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Syracuse Post Standard (Newspaper) - March 31, 2010, Syracuse, New York r» •yi^ ^J^ ^ JACKPOT IS NOW TODAY'S WEATHER DETAILS I (PAGE B-S WARMING TRENO. BEGINS 55 39 DOW JONES BUSINESS I PAGE A-10 10.907.42 +11.56 A SPORTS * "i&y, / ;r ' / Li-Hua Lan / The Post-Standard His punch sent-packing? Syracuse Crunch hockey player Jon "Nasty" Mirasty, 27, hopes to play at least one more year of hockey. However, the team's enforcer could be wearing a uniform for a different American Hockey League team next season. B-1 NATIONAL More college aid on the way. President Barack Obama signed legislation that expands Pell grants, and makes it easier for students to repay outstanding loans after graduating. A-11 Anti-government groups seen as on the rise. A Syracuse University professor says a Christian militia group raided in Michigan was part of a growing trend of militant activity across the U.S. A civil rights group says the weak economy and a black president have fueled extremist activity. A-11 CORRECTIONS Spelling of Cirque du Soleil; jump-rope specialist Rene Bibaud performed in "Wintuk" the past three holiday seasons in New York City. C-1 To discuss a correction on a news story call 470-2240. INDEX Auto...................................D-l Business.........................A-10 Classified..................".........D-5 Comics/Puzzles..............C-4,5 legal notices..................D-6,7 letters.............................A-13 Local news...........A-3,4,6,7,9 Obituaries.......................A-8,9 Sports................................1-1 Television............................C-2 WorliS Nation................A-11 CONTACT US Subscription questions? Call 470-NEWS (470-6397). * O 2010 The Post-Standard WHAT PEOPLE ARE READING ON syracus8.com * Find the list of the most popular items on A-2 * S POWERIdKYti 81 MILLION NEW POLICE CHIEF: KIDS WITH GUNS - THAT'S NOT NORMAL a, INSIDE KICKBOXING WORKOUTS HELP TO BURN FAT, RELIEVE STRESS WHERE'S THE BEEF? MEAT SUBSTITUTES CAN BE TASTY C-1 WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31,2010 FINAL EDITION 175 CENTS STATE GOVERNMENT LAWMAKERS SKIP TOWN FOR HOLIDAY, RATHER THAN DEAL WITH SEVERE CASH-FLOW PROBLEMS CRISIS? DEADLINE? ALBANY TAKES A VACATION BUDGET BILLS are piled high on legislators' desks in the Assembly chamber at the Capitol in Albany. Lawmakers are on a break until April 7, nearly a week after the budget deadline. By Delen Goldberg Staff writer Ticktock. Ticktock. As Thursday's state budget deadline nears, no agreements are in place to close a $9 billion deficit, no public meetings are scheduled and most legislators have left the Capitol. That leaves no hope this year for an on-time budget, the State's most important document. What does that mean for residents? What happens next? Emergency budget Without a state budget, New York government would shut down. To prevent that, Gov. David Paterson and state lawmakers passed emergency extender bills to keep the state running without an official financial plan. They approved $4.5 billion in spending from April 1 through April 14 to cover legally mandated expenses, such as state workers' salaries, Social Security benefits and Medicaid payments. Out of town Instead of working on a budget deal, most lawmakers left Albany on Friday for a 10-day break because of Passover and Easter. They are scheduled to return to session April 7. Leaders said if a budget agreement is reached sooner — which is unlikely — lawmakers will be called back to the Capitol for a vote. That could pose a problem for some legislators. Several have Inside Governor delays aid to school districts, Pag* A-6 left New York. "It's a little hard to get rank-and-file lawmakers back to Albany if they are in Disneyland in Florida with their families," said Barbara Bartoletti, legislative director of the League of Women Voters of New York State. Sen. John DeFrancisco, of Syracuse, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, is one of the legislators believed to be in the Sunshine State. Asked if he was out of town, DeFrancisco said it was nobody else's business. "What should 1 be doing? Sitting in Albany like I did all weekend on the taxpayer dime with nothing happening?" DeFrancisco asked. Trouble in May A budget that's a week or two late won't push the state into financial ruin. After all, 23 of the past 25 state budgets have come in past deadline. "There's a significant difference in effect of a really late budget versus a normally late budget," said Grant Reeher, a political science professor at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. "Any organization that knows it's going to need to rely on state money is probably used to this, or ought to be." Late budgets make planning tougher for state aid recipients, particularly school districts. This year, school boards have to adopt their budgets by April 23. The re^l problems start if there's no budget by May. The state is on the hook to make millions of dollars of payments in late May and early June to virtually all of the agencies and organizations it funds — schools, LATf MJDGfT, PAGi A-6 LEISURE TIME More water fun at Darien Lake Resort Darien Lake Resort's water park gets its own name — SplashTown — and a new complex of four water slides this summer. The resort, which includes a separate area for dry rides, is also adding more family-friendly lodging and building a new bathhouse and lounging area. A-10 Courtesy of godarienlake.com WEATHER April to come in like a lamb, and March wasn't bad, either 0 Get the sunscreen ready. While clouds will linger today, forecasters say the next few days will see sunshine as well as temperatures that could top 80 degrees Saturday. It hasn't been that warm in Central New York since Sept. 23, when it hit 83 degrees. The warming weather makes it a sure thing that the region will set a modern record for the least snow in March. A trace has been measured at Syracuse Hancock International Airport. That beats the record of 0.9 inches that was set last year, according to the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University. In 1927, before National Weather Service instruments were moved to the airport, no snow fell in March in Syracuse. WEATHER, B-8 PUBLIC WORKS Once more, with filling: It's pothole season Seems like every driver this time of year has a pothole story, such as recent complaints about a crater at Hiawatha Boulevard and Seventh North Street, across from Crouse-Hinds. In Central New York, problem areas this year appear to be along Route 31 in Cicero and Clay, Route 370 in Liverpool and Route 11, north and south of Syracuse, said Gene Cilento, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation. However, in Onondaga County, the database for pothole complaints is running relatively light this year, said Brian Donnelly, the county's commissioner of transportation. He said that people usually are vocal about reporting problems so that the holes can be filled in. A-3 Jim Commentucci / The Post-Standard, 2003
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