 8.3%, according to the latest numbers released Monday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The news comes as the state continues its vaccine rollout and the governor is withholding scheduled pay raises for all state elected officials.


New York lawmakers plan to convene remotely for a special session Monday to pass a bill extending the state's ban on residential evictions past its Jan. 1 deadline.

State Sen. George Borrello's office

Republican state lawmakers on Tuesday denounced Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to close the Gowanda Correctional Facility early next year, saying it will hurt both the prison’s workers and surrounding communities. / Office of the Governor of New York State

Governor Andrew Cuomo is holding his regular COVID-19 update briefing in Albany. Watch it here live at 11:30 a.m.

Gareth Rhodes/New York State Department of Financial Services

Nursing home residents and staff account for nearly 40% of the United States’ COVID-19 deaths. That’s why they’re among the first Americans to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. WBFO’s Tom Dinki spoke with New York state nursing home residents, operators and advocates about vaccination, which began this week.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the state is developing a task force to make sure underserved communities are tested for COVID-19 at greater rates then they have previously. / Office of the Governor of New York State

Governor Andrew Cuomo is holding his regular COVID-19 update briefing in Albany. Watch it here live at 11:30 a..m. / Office of the Governor of New York State

Governor Andrew Cuomo is holding his regular COVID-19 update briefing in Albany. Watch it live here at 11:30 a.m.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is floating the possibility that New York may have to raise taxes to close a pandemic-related budget gap, and his remarks are encouraging those who have long been advocates of imposing higher taxes on the wealthy.

Dave Lucas / WAMC News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency in 18 counties in the Capitol Region, Southern Tier and Hudson Valley on Thursday after a heavy snowfall. Some places, like Binghamton, got more than 3' of snow, while Western and Central New York, the North Country and New York City were spared with only a few inches.

Office of the Governor

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is dialing back on statements that New York state could be headed for a second pandemic shutdown, saying if people control their behavior, it could be avoided. The governor also said he’s advancing funds to cash-strapped state contractors that are providing essential services.

WATCH LIVE: NYS COVID Update for Dec. 16, 2020

Dec 16, 2020 / Office of the Governor of New York State

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is holding his regular COVID-19 update briefing in Albany at 11:30 a.m. Watch it live here.

New York is moving closer to legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use. State lawmakers think they might be able to strike a deal on the issue next year, but questions still remain on what exactly that will look like. Dan Clark from Public Media's New York NOW has this preview.


Charles Reed / AP/ U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed a law limiting the circumstances under which Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials can arrest people on immigration violations at state courthouses.

Michael Mroziak / WBFO News

New York State has banned the sale and display of the "Battle Flag of the Confederacy," as well as "white supremacist" and "neo-Nazi" symbols.

Lindsey for Manhattan

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday denied a former aide's allegations over the weekend that he sexually harassed her by making inappropriate comments about her appearance.

New York Now

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said Monday that negotiations are underway with the Senate and Gov. Andrew Cuomo on potential tax increases on the wealthy in New York, and that lawmakers could still return to Albany before the end of the year to act on such a measure.

Office of the Governor

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned Monday that the state is headed for another lockdown if the rising coronavirus infection rate doesn’t slow. / Office of the Governor of New York State

Governor Andrew Cuomo held his regular COVID-19 briefing in Albany on Monday. Watch here.

Marian Hetherly / WBFO News

New York State made history Monday morning. The first New Yorker to receive the newly approved COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer took place at 9:10 a.m. It also was the first dose to be administered nationwide.


The Electoral College meets in all 50 states on Monday. In New York, officials have decided, reluctantly, to hold the event in person, despite the rising rate of the coronavirus.

Dan Clark / New York Now

A former aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo who is now running for Manhattan borough president accused him of sexual harassment in a series of tweets Sunday, saying he made inappropriate comments about her appearance.

A panel tasked with drawing new legislative districts for members of Congress and the state Legislature still hasn’t received the funding allocated to it in this year’s state budget, approved in April, and it’s now formally asking the Cuomo administration to release that money.