Democrat Kathy Hochul sworn in as elected New York governor
New York Governor Kathy Hochul was sworn in for her first elected term on Sunday, making history as the first woman elected to the position in the state. The Democrat, launching her term as the 57th governor of New York, said her goals were to increase public safety and to make the state more affordable. “Right now there are some fights we have to take on,” Hochul said after taking the oath of office at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany.news.yahoo.com
'Blizzard of the century' leaves nearly 50 dead across US
Emergency crews in New York were scrambling Monday to rescue marooned residents from what authorities called the "blizzard of the century," a relentless storm that has left at least 25 dead in the state and is causing US Christmas travel chaos. Blizzard conditions continue to prevail in parts of the US Northeast, the stubborn remnants of a massive sprawl of extreme weather that gripped the country over several days, causing widespread power outages, travel delays and at least 47 deaths across nine states. In New York state, authorities have described ferocious conditions, particularly in Buffalo, with hours-long whiteouts, bodies being discovered in vehicles and under snow banks, and emergency personnel going "car to car" searching for more motorists -- alive or dead. The perfect storm of fierce snow squalls, howling wind and sub-zero temperatures forced the cancellation of more than 15,000 US flights in recent days, including at least 2,600 on Monday, according to tracking site Flightaware.com. Buffalo -- a city in Erie County that is no stranger to foul winter weather -- is the epicenter of the crisis, buried under staggering amounts of snow. "Certainly it is the blizzard of the century," Governor Kathy Hochul told reporters, adding it was "way too early to say this is at its completion." Hochul said some western New York towns got walloped with "30 to 40 inches (0.75 to 1 meter) of snow overnight." Later Monday, Hochul spoke with President Joe Biden, who offered "the full force of the federal government" to support New York state, and said he and First Lady Jill Biden were praying for those who lost loved ones in the storm, according to a White House statement. The National Weather Service forecast up to 14 more inches Monday in addition to the several feet that have already left the city buried in snow, with officials struggling to get emergency services back online. Erie County executive Mark Poloncarz told a press briefing he was "heartbroken" to report the blizzard-related death toll had climbed to 25 county-wide. Poloncarz said Erie's death toll will likely surpass that of Buffalo's infamous blizzard of 1977, when nearly 30 people died. "We do expect that there will be more" deaths from the ongoing storm, he added. With more snow in the forecast and most of Buffalo "impassable," he joined Hochul in warning residents to bunker down and stay in place. - 'Gut-wrenching' - National Guard members and other teams have rescued hundreds of people from snow-covered cars and homes without electricity, but authorities have said more people remain trapped. Erie County Sheriff John Garcia called the storm "the worst" he has ever seen, with periods of zero visibility and authorities unable to respond to emergency calls. "It was gut-wrenching when you're getting calls where families are with their kids and they're saying they're freezing," he told CNN. Hochul, a native of Buffalo, said she was stunned by what she saw during a reconnaissance tour of the city. "It is (like) going to a war zone, and the vehicles along the sides of the roads are shocking," Hochul said, describing eight-foot (2.4-meter) drifts against homes as well as snow plows and rescue vehicles "buried" in snow. "This is a war with mother nature," she said. The extreme weather sent temperatures to below freezing in all 48 contiguous US states over the weekend, including in Texas communities along the Mexico border where some newly arriving migrants have struggled to find shelter. - Sweeping power outages - At one point on Saturday, nearly 1.7 million customers were without electricity in the biting cold, according to tracker poweroutage.us. That number has dropped substantially, although there were still some 50,000 without electricity mid-day Monday on the US east coast. Due to frozen electric substations, some Erie County residents were not expected to regain power until Tuesday, with one substation reportedly buried under 18 feet of snow, a senior county official said. Buffalo's international airport remains closed until Tuesday and a driving ban remained in effect for the city and much of Erie County. Road ice and whiteout conditions also led to the temporary closure of some of the nation's busiest transport routes, including part of the cross-country Interstate 70 highway. Drivers were being warned not to take to the roads -- even as the nation reached what is usually its busiest time of year for travel. burs-mlm/bbk/cawnews.yahoo.com
Western NY death toll rises to 28 from cold, storm chaos
The death toll from a pre-Christmas blizzard that paralyzed the Buffalo area and much of the country has risen to 28 in western New York, authorities said Monday as the region dug out from one of the worst weather-related disasters in its history.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul Picks Conservative Anti-Abortion Judge for New York's Highest Court
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Thursday nominated Hector D. LaSalle—a conservative jurist who has sided with crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs)—to lead the state’s highest court for a 14-year term. LaSalle’s history as a right-wing judicial activist is in direct contrast with the governor’s previous pledges to support abortion rights in New York.news.yahoo.com
Wave of sex abuse lawsuits seen as NY opens door for victims
Sexual assault victims in New York are getting a one-time opportunity to sue their abusers under a new law expected to bring a wave of litigation against prison guards, middle managers, doctors and prominent figures including former President Donald Trump.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist mocks Asian woman's complaint about NYC subway violence on Twitter
Journalist Nikole Sheri Hannah-Jones ridiculed a New York City woman who tweeted her concerns about the persistence of violence on the city’s subway under the current local administration. Yiatin Chu, founding co-president of education advocacy group Place NYC, took to Twitter to call the attention of New York Governor Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams to the conditions of public transit. Switched cars at next stop to be in a public toilet / urine-odor, crowded car for the rest of my ride.news.yahoo.com
After lackluster midterms for GOP, supporters urge Lee Zeldin to run for Republican National Committee chair
Supporters are calling Rep. Lee Zeldin, who came close last week to ousting Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York, urging him to make a bid for Republican National Committee chairfoxnews.com
New York emerges as exception to strong election for Dems
While Democrats were celebrating a stronger-than-expected midterm performance across much of the U.S. this week, New York was emerging as a notable exception where losses and lackluster results prompted a round of soul-searching and finger-pointing inside the party.